Covid: Scam, Masks, Myths, Farmers, Rentals Wanted, Whatcom Arts & Sings

CONTENTS 4/17/2020
Fake COVID-19 Text Messages
Cloth Vs Medical Masks In Heathcare Workers
Corona Myth Busters
Roommate Cafe
Columbia Neighborhood
Two Farmer’s Markets
Community Supported Agriculture
Homemade Masks
Housing Rental Emergency for Medical Treatment
Single Mom Seeks House Share
Fl!p’s Pix For Music
Whatcom Arts Project Radio Interview
Whatcom Sings Project

Police are warning the public about a new coronavirus-related scam. The scam involves a text message that tells people they’ve come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The text urges people to self-isolate and click a link for more information. “DO NOT click the link!” the Thomaston (Maine) Police Department warned. “It is not a message from any official agency. It is however a gateway for bad actors to find their way into your world.”

There is a study being widely circulated showing medical masks are better. The study was about influenza not coronavirus. The only conclusion is that healthcare workers, who have a different level of exposure (aerosols), should not use cloth masks. For the public they reduce risk not through filtration but by keeping you from touching your nose and mouth when out and about, by far for COVID the main way the public gets infected is by touching a droplet that has landed on an object and then touching their nose, mouth or eyes.. I believe they reduce risk of getting the disease as well as reduce the risk of transmitting it in pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic patients significantly. ~ Frank James, former Whatcom County Health Officer

World Heath Organization

The Opportunity Council has a new program which began in February as part of Generations Housing Project (GHP), a home sharing program that reduces elder homelessness by identifying opportunities for shared housing. The roommate-matching service can bring people together to find housing options. Senior residents are finding options to share housing through “Roommate Café” at the OC’s Housing Lab located at 625 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham. The Roommate Café hours are Thursdays, 10-11:30 am. The Housing Lab is open Tuesdays, 10-12 am.


We have two! One at Depot Market downtown (check their facebook page for which vendors will be there, and details on safe shopping), and another mini-market here in the neighborhood. Once again this Saturday April 18th 9:00-1:00 is an opportunity for local and organic produce lovingly grown and bagged by Rabbit Field Farms. Social distancing is encouraged and enforced. Bags are in increments of 5-25 dollars. Cash is preferred but cards can be taken. I hope to see you there!
  2526 Kulshan St.
  Thank you. ~ Heather Fitzstrawn

CSA delivery/pick up in Columbia
If you are interested in supporting a local farm and would like to join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), Moondance Farm will have a weekly pick up spot in Columbia.
More info at
~ Jill MacIntyre Witt,  Walnut Street

Who is making masks that tie? Is anyone selling them? I also heard that there’s a Mask Tree in the neighborhood, but I’ve misplaced the email.  Love/Fl!p

My wife Robin and I are hoping to find a small home to rent for the next 6-12 months here in the Bellingham area. We currently own a home and live in Puerto Vallarta however have returned to Bellingham for treatment of Robin’s breast cancer. Preferably we would like to find a home with one or two bedrooms, one and a half bathrooms and laundry facilities. Prior to moving to Mexico we lived in and owned a business in Anacortes. We also have a very well behaved 10 year old Cockapoo named Toby.
  I am staying in Alison’ Kutz’s Hobbit House (I am self-quarantining for another week as I just drove up from Vallarta). Robin is staying at another friend’s house until we find a suitable home to rent.
 Charlie Barefield,  360-661-3119

My name is Sarah, I am 27 years old and I am a single mum and full time student. We are looking for a place to rent in the Columbia neighborhood. Covid has changed our lives temporarily but typically we have full time schedules and live a very active lifestyle! We are used to community based living and sharing small spaces. No smoking, no pets, sober living (for me, totally fine with others who consume, just not partiers), clean record and can pass a background check, clean, responsible, and respectful. I also have the ability to contribute with groceries and meals. I loooooove to cook and share meals!! I have cash up front for deposits and such. I have excellent personal, professional, and rental references.
  At WWU I am studying Philosophy as my major and Law/Diversity/Justice as my minor. This is my primary source of income. I am on track to graduate Fall 2020 or Winter 2021 and then ideally I will be moving on to law school somewhere in the PNW or Texas. If I do not go off to law school I have job offers in Whatcom County contingent on graduation. My number for calling or texting, anytime, is 360-969-9669 and my email is  Cheers!  ~ Sarah Bosch


More than 30 local performing and visual arts organizations have collaborated to form the Whatcom Arts Project — a campaign to inform, entertain, educate, inspire, collaborate, support, promote, and uplift each other daily and remain socially close while physically distanced. Here’s a radio interview about the new project. It will show three times this week.
Fri, Apr 17: Noon and 6pm
Sat, Apr 18: 8am and 4pm
Sun, Apr 19: Noon and 7pm
KMRE can be heard at 102.3FM in Bellingham, also streaming at (don’t use Chrome as a browser right now), via TuneIn, or ask your smart speaker at home to play KMRE.

Dear Whatcom County Singers and Choir Directors,
  You, your choir members and students, and singing friends, are cordially invited to participate in Whatcom Sings, a one-time virtual choir project on the song “Bright Morning Stars.” We are creating this virtual choir in order to sing together and inspire one another somehow, while keeping our social distance, to bring a musical message of hope to our county in these difficult times, and to support the Interfaith Coalition, which provides services for Whatcom County residents experiencing homelessness.
  All the information that you need to participate, including a score, instructional and recording videos, helpful links and contacts for assistance, can be found on this website:

  Participant videos are due three weeks from today, on Friday, May 8. We have lined up professional soloists, accompanists and video editors to create a slick, moving, multi-dimensional film, which we hope to post on YouTube by mid-May. Please spread the word among Whatcom County singers and encourage them to join you in this inspiring and worthy endeavor.   Sincerely,  Kevin Allen-Schmid,



Time Delay, Sensible Safety, Checks, Farmer’s Market, More

CONTENTS 4/15/2020
Time Delay On Blog
Sensible Safety Adds Up
Reliable Info About Stimulus Checks
Neighborhood Farmer’s Market
Book To Borrow?
Irrigation System Reactivation?

At this point, the blog is often taking several days to get to you by email. If you wish to see it in a more timely way, copy or type this into your search window, and it will take you straight there. The main page, if you just scroll down, will show you the most recent post, and the older ones after that. I’m working to find out why the delay, but meanwhile, you can just go straight to the website:

If you can’t access this, let me know and I’ll send you the text.

Direct information from the government

Once again this Saturday April 18th 9:00-1:00 is an opportunity for local and organic produce lovingly grown and bagged by Rabbit Field Farms. Social distancing is encouraged and enforced. Bags are in increments of 5-25 dollars. Cash is preferred but cards can be taken. I hope to see you there!
2526 Kulshan St.
Thank you. ~ Heather Fitzstrawn

“I was on the holds list at the library for Glennon Doyle’s new book “Untamed” before the library closed. I would love to read it but am trying to limit my book-buying binges right now. Wondering if there is anyone in the neighborhood who has it and would be willing to lend it? And perhaps I might have a book or two you’ve been wanting to read! Please let me know. Thanks! ~  Jessica Bandstra, 2615 Russell St.  360-325-1291 (text or call)”

I would like to find someone knowledgeable to re-start my irrigation system for the year. I will gladly pay! Usually there are a few emitters that need replacing and adjusting, and sometimes lines that need replacing etc, beyond  just turning on the switch. ~ Fl!p Breskin 360-671-4511 phone or text


Shared Immunity, POLST, Masks, Cars, Dogs, Brown Water, How To Request A Post, Lots More

Whatcom County Deaths
Shared Immunity & Six Foot Distance Question
10 Minutes Every 2 Weeks
What’s a POLST?
Local Medical Mask Project
Interviewer Seeks Interviewee
Whatcom County Dog Owner Survey
Columbia Neighborhood
Brown Water
Ongoing Neighborhood Treasure Hunt
Garden Plants Available
Lost Keys
Quiet Study Room Wanted
Singing Bowl To Lend
Help With My Yard Waste
Editor’s Corner
  How To Request A Post
  Delayed Blog Posts
  Blog Comments


These two RadioLab Episodes have some good information that you might find useful for your blog. From Marie Eaton, Community Champion for the Palliative Care Institute

Dispatch 3: Shared Immunity
Folks who have survived Covid may be able to help others.

Dispatch 4: Six Feet
Maybe six feet isn’t enough.

Zeke and I actually left home for the first time in weeks yesterday. I read a recommendation that we should run our car for 10 minutes every couple weeks, as maintenance. It had been a lot more than two weeks! So we drove: we looked around to see what was open, and what was in bloom. Did not get out of our car at all. I felt relieved to get back to my own home and garden. I feel deeply fortunate to have a safe space I love, and a kind person to share it with. And generous neighbors who shop for us elders!

A reader asked, “What’s a POLST?” Ooops! I’ve clearly gotten too close to my subject! (Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) is an approach to improving end-of-life care in the United States, encouraging providers to speak with patients and create specific medical orders to be honored by health care workers during a medical crisis. Filling out this form in advance, with the help of your medical provider, over teleconference, is the kindest thing you can do for your family and for the health care workers at the hospital should you wind up there in shape where you can’t speak for yourself. Other people having to decide on your behalf without knowing your wishes can carry lasting worry and guilt. Please be kind!

Scott Jones has been working hard to support our health care workers through the creation, constant refining and production of filtered medical masks.

“We are so honored to have been able to design a mask that is sealed around the face, comfortable, able to handle a replaceable micron filter, and be made by those in your community for your community. Front Line Doctors, Nurses and so many more people need your help. Let’s get sewing!” There are various ways to be involved.  

Sewers – kits are ready for pickup at his house.
contact Scott

You can also see videos, and more instructions at:

Thank you Scott and ALL the people out there sewing these to protect our community!

This is a note from Jennifer Karchmer, a Bellingham-based independent journalist who covers freedom of the press and reporter safety. I am writing about freedom of the press during COVID-19 and seeking a Wash state resident who gets their local news mainly by radio and/or a listener to KUOW, to talk about this:  Please contact me if you’d like to talk via phone on the record. That means I will take notes and use your name in my article. About 10-15 minutes. Deadline: asap, no later than Thursday, April 16, 2020.  Contact Jennifer by email:  Website:

If you have a dog, the County would like your help understanding dog owners’ waste pick-up habits.


The City has begun the annual flushing of water mains. You may experience brown-ish tap water at some point in the weeks ahead. Run your tap to clear, or maybe wait a couple hours and try again. Especially if you plan to wash white laundry. Not dangerous.

The goal of this treasure hunt is to give walkers, runners, bikers and rollers the fun of trying to spot “treasures” during their travels around the hood. The treasures are big teddy bears and flags.

YOU are encouraged to join in the fun by putting treasures on display and/or by being a treasure hunter. The more the merrier!

Neighbors with children might appreciate a list of where to spot these treasures so they make sure to pass by. If you’d like to be on the list (which is optional), please contact me. Then, I will forward the list to all who contacted me.

If you don’t have a teddy bear, I’d love to share my brown butcher/kraft paper with you. I made my bear by googling a simple outline of a teddy bear, drew it on the paper, cut it out and taped it to our front window. If you’d like some paper, please contact me. I have lots of extra. To reduce the risk of passing on germs, I’m leaving the paper isolated in my garage for three days before I use gloves to put sections of paper on my front porch for pick up. My email address is ~ Claire Evans, 3028 Tulip Street. Can you spot the bear and flag?

The sunny weather and COVID-19 restrictions have created the opportunity for some deep gardening jobs. I now have some lovely plants ready to go to new homes. Please contact me to arrange to have the plants left at the end of my driveway. As some will not be in pots I don’t want to leave them out there for days. Here is the list of what’s been dug up:

White phlox — sun. Mildew-resistant plants.

Variegated Molinia — nice, medium-sized grass. Sun. Spreads slowly, not invasive

Pulmonaria  — flowering now.  Doesn’t like the sunny spot it got assigned.  Requires no extended mid-day sun (not negotiable)

Etoile Violet’ clematis  — tall, deep purple clematis.  Likes sun. Needs to be cut down each spring (blooms on new wood).  Needs regular water and feeding. Contact Chris: call or text  360 296 9548 or email at

I lost my keys while riding in the neighborhood today. They are attached to a large safety pin looking key chain. Thank you so much!! ~ Claire Allen, Monroe Street

Looking for temporary *quiet* study room in our neighborhood to rent for Spring quarter beginning now through June 19. Need high speed internet access (requirement of college). Preferably with separate entrance and bathroom would be ideal and is a non smoking room.  Due to closed campus, I will not have access to library or the lab and need a quiet space without interruptions. Looking for a place close to home so I can walk or bike if possible and spend less time commuting and more time studying ~  Jill Schmitz,

I am looking to borrow a singing bowl for the next couple of months for some mindfulness video lessons I am creating for my students. If you have one, would you be willing to lend it to me?  ~ Molly Westring, Walnut St.

I have 4 bags of (dry) leaves and 2 roughly 20 gallon buckets of weeds/roots/yard waste. We have no means of transporting this to the dump and are looking for a neighbor who would be willing to take any (or all) of this off our hands (to the dump or your personal compost). I am happy to cover the cost of the extra weight to your trailer/vehicle  + disposal fees. ~ Savannah Atwell, Corner of Utter & Washington St.


Our neighborhood is waking up again! I’m both getting lots of post requests, and lots of questions about how to ask for a post now that I have a blog. The most helpful way to request is to email to – with the title of the post as the subject line. You would make my life a whole lot easier, both when I’m setting up to post, and again if I have to search for your post later. Make sure you include a way for people to contact you. Thanks!

I don’t know why, but my blog post email notices don’t go out out for hours, and sometimes days. after I try to send them. I’m using WordPress. If anyone has information about how I can get posts sent out sooner, I’d love to hear. I usually manage to get the day’s post up before 5 PM (not always, and I have taken a couple days off lately). You can always go directly to the blog and read it there. The day’s entry is in the main window if you scroll down. Just enter this in your web browser:

I try to check the blog comments daily. I don’t post comments, just email the sender if needed. (I’ve noticed that comments on my blog include more harshness towards me personally than most emails.) Email gets to me faster, but both ways work. My brother says I’m a Known Technophobe. Thank you for your patience while I learn new skills!

If anyone is going to Costco for themselves (or the Food Coop for that matter) I’d love it if you’d be willing to shop for me. We’re running low on a few things. Not desperate, just looking ahead. ~ Fl!p 360-671-4511


Western States Covid Pact, Shopping, Make Masks & Gowns, More

Western States Covid Pact
Social Distancing In 30 Seconds
How To Grocery Shop
3-D Face Mask Federally Approved
Columbia Neighborhood
Sew Gowns?
Goods Nursery And Produce And Goods Local Brews
Editor’s Corner






Shuksan Healthcare workers are in need of isolation gowns. They have asked for the community to make gowns.  Old sheets are an acceptable fabric.  A free pattern is available at The pattern calls for ribbing at the cuffs but elastic works as well. People can bring to my house and I will pass them on. (Gowns can also be dropped off at Shuksan if that is easier for you.)
  Kathy Piscitello
  2725 Utter St,

Goods Nursery and Produce at the corner of Northwest & Elm is open with all your gardening essentials. We have local honey, Joe’s veggie and strawberry starts, herbs, pansies, compost and more! We are sanitizing all surfaces, enforcing social distancing among shoppers and disinfecting constantly. Cory is there daily from 9-4PM.
    Goods Local Brews is offering a growler exchange. Bring in your own growler and we will exchange it with a clean, sanitized one with a new cap. Check in with Cory from 9-4PM at the produce stand and he can fill your growler for you. Thank you all for your continued support through this very difficult time. We look forward to when we can open our doors again to the community! Stay safe and healthy!
  Cory’s cell: 360-303-9115

I have learned that some of our essential workers in Whatcom County pay taxes but will get no stimulus check. The people who work the fields to raise and harvest the food we eat are often among them. Many hundreds are out of work till the strawberries are ready for harvest. I heard about a national campaign inviting people, if they can afford it, to donate part of their stimulus check to help those families. I want to donate to local families, so I will donate to Community to Community. You’re welcome to join me.

Make checks payable to
Community to Community or C2C and mail to –
203 W. Holly, Suite 311,
Bellingham, WA 98225

or go to

and use the PayPal donation button – but there will be a percentage taken from the amount you donate. There are other organizations also helping with this issue nationally, but I focused on Whatcom County, where we live.


Parks, POLST, Neighborhood, Masks & Exercise, Lots more

Want To Keep Parks Open?
      Lots Of Questions Addressed
POLST Questions And Answer
Why Boil Water?
Advance Planning Video
Food Bank Deliveries Correction
Get Well Cards
Columbia Neighborhood
Free Rhubarb
Cardboard Boxes
Wanted: Salvage Fence Materials
Golden Retriever Is Home
Correction and More Info
Vigorous Exercise Spreading Virus?
Exercising Outdoors With a Face Mask

Please follow the guidelines!
Practice safe social distancing and then head home
by Nicole Oliver, Interim Parks & Recreation Director / April 10, 2020 (Friday)
Given the beautiful weather, and the lack of anything else to do, many people are using Bellingham’s park and trail system for exercise and fresh air.  This is not the time to pull out your blankets, lounge in hammocks or spread out a picnic.  Please help us keep our parks and trails open by following Whatcom County Health Department guidelines and Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order by practicing safe social distancing, keep moving and then return home.  Below are answers to our frequently asked questions.
Are City Parks and Recreation facilities open?
Parks and park restrooms are open, but there are restrictions in place. Parking at community parks has been limited. Playgrounds, sports courts, fenced dog off leash areas, and ball fields are closed. Open spaces and trails remain open. Indoor facilities, the Arne Hanna Aquatic Center and stadiums are closed. For a complete list please go to our website:
What can I do or not do at a park during this time?
Under Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order”, exercise is allowed.  What you should NOT be doing is picnicking, sunbathing, hanging in a hammock, playing basketball or hanging out.  Come to the park, take a walk and get some fresh air, and go home. Parks Ambassadors and staff are monitoring parks and reminding visitors of the guidelines.
Why are park restrooms open?
The City is dedicated to keeping parks and trails open – including park restrooms – throughout all operational periods of the Covid-19 crisis. Restroom availability is imperative to public health, especially while non-essential businesses remain closed to the public. People using parks need a place to wash their hands. If we close all public restrooms, unsheltered people and others who use and depend on park restrooms would be left without options, which creates additional environmental and health hazards to the public and staff.
Why did you limit parking at some parks?
Sunny days, warm temperatures and different work schedules make our beautiful parks hard to resist. Reducing parking helps keep people closer to home and encourages more effective social distancing by limiting how many people are driving to parks and parking in community lots. It has proven to be effective so far.
Why are sports courts closed?
Sports courts (basketball, tennis, pickleball, etc.) are closed because there are many touch points on the court elements that could contribute to the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, it is very difficult to maintain or enforce social distancing guidelines of staying six feet apart during more active/aggressive sport play. 
Where can I bring my dog?
The fenced off leash areas at Padden and Squalicum Creek parks are closed. Please do not bring your dog onto ballfields – this is always prohibited. Leashed dogs are allowed on all parks and trails.  Unfenced off-leash areas are open, but please keep your dog under control to avoid conflict or unnecessary contact with others.
When will Park facilities be open again?
We will open these facilities when the Governor and state and local authorities determine it is safe. We anticipate that there will be additional guidelines to work with once we do open again.
I was on a trail and someone came too close to me. How are you enforcing social distancing guidelines?
Social distancing is an individual and community effort. We have posted 75 signs on our public trails reminding people to maintain appropriate distancing on trails. If you choose to use a public trail, go during times that are less busy, and try less “popular” routes. Please use our park and trail guides or park-finder app to find trails close to your home. If you are not comfortable on public trails, staying in your own neighborhood using sidewalks and bike lanes is another great way to get exercise.
Will Cordata Park open this year? What about swim docks at Bloedel-Donovan?
We are optimistic that Cordata Park will open later this summer.  We are still working on permitting and other planning for the docks and lifeguard program at Bloedel-Donovan, but the docks and guards will not be in place until 2021.
What about summer events and programs?
All programs and events at City facilities have been cancelled through May 31, 2020. This includes volunteer work parties. Parks and Recreation staff are working hard to plan for summer. It is unlikely that summer programs and events will look like they have in the past. 
What other agency parks and public spaces are open?
See agency websites for details on closures:

[From Mickie Jackson]
1. Could you ask Dr. Lombard if he knows if it is possible to get a POLST filled in on a phone appointment with my doctor?  Then he mails it to me with his signature?  I don’t want to go to a clinic during the coronavirus, but I want a POLST because of my diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure. The video & slides are a big help. Thank you.
2. I want a POLST form. Can my doctor mail me the form with her signature on it, then I fill it in at home? Thank you——————

His response:
These are great questions in this time of uncertainty!  I think the best way to do it is to discuss the POLST via telemedicine with your primary physician/provider, have them fill in the responses to the 4 sections, sign it and mail it to you for your signature and safe keeping. This does miss the step of having the fully completed POLST copy delivered to your provider but you could use a smart phone/other scanning app to email back to them or, if able, make a copy on your printer and it send back. You would want to let their office know that discussing/signing a POLST is the purpose of the visit.
Relative to the question of the physician sign and mail it, probably not a good idea.  For a physician that is sorta like signing a blank prescription and sending it to the patient to fill in.  I hope this helps.
  Bill Lombard (MD)

FYI, here’s the scoop on “boil some water.”
Since the discoveries of Pasteur and Lister in the late 1800s, it was known that bacteria introduced into the uterus at the time of birth caused Puerperal Fever or Childbed Fever, the major killer of moms of newborns throughout the ages. Up to 40% of moms delivering in hospitals (where doctors didn’t understand the way the disease was transmitted) died of it! …until the late 1800s.. Doctors and midwives learned from these scientists that pre-boiling the sheets and towels they used during and right after delivery, when the uterine cervix was still open, cut the infection rate markedly. It’s the same principle as washing your hands in soap and water for 20 seconds! Hence “boil the water” during labor. It saved one helluva lot of lives!!!! ~ Hank Levine


This Portland nurse delivers the straight scoop on what we should consider before we get sick: (based on what was known as of April 1).
  Kate Birr
  Victor St.

There’s an error in the item on food bank deliveries. The Bellingham Food Bank really needs to be credited in this article, because this is the agency providing the food. The deliveries are performed by volunteers from CERT and Search & Rescue, under coordination of the Food Bank.

I would like to add that adults can make cards too.  since i neither sew nor have a machine, i found a way to be involved that i love . . . making cards of good cheer and wellness.  and, it can be a family affair as well – the friend i am partnering with has included her family in the making of the cards as well.  it’s a lovely way to be involved, spread hope and joy and stay home! ~       Pam Sinnett


I have rhubarb to give away. If you’d like some, text me and I’ll harvest some and leave it in the alley with your name on it.
  Lynne Pendleton

Does anyone have any large cardboard boxes they’d like to get rid of? Cardboard has a very short half-life for virus transmission so its quite safe to give away/pickup during these times, and I’m trying to organize the massive amounts of soon to be donated goods I have in home!
  Jessica Burchiel
  Henry St.

Hey neighbors! We’d like to build a small 6′ fence in our side yard and are hoping to make it from reused materials. We’d love to know about any cedar scrap/fence/barn wood (or corrugated metal) you might have laying around. If you’re building a new fence we’d be happy to take your old cedar boards off your hands – we’ll haul. Longer pieces are best but we can make any length work, really. Thanks so much!
  Nikki Nieves
  Henry Street

We found her home! The mailman recognized her and told us where she lived. ~  Emily Thompson

Two different readers have brought this new article to my attention, explaining why the prior article was wrong.

By Gretchen Reynolds
April 10, 2020, New York Times

Many of you had questions about running or cycling while wearing a face mask. Here’s what the experts have to say.

When we asked readers what they still wished to know about exercising during the coronavirus crisis, one issue topped all others. People wondered about running or cycling in a face mask and how it would affect their breathing, performance, chances of spreading the virus and even vision.

To find out, I spoke with a number of physiologists and other scientists about what is known or at least suspected about wearing a facial covering while exercising and what types of masks and fabrics might work best during workouts.

The researchers cautioned that little is known about heavy breathing during aerobic exercise and how it affects viral spread. But they had plenty to say about fit, spit, perceived exertion, thermoregulation and facial saunas. What follows are their suggestions — and cautions — about masks and exercise.

Do I have to wear a mask during outdoor exercise?

This answer is more about policy and politeness than viral spread. In general, outdoor exercise, with or without a mask, seems to be safe, according to most experts.

“I think relatively little Covid-19 transmission would occur outdoors, except perhaps in large crowds,” says Benjamin Cowling, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Hong Kong and the senior author of a study published in Nature this month that looked at breathing, viral shedding and masks. “Running is good for health,” he says, “and transmission risk should be minimal, both for others, if a runner were infected, or for the runner, if they passed by infected people.”

Even so, most of us probably should cover our faces while we exercise outside. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone now wear a mask of some kind when they leave home, and some municipalities require a facial covering if you are outside. Masks also could reassure people with whom you share paths or sidewalks while running and who, in my experience, have started to shy away when we runners pant by.

Does wearing a mask make it harder to run or cycle?

It might, says Bryanne Bellovary, a doctoral student researching exercise in extreme environments at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. She has studied the effects in athletes of wearing specialized masks that restrict airflow and simulate altitude training.

“People exercising with a face mask may feel some resistance to breathing, depending on the thickness of the mask material,” she says.

Thijs Eijsvogels, an assistant professor at Radboud University in the Netherlands who studies heat regulation and breathing in athletes, agrees. “If the mouth and nose are fully covered,” he says, “there may be some limitation to the intake of air, which may raise discomfort and attenuate your running performance.”

Masks also “become quickly wet” and wadded as we huff into them heavily while exercising and the moisture in our breath collects there, says Dr. Louis-Philippe Boulet, a professor of cardiology and pulmonology at Laval University in Quebec City, who has studied asthma in athletes. Drawing in breaths through damp cloth tends to feel more strenuous than when it is dry. Worse, he says, wet masks “lose antimicrobial efficiency.”

And then there is the oozing. “Exercising in a face mask will create a warm and humid microclimate around your face” as the mask traps your exhaled breaths, says Dr. Grant Lipman, a clinical professor of emergency medicine at Stanford University who studies extreme athletes and wilderness medicine. In effect, the mask turns the bottom half of your face into a “mini-sauna,” he says, leading to a buildup of sweat under the mask and a related rise in nasal secretions.

The result can feel “unpleasant,” he says, if, like so many of us, “you find the sensation of mucus pouring down your face to be unpleasant.” When he and his colleagues studied the effects of wearing a facial covering at night to make breathing more difficult and feign being at altitude, almost half of the participants reported that they could barely sleep because of the “copious nasal secretions” produced under their masks, he says.

Taken as a whole, research and experience show that “running with a mask is clearly different compared to running without a mask,” Dr. Eijsvogels says.

Will my glasses fog up?

Probably, says Morten Hostrup, an associate professor of physiology at the University of Copenhagen. “It depends on the size of the mask, the intensity of the breathing, and the size of the glasses,” he says.

Facial coverings that are loose around the nose, allowing warm, wet air to flow upward, will probably cause the most fogging, especially if your glasses sport large lenses and frames that rest snugly against your cheeks. You might be able to reduce any misting by washing the lenses with soapy water before slipping on your mask, according to an advisory for bespectacled surgeons that was published in 2011 in the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons.

So, what kind of face covering is best for outdoor exercise?

That choice ultimately requires a difficult balancing of concerns about infection control and discomfort, the experts say.

For the greatest comfort during strenuous exercise, Dr. Lipman says, you might consider a buff, a type of tubular facial covering that doubles as a headband or neck gaiter and can be stretched over the nose and mouth. Buffs often are made from thin, synthetic fabrics designed to reduce heat buildup and, since they are open at the bottom, promote more airflow than standard surgical masks.

But, because of that open, let-in-the-air design, they also present less of a barrier to the outflow or influx of germs than surgical masks or their homemade equivalent.

Surgical masks, meanwhile, may block microbes more effectively. But they are hot and “get wet quickly” during workouts. Dr. Boulet says, which could tempt people to pull them down, undermining any anti-viral benefits.

So, in the end, you may need to consult your judgment and conscience and perhaps try a few different types of masks and fabrics. Whatever choice you land on, though, maintain your distance. “The most important precaution is social distancing,” Dr. Boulet says. Stay at least six feet away from anyone you pass. And disinfect your hands and your mask when you get home.




Parks, Vigorous Exercise, More

Parks And Physical Distancing
Vigorous Exercise And Covid
Two More Deaths
Columbia Neighborhood
Subject: Liam’s Birthday Parade
Lost Cat Is Home
Found Keys Are Home
Fl!p’s Pix For Music
Wonderful New Song
Miles & Karina
Editor’s Corner
Some Folks Won’t Get Checks

From Millie Johnson, an except about local parks use from the Unified Command: “I know our Communications Team had meetings this week to talk about how to discourage the gathering of folks in parks to keep to the social distancing orders.  Many parts of the parks have been closed to make them less appealing to folks, but we know how nice weather brings people out. I think there is an effort to try and do as much prevention of folks gathering in parks as possible.  In some parks law enforcement has been working to close the roads, but I think right now that focus has been on Clarks Point and Birch bay area where there was already some congregating.”

It looks like exercise that makes you sweat and breathe hard spreads lots more virus. Six feet is nowhere near enough distance during such exercise, which also leaves droplets hanging in the air in the slip stream of hard pumping runners and cyclists. Please use the middle of our nice empty roads for exercising hard. And if you’re walking, stay away from where the hard runners have just passed by.

Bringing the Whatcom County total to 23. Please keep staying home.


Tomorrow Saturday
April 11th @4pm
2602 Park St Bellingham Wa

Hi 4th Grade Families!!
We would like to invite you all to help us shout out birthday wishes to Liam for his 10th birthday with a drive-by birthday parade. Short stops but please stay in your vehicles:) THE MORE CARS, THE BETTER!!!! We have made a Covid-19 cell piñata that Liam will be batting at on our lawn! Making the best of these weird times:) Please join us for a quick drive by. Honks are welcomed!!! Please use W Connecticut St to make a turn on Park St to keep traffic flowing in the same direction. Hope to see you there, Tricia and Ryan Ferry

Thanks Everyone!

Thanks everyone else!

I have music buddies posting videos of songs for these times. These two are really different from one another, and both really sweet.

Gorgeous new song, as of yesterday, from the inimitable Susan Ellenton of Victoria BC. So tender, yet so uncompromising.

Friends from Seattle singing cappella beautifully.


Some of our neighbors in Whatcom County pay taxes but will get no stimulus check. The people who work the fields to raise and harvest  the food we eat are often among them. Around here, many hundreds are out of work till the strawberries are ready for harvest. I heard about a national campaign inviting people who can afford it, to donate part of their stimulus check to help those families. I thought I’d like to donate to local families, so I checked around for an organization that knows the local farmworker families personally. Here is where I will donate: Community to Community. You’re welcome to join me.

Make checks payable to Community to Community or C2C and mail to – 203 W. Holly, Suite 311, Bellingham, WA  98225 or go to  and use the PayPal donation button – but there will be a % taken from the amount you donate.


End Of Life Planning, Vacuum Bags, Rent Resources, Lost Black Cat, More

End Of Life Planning
Vacuum Cleaner Bag Danger
If You Can’t Pay Rent
Columbia Neighborhood
Lost Black Cat
Seeking Bamboo
Fl!p’s Pix For Music
Zoom Security And Audio Settings Link


I left out the link in the last post on Dr. Bill Lombard’s Realities Of Advanced Medical Interventions Video:


Contact Hoover. I spoke with them on Monday and was told that ALL of their bags and filters contain fiberglass particles and are not made for human use. I know therE are tutorials that suggest the HEPA filter but they also have fiberglass. ~ Terry Savadge




Our black cat wandered out an open door last night and didn’t come back. 2500 block of Jaeger Street. He is newly adopted and might have a hard time finding home. He’s kind of shy, but likes tummy rubs. His name is Rob Roy. I could email you a photo. If anyone sees him, please contact Khya Rice – 206.214.7056.


Looking for bamboo

I’m looking for a couple of clumps of bamboo to add to my garden in large pots. Does anyone have some that they are willing to share? Also looking for hosta and ferns, if there are any being dug up. Thanks! ~ Colleen Burrows,



Now you can download this directly. Thank you Marc Hoffman!


Food Bank Deliveries, Twentieth Death, Passover Greetings, More.

Food Bank Deliveries
Twentieth Death
Passover Greetings
Toilet Paper Explained
Columbia Neighborhood
Over 300 Masks
Fl!p’s Pix For Music
RIP John Prine


Whatcom Unified Command organizes food bank deliveries for homebound high-risk individuals and families

Bellingham, WA — Food bank home delivery is now available for individuals and families who can not afford to purchase food, and are unable to access food bank pick up sites. This program is a partnership between Whatcom Unified Command, the Opportunity Council and The Volunteer Center of Whatcom County.

To qualify, individuals and households must be unable to access food bank pick up sites due to a lack of transportation or be in a high-risk category. Based upon Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, high-risk categories include:

  • People aged 65 or older.
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
  • People who are pregnant should be monitored as they can be at increased risk for severe viral illness.
  • People with high-risk conditions, such as:
    • Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma.
    • Serious heart conditions.
    • Any age group with severe obesity (body mass index >40), or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease.
    • Weakened immune system due to a variety of conditions including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications.

To apply for the food bank home delivery program, complete the food bank home delivery online form or call (360) 255-0465. Online requests must be completed by 12:00 pm (noon) on Wednesday in order to be processed in time for a Friday delivery. Requests made after noon on Wednesday will be delivered on Friday of the following week

Additional food bank resources are available on the Whatcom Asset Building Coalition Website.

Families and individuals do not have equal access to food resources in our community. This puts some people at higher risk of getting sick. This program aims to support individuals and families who need it during this time. This program is not intended to replace grocery store purchases for those who can afford to buy groceries. Individuals and families who are able to purchase groceries but are concerned about visiting grocery stores in person due to high health risks are encouraged to contact local grocery stores to ask about delivery or pick up options, or check in with friends, families or other neighbors about how to get support.



We grieve with the families left behind. Staying at home is working. Please don’t stop. Care for one another.


Chag Pesach Sameach to all who celebrate. I’ve been cooking for days, and so many people have generously shared with me. When I found this point & counterpoint, it made me laugh, but it also comforted my heart. What we do to care for one another is sacred.

Point: If you’re not eating matzoh this week, you’re not keeping kosher for Passover.

Counterpoint: Actually, the principle of pikuach nefresh, the saving of a life, means that it’s acceptable to eat chametz (leavened bread) this week to avoid going to the grocery store.

Superpoint: Actually, anything you scrounge together from odds and ends while huddled in your home, consumed by the knowledge that remaining indoors is the only way to prevent plague from wreaking deaths in your community, is about a million times more kosher for Passover than anything you’ve ever eaten in your whole life!


With some 75% of the U.S. population under stay-at-home orders, Americans are no longer using the restrooms at their workplace, in schools, at restaurants, at hotels, or in airports. The commercial stuff is a different product that often comes from different mills. Plus people are shopping far less frequently. And more…



Our neighborhood has now donated over 300 masks for first responders, plus goggles, face shields and more. A volunteer picked up my old sewing machine and a serger today. Another volunteer will tune them up, and more folks will use them to make PPE. Thanks everybody!



He sure left behind some beautiful music.

Boil Some Water


Boil Some Water
Volunteer Center
Food Bank Needs Donations
How To Deliver Get Well Cards
Everybody Mask Up
Mask Maintenance
Getting Comfortable With Not Knowing
Mask Re-Use
Talk With Your Family
What Ventilators Can & Can’t Do
Hospital Controversy
Columbia Neighborhood
Mallard Ice Cream!
Found Keys


From Betsy Brown, MD, April 6, 2020

In many older movies, we often hear the directive “boil some water” when a character goes into labor. What do they do with all that water? I am a doctor and I don’t even know. But I do know that everyone wants to help, but often they don’t know what to do. Jamie thinks that is why they are told to boil water. It gives them a job when other wise they feel pretty helpless. And that is the state a lot of us are in right now. We want to help, but for many reasons just aren’t able to feel we can.

But we can help and we are helping. Just today UW’s IHME says COVID-19 in Washington has passed its peak. Amazing, just a few weeks ago we were expected to be in the middle of an overwhelming surge of hospitalized patients with excess deaths and not enough ventilators. And now this data analysis says we are passed the peak. Our governor sent back an extra 400 ventilators because we don’t need them. This is proof that our (your) hand washing, staying at home, and physical distancing is working. Make no mistake, we can’t let up yet, but pat yourself on the back (since no-one else can). It is working in other states too. The projected number of deaths has fallen for the country as whole. Still heartbreaking situations in New York, Detroit, and New Orleans, but there are slivers of hope they are near their peak as well.

But we all need to understand that if we ease up to early, we will have a rebound. There is good article in the New York Times about when to know when it is safe to re-open the nation. Part of that will be when we can actually do more testing for SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, which is slowly being realized.

This is hopeful news and can help us all stay sensible, since we are in it for the long haul. We will all ultimately be affected by this, we will have dear friends or family with the illness that may not survive, many of us are suffering loneliness, and others the fear of losing their income, and more. But make no mistake, your behavior and sacrifice has made a difference.

And you can keep helping. Just today Governor Inslee cancelled all Washington Public Schools for the rest of the year. There will be families that will need emotional, social, and financial support. Find ways to help them. Donate time or money. There are so many people who have lost their jobs and are scared and lonely. If you know anyone that might possibly be there, reach out. If you can spare money or time find ways to help. There are lots of options. Nothing is too small. Sharing a laugh, a photo, a funny cat video will all make a difference.

The thing for me through all of this, despite the weariness of poor leadership and failed policies, is that so many people have been helping and looking for that job to do that can make a difference. They are boiling water and sharing stories, music, ideas, a laugh. Keep it up.

And don’t forget to keep washing 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


The Volunteer Center would love your help. Opportunities are listed on their website:


Bellingham Food Bank is seeking specific items to support drive-up food distribution efforts. The following items will be accepted at the Bellingham Food Bank warehouse location:

  • Canned food preferred
  • Peanut butter/other nut butters
  • Dry beans, rice, and pasta: under 2 lb containers

Please, no glass containers or oversized containers. No perishables without appointment. There is a donation bin at 1824 Ellis Street, open weekdays 10-4. Donate on-line at


One big envelope should go in the mail with all of them. Fewer non-essential trips, fewer things for the postal workers and the hospital to handle. I’m guessing that the cards will get to sit for a day or three to be sure nothing can be transmitted.

From Louise Bjornson: Get Well Cards for patients in Isolation can be sent to: Administration, St Joseph Hospital, 2901 Squalicum Parkway, Bellingham. WA. 98225

From Gillian Brightwater: Some of my neighbors & I sent “It must be really hard-you’re not alone-we’re feeling the stress too-thinking of you” cards to residents of Shuksan Healthcare & Rosewood Villa nursing homes. Nursing homes are where people are most often dying. One Shuksan nurse said the cards really helped. Rosewood has the least inside activities as it takes Medicaid elders. A WWU intern told me this while saying they really need stimulation more than most nursing homes.

Rosewood Villa, 702 32nd St B’ham 98225

Shuksan Healthcare, 1530 James St  B’ham 98225


From Ross Osborne: A plain cloth mask, a bandana, anything, works to stop exhaled droplets from traveling. The supposed “best” thing, the N 95 mask has an exhalation valve, which Stops Absolutely Nothing that the person wearing the mask is exhaling. Let’s all try to get this idea out there in a big way: I Protect You; You Protect Me. We are talking about a 180 degree shift in thinking – from “I’ll only protect myself” (or worse, I’m tough, I won’t get sick, I don’t need no sissy mask) to “I’ll do what I can to make sure others are safe.” I was in the hardware store this morning, with my cloth mask on, and a few people were wearing masks. Some were store-bought and some were the homemade cloth kind. But aside from only two men, all the mask wearers were either employees in the store, or women. The majority of people in the store, of course were men, and only two of them had masks on and all the rest did not. They were not keeping a 6-foot distance, they were all talking to each other as if they couldn’t care less that there’s a virus going around. Is it just a macho thing? Do they just not want to look like a pussy with a mask? Some of them certainly have families. The countries where the masks are working, are ones that mandate people wearing them when they are out. It works because everyone does it. I protect you; you protect me. We can do this.


[Two disagreeing experts agree on something. Click on the link above for the whole story.] “Cowling and Martin agree that if Americans start wearing masks, it’s vitally important that they are explicitly taught how to use them. We’ve gotten some helpful suggestions for how to make simple, cheap masks at home, which is crucial if we want to avoid encouraging people to snap up N95 masks that health care workers need.”

“But Cowling and Martin say Americans also need detailed information on how to make and wear masks in a way that maximizes the benefit to them and minimizes the risk. That’s going to require videos, advertisements and an all-out push to teach and change behavior, they both said. Until that exists, Martin’s advice is to imagine that, every time you use a mask, there’s something really disgusting that’s gotten on it and that it’s plainly visible. “If you could see it, and it was gross, what would you do? You wouldn’t touch it. You wouldn’t wear it again. You’d wash it in the hottest water you can with strong detergent. Some of that can help,” she said. “


[From the same article, but key advice.]

“Ultimately, the expert advice on masks (and hand-washing, and death tolls, and the proper distance to keep between yourself and others, and … and … and) is to get comfortable with not knowing the right answer. You can (and should) have some trusted advisors. You can (and should) read up on why certain things are or aren’t being recommended. But there are a lot of issues around this virus on which two experts can read the same data and come to different conclusions. For the rest of us, that means accepting that, sometimes, we’ll just have to do the best we can without a clear set of instructions. “That’s one of the best gifts we can give ourselves,” Martin said.”

There are things Ventilators can do, and things they can’t. Right now the use of ventilators is being discussed widely in the medical community. We’re learning more, and advice will continue to change.


For all you people trying to re-use N95 masks, here’s a deep dive into best practices. First and foremost, leave them for hospital workers! If you already have a used one, do this: It looks like owning at least 3, hanging them somewhere dry, and rotating them so the virus has time to die, is this group’s first choice. Hospitals have more options. There is no re-use strategy approved by the manufacturer. 


Don’t make your family decide for you without your input. Talk now about end of life issues. Please have The Conversation with the people who love you most, now. Better you should decide for yourself.


I requested further information on ventilators, specifically, What percentage of people put on ventilators for Covid are able to go home and take care of themselves afterwards? Is there a relationship to age in those numbers. I haven’t found answers so far, but here’s what I got as of this afternoon, from Dr Lombard, who teaches the Realities Of Advanced Medical Interventions so we can make informed choices for ourselves.

Ventilators are usually removed when the patient is able to breath on their own again. This is assessed daily by what is called a weaning trial, whereby the ventilator is still  connected but does not provide extra help with respiration; if they are able to maintain good oxygenation and ventilation, they are extubated (the endotracheal tube is removed). If not yet “weanable,” they try again the next day and make any changes in their therapy that might help. Patients are also removed from the ventilator when it is evident, day-over-day, that they are deteriorating, will likely not improve and thereby are made comfortable. The focus becomes comfort care.

Patients on ventilators are often delirious due to the severity of the illness causing the respiratory failure but also because most patients on ventilators require IV medications for sedation and even paralysis in order to receive adequate ventilatory support. 

The ability for someone to ultimately discharge home and care for themselves is very much dependent on the disease causing the need for ventilation and how long they are on the ventilator. For example, if I had a heart attack and developed fluid in my lungs that was severe enough to require a ventilator, but received prompt treatment I might be extubated the following day. In the case of COVID19 disease, most people are on ventilators for 1-3 weeks and the majority, 65-95% do not survive. 

Usually by the time a patient has a tracheotomy they have been in the ICU for 7-14 days. At some point, assuming they continue to improve, they will move out of the ICU and onto a medical/surgical floor. When they are stable there and ready to be discharged most will require rehab or skilled nursing care to hopefully continue their improvement. There are no skilled nursing facilities or rehab units outside of the Seattle area that will accept patients with tracheotomies. This is because they require a higher level of skill and training, for which they do not staff here [in Bellingham].


Here are two updates on the situation at St. Joe’s.



Mallard is making pints (and tubs) available for online orders. They’ve got lots of flavors. And Richie just emailed me to say he just made a special batch of Halvah ice cream pints for Passover! Hooray!!! Please tell everybody local that you know who celebrates Passover. You can order and arrange pickup here:


Found keys on the corner of Indiana and Kulshan. Please inquire at 2929 Kulshan Street. Thank you!  Rene Cruz


Cuomo, Masks Again, End Of Life Care, More


    Cuomo Daily Briefing

    Donate All N95 Masks To Healthcare Workers

    More On Making Masks

    Healthcare Data Projections

    End Of Life Care

    Bellingham Futures Market Directory

    Get Well Letters

  Columbia Neighborhood

    Soccer Goals


I found another trusted source. Thanks to all the people who alerted me to this. I just watched New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily briefing (30 minutes). I think I will watch him daily from now on. He has a big picture, is very reassuring, and tells hard truths without beating around the bush.

Just when I thought I was done with  masks for the moment, two more:


The life you save may ultimately be your own. I will be delighted to continue helping you get any N95 or surgical masks you have into the hands of the workers who absolutely need them. So far, in the last week our neighborhood has dug out and donated over 250 to healthcare workers. But if you have a used one that you have pressed into service, and it has a valve, seal that valve from the inside so you don’t infect the people around you. They blow virus like putting your thumb over the end of a garden hose. And if you work in a healthcare setting, and are being issued valved masks, please alert your supervisors to the problem. Thank you! ~Fl!p


45 Second Covid-19 masks from Surgeon General

CDC shows you how to make a face mask in 45 seconds. It’s lo-tech and uses stuff you have at home. Read in Mashable: 


A fellow healthcare worker alerted me to this great resource site for covid info, both by country and by state. It was compiled by the UW institute fo health metrics and education. Simple visuals and straightforward.  ~ Jessica Burchiel, Henry St


As Covid-19 spreads across the country, physicians and nurses are pleading with the general public to complete their healthcare advance directive. Why?

Because, these medical directives about end-of-life care can help from overwhelming hospitals in the coming weeks and months, whether for Covid-19 or some other illness. With the clear prospect that intensive care unit beds could be in short supply, it is critically important that physicians know what every patient’s wishes are for their EoL care before they face a medical emergency. Not only are ICU beds and ventilators already in short supply in various cities, but protective gear for providers is too.

Did you ever think that if your loved one was admitted to hospital or require emergency room care, you would be barred from visiting? Well, that’s one of the current realities because of infection concerns. What if your mom, dad, husband, wife, son, or daughter was admitted to the hospital in critical condition and you couldn’t have that all-important conversation about their care wishes?  Have the conversations before that scenario. Document your discussions. No one is immune. This is a shared responsibility.

Our volunteer team stands ready to help even though we can’t do it at our in-person events. We know you are being bombarded with coronavirus information, but please take a look at these links, then reach out to us and we’ll do our best to address your questions.




After reviewing this info, if you need clarification on an aspect of a medical intervention before you tackle completing your Advance Directive, email and she will contact Dr. Lombard, who has agreed to clarify wherever possible. Please DO NOT ask for personal medical advice.


From Alan McConchie: Here’s a new directory for local businesses that are offering gift cards, online purchasing of merchandise, or special pick up/delivery options. It just launched yesterday so it doesn’t have a lot of listings yet, but everyone can submit content to help fill it out. If you see a business that’s missing from the database, please add it!


Here’s how kids can help in this crazy time. I just spoke with a nurse. The Covid19 patients in the hospital are in isolation with no visitors. Children making and sending Get Well cards to these patients would be so very much appreciated. It would help brighten their day. ~ Louise Bjornson



FREE soccer goals (2) set out on the corner of West and Washington ~ Katrina Lyon, Eldridge Ave