10am — Lots of info/tips/suggestions:
1. As a photographer, a friend’s business is shutdown. Luckily, her husband’s job is solid, so they’re not in trouble. She is offering a free online photography class next week for people in the community. I love the idea of freely sharing skills in this crisis.
2. On the town Facebook pages, there’s a lot of confusion about whether or not people are allowed to walk outside, especially since town parks, fields, and tracks are closed. Getting outside for a walk is extremely important…
It’s best to have a super strong immune system BEFORE we get sick. So, we should be quitting smoking, hiking, running, eating well. More than ever, we should be outside walking.
A daily walk is essential for one’s mental health and surviving social isolation. On my walk yesterday, I saw some neighbors and waved, but they were on the other side of the street. Too far away to spread infection, but close enough for a smile and a wave.
Once we get sick, which will happen, lots of evidence shows that sunlight and fresh air helps.
3. An extremely generous and kind and awesome friend texted me yesterday to see if she could donate $$ to the church food pantry that my dad runs. It feeds 800 families per week, btw. There’s food insecurity everywhere. Here’s what I will tell her:
Wait. The states are passing a bunch of legislation that will deal with food insecurity immediately – millions for food pantries, added SNAP benefits, extended school free lunch programs. Besides dad’s food pantry is run with 80-year volunteers. It might have to shut down. I won’t let my dad go there now.
So, let’s wait to see where the biggest needs are in the coming weeks. It might be food delivery to old age homes. It might be running the food pantries. Money might be need more somewhere else. Pay attention to local social media for alerts for help.
4. Here’s a big need: online mental health support for students who are having huge spikes in anxiety. Young people went into this crisis with pretty crappy anxiety levels. They’re totally losing it right now.
Schools need to immediately learn how to use video conferencing software, like WebEx and Zoom. Like right now. Higher ed profs are using it, but not so much with K-12 teachers. These students need live, online, video mental health conferences with school social workers and psychiatrists.
If we’re going to triage the problem, help should go first to students with diagnosed issues — general anxiety/depression, autism, etc… This help is needed much more than another math worksheet.