Jan-Michele ~ Community Leader

People called the newspaper and asked us for the ratio of water to bleach.”

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“People called the newspaper and asked us for the ratio of water to bleach. There was a rumor, could be because they heard this from somebody in Washington, that drinking bleach helps. We told them zero percent bleach, you cannot drink bleach, that will kill you. You can wash surfaces with bleach, but do not ingest it. As a Black newspaper in the community, people call our Cincinnati Herald staff for everything. We're supposed to know everybody and everything. We do our best. When we don't have the answers, we do our best to find them.

So people were calling, saying, ‘I heard that a mixture of bleach helps and how much do you put in.’ People were just so desperate and they were inundated with information and misinformation. Do this, don't do that, go here, don't go there, be outside, open your window, stay inside, stay home, eat this food, don't eat that food, touch this, don’t touch that. There was too much information and much of it was wrong, which is why several of us joined together, like the NAACP and the Urban League, to do town hall meetings every Saturday.

We did a lot of talking about masks and I was one of the co-sponsors and pushers of the City Council’s mask ordinance. I firmly believe it’s important to wear masks to help other people even if you don't think it's going to help you. I became a living example of this when I got COVID in August. The day before I started to feel sick, I had been working with two new interns in my office and they were there with me all day, all of us wearing masks. I asked them to get tested, and my husband and I went for testing, also. My husband and both interns’ results were negative, thank goodness. Unfortunately, my COVID-19 test was positive.

I went on Twitter and told my story. I wanted people to know you shouldn’t feel ashamed about getting COVID. It’s not about blaming someone — we just want people to get better. My tweet had more than 31,000 impressions — COVID is a hot topic. Being one of the the mask ordinance proponents on City Council, some mask opponents asked me if I felt stupid for getting COVID. I said no, because my interns were with me and they didn't get it. And neither did my husband. So this is a good example that wearing a mask helps to keep others safe.

I hate that we're going through this crisis, but I can tell you, there are a lot of points of light: a lot of people helping each other out — families, friends, neighbors and even strangers doing a better job of caring for one another. I think when we come out of this pandemic, we're going to be so much better than we were when it all started." -- Jan-Michele #Ohio