March 2020 E-Newsletter
2020 Public Health Conference for Utah POSTPONED
The Utah Public Health Association has made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone the 2020 Public Health Conference in Utah. This is due to the intensifying COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing to help flatten the epidemic curve. Registration is currently on hold as we consider next steps. We will be in touch as more information is available.
I am full of mixed emotions as I write to you in the midst of the most unprecedented public health crisis of our time. It was especially unnerving, and quite frankly, scary, to be shaken out of bed at 7:09 AM on Wednesday morning March 18th with a 5.7 earthquake. I am grateful it was not the “big one”, but it was plenty big for me. It was worse for our friends in Magna who had the contents of their cupboards spill onto the floor. I am thankful no lives were lost, but understand there was a mental toll. There is nothing like an earthquake to instill immediate fear. On the other hand, we have this pandemic and I feel like the frog in the pot of boiling water. The impact of this event is on a completely different level.
It has been especially challenging to reconfigure our lives, whether it is setting up a home office, moving our work into virtual space, home-schooling children, stocking the pantry, or taking care of loved ones. For many it is all of the above AND being on the front lines, responding to the public health call – staffing hotlines, conducting case investigations, coordinating hospital surge capacity, and staffing operations centers. Know that you have public health friends on the sidelines who are ready to lend you a hand.
I worry about our healthcare workers, grocery store employees and others who have to choose between putting themselves at risk and getting a paycheck. My heart also goes out to our restaurant and hospitality workers who may have already lost their jobs. While we are in this state of emergency, I see many rays of light, a sense of resiliency, and doing what it takes to flatten the curve. At UPHA, we too are figuring out the new normal. Our annual conference is postponed, many of our board members are attending to urgent work at the health departments or call centers, and we are focused on maintaining basic operations. We do hope to hold our annual business meeting – virtually and sooner rather than later – so we can attend to the basic business of elections, financial reporting, and resolutions. Stay tuned for announcements. Stay safe and hang in there. -Sharon Talboys, UPHA President
Read the full March 2020 E-Newsletter HERE.