“The pandemic has been hard on all. It isn’t easy to lose your job, normalcy and sense of security. But we are an innovative society, and inherently, people are good. We can guide ourselves and each other to solutions for staying healthy,” said Dr. Omar Atiq, longtime fundholder with Arkansas Community Foundation. He and his wife Mehreen care deeply about the Pine Bluff community where they have raised their children and lived for most of their lives.
One area he and Mehreen have focused on is education. According to Dr. Atiq, “Education is the best investment we can make to better our society, the earlier we start the better. The more we can help all children in our communities, the better we all are.”
When asked about staying healthy right now, Dr. Atiq believes that even small things can have a big impact. “We can make small choices every day to stay safe, healthy and to protect ourselves. By protecting yourself, you protect others. We still need to eat right, exercise, avoid tobacco… but now we should do a little more like frequent handwashing, wearing a mask and social distancing.”
“There are new tools for virtual connectivity that we need to utilize to stay connected to those we care about. We should never underestimate the value of saying ‘hi’ to strangers, doing random acts of kindness or just smiling behind our masks. These small things matter. They matter to the recipient on the other end, but they matter to us for our own emotional health and wellness.”