Blog Move, Neighborhood Helpers List, End Of Life Planning, Census Online, More

3/23/2020 6:05 PM
Blog Move
Neighborhood Helpers List
End Of Life Planning (Lots Here)
Census Online
Another Trusted Source

Please shift to the new blog site as soon as possible. I’ll keep posting through this week to try to catch as many of you as I can.

[Please go sign up, or re-sign up! ~Fl!p]
Hello Columbia Neighborhood,
Some wonderful Bellingham folks have stepped up and created an amazing web of connection on Facebook called “Look for the Helpers.” Each of the neighborhoods in Bellingham has a dedicated Facebook page. The purpose of these groups is to connect Neighbors in Need with Healthy Helpers in each of the neighborhoods as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. Colleen Haggerty and Erin Campbell are the Columbia neighborhood Co-Captains and will moderating the Columbia page.
  Go here to join the Columbia group:
  Here is how it works:
Once you have joined the group, please ONLY leave a post when you have a specific need that needs to be met. Be sure to start your message with “NEIGHBOR IN NEED” then specify what you need and when you need it done.
If you are a neighbor who can meet that need, please post in the Comments and coordinate with the neighbor in need.
Please do share posts where local businesses and organizations are asking for specific needs! We are all about helping in this group!

Colleen and Erin will moderate the posts and reach out to people if their needs are not being met. The Admin team is also working on a Hotline phone number for those folks not comfortable with Facebook. This group may lighten Fl!p’s load for the new blog. In that hope, please encourage your neighbors to join this group.

The Realities Of Advanced Medical Interventions
Adapting To Changing Circumstances In Covid-19 Pandemic
Each dawn brings new challenges as events unfold during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  As many of Fl!p’s readers know, The Realities Of Advanced Medical Interventions supports good healthcare decision-making before an accident or illness occurs. Our Realities’ presentations and our follow up Advance Care Planning workshops have all been canceled for the foreseeable future. But, our ALL volunteer team would like to help you in the interim.
  While attending a presentation in person is optimum, these are different times! Take a look at Dr. Bill Lombard’s PowerPoint slides at the link below — they give a clear sense of the presentation’s content.  Also, get familiar with the glossary that is included in the Realities schedule link below.



After reviewing both, if you need clarification on an aspect of a medical intervention before you tackle completing your Advance Directive, email me: and I will check with Dr. Lombard to get answers to your questions. Please DO NOT ask for personal medical advice.
  Our certified volunteer Advance Care Planning facilitators will help, too, if you have questions about the Honoring Choices PNW advance directive document, referenced further down. Contact me:
  Now is an ideal time, while you’re self-isolating, to take stock and face the reality of your mortality.   
  April 16 marks National Healthcare Decisions Day. NHDD exists to inspire, education and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. Check it out!

  But, back to those challenges we face each day…as the New York Times’ article (below) states, Washington hospitals may be entering a phase where they will shift from individually focused care to care that will provide the greatest good to the greatest number of people.
   The shift in the standard of care would be horrendously challenging. I am confident, if this shift in care becomes necessary, there would be consistency wherever humanly possible. No one making these decisions would like making them. Care would be triaged: Who requires no intervention immediately, who requires urgent treatment to survive, and who will die regardless of intervention. Folks, that’s the Reality.
  Please reach out (virtually where required) to your family, friends, colleagues, healthcare providers and let them know that you are ready to “Have the Conversation.” It is a shared responsibility. When you complete your Advance Directive (and file with your healthcare providers and our hospital), you have not only taken a great burden off of yourself and your loved ones, you potentially help healthcare providers if healthcare is triaged during an anticipated surge in hospital admissions due to COVID-19.
  Take a look at this 7-minute video titled, “Have the Conversation,” which features three people, three experiences, three perspectives on the importance to discuss your healthcare wishes with your family and friends. By taking responsibility to face your mortality and accept death as a part of life, and completing your Advance Directive, you’ve created a beautiful gift.. “a love letter to those you adore.” 

THE CONVERSATION PROJECT provides a treasure trove of info on how to get started:
There are many acceptable advance directive documents, but currently the Washington State Hospital and Washington State Medical Associations recommend the Honoring Choice PNW document.  
  Access it here:   Go to upper right corner to download document.  The AD can be filled in online if you choose (for legibility!) and printed.
  All that said, our uncharted waters will become more turbulent before this is over. We have an opportunity to develop habits of grace in this time of social distancing.  I love Italy’s example of closing the distance by applauding and singing from their balconies as a way to say thank you to family, friends, medical folk, first responders, to neighbors near and far.
  As we muddle through this pandemic, its fate rests on us, how responsible we are for others. Big-hearted “habits of grace” can be little things. Tell someone right now how much they mean to you. Love, beauty, helping hands, and self-sacrifice will prevail.
  NOTE: Dr. Lombard’s REALITIES’ presentation on March 10 at Western Washington University was video recorded. When the raw video is edited (by a WWU Communications’ student), we’ll determine how/where to distribute it.
  Peace, in good health.
  Micki Jackson

Why should you fill out the Census form?  Well, let’s see.
* It’s the method used to determine how many members our state gets in the House of Representatives.  Some states will gain and some will lose seats depending on how many people choose NOT to be counted.
* It’s the way we distribute much of the federal funds.  For every person who is not counted the state will lose almost $20,000 in funding.
* It’s not nearly as intrusive as a lot of people think.  Here is the complete questionnaire:  No questions about citizenship or income or language.  It does ask about race but you get to decide what to answer (and can include multiple races) if you want.
* It’s secure.  Every Census worker takes an oath to keep the data confidential and can go to jail for breaking it.  There was some violation during World War II.  As far as I know, that’s the only time it happened.
* It helps shape what we think our country is.  Researchers, businesses, and government officials will use this data for decades to try to figure out trends and changes.  The more accurate the input, the more likely the conclusions are to be – and those conclusions help decide where businesses, schools, parks, etc. are placed.
* It’s part of history.  The Census has been happening every decade for 240 years.
* It’s part of the future.  In 72 years your descendants (and everyone else) will be able to read what’s on your form.  Genealogists and historians as yet unborn are counting on you.
  -Robert Lopresti
[Rob is one of my dearest friends, and a retired Government Documents Librarian. He loves the census, so I reached out and asked for his help. He’s a mensch! (And a fine songwriter too…) ~Fl!p]

I have known Dr Frank James since college days. He was Whatcom County Public Health Officer, and got in trouble with the powers that be for publicly calling out a cancer hot-spot and insisting that the pollution be dealt with. I have the highest regard for both his integrity and his intelligence. I have just learned he’s started his own public posts.

When I have a friend or neighbor going anyway, I am willing to ask for stuff. I hate exposing anyone, including vulnerable and underpaid delivery people. If you can make it through a while longer before you go shopping again, please wait. Consolidating trips to the market or pharmacy reduces the number of people in these locations and the number of people out and about. With relationships, the “helpers” who do the shopping can leave the goods at the front door and avoid face to face interactions.


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