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 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 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.

March 2 Corona Virus Update

CORONA VIRUS
Be prepared to help care for your neighbors. Share food and supplies but not germs. Wash your hands.
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 flu-like illness, 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. You shouldn’t be stockpiling masks or other medical supplies. They are needed in hospitals to keep our healthcare workers healthy.
4. Make preparations now. You are probably safe, but community effort will vastly reduce the amount of harm/ disruption overall.
5. Buy enough supplies gradually to allow you to stay inside 2-3 weeks if necessary (nonperishable food, household items, medication mostly).  Don’t hoard; do share.
6. Wash your hands frequently, sterilize doorknobs etc. Soap and hot water work vastly better than hand sanitizer. You can make your own hand sanitizer if you want some. There are lots of recipes online.

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.

Useful Links:
Preparing For CoronaVirus
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/preparing-for-coronavirus-to-strike-the-u-s/

The Safe Sneeze by Mythbusters
[Use your elbow please]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vw0hIs2LEg&feature=youtu.be

FACE TOUCHING
[From NY Times, 3/2/2020]
To break the face-touching habit, try using a tissue if you need to scratch your nose or rub your eyes. Wearing makeup may reduce face touching, since it may make you more mindful of not smudging it. One study found that women touched their faces far less when they wore makeup. Another solution: Try to identify triggers for face touching, like dry skin or itchy eyes, and use moisturizers or eye drops to treat those conditions so you are less likely to rub or scratch your face.
It also may help to wear glasses to create a barrier to touching your eyes. Gloves or mittens can also make you more mindful of not touching your face (and can make it more difficult to put your finger in your nose or your eye). Although gloves, too, can become contaminated, viruses don’t live as long on fabric or leather.
Given that face touching is a long-ingrained habit, it makes sense to remain vigilant about frequent hand washing and wipe down your desk, phones and community surfaces. Carry hand sanitizer and use it often. The more mindful you are about regular hand washing, the more mindful you will be about your hands and what they are touching.

March 1 Corona Virus Update

CORONA VIRUS PREPARATION
Be prepared to help care for your neighbors. Share food and supplies but not germs. Wash your hands.
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 flu-like illness, 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. Make preparations now. You are probably safe, but community effort will vastly reduce the amount of harm/ disruption overall.
3. Buy enough supplies gradually to allow you to stay inside 2-3 weeks if necessary (nonperishable food, household items, medication mostly).
    Don’t hoard; do share.
4. Wash your hands frequently, sterilize doorknobs etc. Soap and hot water work vastly better than hand sanitizer.
5. 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.