submitted by Rotary Club of Madison President Andrea Kaminski
In this uncertain time, Rotarians have a time-tested guide to help us limit the spread of COVID-19 while we safeguard ourselves and our loved ones and strengthen our community.
The Four-Way Test of the things we think, say or do:
#1. Is it the TRUTH?
It seems we are bombarded all day, every day with COVID-19 information from many outlets. To prevent anxiety or panic, we need to be critical thinkers and act on reliable information from trustworthy sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
#2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
While it’s always true that what is good for all of us is good for each of us individually, this is even more true in a pandemic. Whether or not you are in a high-risk population group, you probably know, love and care about someone who is. Before this is over, we might all know someone who has been affected, and maybe has succumbed to the disease. We all need to abide by the orders from local, state and federal government officials to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people, keep a safe distance from others, and wash our hands frequently and well.
#3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
While we need to exercise “social distancing,” it is still important to maintain a sense of community. We need to take comfort — and bring it to others — in any way we can. At times we will have to exercise patience with the uncertainty of the times, while we watch out for more vulnerable family members, friends and neighbors. Check in with them to see how they are doing and whether you can drop off a meal or a book at their door. There are many safe ways to reach out to people including phone, email, social networking and video conferencing. In the long run, your family and our community will be closer as a result.
#4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
This is not a time to pull back and not be civically engaged. Participating as an active citizen in an election is a fundamental step toward a better future. Wisconsin elections officials are working to ensure that residents of our state have an influence in our national leadership as well as in important statewide and local elections. The April 7 ballot includes the Presidential Preference Primary as well as an election for Wisconsin Supreme Court, local judicial, school board and county board races, and a referendum on a proposal to amend our state constitution. The best way to vote while social distancing is to vote by mail before the election. There isn’t much time, so act now. If you live in Madison, the City Clerk’s website is your guide. Or, you can enter your address into the MyVoteWisconsin website and find reliable information, including contact information for your own municipal clerk.
If we keep in mind the Four-Way Test — with its emphasis on truth, fairness, goodwill and mutual benefit — we will come through this challenging time as a stronger nation. Rotarians can lead the way!