The onset of the coronavirus has turned many of our lives upside down. We are facing situations that we may have never imagine, and are reworking our daily lives and habits to the new normal. But we each come into this situation from all walks of life and as such are facing varying degrees of challenges. We’ve worked to identify and compile a number of resources available in the midst of this pandemic that are working hard to make sure we all pull through this together.
Most of us are bombarded with information daily about the Coronavirus, it’s symptoms and proper procedures on seeking medical attention. But with all the information out there it's hard to determine who to trust and what information is correct. We like to go directly to the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the national and international health authorities. Both organizations provide up to date guidelines and recommendations on the preventative measures we can be taken to protect ourselves.
What are you supposed to do if you get sick? This is the big question many of us have, especially with varying response levels from Federal, State, and Local agencies across the board. The major unifying response it that if to believe you have contracted the virus is that you want to reduce exposing more people. To understand more about your local community response, it is recommended that you reach out to your local health authority. The National Association of County Health Offices has put together a handy directory of local Health Departments around the country with an interactive map.
In the onslaught of this pandemic, thousands of mutual aid networks have popped-up across the country. In this instance, mutual aid groups are networks of individuals banding together to provide various forms of support for members of their community in need. This can be anything from picking up groceries and running errands, to spiritual support. Many of these groups have formed in local community networks across platforms like Facebook and Google Docs. Mutual Aid Hub has worked to compile many of these groups across the country into an interactive map.
Quarantine and stay at home orders mean many vulnerable community members are stuck at home. With restricted movements and more family members stuck at home, many sources see a rise in domestic violence and abuse.
If you are in danger, please use a safer computer, or call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.
The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) has more information and many resources to help combat domestic violence and protect victims.
Most “Stay at Home” orders have required tons of businesses big and small to close their doors for an indefinite amount of time. This means many of us are facing unemployment and the worry of how we are going to pay the rent or mortgage bill on top of all the other daily expenses. In many places, if you have been economically impacted by the Coronavirus you can reach out directly to your landlord or mortgage provider for a deferment on payments. In most cases, you will have to provide some sort of documentation supporting your economic distress.
There is even more vulnerability within the homeless population. Lack of normal hygiene, sanitary supplies, and shelter away from other leaves this population at risk more so than many others. The National Alliance to End Homelessness has compiled a thorough list of resources, policies, and practices being put in place across the country to protect this population. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has also put together a toolkit on addressing and preventing the spread of the coronavirus within the homeless population.
All the extra free time on our hands only means we have time to consume more media. Media often filled with bad news, more sick people and more deaths. None of this is good for our mental state as we worry about what will happen next. We all need to take a step back and make time for ourselves.
Facing behavioral or mental health issues during this time? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association has put together an informational resource on how to take care of your behavioral health during this unsettling period while facing quarantine and isolation.
If you find yourself truly struggling with your mental health reach out to the Disaster Distress Helpline. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. The hotline is open 24/7 and "provides immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster".
Prepare today the Cascadia way!