March 13 Corona Virus Update

“Here is the thing to understand about flattening the curve.
It only works if we take necessary measures before they seem necessary.
And if it works, people will think we over-reacted.
We have to be willing to look like we over-reacted.”
Kaila Colbin

STAY HOME
Whatcom County still has only one confirmed case as of today, Friday March 13, at 4:45. Staying home is how we keep the numbers low. In-person City Of Bellingham governmental meetings will be limited to 10 or fewer participants. It would be good if almost all of us followed that guideline. There are people who really can’t. Ask yourself if you are really one of them. A Lummi Indian Business Council employee has tested positive for COVID-19, but they live in King County so you can start breathing again for the moment. Their contacts are being traced. We’re wishing them luck and health.

SCHOOLS TO CLOSE MONDAY
From the Bellingham Herald
The closure will include all public and private schools for levels K through 12 in every district across the state, Inslee said, and will must begin by Tuesday, March 17, and will extend through April 24.
Inslee said a restriction also will be placed on all colleges, universities, community colleges and technical schools, preventing in-person education on campus.
Inslee said he made the decision after statewide confirmed coronavirus positive tests climbed by more than 400 in four days and deaths in the state climbed to 37 on Friday. He added that COVID-19 has spread to 15 of the state’s counties that combine to represent 75% of the state’s population.
Bellingham Public Schools announced that it would begin the closure a day earlier than Inslee mandated on Monday, March 16. The Blaine, Lynden, Nooksack Valley, Meridian and Mount Baker districts said they also will be closed Monday. Ferndale will close Tuesday.
I phoned the district earlier today. They’re working on the challenges as hard as they possibly can, including how to continue meals for hungry students. Here’s a link to the most current info:
https://bellinghamschools.org/news/covid-19-march-12-update/
From Bellingham Public Schools:
Everyone, please keep in mind that this is an unprecedented situation and we, along with hundreds of school systems across the country, are working hard to plan and communicate. We ask that you please hold on emailing questions to teachers and other staff. As questions arise, please consult webpage and the links on it. District staff will follow up with you as soon as possible. The decision to close raises all kinds of questions and implications including childcare needs for our staff and families, school meals, graduation, and much more. We are working on plans to address a range of impacts, and we will be in communication as we work through these challenges. We are also working with our community partners to determine how to best mitigate the impact of our closure.

WHATCOM COUNTY CASES
As of 4:45 today, March 13, 2020
◦ 1 ◦ The total number of confirmed cases (test results that are positive for COVID-19).
◦ 35 ◦ The total number of negative results (test results that are negative for COVID-19).
◦ 0 ◦ Total number of deaths due to COVID-19.

EMERGENCY HOMELESS SHELTERS ARE CLOSED
Please contact the Mayor’s Office <mayorsoffice@cob.org> and County Executive’s Office <ssidhu@co.whatcom.wa.us> to ask for their help. The city has not reopened the emergency shelters despite the freezing weather. We know governments are overwhelmed right now, but this is one of the urgent issues. The cold weather will not wait. The remaining shelters are jammed such that social distancing is not possible. We have night time temperatures in the low 30s and wind chill factors into the teens. Those among us who have no shelter are at high risk of the pandemic as well as the weather. Please donate good gloves, sleeping bags and blankets, warm coats, socks, hats, and money. Donations can be brought to my house, or call me and I’ll help you figure out how to connect. 360-671-4511. Thank you to the people who have brought me warm supplies!

FOLKS WILLING TO SHOP
There are folks willing to pick up groceries and such. Let me know if you need stuff, and I’ll pass the word to them.

“Here is the thing to understand about flattening the curve.
It only works if we take necessary measures before they seem necessary.
And if it works, people will think we over-reacted.
We have to be willing to look like we over-reacted.”
Kaila Colbin

March 12 Neighborhood Update

DOUBLE-CHECK EVENTS & DONATE
If you’re planning on going to an event, it’s a good idea to double-check that it hasn’t been cancelled. And if it has, and you can afford to, you might donate to the artists or event because it means they’ve lost their income stream. We’d like to have them back in the future! And please let me know of cancellations. Zeke and I cancelled our tour to Oregon at the end of this month. Our hosts are willing to reschedule in the future.
Consider donating to your favorite restaurants and other businesses as well, to help them survive this outbreak.

PERSON TO PERSON

BEACH CLEAN-UP FOR WORLD WATER DAY
Sunday, March 22nd, 10:00 a.m., Squalicum Beach parking lot in Bellingham |RSVP on Facebook
Water deserves a day of celebration more than, say, Columbus. Participants get a pass for a FREE yoga class and an entry to win a sunset sailing cruise from Gato Verde!

END OF LIFE PLANNING
[From my friend Micki Jackson
For those who need further impetus to complete their healthcare advance directive, look no further than the novel coronavirus. This virus and the resulting disease state, COVID-19, could adversely impact our already over-burdened U.S. medical care system.
Will the COVID-19 epidemic be limited?  No one knows, but even if it is, the planning efforts currently underway by government agencies, hospitals, clinics, health departments, research facilities, and others will not be wasted, because the planning is good preparation for the next 21st century disaster or pandemic.
Healthcare facilities could experience severe capacity demands, which could be mitigated to some extent if people have documented their healthcare wishes prior to illness and possible hospitalization. When we complete our advance directive, we help our professional care providers better manage potentially lifesaving resources, especially if our region is in the throes of an epidemic.
Whatcom County has multiple resources to assist with advance care planning (ACP), including the presentation, The Realities of Advanced Medical Interventions and follow up ACP workshops. An upcoming Realities’ talk is scheduled March 19, at the Cordata Community Co-op at 6:30PM; follow up workshop on March 25, same time/same venue.
For information: https://www.healthministriesnetwork.net/calendar
ACP should be done before accident, illness — or disaster — strike. Let’s not put ourselves, our family, our professional healthcare providers, nor our community into impossible situations. We are all in this together.

CAPTIONING SERVICES FOR STREAMED EVENTS
Hello there, I am a TypeWell Transcriber (www.typewell.com) providing meaning-for-meaning (i.e. not word for word but slightly condensed for ease of reading) transcription for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing. With the recent move online of Whatcom Community College, I have lost nearly all of my hours there. I am available to caption streamed events that may have moved online due to the increasing self-quarantines. This service is normally $50/per hour of content, but I am open to reducing rates in order to support the community in this time of need. Captions can be read by any web-enabled device. Contact me for more information. Thanks!
Rachel Ballard
Walnut Street
rachelroseballard@gmail.com

LITTLE SQUALICUM ALERT
The streams that run through Little Squalicum Park off-leash dog area are BRIGHT green. All the way down to and including Squalicum beach. Whatcom Department of Health had no idea what it is, and the Department of Ecology said that they looked at it and it doesn’t *appear* to be toxic but also wasn’t sure what it was. You might want to avoid that area for a few days.
Rory O’Connor
Walnut Street

POSTPONED:
Whatcom Chorale’s “Life’s Harmonies” concert on Sunday, March 22, 2020 with guest artist (and local pianist) Henry From, at First Congregational Church of Bellingham. We hope to reschedule the concert later this year.  http://www.whatcomchorale.org
B U G (Bellingham Ukulele Group) has postponed their activities for now.
Many other activities have also been postponed. Check before you go.

EVENT STREAMING SET-UP
My friend Nellie Korn is a professional sound person. She has volunteered to stream the funeral of a friend of mine this afternoon. I asked her, and she has free time coming up because so many events are being cancelled. Nellie has the skills to set up businesses, churches, funeral homes, and other gathering places so they can start live-streaming events. And she can teach the new users how to run that equipment.

KAREN WEILL & LARRY HILDES
I don’t know if there are folks in our neighborhood familiar with Karen & Larry. They have been community activists for years all around our region. I’m sorry to say that Karen died a few days ago of cancer. Her funeral is at 1:00 PM today. I’ve been helping set up live-streaming for folks like me who are staying at home. It will stream over my facebook page, which is set to public. If you want to watch and need help getting on, please contact me by 12:30, because I want to be able to play attention during the funeral.
Love/Fl!p

March 12 Corona Virus Update

EQUIPMENT TO LOAN
Since some families may be taking elders out of institutions and suddenly dealing with complicated care issues, I would be willing to loan equipment I acquired while caring for a family member.  Our main issues were 1) balance and fall risk, intermittent loss of walking ability and 2) memory loss
So I have:
1) walkers, transport chair, transport chair that can climb stairs but needs new batteries, 8 foot 80 pound aluminum foldable wheelchair ramp, mattress alarms that beep when a person gets out of bed, baby monitors, pneumatic lift to get a person up after a fall without hurting yourself if the person is not seriously hurt but cannot get up, electric chair that goes up and down in bathtub and can also help get a person off the floor, button that can be used to beep for help in another part of the house or maybe next door.
2) web based nanny cams, you would have to arrange and pay for the service, also a one button telephone that a cognitively limited person can use to telephone you for help.
Some of the items might also be useful for monitoring individuals in quarantine.
Mary Anne Pultz
Victor Street
Please leave message at 360 738 1633

COMING FREEZE AND HOMELESS FOLKS UPDATE
Snow & power outages are possible. We have night time temperatures in the low 30s and wind chill factors into the teens. It will warm up into the high 30s and mid-40s during the day and plunge again at night. Once again, those among us who have no shelter are at high risk. Please donate good gloves, sleeping bags and blankets, warm coats, socks, hats, and money. Donations can be brought to my house, or call me and I’ll help you figure out how to connect. 360-671-4511.

INDOOR PARK CANCELLATION
The open playtime at Immanuel Bible Church will not be held this Friday, March 13

EQUIPMENT TO LOAN
We have a portable aluminum wheelchair ramp here. Also Mom’s alert buttons. We could loan them if someone needs them right now.

HOLDING AT ONE CASE
Whatcom County still has only one confirmed case as of this morning. Nineteen under investigation, and 18 negatives. The test does not appear to yield false positives, though it can yield false negatives. But fingers crossed, we may be doing well.

FLATTENING THE CURVE
How canceled events and self-quarantines save lives, in one chart:
https://www.vox.com/2020/3/10/21171481/coronavirus-us-cases-quarantine-cancellation
Our big job is to slow down contagion. One difficulty is that we are contagious before symptoms show, so the best move is for everyone to stay home. Let friends know if you get sick, and phone for medical help if it gets hard to breathe. We lack hospital capacity for managing masses of people with severe pneumonia. Please stay home if you possibly can. If you’ve got to go out, offer to pick up stuff for your neighbors. We need to plan for the worst and hope for the best.
Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy was my source for “contagion before symptoms show.” They also say data generally backs a 2-week quarantine.

REFUTING INACCURATE ADVICE
World Health Organization refutes viral claims that holding your breath can test for COVID-19. Facebook posts shared thousands of times a claim that holding your breath for more than 10 seconds is an effective test for the novel coronavirus, and that drinking water regularly can prevent the disease. The claims are false; the World Health Organization and other experts said there was no evidence to support these claims.

MORE ABOUT HEALTH INSURANCE
One other thing to add to Carol’s info about the health exchange’s SEP… The Office of the Insurance Commissioner has used Inslee’s declaration of emergency to create an emergency order that health insurance carriers who are regulated through the state of WA must cover COVID-19 testing with no cost shares (copays, deductibles, coinsurance). Those who test positive (or just need additional treatment) will still have cost shares for any treatment rendered, but the test itself should be covered. Insured individuals should confirm with their carrier – some out of state plans may have exclusions, while Medicare plans are overseen on a federal level and not by the state.
Laurel Larsen
(Licensed insurance producer)
Eldridge Ave

SHOPPING HELP?
A kind couple have reached out to say that they’re willing to do shopping runs for our elderly and immune-compromised neighbors in Columbia. For now, contact me, fl!p@columbianeighborhood.org. I’ll pass you on to them, just to make sure they don’t get overwhelmed. What a wonderful offer!

BELLINGHAM SENIOR ACTIVITY CENTER CLOSURES
The Whatcom Council on Aging is cancelling all Bellingham Senior Activity Center programs and closing the facility beginning March 12th until further notice. While we have not been instructed to close we feel it is our responsibility to protect our at-risk population by limiting interaction at this time.
Congregate Lunch Program (Senior Community Meals)
The regular congregate lunch program will close until further notice. The Whatcom Council on Aging’s Meals on Wheels and More program is committed to ensuring seniors are able to access nutritious food during this very difficult time. Bellingham Senior Activity Center and our partner senior centers will provide meals for pick up during regular scheduled lunch hours. Please call your local senior center for details.
Meals on Wheels
There are currently no changes to the Meals on Wheels Program.  Meals on Wheels program will continue regular hot and frozen meal delivery for Meals on Wheels clients as long as staffing and volunteer capacity allows. If you are age 60 or older, homebound, and in need of meals please call 360-746-6480 or complete a request form at https://whatcomcoa.org/request-meals/.
Bellingham  360-733-4030

CITY PARKS AND REC
Arne Hanna Aquatic Center: Risk of in-water transmission is low, but crowded locker rooms and large groups in enclosed spaces such as the Aquatic Center spectator area should be avoided. All instructional programs will be cancelled. Passes will be put on hold until April 30th and extended the same number of days as the request was made. All large, City sponsored, public events will be cancelled through April 30. Participants in all operational programs will be notified and given the option for a full refund.

DON’T FLUSH SANITARY WIPES
Public Works renews request during COVID-19 response. Even  so-called flushable wipes need to go in the trash
The first official case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been confirmed in Whatcom County. The County Executive has declared a public health emergency and today the Governor announced community protection strategies.  The City of Bellingham has plans in place to ensure the continuity of essential services, including water delivery and wastewater removal. Utility customers have a role to pay, as well.  To protect oneself and help prevent the spread of this new virus it is important to wash hands with soap and water, stay home if ill, and sanitize frequently touched surfaces. For those who use sanitary wipes for this cleaning, it is important to know that “there is no such thing as a ‘flushable’ wipe.”
Eric Johnston, Bellingham’s interim Public Works director, says it is important for the effective continuity of the City’s sewage treatment process to keep those wipes out of the waste stream. “Wipes have to be pulled out of the City’s wastewater during collection and treatment – they plug up the whole system,” said Johnston. “Please just put them directly into the trash, as that’s where they will end up.”

VIRUS
The first confirmed case of CoVid-19 was announced today on the Whatcom Health Department website. Fourteen tests are pending. The website in updated each day at noon, and immediately if anything has changed.
https://whatcomcounty.us/3329/Novel-Coronavirus-COVID-19
The Bellingham Herald has removed it’s paywall from articles about the virus.
https://www.bellinghamherald.com/

Please stay home if you can.

For more information
This is an emerging outbreak with rapidly evolving information. Updates will be made as new information emerges on the DOH website and Whatcom County Health Department’s website. The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington state, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #. You can also follow DOH & Whatcom County on social media.

March 11 Corona Virus Update

VIRUS
The first confirmed case of CoVid-19 was announced today on the Whatcom Health Department website. Fourteen tests are pending. The website in updated each day at noon, and immediately if anything has changed.
https://whatcomcounty.us/3329/Novel-Coronavirus-COVID-19
The Bellingham Herald has removed it’s paywall from articles about the virus.
https://www.bellinghamherald.com/

Please stay home if you can.

For more information
This is an emerging outbreak with rapidly evolving information. Updates will be made as new information emerges on the DOH website and Whatcom County Health Department’s website. The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington state, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #. You can also follow DOH & Whatcom County on social media.

DOUBLE-CHECK EVENTS & DONATE
If you’re planning on going to an event, it’s a good idea to double-check that it hasn’t been cancelled. And if it has, and you can afford to, you might donate to the artists or event because it means they’ve lost their income stream. We’d like to have them back in the future! And please let me know of cancellations. Zeke and I cancelled our tour to Oregon at the end of this month. Our hosts are willing to reschedule in the future.
Consider donating to your favorite restaurants and other businesses as well, to help them survive this outbreak.

March 5 Neighborhood Update

DARK ROOM?
SU student seeking access to a dark room
Seattle University is going to online classes secondary to COVID-19 concerns.
My daughter is returning home for the rest of the quarter but would like to develop/process her film for her photography class.
All supplies used will be paid for.
Holmgren’s
360-303-6821 or harrietandrob@comcast.net
2212 Victor ST

GARDEN VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Maple Alley Inn, a program of Opportunity Council, prepares and serves hot meals to anybody who walks in the door. Volunteers grow food for the program at Faith Community Garden (next door to Faith Lutheran Church that hosts two of the meals), as much as 4000 pounds a year.
Volunteers participate in one or more of several weekly work parties, each lasting about two hours. Experience is not necessary; enthusiasm and a desire to help people is. Our volunteers range from Master Gardener and Master Composter to novices wanting to learn about gardening; from near-octogenarians to several who won’t be eligible for a driver’s license for about 10 years.
We are currently harvesting lettuce, spinach and bok choi, grown under cover, and preparing beds for beets, chard, cucumbers, tomatoes and other summer crops.
If you would like to join us, or learn more, please email me at oldwoodpile@comcast.net, or call at 360 647 5770.
Ed Wood
Garden Manager, Maple Alley Inn

SEEKING A GREAT HOUSE CLEANER
My husband and I are looking for a recommended house cleaner.  We seem to be working too much and don’t want to spend our precious weekend time catching up on chores!
~ 3 hours week. We have one dog and 2 cats that they’ll need to work around.
Debbie Alleman
archway88@comcast.net
360-739-4406 (cell)
Elizabeth Street

March 5 Corona Virus Update

CONNECTING
You might want to check in with your neighbors to see if anyone is particularly vulnerable to the virus. Safety could be as simple as a single daily text back and forth, and if the text doesn’t happen, a phone check-in. And if that doesn’t work, call for medical assistance for them. If everybody on your block has a buddy (and it doesn’t have to be you) we’ll all be much better prepared.

If you know folks who live in elder residences, this is a good time to phone them (or see if you can set up a video visit). Elder housing complexes are desperate to prevent transmission, as they should be. But the folks who live there can be stuck in their apartments or rooms and it can get boring and lonely. I remember when my folks lived at the Willows. They’d get locked down by some bug that someone had caught somewhere in the complex, for sometimes up to a week. My folks would go out of their minds. Do NOT go visit in person but it’s a good time to check in. And the same goes for any elderly or immunocompromised neighbors. Or far flung family and friends. It’s a good time to connect!

HOW HAND WASHING WORKS
From the incomparable Tom Noddy: Solid, understandable information
Soap and detergent molecules are odd.
One end of a soap molecule is a lot like grease, it doesn’t like water, it’s “hydrophobic”.
But the other end of soap molecules are “hydrophilic” they like water (they are attracted to water molecules, electrically, like when your socks are attracted to the other clothes in the drier).
So, unlike grease, soap goes into solution with water when each molecule works to attach itself to a nearby water molecule.
But meanwhile, the end that doesn’t like water is looking for some place to go to get away from the water. Everywhere it turns there is more water and water repels that end of the soap or detergent molecule … where can it go to get away from the water?
Well, if you can then offer it something, maybe something non-watery, maybe something dirty or greasy, then the end of the soap molecule that doesn’t like water can attach itself to the grease to get away from the water.
For the soap, that’s a perfect solution, the end that likes water is attached to a water molecule and the end that doesn’t is now attached to grease.
If you wipe it a bit then the soap molecules can and do completely surround the grease (and any germs (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa) that might be stuck to the grease). Then you can float that stuff away in the flood of soapy water.
So, no … soap doesn’t disinfect … it doesn’t kill virus but it can vastly lower the accumulation of them from your skin and remove the hiding places that could otherwise hold virus close.
A 60% alcohol solution is useful between the times that you can get yourself to soap and water but all of that alcohol is going to wreak havoc with your skin and it’s going to kill the good and bad bacteria and rework the ecosystem each time.
The first line of defense really is washing with soap (or detergent) and water.

SCIENCE BEHIND A BIG PICTURE
From someone I know and have confidence in.
https://bedford.io/blog/ncov-cryptic-transmission/

MAP YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD ORIENTATION
Thursday, March 26 6:00-7:30pm
Fireplace Conference Room
625 Halleck Street, Bellingham
This is a meeting for potential hosts. I have decided to postpone the meeting I had planned for next weekend and let folks go to this one instead. For more information, contact Victor Street neighbor Greg Hope at oem@cob.org or 360-778-8443.

March 4 Neighborhood Update

VOTING
Over 36,000 Washington State primary ballots have been reported as rejected for failure to specify a party. 5,000 Whatcom County people did not check the box and their ballots have been rejected. See the “County Rejected Ballot List.” Contact the county if your name is listed. You get a second chance. Please make sure you choose a party. Party choice is for this particular primary only and will have no impact on your future choices. Also, if you have already voted and your candidate has now dropped out, if you have not already turned in your ballot, you can request another. Once your ballot has been processed by your local county elections office, it’s not possible to change your vote. I decided before my ballot arrived that I would wait to vote till March 9th. If you do not vote your Presidential Primary ballot you will still receive a ballot to vote in the November 3 General Election. Contact information for Whatcom County Auditor’s Office:  360-778-5102.
https://votewashington.info/voter/wa/wm

WILD THINGS
(Nature discovery for families with children age six and younger)
Every Friday in March – 9:30-11:00AM
March: Whatcom Falls Park (Upper Playground).
By donation ($5)
Let’s listen in to the spring songs of the birds and frogs along this waterway through one of our favorite parks. We’ll search for signs of spring and check out what the beavers had for dinner!
Holly Roger
(360) 393-7827
Nature Nerd@WildWhatcom.org

JIGSAW PUZZLE SWAP
Saturday, March 7th – 4pm-5:30pm (Change Of Date)
Connections Building at the Downtown Food Co-op
405 East Holly Street, Bellingham
We are doing a jigsaw puzzle swap! Open house style. Come when you would like and see what is up for grabs.
Bring a puzzle. Take a puzzle.
All puzzles must be complete. No missing pieces.
Puzzles of 20 pieces and more accepted in original box.
Can’t make it? We would love your donated puzzles to get things started.
Free Admission. Donations welcome to DVSAS and/or the Community Food Co-op for donating the space.
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/474498500162327/
Kate Ferry

8th ANNUAL WHATCOM COUNTY SCIENCE & ENGINEERING FAIR
Saturday, March 7th
This upcoming community event is hosted by The Franklin Academy
and powered by Alcoa. The fair is open to all
K-12 students in Whatcom County and students can select from four
divisions: Experiment, Engineering/Invention/Maker, Demonstration, and
Collection. More information about the science fair, registration
packets, volunteering as a judge, project ideas, and resources can be
found at www.whatcomcountysciencefair.com.  Contact WCSEF coordinator
directly at sciencefair at thefranklin.academy to request an information
packet, to become a sponsor, or to have a business exhibit at this
year’s event.
Natalie Bennett
E Victor Street
(360) 733-1750 ext. 1509

SHELTER FROM THE STORM

LOCAL SHELTER OPTIONS AND WAYS TO VOLUNTEER
* Shelter hotline: This recorded message is updated by 9 a.m. daily by the Opportunity Council. (360) 788-7983
* County website: The Whatcom County Health Department webpage will be updated with severe weather information when it is open. www.whatcomcounty.us/homelessshelter
* City website: The City of Bellingham’s Addressing Homelessness page is available through searching “homeless” and a link is being made available on the homepage. www.cob.org/homeless
* Interactive map: The City has provided an interactive map with information about each of the emergency shelters. www.cob.org/shelters
* Facebook: The County (https://www.facebook.com/WhatcomCountyGovernment/) and the City (https://www.facebook.com/cityofbellingham/) will continue to provide outreach through social media as shelters are activated.
* Volunteers: The Volunteer Center of Whatcom County is helping with volunteer recruitment. Volunteers can find more information here: https://whatcomvolunteer.galaxydigital.com/need/?s=1&need_init_id=515
Hannah Stone
Kulshan Street

END OF LIFE PLANNING

[I hope none of us needs this right now, but it’s good to have paperwork in order. Now more than ever. I’ve been trying to encourage end of life planning for years. If you’ve just been added to the list, you might not know that this isn’t new. I’ve been publishing these events for a long time. I’m thinking it could leave a weird impression for first time subscribers! ~Fl!p]

THINK ABOUT THE UNTHINKABLE
Healthcare 101: Serious illness or accident can happen at any age.
In most states, when a person reaches age 18, they are a legal stranger to their parents. A parent has no more right to obtain medical information on a legal-age daughter or son than they would to obtain information about a stranger on the street. That’s true even if a young adult is covered by the parents’ health insurance, and the parents are paying the bill. That alone is reason to name a durable power of attorney for healthcare and to complete an advance directive on that milestone birthday.
On March 10, at 3:30pm, Bill Lombard MD, a nephrologist, will present “The Realities of Advanced Medical Interventions,” at WWU’s Viking Union Room 462. Dr. Lombard will present in frank terms the meanings of advanced medical interventions and what their outcomes could mean in the short and long term.
One of the most familiar interventions is cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
The “reality” of CPR is much different than depicted on television.
Dr. Lombard’s presentation supports good decision-making in preparation for completion of an advance directive.
On March 12, at 3:30pm, same venue, Bill Ciao, DMD, a certified advance care planning facilitator, will lead an advance directive workshop.
These presentations are sponsored by Western’s community health program, RN-to-BSN nursing program, and Palliative Care Institute.
If you have a son or daughter attending college hundreds of miles and several states away from home, learn how to help them have a say in the aftermath of a medical emergency, to be firmly in control of medical treatments and to help ensure family peace of mind.
Micki Jackson
http://www.cascadiaweekly.com/cw/features/category/mail

IS DEATH TOO SERIOUS FOR HUMOR?
Saturday, April 4, 2020 – 7:00pm
Sylvia Center for the Arts, 207 Prospect St, Bellingham, WA 98225
All of us are aware of the inevitability of life’s final journey, yet most of us have difficulty lightening up about it. Death is “serious business” and therefore we seldom see any place for humor in it. However, humor and a chance to laugh can provide relief for our anxieties about death. When we joke about death, we take the mystery out of it and begin to get the upper hand on our fears. So –  the Palliative Care Institute invites you to an evening of improv theatre with the theme of The Departure Lounge.  Some of Bellingham’s most talented improv artists will play with some of our common fears, myths, and denials. We know that death, dying, and loss are no laughing matter, but those who find a bit of humor in the process may find a bit of comfort. Come giggle, laugh, and perhaps even cry (with laughter) at the absurdities of this final journey.
Tickets – $10.00 in advance. $15.00 at the door
https://pci.wwu.edu/

THE DEPARTURE LOUNGE
All these events are at:
Unity Spiritual Center
1095 Telegraph Road, B’ham

Planning your trip of a lifetime!

BEING MORTAL
APRIL 15     10:00AM and 6:00PM
Unity Spiritual Center
1095 Telegraph Road, B’ham
This FRONTLINE public television documentary, based on physician Atul Gawande’s book of the same title, explores patient and family hopes when faced with a terminal diagnosis and their relationships with the physicians who care for them. Dr. Gawande sheds new light on our healthcare system…and the importance of talking about our true priorities. The documentary will spark dialogue and reflections on what matters most to us. Bring your questions and curiosity.

THE REALITIES OF ADVANCED MEDICAL INTERVENTIONS
APRIL 22    10:00AM and 6:00PM
Unity Spiritual Center
1095 Telegraph Road, B’ham
Rebecca Rech Cutler, RN, BSN, a member of Unity Spiritual Center and faith community nurse, with hospice and home health experience, will present in frank terms the meanings of advanced medical interventions, and what outcomes could mean in the short and the long term for patients and families. This presentation supports good decision-making and deeper understanding before illness or accident occurs. It is preparation to complete a reliable, values-based Advance Directive.

ADVANCE CARE PLANNING WORKSHOPS
APRIL 29    10:00AM and 6:00PM
Unity Spiritual Center
1095 Telegraph Road, B’ham
10:00AM workshop: Bill Ciao, DMD, practiced dentistry for over 30 years.  In retirement, Dr. Ciao is a volunteer, certified Advance Care Planning facilitator.
6:00PM workshop: Tessa Whitlock, Chuckanut Health Foundation Operations Coordinator, was trained and certified as an Advance Care Planning facilitator when she served at Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement.
They will guide participants in these interactive ACP workshops through completion of an an Advance Directive that is consistent with their healthcare goals, values, and beliefs.  For those who complete their AD, FREE notary service will be available on-site.

EXTREMIS
May 6    10:00AM and 6:00PM
Unity Spiritual Center
1095 Telegraph Road, B’ham
This short award-winning documentary shows in stark reality what often occurs when family members are stuck in the awesome position of deciding whether a loved one should remain on life support…or not…and whether they are making that decision for the patient’s good or their own. Following the documentary, a presentation:
SIX OPTIONS AT THE END OF LIFE: YOUR CHOICE
Dwight Moore, PhD, psychologist and volunteer for the End of Life Washington organization for seven years, will examine each of the six choices, with particular attention to Washington State’s Death with Dignity law. In consultation with two physicians, people who have a six-month terminal prognosis, may choose to take medication to end their life if that is their wish. He will address some of the moral dilemmas involved, some requirements of the law, and invites your questions.

DEATH CAFE —  “pop up” version
May 13    10:00AM and 6:00PM
Unity Spiritual Center
1095 Telegraph Road, B’ham
The Death Cafe phenomenon began in England in September, 2011.  Since then, 10,130 Death Cafes “opened” in 69 countries. Discussions at Death Cafes cover a range of topics related to death and dying, to increase awareness, to normalize conversations and acceptance about death, and to make the most of our finite lives.  Lively, fun, poignant conversations served with tea and cake!
For more information: Micki Jackson (360) 201-7840 micki98226@aol.com
healthministriesnetwork.net/the-departure-lounge

SPANISH!
Also, There’s lots going on the the Advance Care Planning world: One fabulous development! Micki has recruited Dr. Alejandro (Alex) Rey to present The Realities of Advanced Medical Interventions in Spanish! Dr. Rey is a FAMILY CARE NETWORK hospitalist. He’s a gem!Micki has already got a Latina social worker, to lead followup ACP workshops in Spanish — Claudia Luna.  So, we’re positioned to better serve this underserved (and often vulnerable) population. If you know Spanish speakers, please help them connect to Micki.
(360) 201-7840
micki98226@aol.com

EDITOR’S CORNER

SUPPORT OF TRADITIONAL AND FOLK ARTS AND ARTISTS DURING COVID-19 EPIDEMIC
Here are some ideas about how we might minimize the effect of COVID-19 on traditional and folk music, dance, and all arts and artists, from my folkie friend (and doctor) Catherine Britell.
https://catherinebritell.blogspot.com/2020/03/support-of-traditional-and-folk-arts.html

RIDE FROM EVERETT FOR RUG?
I’m looking for a ride from Everett for a 5×9 rug (rolled up). Someone on Craigslist has one I’d like to buy, but not badly enough to drive round trip to go get it. The sellers are about a mile and a half from I-5. I’ve got a ride offer for Sunday, but if someone can pick it up sooner, it’s more likely to still be available. Thanks!
Fl!p Breskin
Cherry Street
360-671-4511

—NUTS & BOLTS—

March 4 Corona Virus Update

COVID-19 VIRUS
It starts with a fever & a dry cough. Watch for that; not a cold.
The good news is that 80% of people have mild disease, the ones that get sicker do so after 5-7 days, so keep that in mind if you have a flu like illness.
https://ncov2019.live/data

Hygiene
Washington state warns voters they shouldn’t lick their mail-in ballots. Wash your hands as if you were just chopping jalapenos and you need to take your contacts out.

China Cases Declining: Lots of very useful information
“….The symptoms are most commonly fever and dry cough (not a runny nose and cold). The key is having an informed population, finding cases, rapidly isolating them. The faster you isolate cases is what breaks the chains. Making sure close contacts are quarantined and monitored until you know if they’re infected. It’s the close contacts, not everyone. Clustering happened: was it in a hospital, an old-age home, theaters, restaurants? We found it was predominantly in families…..”
https://www.vox.com/2020/3/2/21161067/coronavirus-covid19-china

Comic For Kids About CoronaVirus
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/28/809580453/just-for-kids-a-comic-exploring-the-new-coronavirus
Darrah Blanton
Wiliiams Street

Here is a good, reliable, local source for information:
https://www.whatcomcounty.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1617
This website has links to other reliable websites.
1. If you think you might be getting sick, stay home! If you are sick with fever & dry cough, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care. Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
2. If you show severe symptoms, phone before going to your doctor’s office or the ER.
3. Make plans and preparations now. You are probably safe, but community effort will vastly reduce the amount of harm/ disruption overall.
4. Buy enough supplies to allow you to stay inside 2-3 weeks if necessary (non-perishable food, household items, medication mostly). Don’t hoard; do share.
5. Wash your hands frequently, sterilize doorknobs etc. Soap and hot water work vastly better than hand sanitizer. You can make your own sanitizer, but soap works better.
6. You shouldn’t be stockpiling masks or other medical supplies. They are needed in hospitals to keep our healthcare workers healthy.
It feels like this is where the rubber meets the road for us as a community. Please help your neighbors. Stay in touch with them. Shop for folks who shouldn’t go out. You can make a plan with them to drop off groceries on their doorstep. Phone and give them a good listening to. That’s something we can all do for each other right now.

Calm voice, good sense:
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/preparing-for-coronavirus-to-strike-the-u-s/

LOCAL RESOURCES
[From neighbor Greg Hope, to the CERT group. Sharing with permission]
Official, reliable, local sources of information
·         Whatcom County Health Department: http://www.whatcomcounty.us/3329/Novel-Coronavirus-COVID-19
◦ Fact sheets are available on this site in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and Mandarin.
·         Washington State Department of Health: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus
·         US Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov
The Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) is reminding Whatcom residents to take steps to protect their health and prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections. At this time, WCHD is not recommending other community-based strategies for infection control, such as school closures or canceling large public gatherings or events.

No cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Whatcom County as of Monday afternoon. [Four people are being tested as of Wednesday night.]

For more information on novel coronavirus
This is an emerging outbreak with rapidly evolving information. Updates will be made as new information emerges on the DOH website and Whatcom County Health Department’s website. The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington state, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #. You can also follow DOH & Whatcom County on social media.

March 3 Neighborhood Update

FLIP ON THE RADIO TONIGHT
I forgot earlier. I’m on local station KRME 102.3 FM tonight from 7 – 8 PM. I got interviewed last night. Zeke tried to set up to listen in, and it took him more than a few minutes to get set up to listen online.

MAP YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
Saturday March 14 at 10:00 AM at our house
Meeting for folks considering hosting a disaster preparedness meeting on their own block. I’m glad to come facilitate one 2-hour gathering on your block. At this meeting, we’ll go over how to get your neighbors to come. RSVP Fl!p Breskin 360-671-4511 flip@columbianeighborhood.org

JIGSAW PUZZLE SWAP
Saturday, March 7th – 4pm-5:30pm (Change Of Date)
Connections Building at the Downtown Food Co-op
405 East Holly Street, Bellingham
We are doing a jigsaw puzzle swap! Open house style. Come when you would like and see what is up for grabs.
Bring a puzzle. Take a puzzle.
All puzzles must be complete. No missing pieces.
Puzzles of 20 pieces and more accepted in original box.
Can’t make it? We would love your donated puzzles to get things started.
Free Admission. Donations welcome to DVSAS and/or the Community Food Co-op for donating the space.
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/474498500162327/
Kate Ferry

RIDE FROM EVERETT FOR RUG?
I’m looking for a ride from Everett for a 5×9 rug (rolled up). Someone on Craigslist has one I’d like to buy, but not badly enough to drive round trip to go get it. The sellers are about a mile and a half from I-5.
Fl!p Breskin
2518 Cherry Street
360-671-4511

March 3 Corona Virus Update

CORONA VIRUS
[From neighbor Greg Hope, to the CERT group. Sharing with permission]
I invite you to help our community in reducing stigma and discrimination associated with this disease outbreak. When it comes to protecting the public’s health, we are all in this together, and allowing misinformation to spread, stigma to thrive, or otherwise ostracizing community members is counter-productive to improving public health and safety. We can each speak up if we hear, see, or read stigmatizing or harassing comments or misinformation. And we must all show compassion and support for individuals and communities most closely impacted and anyone who might be sick. Stigma is not going to fight this outbreak, but together, we can.

Official, reliable sources of information
·  Whatcom County Health Department: http://www.whatcomcounty.us/3329/Novel-Coronavirus-COVID-19
◦Fact sheets are available on this site in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and Mandarin.
· Washington State Department of Health: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus
· US Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov
The Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) is reminding Whatcom residents to take steps to protect their health and prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections. At this time, WCHD is not recommending other community-based strategies for infection control, such as school closures or canceling large public gatherings or events.

No cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Whatcom County as of Monday afternoon.

“We understand that people are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in our region, and it’s likely that we will see more cases of COVID-19 in the days and weeks to come,” said Dr. Greg Stern, Whatcom County Health Officer. “We are urging community members to practice personal prevention steps such as washing hands frequently and staying home when sick. These actions help to not only keep individuals healthy, but are also important to help slow the spread of disease through a community.”

PERSONAL PREVENTION STEPS
Everyone should take simple steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses:
· Wash your hands frequently.
· Avoid touching your face.
· Cough and sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue, then throw away the tissue.
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
· Stay home when you or a family member is sick.
· Clean and disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces.
People with mild symptoms should stay home and rest. People who are severely ill or at high risk for severe illness should stay home and call their health care provider.

Public health officials do not recommend healthy people wear masks to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. People who are sick should wear masks when they are seeking medical care. It is important that supplies of masks and other personal protective equipment remain available for health care providers who are evaluating and treating ill people.

PLANNING AHEAD
COVID-19 is likely to continue to spread in Washington. Although school closures and other community-based actions to prevent transmission of COVID-19 are not currently recommended, community members can take steps now to prepare for the possible spread of COVID-19 locally by planning ahead for how to adjust work and home routines.
·Plan for how you will care for kids or other loved ones at home. Talk about how you’ll arrange childcare if schools or childcare facilities are closed. When schools are closed, children should also avoid gathering together.
·Discuss sick leave policies and telework options with your employer. If you need to stay home to care for kids or other loved ones, you may be able to work remotely.
·Be ready to help neighbors and elders in your community. Plan for ways that you can help take care of people who are at greater risk for serious illness, like people with chronic health conditions or people over 65. Talk with your neighbors, and plan for ways you can help take care of one another, like dropping off groceries on their doorstep or taking turns with childcare.

For more information on novel coronavirus
This is an emerging outbreak with rapidly evolving information. Updates will be made as new information emerges on the DOH website and Whatcom County Health Department’s website. The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington state, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #. You can also follow DOH & Whatcom County on social media.