Creating a Plan B Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Taking Effective Action, Inc. (TEA) is working to achieve its goal to connect 400 Black women aged 18 and older residing in Prince George’s County to accurate information on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment that is provided by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and thereby prompt them to adopt preventive and self-care behaviors relative their health in general and specifically HIV. TEA spent the first quarter of 2020 preparing materials to film roundtable discussions between TEA’s founder and health professionals in the community on various HIV/AIDS topics. TEA also began the buildout of the addition of HIV/AIDS resources from NLM on its sistahvoices.org website by adding AIDSource under the resources tab.
In the midst of preparation, life changed for many cities and people around the world and life in the Washington, DC metropolitan area changed also. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) began to spread around the world and the pandemic hit our local area. TEA had booked studio space in Maryland just outside of Washington, DC to shoot the videos, scheduled speakers, and created orders for set items among other preparations for quick search demonstrations to be included in the videos. Local government officials began encouraging social distancing and prohibiting large gatherings of people at events. Eventually the governors of MD, Virginia, and the mayor of Washington DC issued stay-home orders for area residents and the closure of all non-essential businesses. TEA scrambled to meet virtually with its technology team to begin creating a new plan to record virtual roundtable discussions via webinar/conference software and was forced to slightly delay its timeline of activities. What did TEA learn: (1) The health and safety of residents is a priority and local governments will take initiative to protect residents at the expense of the economy and local business; (2) Team flexibility and use of technology provides options to achieve project objectives in the face of a crisis, including a global pandemic, not experienced in the U.S. in over 100 years; and (3) Leadership patience and understanding with team members who are willing to work to advance the project while trying to keep themselves and their families safe is also important.
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