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Commentary Search

May Chief's Perspective

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Jason Horne
  • 169th Logistics Readiness Squadron

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, hopefully everyone is adhering to the CDC’s precautions to reduce the risk of becoming sick. The virus is structurally related to the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The COVID-19 outbreak has posed critical challenges for the public health, research and medical communities. It has also affected our daily lives greatly from social gatherings, teaching our children at home due to the schools being closed, spring sports being cancelled, graduation dates still unknown, virtual worship services and day to day activities in general.

With our daily life changing, trying to cope with the changes can become very stressful. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. How you cope with stress will make you, your loved ones and your community stronger.

Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs  

There are many resources available and you are not alone in this. We are here to support anyone anyway possible. If you or someone you care about, is feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, anxiety or feel like you want to harm yourself or others please contact someone ASAP.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline & Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 (24/7)
  • SCNG Behavioral Health Care Line 1-800-681-2558 (24/7)
  • Military One Source 1-800-342-9647 (24/7)
  • Crisis Text Line Text HOME to 741741
  • SCANG Chaplain Maj. Christina Pittman 803-647-8265 (Office) / 803-522-5091 (Mobile)

To help reduce stress in your life, you need to take care of yourself. Take breaks from reading, watching or listening to news stories about the pandemic. Take time to unwind and give your mind a break. Take care of your body. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep. Connect with others and talk to people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

Hopefully by the time this article is published, we will be on the other side of the pandemic curve. In the meantime, everyone needs to protect themselves and others to keep this virus from spreading.

Understand how the virus spreads:

  • Be sure to avoid exposure and remember social distancing. If you are in close contact with one another, maintain a 6ft distance.
  • Current guidance from the Secretary of Defense requires anyone on DoD property working within 6 feet of each other to use a cloth face covering.
  • Clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover all coughs and sneezes. Throw your tissues in the trash and wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.

Col. Phillip Latham, State Air Surgeon for the South Carolina Air National Guard, provided us with a video on our SCANG YouTube Channel, and 169FW Public Affairs placed it on the SCANG Facebook page. The video contains links for CDC-related information and a great reminder on what we all can do to “flatten the curve” on the spread of this pandemic.