As we settle into our "new normal," I wanted to check in with you to make sure you are doing well, and to see if you need anything from me.
If you need help, can provide help, or want to share your thoughts, you can do so using this
As you may know, a new hotline allows you to
to learn about:
1) COVID-19 prevention, symptoms, and treatment
2) Testing information
3) Guidance for people planning or returning from travel
Massachusetts 2-1-1 is open to callers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
This email has a lot of info. These are unprecedented times, and I am learning right alongside you. I encourage you to stay calm, take reasonable steps to protect yourself and your loved ones, and find ways to stay healthy—both physically and mentally—as the situation evolves.
First and foremost,
I want to encourage everyone who is able to shelter in place to stay home
! The biggest threat is how contagious the virus is: each infected person transmits it to three people on average. You may have heard we need to "flatten the curve," which means
slowing the spread
so that our hospitals aren't inundated with patients at a rate they cannot handle. The best way to do this is to stay home if you are able.
While the federal government was initially slow to respond, we can all do our part
to help. People who are still working include the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff who are stepping up to this challenge in a big way. Others helping to keep life moving are our trash collectors, grocery store workers, parcel delivery folks, utility company employees, and last but not least our brave first responders, among others, who are helping the rest of us stay home safely. Thank you to all of you who are helping keep life as normal as it can be.
Second, while we "socially distance," keeping away from each other physically, it is important that we
not socially isolate
. In that vein, I am going to pass on a challenge issued to us by Lexington Select Board Member Suzie Barry:
Call and check in on ten friends, family members, and neighbors a day. Ask them how they're doing and if they need anything while we wait out this crisis. Even though we cannot physically be together, technology allows us the next best thing. Thank you, Suzie, for recognizing how important it is that we stay connected and keep our spirits up!
Below are various links to resources, which you can also find on
. Try not to get overwhelmed or frustrated
—if you can't find something you're looking for, just ask, and I will help as best I can.
Small Business Assistance
Massachusetts COVID-19 Response
- Woburn Public Schools is offering free, grab-and-go bagged breakfast and lunch to ANY student in need
- Pre-K through grade 12 students can go to the Altavesta Elementary School or Woburn Memorial High School on Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 AM to 1 PM during the entire period of school closure. Both meals can be picked up at once.
- Lexington Public Schools is offering free meals to children ages 1 – 18 during the school closing as a result of the Covid-19 virus.
- The packaged meals will be available at Lexington High School, 251 Waltham St, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Free meals will be served weekdays until school resumes.
Practice Gratitude, Keep Yourself Entertained
As you find yourself stuck at home, it is important to establish a daily routine, keep your spirits up, and make a new "normal." Some suggestions and ideas:
- Start and end each day with mindfulness around what you're grateful for
- Plant a garden
- As the weather warms, springtime is the perfect season to turn a sunny corner of your yard into your own source of fresh produce that you don't even need to leave your house for!
- Find a good new recipe and cook something delicious
- Take up knitting and make a neighbor something special
- Mail letters to friends and family
- Read that book you haven't quite gotten to yet
- Repot your houseplants
Keep Yourself Safe
As I mentioned in my previous email, this is not a time for fear, but rather for deliberate care as we all take steps to lessen our risk of spreading disease.
To do so:
1. Wash your hands often with soap and water (20 seconds of scrubbing) or use alcohol-based hand cleaners (cover all surfaces and rub until dry).
2. Cough/sneeze into a tissue (Dispose of used tissues immediately. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not your hands.)
3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, which speeds the spread of infections.
4. Avoid close contact with others who are sick.
5. Stay home if you are sick. (See Attorney General Healey's guidance on sick time in several languages