[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Tony Cahill, the Democratic candidate for the District 107 seat in the South Carolina House of Representatives, says the “overriding priority” in the election is the willingness of lawmakers to make the difficult decisions needed to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control in the Palmetto State.
“The old adage says to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. As a candidate for the state House of Representatives, it’s become crystal clear to me what must constitute the overriding priority in this election – the response and unprecedented, far-reaching effects of COVID-19.”
In fact, said the 15-year resident of Myrtle Beach, “It is futile to even talk about education, tourism, crime, infrastructure, or anything else without considering the implications of COVID-19 to this point, and what almost certainly will occur in the coming months.”
Cahill, who has served as a substitute teacher in Horry County Schools for the past nine years and also teaches homebound students, is totally focused on supporting efforts to protect residents, including school children, from the deadly consequences of the virus.
“We cannot count on a vaccine to save us from ourselves,” said Cahill. “Even if an effective one becomes available, we first must navigate the many months ahead, which also will be complicated and made more severe as the annual flu season takes hold. What we have experienced so far may be only a sample of what looms ahead; a deadly appetizer – the tip of a very large iceberg.”
Cahill said he supports a universal mask mandate associated with social distancing as a minimum.
“We cannot get our lives and our economy back to anything resembling normal until we negotiate this minefield with clear and decisive action,” Cahill said. “A universal mask mandate with its associated social distancing and group limitations are a must at the minimum.
“I believe the City of Myrtle Beach has tried to do the right things, but the governor and legislature must do more in the absence of a coordinated federal response. If by November we find ourselves caught deeply in the throes of COVID-19’s onslaught, we must be as prepared as possible: masks, distancing, restricting gatherings, and willing to impose short periodic lockdowns of two or three weeks so we can hit the reset button. We must plan for the worst. It can only save lives and the economy.”
Focus on Health
Consistent with his willingness to take tough action to control the coronavirus in our area, Cahill said the COVID-19 crisis highlights the deficiency of the general state of public health all over America today, including South Carolina and Myrtle Beach.
Risk factors for serious and potentially deadly COVID outcomes include obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, COPD, and other mostly needless, preventable health conditions, he pointed out.
“Money alone doesn’t solve every problem,” said Cahill. “While important, public health actually begins with each of us taking responsibility for our own health and the health of our children.
“Seize this powerful opportunity,” he said. “If we make better health choices through our purchases, the junk food, fast food, and soft drink corporations will adjust to the demands of the ever-changing market, as they have begun to do.
“While medical professionals are indispensable, a pill or surgery doesn’t cure every illness, nor prevent it. Healthy habits efficiently cut costs of healthcare and result in less employee absenteeism for employers. Healthy employees are happier employees. Less turnover and training costs for businesses pays another dividend,” he said.
“Just adopting small changes over time, like eating more vegetables, fish, fruits, nuts and the endless variety of other tasty choices, very soon makes an enormous difference in our health,” Cahill added. “I feel better than I did 30 years ago, and no one loves to eat more than I do! The cooks, staff, and students of Socastee High and other schools can vouch for that.”
Cahill pointed out that he has worked most of his life as a teacher, so helping to improve education is a major priority for him as a candidate. That, he said, includes fighting to protect and improve public schools by attracting and retaining qualified teachers.
“This has many society-wide benefits, including reducing crime and unemployment,” Cahill declared. “Roads and improving other infrastructure are other areas of improvement that must have vigilant attention.”
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