March 17 Corona Virus update

We’re up to 5 known cases in Whatcom County and 7 in Skagit. Since we have so few tests available, this is unlikely to be at all an accurate picture. People can be infectious without having symptoms. Our current best strategy is to slow down the rate of people catching the virus to keep from overwhelming our hospitals. Please stay home! Go for a walk, but maintain six feet between you and people who don’t live in your household. Use video apps to visit with frie

Dear Food Bank Volunteers,
As you know, Bellingham Food Bank has been closely watching the
developments around the COVID-19 pandemic. Just last night, our governor
banned all gatherings of 50 people or more, and has also shut down all
restaurants and bars. In order to protect our community, we need to be
For this reason, effective tomorrow, March 17th, we are temporarily
suspending our Grocery Rescue Operation. For the foreseeable future we will
no longer pick up any donations from any grocery stores.
This is a difficult decision, but as long as we are picking up donations we
are placing our Grocery Rescue volunteers in harm’s way, and also our
sorting volunteers. If you are a bakery, bread, or non-perishable sorter or
a Grocery Rescue volunteer, your shift is suspended until future notice.
Furthermore, those who are suffering the most from COVID-19 are folks over
the age of 60. Bellingham Food Bank values the help of our volunteers
dearly, but we want to support you all in remaining healthy. For this
reason, if you are over the age of 60, please do not come in for your shift
until further notice.
Other people who shouldn’t come in are those who live with or spend lots of
time with anyone over 60 and/or with people who have compromised health.
And finally, distribution volunteers who are under the age of 60 and are
comfortable coming in: Today we will continue packing boxes of food for
distribution outside. Tomorrow we will plan to distribute boxes from the
back of the trucks at our CTK Satellite.

It would be great if we can help keep our smaller locally-owned stores solvent during this strange time. For example, if you are looking for rice, most stores were out or only had a bag or two on the shelves yesterday. The Asia Market on Meridian has a LOT of rice and they are open. As of this morning, their shelves were stocked with all sorts of noodles, canned fish and meats, rice crackers, seasonings, some Asian vegetables, and of course, delicious Asian food ingredients.
Sherrie Montgomery

The Farmers Market will be closed for a while. This is a good time to sign up for Community Supported Agriculture subscriptions. You pay a set rate and boxes of locally grown produce are delivered weekly to a pick-up point. Consider if your place would be a good pick-up point: under cover, accessible, and not in view of the street. Carport or big porch? This supports our local farmers and brings us fresh produce. It could be another resource that could go on the map project as well.

“For friends who may be stuck at home with their kids, or teachers trying to placate parents – Skype a Scientist is expanding to connect scientists with kids at home! There are over 800 scientists at hand, of many many different disciplines, and all so excited to answer your kid’s questions and provide you at least 30 minutes of relief.”
Millie Johnson

I have been invited to help with a mapping project and could use both techie help and YOUR help. We have experts who will create a dashboard with links to important resources like the Health Department, newspapers, government etc. Also a map on which we can locate and detail hospital situations, pharmacies (drive through?), stores, and anything else we would find useful. For stores, we can detail current open hours, what is and isn’t on the shelves (with date/time/user), traffic if there are closed areas. We could post online events. What I would like to know from all of you is, what would be useful to have on it? And, are there folks on this list who know how to run Google maps and could help with that part? The mapping project experts I met with yesterday (online) have platforms ready to go and will build infrastructure for us to fill in.
Most useful way to contact me is email:
Thank you!

[Looks like I made a mistake – Fl!p}
Bacteria are not viruses. Sunlight while having some minor impact on exposing surfaces to UV light in fighting bacteria growth, has no  bearing on the spread, control or contraction of COvid19. The Medium article offered NO EVIDENCE of any scientific studies, documentation or attribution for their claims. I offer this video from NBC News of a panel of doctors working in Wuhan Province in China sharing their experience and advice. “Failure to prepare is preparedness for failure.”
Ann Shannon

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