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.

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.