Some people have told me, “Hope isn’t a strategy.” Simply hoping something will happen doesn’t make it happen. I agree, but I also think hope is an integral part of supporting a successful strategy. With the rising number of new COVID-19 cases in Mississippi, is there an opportunity for hope? My answer is yes!

We repeatedly hear, “Wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands for 20 seconds frequently,” yet the message is not resonating with everyone. Science supports that these three superpowers work. Unlike the movies and comic books, the superpowers in this situation are not embodied in a romantic, larger-than-life hero. The superpowers of COVID-19 live here within us.

North Mississippi, I believe in you, the spirit you share and your commitment to use your powers to do what’s right – respect each other and wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands and lead by example. Now’s the time to step forward and say, “Thank you for wearing your mask appropriately; it means a lot to me and my family. Thank you for washing your hands. Thank you for social distancing.”

How can you be a leader in your community? Start by wearing a mask, then create hope in others by saying “thank you.”

Let business owners know you appreciate them and their employees requiring masks. Financially invest in this climate of hope by shopping and dining where owners and workers wear their masks appropriately. Together our actions will make our hope a reality.

Jeremy Blanchard, M.D., MMM

Chief Medical Officer

North Mississippi Health Services

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