Donate Masks & Goggles, Mask Exhaust Valve Problem, Arts Project, Homeless Teen Help, More


  Donate Masks & Goggles

  Problem With Masks With Exhaust Valves!

  Whatcom Arts Project!

  Help Homeless Teens

  New Cases: 14; One Additional Death

  Scammer Alert

  Masks, From Betsy Brown Md

  Mask Material Comparisons

  Wic: Women, Infants, Children

Fl!p’s Pix For Music

  Robert Sarazin Blake:From The Kitchen Table

  Poem: The Word


Many neighbors have done Map Your Neighborhood on their blocks. Most groups that did, received at least one orange backpack with emergency supplies at that meeting. I had forgotten that among those supplies were one or two N95 masks and a pair of clear goggles that fit over a pair of glasses. Hospital workers really need both of those items right now. Ummm… really, really need them. Can you donate yours? Contact me to set it up, or drop them by Makerspace. Even if your stash didn’t come from Map Your Neighborhood.


[From my big brother Joe Breskin, who is worth listening to. Some N95 masks come with an exhaust valve. If you have one of those, it is crucial to cover the valve intake on the inside with strong tape. Here’s why:]

To visualize the exhaust valve issue clearly, imagine a hose, and how much farther the water squirts when you obstruct the opening with your thumb. Velocity increases as the area of the opening is reduced, and it works the same with air, increasing velocity and making stuff exhaled through the valve go farther.

And this

“This video demonstrates the phenomena in human sneezes visualized by light scattering toward the camera from multiple optical sources and at different distances. It illustrates how mucosalivary liquid emissions, in the form of droplets of a continuous size range, are coupled with the hot, moist, and high momentum gas cloud, which traps and carries them forward up to 7 to 8 m (26 ft). This newer understanding of respiratory emission dynamics has implications for mask and respiratory design, social distancing recommendations, and other public health interventions during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. ” [Did I say Joe is a scientist?]


Staying Together While Apart  New Whatcom Arts Project Created!
As a gift to the community, during Washington State’s Stay Home – Stay Safe Order, Bellingham and Whatcom County artists, musicians, actors, storytellers, dancers, filmmakers, performers and arts supporters, including museums and libraries have come together to create the Whatcom Arts Project. Free, daily online content is available through this campaign to uplift, educate, and inspire during these difficult times, while we socially distance to slow the spread of COVID-19. All arts and heritage organizations in Whatcom County are welcome to join this effort! If your organization would like to provide content contact


We have over 100 unaccompanied homeless kids in town.  Roxana Parise is the homeless liaison for the school district, which documents over 400 total homeless kids. Roxana has two young women who are now going out to check on the teens on their roles and providing food and gift cards from Fred Meyer and Haggen.  Our small women’s group are their major funding source…Here is the website where neighbors may make donations.  Our goal is to keep a supply going to these kids until this is over:

(All donations are tax-deductible. Bellingham Giving Circle is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, a registered Washington State charity and holds Federal Tax ID# 36-4750525)  ~ Carole Hanaway, 3051 Eldridge Avenue


The newest numbers increase the total confirmed cases in Whatcom County to 139. Eight people who tested positive have died, including another elder from Shuksan Nursing Home.



[From the Bellingham Herald] The federal government will not ask anyone to confirm personal or banking details by email, phone or text message. It also won’t demand a “processing fee” to obtain or expedite your stimulus payment. Do not click on links in email or text messages relating to the stimulus checks and do not provide your personal information.


[One of my most trusted sources. I await her updates every night. Just got this.]

When I started writing this about a month ago, I realized that this virus was so new that our understanding of it would evolve. I expected to change my advice frequently based on new data. I try to read and stay abreast of updates, but things are moving swiftly. We have to remember that this virus infected it’s first human host in mid November. And here we are 4 1/2 months later (is that all?) and we know amazing amounts of things about, but we still don’t understand it completely.

Sometimes, the theory and directives are vague and not so clear. Data and more information help to clarify. My big shift now is thinking about face masks. At first I thought only health care workers and infected patients needed them. I worried, as many experts do, including the CDC and WHO, that people who wore a mask for their own protection were risking letting down their guard with hand washing, physical distancing, trying not to touch their face, not always wearing them correctly. Worries were real that if everyone used them, health care workers would have none. Next, I thought people, who have been exposed but did not have symptoms, should wear one to protect from transmitting to others. These were reasonable concerns, when it was thought that the virus was in respiratory droplets and not aerosolized.

But the evidence is not so clear anymore about transmission. The risk of asymptomatic transmission is real. Now some evidence shows wearing a mask can protect an uninfected person from the virus. Compelling to my friends who love to sing, is this sad tale out of Mt. Vernon, Washington regarding choir practice. My friends are worried, want to do the right thing, and be safe. So now, my thinking has evolved that wearing a mask can be protective from infection, if done well, when shopping or going into stores, or talking with friends across an enclosed space. For people that have risk factors, this can be a gift of being out in the world with a little less fear. And I know there will be some fancy glamour, if I know my creative friends.

We are in this for the long haul and what we are doing is making a difference. Don’t be discouraged. A Seattle Times story today shows the progress being made, new and old treatments are in trials. People are donating their time and plasma for these efforts. People are following “physical distancing”- such a better description than “social distancing”. Yes, a few outliers, but generally people show they care by following the guidelines. And there are opportunities to help those that are suffering. I know of many ways here where I live and you can find ways wherever you live. We are all in this together.

Wash your hands.

And finally, my caveat is that this is my experience and my opinions, which are subject to change as more information is available, and not related to the organization I work for. Thanks for reading. ~Betsy Brown, MD


Here, perhaps biased since from air purifier company, but interesting:

Making DIY Masks with Household Materials

Bottom line: Test data shows that the best choices for DIY masks are cotton t-shirts, pillowcases, or other cotton materials. These materials filter out approximately 50% of 0.2 micron particles, similar in size to the coronavirus. They are also as easy to breathe through as surgical masks, which makes them more comfortable, enough to wear for several hours. Doubling the layers of material for your DIY mask gives a very small increase in filtration effectiveness, but makes the mask much more difficult to breathe through. (Paper towels are less than half as effective.)   ~Millie Johnson


  • When you shop for groceries, avoid items with a shelf tag that says WIC. For folks on food stamps, those are the only options they can purchase. With shelves pretty bare already, please leave those items for neighbors who have no alternative if you possibly can. In some areas, WIC cards are renewed on the first of the month so there is an early surge and bare shelves have an even bigger impact. Here, recipients cards renew on whatever day of the month they signed up on. So all month long, if you buy the last WIC bag of macaroni, someone’s kids may have no alternative. Please be kind.



Sunday April 5th, 5-7pm

 LIVE STEAM http:///


All Viewers Welcome: Digital Tip Jar


Venmo: @RobertSarazinBlake

A weekly broadcast concert and song swap

‘Lets sit around the table together’

April 5th Guest Caleb Klauder & Reeb Willms


Poem by Tony Hoagland

Down near the bottom

of the crossed-out list

of things you have to do today, 

between “green thread”

and “broccoli” you find

that you have penciled “sunlight.” 

Resting on the page, the word

is beautiful, it touches you

as if you had a friend 

and sunlight were a present

he had sent you from some place distant

as this morning—to cheer you up, 

and to remind you that,

among your duties, pleasure

is a thing

that also needs accomplishing.

Do you remember?

that time and light are kinds 

of love, and love

is no less practical

than a coffee grinder 

or a safe spare tire?

Tomorrow you may be utterly

without a clue 

but today you get a telegram,

from the heart in exile

proclaiming that the kingdom 

still exists,

the king and queen alive,

still speaking to their children, 

—to any one among them

who can find the time,

to sit out in the sun and listen.

 ~ Sent by Mardi Solomon


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