On Monday, at the now-daily press conference on the coronavirus, President Trump added his sober warning to those of public health officials from around the world to advocate for all individuals to avoid contact where possible with others to help slow the spread of the virus. He’s encouraging all Americans to practice “social distancing”: stay at home, don’t visit restaurants and bars, and avoid gatherings of 10 people or more.
I hope people are paying attention to these recommendations. I have come to understand that it is the moral responsibility of those of us who CAN practice social distancing to DO it, because it helps to protect other people. Simply put, if we stay in and thus avoid the virus, we will keep much needed health care (those hospital beds, those ventilators) available for those who do get sick. We should all act as if we are carrying coronavirus, and do everything in our power not to infect others. This situation is literally life or death. Together we can all help each other rise to the challenge.
This social-distancing business is not easy for an extrovert like me. I thrive on regular face-to-face contact with friends and family and others in my community. I am working now to create fulfilling ways to interact while keeping my distance. Meeting by Zoom is becoming my new normal for staff meetings, book group, and morning meditation. Even my weekly yoga class is now stretching together via screens.
We want to be a resource for you in these uncertain and anxious times. RCWMS is creating a number of new avenues to stay connected in hopes of helping to alleviate some of the isolation many of us may be feeling:
- Weekly Zoom Chat with some of our staff, such as Jeanette–we’ll start and end with a few minutes of silence, take questions, and offer wisdom on how to stay grounded.
- A Facebook group, called “RCWMS Community” to talk about our experiences and share resources
- Other Programs via Zoom. A writing workshop? An art class? Send suggestions, please.
Here are some resources that may be of use.
- Virtual Doctor Visits – For $20 you can schedule a virtual doctor visit with “Duke Health Anywhere.” You do not need to be a Duke patient or have Duke insurance. Download an app, just sign in directly on the website, or call at (888) 404-1017.
- Duke Covid-19 Hotline: (919) 385-0429, Mon-Fri, 8 am – 5 pm
- UNC Covid-19 Hotline: (888) 850-2684
- UNC Temporary testing sites are set up in the Triangle, but you have to call before you go and you have to have symptoms to be tested: (888) 850-2684.
- North Carolina Covid-19 Hotline: (866) 462-3821. Available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day
- NC DHHS COVID-19 Response
Keep an eye out for ways to be of support to the most vulnerable among us. If you are able, and are looking for ways to make financial contributions, consider the following relief funds:
- Disaster Philanthropy COVID-19 Response Fund
- CDC Foundation
- Durham Public Schools Foundation – helping to feed school children
- Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina
Please, be kind to yourself. We will get through this together.
RCWMS Executive Director
P.S. Thanks for your support and engagement with RCWMS as we do our part to build up our community during this tough time. Click here if you feel moved to pitch in to our efforts.