The Puerto Rico Public Health Trust (Prpht) and Ciencia Puerto Rico (CienciaPR), together with the humanitarian organization Mercy Corps Puerto Rico, started an alliance to educate the young and adult population about the urgency of changing habits to stop Covid infections -19 in Puerto Rico.
With the slogan “Take care of yourself, Take care of me”, the organizations launched the educational campaign, which is made up of several efforts aimed mainly at the populations of young adults between 20 and 39 years old, who constitute the population with the highest number of confirmed cases of the virus in the Island.
The first effort is the virtual series “Conversations about Covid-19”, which brings together renowned personalities in the media, social networks and sports with experts in science and public health to discuss in an accessible and entertaining way various related topics to Covid-19.
For next September 16, a dialogue between former Major League Baseball player Carlos Delgado and Dr. Marcos Ramos Benítez, an expert in infectious diseases, is on the agenda, who will discuss sports and Covid-19. The second effort is a campaign on social networks and the media with educational and preventive messages, based on data and scientific evidence, but in easy-to-understand language.
“In order to return to relative normality, it is necessary not only to know what to do, but to do it consciously and consistently. This initiative offers communities experts who are studying the behavior of the virus in the population of Puerto Rico on a daily basis, so that together we can adopt prevention habits and be able to stop infections, ”said Karla Peña, executive director of Mercy Corps Puerto Rico.
“Young people and young adults are the population with the highest incidence of infections in Puerto Rico and this is worrying, since many are usually asymptomatic,” said Dr. José F. Rodríguez Orengo, executive director of Puerto Rico Public Health Trust (Prpht), a program affiliated with the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust.
The researcher explained that there is a false perception that this population is immune, which is not correct. “We are all at risk and we have to protect ourselves,” he said. He also pointed out that an asymptomatic person can develop health problems weeks after being infected.
Beyond emphasizing frequent hand washing, physical distancing and constant use of masks over the nose and mouth, it is crucial to promote practical strategies and behavior changes that allow citizens to get on with their lives, said Dr. Mónica Feliú Mójer , director of communications for Ciencia Puerto Rico and expert in scientific communication.
“We have to provide people with safer alternatives for socializing with loved ones, recreation or shopping. The “Take care of yourself, take care of me” campaign seeks to offer people information and strategies that they can apply to live with the virus, minimize their risk of contagion and protect themselves and their loved ones, ”added Feliú Mójer.
For her part, the executive director of Mercy Corps Puerto Rico highlighted the effect that the pandemic has had on the vulnerable communities to which they offer support. “We were already attending to the economic crises, hurricanes and earthquakes. Now, we are battling Covid-19. We must prevent this situation from spreading for longer or the situation in the country will become even more complicated for these communities,” said Peña .