Sat 3/28: Here are today’s featured volunteer/donation opportunities!

Photo above includes some of our health care professionals wearing masks made by community volunteers. (Use this pattern only.They now have over 500 of the 3000 they need!

Here’s the list! There’s something for everyone!

Go here of all sorts of volunteer activities to help during this pandemic.

Our health care workers want to say “thanks for the awesome masks and please make more!”

From Amy Towner of the Health Care Foundation for Ventura County – “Your sewn mask donations are going into the hands of healthcare workers at both Ventura County Medical Center and at Santa Paula Hospital as a personal gift to them with the message that their community appreciates and values them.  In a clinical setting, ideally, we want authentic personal protective equipment (PPE). With the national shortage and unavailability, our community (all of you) was not ok with that answer and found a way to help by using their talents at the sewing machine with readily available resources like cotton fabric to create a mask style that has been used for hundreds of years to protect those delivering care to us.  These masks can be washed and sterilized hospital grade laundering and autoclave. Paired with the 3D shields, this duo from the community is great protection compared to no protection in the event PPE runs out. Our healthcare workers feel the time, energy and quality of the finished product. “We can’t buy masks made this well.” “These are incredibly comfortable, with great coverage and encourages me not to touch my face” are just a few comments amongst all the thanks and gratitude.”

If you want to join the mask-making volunteer brigade, go here for fabric specifications, how-to video and downloadable instructions and pattern. The hospital requires this very specific pattern which was designed by a nurse. It has no elastic, which dissolves in autoclaves and causes irritation around ears, and is the required size, shape and strength to last for 5 months. Continue reading “Sat 3/28: Here are today’s featured volunteer/donation opportunities!”

Thur 3/26: Community resource updates!

We’ve added a number of interesting links to our info banner today that we want to highlight! Things are changing FAST and we are updating the top post daily. If you have something that should be shared, contact us here.

Masks/Medical equipment: (here)
Send an email to Amy here if you need a pickup for donations,  or deliver items directly to 765 Saratoga, Ventura.

  • Masks: New instructional video here.
  • Baby Monitors: This has been upgraded to a “NEED!” When we are through this pandemic, we will sterilize them and offer to MediCal patients that deliver and need a monitor for their newborn. Nurses are relieved these are coming in for monitoring patients in overflow rooms. 
  • Temporal infrared thermometers: Temporal infrared thermometers are sold out everywhere.  If anyone has any extras, that is another current need.  We need approximately 20. Crazy to think in America, we can’t get the basics. 
  • All other “Personal Protective Gear”: We are still seeking all PPE, isolation gowns, N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, goggles.”   Continue reading “Thur 3/26: Community resource updates!”

Wed. 3/25: Ventura County volunteers step up! Update on requests for help.

UPDATED 4/01: Total cases: 160.  Active under quarantine: 124. Deaths: 5. Tested: 2,987. (Source: VC Emergency)
New  – Action #14 – Train online to be a volunteer certified nurses aid.

Action #1 – More masks please! They need at least 3000 3500!!

Check here for all updates to mask project pattern and specifications.

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Update 4/02/2020: 2,194 completed masks out of 3500 needed!
Update 3/25/2020: Ventura’s mask-making volunteers have made the New York Times! Check out the bottom paragraphs of this article! Then watch this video of the project from KEYT. Local high school students are also using 3D-printing to create face shields for medical workers. Ventura County is full of awesome people!

Update from Amy Towner, CEO of Health Care Foundation for Ventura County, Inc.:

Our community continues to grow, today 250+ people to help protect and serve our county. Infection control is thrilled with the quality of masks being produced as is administration, doctors and nurses. (We knew all along that we could produce something better than money could buy and made with love to provide additional protection). We now have about 1,769 masks in current stock and we need at least 3,500 and we can do it.”  UPDATE 4/01: 500 additional masks required for drive through clinic personnel. 

  • Send an email to Amy here to volunteer (do this first!) Tell her the following:
    1. Full Name
    2. Cell Phone
    3. Email address
    4. Full residential address
    5. Need/donation
      • “I have fabric/thread supply to donate”
      • “I need need fabric so I can sew”
      • “I can drive for supply/demand”
  • Mask pattern, instructions, fabric specifications and drop-off information are here.

Action #2 – UPDATED 4/01 – Check your garage and storage areas for unused baby monitors and other medical equipment! 

Continue reading “Wed. 3/25: Ventura County volunteers step up! Update on requests for help.”

Tues 3/24: “Cruel and unusual” – Law enforcement and punishment in a pandemic.

Quote by Dr. Ranit Mishori, a professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine and medical adviser to the group Physicians for Human Rights. “

Action #1 – Tell ICE to stop sucking up supplies of surgical masks needed for real emergencies.

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ICE has recently ordered 45,000 N95 surgical masks so that agents can be protected when they round up undocumented people, prior to putting them into jails where they will become vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. Nearly half of immigrants detained by ICE have been accused of no crime other than civil immigration violations, and many probably would not have been held under previous administrations. Rep. Omar stated “Immigration detention facilities, even before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, have been breeding grounds for illness. For detainees who are immunocompromised or otherwise susceptible to the worst consequences of contracting Covid-19, holding them in detention may be literally a matter of life or death.

Please contact Amanda Stought and ask her to reconsider her order and to ask ICE to stand down during until this pandemic is over.

Minimal script: Good [morning] Ms. Stought. You may have noticed the pandemic in the news, and the associated lack of PPE gear (personal protective equipment) for medical professionals and first responders. Please consider that none of the people your ICE officers arrest deserve a coronavirus death sentence. Keep your officers at home, safe with their families during this lockdown like everyone else and send all your N95 masks to hospitals where they’re desperately needed.

CONTACT: Email her at amanda.stought@ice.dhs.gov and/or leave her a call at 202-732-2544.

Action #2 – Release ALL non-violent offenders, including detained immigrants.

Continue reading “Tues 3/24: “Cruel and unusual” – Law enforcement and punishment in a pandemic.”

Mon 3/23: No, bad GOP! Put workers first!

Action: The GOP just can’t help themselves. $600 to the poor, weak worker protections and billions to corporations. Say “No!”

Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is mad that his munificent “corporate bailout” scam isn’t slipping through unchecked. Democrats are protesting that the GOP’s bill “does too little to protect the unemployed, feed the hungry, subsidize states and cushion students facing mounds of debt. They’re also up in arms over language to provide up to $500 billion in loans and guarantees for corporations, at the sole discretion of the administration.

It amounts to a blank check for Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) told MSNBC Sunday night. “That’s outrageous, and that’s not going to happen.Continue reading “Mon 3/23: No, bad GOP! Put workers first!”

Coronavirus Tips: We Love You and We Want You to be Safe!

If you haven’t yet visited Flatten the Curve – start here. Safety starts with not overwhelming our healthcare resources!

Mental health and wellness: 

  • How to maintain your wellbeing and calm: here.
  • 5 apps to help you cope: here.

Hygiene:

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. Check out this Consumer Reports article for steps to staying safe while grocery shopping

HOW TO WASH OUR HANDS: The World Health Organization and Johns Hopkins Medical School show us the best hand-washing technique to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus. Watch and learn, and share with your networks:  

HOMEMADE HAND SANITIZER: The best way to clean our hands is with soap and water. But sometimes, soap and water is not available. If we can’t find hand sanitizer to buy, we can make it at home. Use the recipe reported here. 

CLEANING

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.

Cell phones:  Our cell phones are germ carriersUse your phone speaker when we can and keep our phones clean too – click here and here.

Our homes and objects:

  • From Wired here.
  • From CDC here.
  • CDC-approved cleaning products here.

Continue reading “Coronavirus Tips: We Love You and We Want You to be Safe!”

Wed. 3/11: #FlattenTheCurve – Apparently it’s all up to us!

We love that the wonderful volunteers who join us at voter registration tables, at census education events, at voter outreach efforts like postcard and letter writing, at citizenship fairs and at polling stations, become trusted messengers of factual information about civic matters for their friends and family. With that in mind, we’re sharing this report by Julie McMurry, MPH, an assistant professor of rare disease genetics at Oregon State University in the College of Public Health, because it covers every base we can think of. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Continue reading “Wed. 3/11: #FlattenTheCurve – Apparently it’s all up to us!”

Thurs 3/5: COVID-19 is not our first coronavirus rodeo.

Graphic from “Are coronavirus diseases equally deadly?” (NBCnew.com)

Today’s action contains:

  • Related coronavirus-related political actions, click here.
  • New Action – Government funding of vaccines.
  • County and state updates on coronavirus spread and prevention information.
  • Weirdly fascinating video on hand washing. We’re not doing it right.

Action #1 – GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT BE RUN LIKE A BUSINESS. Support legislation to fund government research to fight this disease.

In the last two decades, a series of “animal” viruses, including SARS and MERS, have triggered intermittent outbreaks around the world. Now there’s COVID-19, with 65 countries reporting infections and 88 confirmed cases in the US. But in the time gaps between epidemics, public attention wanes and scientists struggle to get funding. In 2016, researchers in Texas were ready to test a vaccine against SARS, “severe acute respiratory syndrome”, which is structurally similar to our current disease. However, they couldn’t get grants or investors for the testing process. Dr. Peter Hotez, head of that abandoned project, told Congress on Thursday that the new coronavirus should trigger changes in the way the government funds vaccine development. “It’s tragic that we won’t have a vaccine ready for this epidemic. Practically speaking, we’ll be fighting these outbreaks with one hand tied behind our backs.”

Not only does it need to be ready, but affordable or free to truly saturate a population. However, our drug company executive and pharmaceutical lobbyist HHS Secretary Alex Azar just defended private industry’s right to profit handsomely from a pandemic, and could not assure Congress that people would be able to afford their resulting vaccines.

Therefore, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced legislation to conduct and support comprehensive research to create a universal coronavirus vaccine, something that NIAID administrator, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has stated is possible and worth considering. His bill calls for a total investment of $1 billion – $250 million for each of fiscal years 2020 through 2023 for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Continue reading “Thurs 3/5: COVID-19 is not our first coronavirus rodeo.”

Wed 3/4: “Let them burn money.”

Maya Angelou stated: “When people show you who they are, believe them.

Although the quotes above are fictional, Trump’s first response to coronavirus, a disease that started halfway around the world, was essentially “Let poor Americans freeze.” Dogwhistling to wealthy cronies and his true believers, the administration’s initial proposal for containment included taking $37 million from LIHEAP, a program that funds low-income home heating assistance, rather than sacrificing a handful of his own golf weekends. (latest estimate – $130 million, an item not covered in his 2021 budget “Stopping Wasteful and Unnecessary Spending.”)

So far, he’s been rescued from publicly facing the true malignity of his proposed budget cuts by Democrats stepping in and reversing them (**See Sen. Schumer’s $8.5 proposal here) along with the public’s short memory. But not before his messaging has reached the audience it was intended for…

(**Note: The House just passed an $8.3 billion coronavirus response package which, amongst other provisions, includes funding to reimburse programs the administration had tapped for initial COVID-19 response efforts, including LIHEAP.)

Action #1 – Redirect money being wasted on the border wall to  “Prioritizing Pandemic Prevention Act.”

Our racist and  destructive border wall, in a tragicomic hat tip to reality, now needs hundreds of large storm gates left open for months to prevent devastating floods. Combine that with drones, $100 saws and the traditional medieval enemies of walls – ladders, tunnels, and catapults, we’ve wasted $11 billion dollars on a construction grift that personally profits Trump’s re-election campaign

Senator Elizabeth Warren’s still unnumbered bill would redirect wall funding to coronavirus efforts. States Sen. Warren: “The coronavirus outbreak poses serious health, diplomatic, and economic threats to the United States, and we must be prepared to confront it head-on. Rather than use taxpayer dollars to pay for a monument to hate and division, my bill will help ensure that the federal government has the resources it needs to adequately respond to this emergency.Continue reading “Wed 3/4: “Let them burn money.””