COVID-19 Special Edition
Contact all Federal Members of Congress
(includes contact info and links to social media)
Fax legislators for free:
Or use Resistbot: https://resist.bot/
Or use StampsLicked to have messages hand-delivered to our own legislators: https://stampslicked.org/
White House contact: https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/white-house
RESPONSIBLE COVID-19 LEGISLATION: “House Democrats have introduced a multi-billion dollar bill that includes free coronavirus testing and paid emergency leave to help those worst affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. Called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), the package was introduced Wednesday and includes free testing for anyone in need, paid sick leave and enhanced unemployment insurance.” https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2020/03/12/House-Democrats-unveil-multi-billion-dollar-COVID-19-bill/3271583995186/ However, House Republicans are balking and want to include some Trump items, too. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/12/coronavirus-house-republicans-come-out-against-bill-ahead-of-vote.html The Senate has cancelled their home work week and will stay in Washington, but Mitch McConnell has already indicated the bill will get no action in its current form in the Senate. https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2020-03-12/us-senate-republican-leader-blasts-houses-coronavirus-bill Let’s contact all our MoCs to tell them that the nation needs them to step up and create a plan to help all Americans.
THE U.S. *HAD* A CORONAVIRUS TEST: The Seattle Flu Study had a coronavirus test and was using it in February. The federal government shut it down. Dr. Helen Chu defied the order and continued testing. Thanks to her, Washington state was ahead of the game. We all could have been. https://mynorthwest.com/1758762/coronavirus-washington-seattle-flu-study/ Let’s thank Dr. Chu for her work and her persistence: https://epi.washington.edu/faculty/chu-helen
CDC AUTHORIZES NO-COST CORONAVIRUS TESTING: During questioning at a House hearing, Rep. Katie Porter pressed Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to agree that all Americans can be tested for Coronavirus regardless of insurance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKvCAR0Akro Let’s thank Rep. Porter for her persistence: https://porter.house.gov/contact/ (scroll down for addresses)
WHY NBA? The NBA has cancelled the rest of its season. A couple of Utah Jazz players tested positive for COVID-19. While this is unfortunate, “One of the big questions that remains is how the team was able to get access to COVID-19 tests so quickly when so many hospitals, clinics and health agencies haven’t been able to get tests to help people in their own communities.” https://ftw.usatoday.com/2020/03/coronavirus-testing-kits-utah-jazz-rudy-gobert-nba-season-postponed “. . . testing in the US lags far behind that in other countries, due to a combination of technical and policy issues, as well as political pressure.” https://time.com/5801790/coronavirus-testing-us/ Let’s make sure that all our MoCs know that no one of us is more worthy than another for this test and that changes need to be made to assure we get up to speed on this and be much better prepared in the future.
SCHOOL LUNCH IN THE TIME OF COVID-19—Low-income, food-insecure students who receive free and reduced-price school meals will be severely impacted as schools close due to the coronavirus emergency. This blog post from the Union of Concerned Scientists describes the problem. https://blog.ucsusa.org/karen-perry-stillerman/lunch-in-the-time-of-covid-19-what-schools-need-now-to-ensure-kids-dont-go-hungry-during-a-pandemic Let’s read it, and then let’s tell our Members of Congress, our Governors, and our State legislators to work on guaranteeing that our students do not go hungry.
LOCAL ACTION RE: COVID-19: The President’s address about COVID-19 left more concern in its wake: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/11/donald-trump-us-coronavirus-address It is clear that we are not going to have national leadership during this crisis. Now is the time for us to be engaging with school, town, city, and state leaders to encourage greater proactivity towards social distancing before that tool no longer holds its strength for us. As Dan Rather said on Twitter, “One of the conundrums of public health is the very same action that might seem like a drastic overreaction early in a crisis could end up being woefully inadequate if you wait too long.” Let’s be in touch with our local leaders to implore for courage.
SCAMMERS USING COVID TO GET YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION: If you didn’t have enough to worry about with the new coronavirus, here’s one more thing: Scammers are using the outbreak to steal your information through phishing attempts or to lure you into downloading a different kind of virus. https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/3/5/21164745/coronavirus-phishing-email-scams. Let’s read this article to get tips on how to make sure a scammer doesn’t get our information.
IF TRAVELING OVERSEAS, ENROLL in STEP, (SMART TRAVELERS ENROLLMENT PROGRAM) US DEPT OF STATE: “The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.” The state department can keep us informed. We can learn more and sign up here: https://step.state.gov/step/
CORONAVIRUS TESTING FROM ANYWHERE OFFERED FROM U OF WASHINGTON: A shortage of available tests is making this pandemic much worse, but there is some help available for the University of Washington Virology Department. Licensed medical practitioners from anywhere in the US can now order #SARSCoV2 #CoronavirusUSA testing from @UWVirology. They continue to add capacity and claim they can test hundreds more people daily. We can find test and ordering info here:
EXPLAIN CORONAVIRUS FACTS TO KIDS WITH NPR COMIC BOOK: Children are overhearing worried adult conversations, news bulletins, in addition to fear-based rumors from each other. NPR makes it easier for us to calmly discuss what is going on with them with this well researched, informative and accessible Comic on Coronavirus for kids. It explains the basics, kids only get mild cases, wash your hands, don’t believe child spread rumors, in simple, cheerful terms. We can check out NPR’s Just for Kids Coronavirus Comic, then share with kids and friends on social media too: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/28/809580453/just-for-kids-a-comic-exploring-the-new-coronavirus
STAY SAFE WHILE GROCERY SHOPPING: From googling to find our stores least busy hours, staying at least 6 feet away from other people, to cleaning up before, during and after, there are many ways we can protect ourselves from the Coronavirus while shopping for groceries. We can check out this Consumer Reports article for steps to staying safe while grocery shopping:
STAY INFORMED WITH FREE ACCESS TO NEW YORK TIMES COVID-19 NEWS: The New York Times is now offering free access to Coronavirus coverage. We can click this link to stay up to date on Coronavirus news and information from the New York Times for free: https://www.nytimes.com/news-event/coronavirus?
CHECK OUT THE USEFULNESS OF SUPPLEMENTS TO FIGHT CORONAVIRUS:
Consumer Labs rigorously tests supplements to see if they are what they claim to be and can do what they claim to do. We can check out their assessments of some popular Coronavirus related remedies like zinc, vitamin C, and elderberry: https://www.consumerlab.com/m/answers/do-natural-remedies-or-supplements-prevent-coronavirus/natural-remedies-coronavirus/
FROM THE CDC: HOW TO KEEP OUR HOMES CLEAN AND DISINFECTED: While the bad news is that the Coronavirus can live on surfaces and packages, the good news is that it is fairly easy to kill with alcohol-based cleaners and diluted hydrogen peroxide. MIT researchers tell us, “In a February review of what’s already known about this type of virus, German researchers said that within a minute of cleaning a surface, a million viral particles can be reduced to 100, likely reducing the risk of infection.“ https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615348/heres-how-long-the-coronavirus-can-stay-in-the-air-and-on-packages/ We can find thorough information on keeping our homes clean and disinfected from the CDC here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/cleaning-disinfection.html CDC also has a list of cleaning products that are allowed to say they can be used against the virus: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-03/documents/sars-cov-2-list_03-03-2020.pdf
CURBSIDE TESTING: Minnesota, along with a growing number of places, is offering curbside testing. Let’s contact our local officials and ask that they set up curbside testing as soon as possible.
WAYS TO HELP ITALY: Italy is suffering greatly from this pandemic. Here are some ways we can reach out and help the Italian people: https://docs.google.com/document/d/14zy8SmZXJE6Cc7ixP7n5X2yQfiPIyf-lIYO7OGXEHj4
CLEANING CELL PHONES: As we probably have guessed, our cell phones are germ carriers, too. https://www.statefoodsafety.com/Resources/Resources/the-dirty-cell-phone-25-127-bacteria-per-square-inch Let’s use our phone speaker when we can and keep our phones clean too: https://www.androidcentral.com/how-clean-and-disinfect-your-android-smartphone, https://gizmodo.com/apple-says-its-a-ok-to-use-clorox-wipes-on-your-iphone-1842216982
HOW TO USE TIME AT HOME TO RESIST: Some of us will be staying home more. We need to stock our pantries: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/staying-home-due-coronavirus-here-s-what-stock-your-fridge-ncna1155791 Then, let’s find creative ways to be at home. Let’s play with the kids, read some books, try some new recipes, but let’s also use some of our time to do the actions in Rogan’s List and to send emails to our MoCs. We need policies to help those who live paycheck-to-paycheck, safety for our health care workers, and COVID-19 mobile testing sites in every city
Pandemic, COVID-19 and all the coronavirus terms you need to know - https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/05/us/coronavirus-definitions-terms-glossary-trnd/index.html
Worried about coronavirus? If your loved one is over 60, read this - https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/12/health/what-60-older-need-to-know-coronavirus-wellness-trnd/index.html
How to self-quarantine during coronavirus outbreak - https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-how-to-self-quarantine.html
Young and Unafraid of the Coronavirus Pandemic? Good for You. Now Stop Killing People - https://www.newsweek.com/young-unafraid-coronavirus-pandemic-good-you-now-stop-killing-people-opinion-1491797
Coronavirus will bankrupt more people than it kills — and that's the real global emergency - https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/coronavirus-deaths-trump-stock-market-pandemic-economy-bankrupt-italy-a9394891.html
Flatten the Curve - https://www.flattenthecurve.com/
Here’s how coronavirus spreads on a plane—and the safest place to sit - https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/01/how-coronavirus-spreads-on-a-plane/
We can stay up to date on Congress by checking out their schedules. a) The House publishes a weekly schedule at The Weekly Leader (published and dated Friday) as well as daily schedules at The Daily Leader. b) The Senate updates their schedule daily at the Senate Floor Schedule