Life has not been the same since COVID-19 hit the news, social media, and the world. The effect that this outbreak has on us is overwhelming. It surpasses geography, religion, race, and economic status. No one is spared from its dangers and health risks. On the contrary, the levels to which we are affected by the virus do vary. During these challenging times, our most defenseless communities are put to the test first, and they sometimes are in for the worst.
Officials are encouraging everyone to practice proper handwashing to prevent further spread of the coronavirus infection. However, some homes across the United States do not have running water available to them, or even clean water. Reports claim that about two million people in the country do not have running water, wastewater treatments, or appropriate home plumbing systems. When this happens, families and the entire communities are at a heightened risk. The public health’s need for water is unquestionable and there is no time but NOW for the government to release a mandate that water be provided to every home and should not be shut off for the whole span of the global crisis.
The majority of underprivileged communities of color are the ones that unfortunately without access to clean and running water because they cannot afford to pay their bills. But it is vital that people of all races and colors must have water in order to avoid or stop the spread of the coronavirus. Frontline organizations have continued to emphasize this message to political leaders and water companies to take action immediately. The need for the government to provide support for these communities is crucial.
Clean Water For All
A nationwide (or worldwide, for that matter) prohibition on water shutdowns will allow everyone to follow the primary hygiene guidelines that are important for personal as well as public health and safety. It will also ensure people that it is safe to prepare meals for their families at home while they are abiding shelter-in-place measures. It is indeed critical to restore water services and provide water to families and communities even to those who cannot afford to pay prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, restoration services must be conveyed to the residents so that they can protect themselves from unclean water. Federal action is a must.
The connection of water to public health is one of the essential things to have during this health crisis, although access to water might become a concern when the world has surpassed the crisis. Forecasts reveal that by 2022, a third of the United States won’t be able to pay their water bills. This is because of our old water systems. To solve this problem, an increase in federal funds must be done and the water systems be replaced and regularly maintained particularly for the most disregarded communities.
As we struggle to survive through this unexpected crisis, what we will do will now define the present and the future. Water sanitation and public health may not be as connected as it is today, which is why healthcare professionals are urging us to be responsible for our community and ourselves. We must heed that call and be catalysts for everyone to get the opportunity to be safe and protected from COVID-19. And that opportunity begins with access to clean water.
Now that we know the importance of water access, we could not over-emphasize the overall importance of hydration and proper nutrition. People who drink enough water and eat the right food are typically healthier and have stronger immune systems. Thus, they are less likely to contract infections and chronic illnesses. So remember to consume a range of fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, and antioxidants. Avoid too much sugar, salt, and fat. And most importantly, drink sufficient water – clean water.