Bumpy Blog Beginnings


3/24/2020 1:00 PM

Bumpy Blog Beginnings

Latest Confirmed Case Count: 64

Neighborhood Map

Cheers For Essential Workers

Information That Can Ease Fears

Crowded Trails

Distant Socializing


Support For Parents

A Favorite Tune



There are always kinks to work out in a new system. And a new system operator! (That would be me.) If you can’t get on, send me an email and I will try to add you manually. So far I seem to be able to do that for folks. Thank you for your patience while I figure it all out! And hurrah for the tech volunteers who are building it and then mentoring me while I learn to use it!

My goal is to get everyone on the blog and then discontinue my lists. It will me much less time consuming for me to manage. It will be messy for a week or so, till I get everyone moved to the blog. And then I will stop emailing my lists all together. During this transition you will get more than one copy. My apologies! Please bear with me. columbianeighborhood.org


Today, Tuesday March 24, I’m finding the Bellingham Herald to be my fastest accurate source so far. They have a bunch of new articles today.



I’d love your help filling in the business map at the upper right in my blog. You can use the little “hand” pointer to click and hold to drag the map around. There are a lot of businesses in the downtown core that have already been entered. This map will let us keep track of what’s open and when, special hours for seniors, and such. Take a look! It’s pretty cool. And if you’re an elder like me, and can’t figure it out, reach out to younger family and friends to guide you through it on over the phone. If I could learn, you can too. It just takes some help.


It’s abundantly clear that our healthcare workers are working under unbelievably stressful conditions and need our love and support at this time. From the lack of protective equipment, to long hours, to uncertainty about testing, this is a very hard time to be a healthcare provider. They are all working under unusually stressful conditions and need as much love and support we can send their way.  In response a group of us have gotten together (not physically obviously) and created signs of support for our healthcare providers. These signs have been placed on people’s lawns as well as at the 2 main entrances at the hospital. So far the feedback we have received has been nothing but positive, and we want to continue sending our love and support in the weeks to come. 

  So here’s what we are asking: Please make up signs of support for healthcare workers and put them in a visible place outside your home. We want our healthcare providers to see signs of support popping up all over town. We are also asking those people who are close to the hospital and can easily make it over there to make up signs and put them on the lawn leading up to the main entrance to the hospital. We currently have a bunch of signs there now, but how awesome would it be to have hundreds more?! 

  Please take photos of your signs and post them on what ever social media site(s) you use… let’s spread this far and wide!

  Finally, there are many other people out there working to support out community right now (police officers, fire fighters, paramedics, grocery personnel)… so if you’re so moved to support them as well, we think that is a fantastic idea!

  Matthew Dowling


From Atul Gawande. It has excellent information and statistics on the disease, allays some fears, describes what we as health care workers (and everyone, actually) need and don’t need to do to avoid catching and/or transmitting it. And while I’m at it, everyone (and I mean everyone) should also read his book “Being Mortal, Medicine and What Matters in the End”.



Today Lake Padden trails were packed when the sun came out. More people are out of work and school and voila. Point: The next week calls for rain everyday but this Wednesday. People will flock outdoors with rain breaks, and unless people spread out away from public trails, congestion will occur. Suggestion: pick unique walks and dodge popular places.  Thanks,  ~John Egbert


How about swapping Social Distancing to Distant Socializing! Clyde says: You can quote me on relaying the idea to you, but I didn’t come up with it. Think it’s been floating around cyberspace but we should be pushing it so that our friends and family can reframe what they are going through.

~ Clyde Ford


Essential or non-essential? What kind of question is that? I hear it at work where the non-essential providers (doctors!) are given other jobs to do, despite their excellence at their craft. I hear it in describing what type of visits we can see. An annual physical is not essential, fortunately preventing pregnancies by inserting IUD’s is essential. Prenatal care: essential. What about talking with someone about their grief and anxiety? Isn’t that essential? And now the governor (not soon enough according to many) has mandated that people stay home except for essential activities. I am lucky because I have an essential job, pharmacists and grocery store checkers are essential. But would I ever really say that my musician friends, who bring joy and healing with their music, be non-essential? Never, but I do want them to stay safe and healthy. So stay home, they must, but not because they are non-essential. And there is other work that people do that may not be essential to the great State of Washington, but are essential to me. My friends are essential to me. And that is why I want them all to stay home and be safe.

~ BetsyBrownMD



Here is a pair of articles by my beloved Patty Wipfler. Her wisdom reaches beyond parents and children, and goes to the heart of well-connected relationships. The second link has a video attached. If you are not actively parenting during this time, you could reach out to parents you know and give them a good listening to!


2 thoughts on “Bumpy Blog Beginnings”

    1. Bellingham Herald lists daily:
      ▪ Fred Meyer added its special hour for at-risk groups on Monday, March 23. The hour is 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., Monday through Thursday.
      ▪ The Bellingham Costco is offering special hours just for seniors, according to an employee at the store. For this week, they will be open 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Friday, March 20. Going forward the plan is to offer the 8-9 a.m. slot on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That could change based on demand.
      ▪ Target announced in a news release that it will have the first hour of operation on Wednesdays dedicated to seniors and those shoppers with underlying health concerns. The first one for the Bellingham Target at the Bellis Fair mall is scheduled for 7 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18.

      Target is also adjusting its hours starting March 18, closing at 9 p.m. to restock and do extra cleaning.
      ▪ Albertsons announced that it is dedicating two hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays to be open just for seniors, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions. That applies to all of its 2,200 stores, including the Safeway and Haggen stores in Whatcom County. The time slot for this is 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
      ▪ Bellingham Whole Foods is opening for seniors-only shopping from 8-9 a.m. daily for customers over 60. Shopping hours for all others is 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to Jonathan Sharp, shift leader at the market.
      ▪ The Community Food Co-op has added its own hour for high-risk shoppers (seniors, those with underlying health issues, pregnant women). It is from 8-9 a.m. daily. The two Bellingham stores are asking those not in the high-risk groups to wait until 9 a.m. to start shopping.
      ▪ Walmart announced Thursday, March 19, that it’s U.S. stores will hold senior shopping every Tuesday for customers aged 60 and older beginning March 24 for one hour before stores open. Regular store hours have changed to 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Stores that open later than 7 a.m. will continue their regular starting hours.
      “Stores will have limits for customers in certain categories including paper products, milk, eggs, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, water, diapers, wipes, formula and baby food,” the release stated.

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