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The Eastside Village Response to the Stay-at-Home Order


June 15, 2020

Dear Eastside Village Members and Volunteers,

During these difficult times of mass protests and continuing COVID-19 pandemic, you may be experiencing “quarantine fatigue” and becoming less vigilant about following health and safety guidelines to protect yourself against COVID-19. We would like to reiterate the importance of doing all you can to protect yourself from and prevent the spread of the virus to others.
  1. Identify several ways you can ward off fatigue and boost your efforts to stay safe. ("Quarantine Fatigue Is Real")
  2. Wear a face mask and remain 6 feet from others when you are around other people; wash your hands often; and avoid touching your face.
  3. Make sure you have a good supply of foods, drinks, household, and pet supplies to last a couple of weeks. Although supplies seem to be more readily available these days, it makes sense to protect against another shortage.
  4. Ensure that your medicine cabinet is fully stocked with whatever you may need to maintain good health. This is a good time to confirm you have essentials such as a thermometer, cough drops, ibuprofen, face masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes. A pulse oximeter is not necessary, but it may be reassuring to have one to confirm adequate oxygen saturation (one of the early signs of a COVID-19 infection). "Stock Your Medicine Cabinet for the Pandemic"
News from Coastline Neighbors Village (coastline.clubexpress.com)

Coastline Neighbors Village (CNV)a village like ours serving Brookings and Gold Beachhas created the “Guidelines and Protocols for Providing Services and Activities During the COVID-19 Pandemic” handout which offer suggestions to members and volunteers who will provide and/or receive services as Oregon reopens. You might find the guidelines in these CNV images and descriptions below a helpful reminder of good “corona hygiene”:





Oregon Counties Reopen

As the state reopens, you might want to evaluate your transmission risks and your tolerance for risks as you consider how and whether to participate in summer activities. One epidemiologist recommends that people always choose outdoors over indoors, masks over no masks, and more space and fewer people over more people in a smaller space. “The more time you spend and the closer in space you are to any infected people, the higher your risk. Interacting with more people raises your risk, and indoor places are riskier than outdoors.”

On June 12, 2020, Governor Brown rejected Multnomah County’s application to enter Phase One of the reopening and “paused” all other Oregon counties from applying to begin Phase Two. She expressed concern over the significant increase in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations (over 24% in Multnomah County) and wants to assess the situation before proceeding with further reopening.

Reminder: Phase Three Opening of Oregon Counties

A county can apply to begin Phase One when it meets the following seven requirements: declining COVID-19 prevalence, minimum testing requirements, contact tracing system, isolation and quarantine facilities, finalize sector guidelines, sufficient hospital bed capacity, and sufficient PPE (personal protective equipment).

Beginning May 15, if a county is approved for Phase One, it will stay in this phase for three weeks. During this time:
  1. Restaurants can provide sit down service and must close by 10 pm.
  2. You can shop where the store follows social distancing rules.
  3. You can get a haircut on an appointment basis.
  4. You can go to the gym with social distancing.
  5. Up to 25 people can gather without travel.
Three weeks after entering Phase One, a county mayif approved to do soenter Phase Two. During this time:
  1. Up to 50 people can gather indoors.
  2. Up to 100 people can gather outdoors.
  3. Restaurants and bars can stay open until midnight.
  4. Up to 250 people can gather at large venues with occupancy limits based on building size.
  5. Pools and spas can reopen as long as they provide sufficient distance between people.
  6. Outdoor non-contact recreational sports like tennis and pickle ball can reopen.
  7. Indoor activities like bowling, arcades and mini golf can reopen with specific guidance.
With so much unrest, protests, and coronavirus fears in the country, public health experts are concerned about the impact of public gatherings on the coronavirus pandemic.

Stay safe and well in place and as you slowly reenter the community.

The Eastside Village Governing Council





May 18, 2020

Dear Eastside Village Members and Volunteers,

This week, we would like to continue to focus on the importance of making connections with other EV members and on reaching out to our Portland community and beyond.

Call other EV members, even those you do not know, and you may make a new friend. Some members who received calls over the past couple of weeks remarked that they are doing fine and don’t need anything; and then they stayed on the phone for a 30–45 minute conversation with the EV member caller. People who find talking on the phone easier than having an in-person discussion may experience great satisfaction from these phone chats. You can also send an email if you prefer. Start a thread in the EV Forum by sharing your experiences and asking others to do the same.

Participate in a Zoom orientation and join with other in EV virtual Zoom events such as the Happy (Half) Hour, Coffee Hour, Book Group, and Men’s Lunch Group. Sign-in details are at the EV Events Calendar.

If you would like to be part of the EV Pen Pal experiment, be sure to send a note expressing your interest (with “Pen Pal” in the subject line) to Wendy Orloff. After randomly pairing you with another participant, Wendy will send you your pen pal’s contact information and tips for successful pen pal-ing.

May 19, 2020 Primary Election

It is too late to mail in a ballot for Tuesday’s primary elections. Jin Darney and Craig Johnson have offered to pick up your ballot on Monday, May 18, and to drop it in the ballot box at the County Election office. If you would like them to pick up your ballot:
  1. Be sure to seal and sign the back of the ballot envelope.
  2. Email your address to Jin.
  3. Put your ballot on your front porch by 2:00 p.m. Monday.
Oregon Gerontological Association (OGA)

OGA is offering several webinars in May and during the COVID-19 pandemic that might be of interest to EV members:
  • May 19, 12:30–1:30 pm: “… Providing Key Nutritional Services to Seniors”
  • May 20, 9–10:30 am: “Social Isolation and Loneliness Among Older Americans…”
  • May 27, 12-1 pm: “… Technology to Meet Needs of [seniors] Isolated at Home”
  • May 28, 4-5 pm: “Using Humor to Get through the Pandemic”
You can register for free by clicking the title of the webinar at OGA’s website.

How Are Oregon Counties Opening?

Governor Brown asks all Oregonians to do their part to contain COVID-19 by wearing masks, avoiding large groups, washing their hands, and staying home if they feel sick, even after the stay-at-home order is lifted.

As of May 15, the following services, businesses, and programs are now open: non-emergency medical and dental procedures (available at 50% capacity); recreation where physical distancing can be followed; stand-alone retail stores that follow OSHA guidelines for masks and physical distancing; and childcare, summer school, camps, and youth programs with certain limitations and specific guidelines.

The Governor has established a three-phase opening of Oregon counties. A county can apply to begin Phase One when it meets the following seven requirements: declining COVID-19 prevalence; minimum testing requirements; contact tracing system in place; adequate isolation and quarantine facilities; finalize sector guidelines; sufficient hospital bed capacity; and sufficient PPE (personal protective equipment).

Beginning May 15, if a county is approved has been approved to re-open, it will stay in this phase for three weeks. During this time:
  • Restaurants can provide sit-down service and must close by 10 pm.
  • You can shop at stores that follow social distancing rules.
  • You can get a haircut on an appointment basis.
  • You can go to a gym that follow social distancing rules.
  • Up to 25 people can gather in one place if they have not traveled from outside the county.
Thirty-one of Oregon's 36 counties have been approved to begin Phase One. Multnomah County has not yet applied to begin Phase One.

Food and Groceries, Part 2

In our March 29 update, we offered several food and grocery delivery options if you are reluctant to shop in a store during COVID-19. This week, we suggest two more options:

1. New Seasons Markets have instituted customer health and safety measures to ensure you have a safe and satisfactory shopping experience and are able to find the items you need.

2. Imperfect Foods delivers fresh organic or conventional fruits and vegetables, meat, chicken, and fish, and various staples on a weekly or every other week basis. You can shop online, customize your purchases, and make changes to your order up to two days before delivery.

By now, most of you have shopped for groceries, both online and in person. You may have some positive, some less positive, and maybe some funny stories to share with the rest of us. Your reviews will help us all sharpen our shopping skills. We encourage you to share your experiences and give reviews on the EV Forum.

Stay safe and well in place and as you slowly reenter the community.

Until next week, stay well, friends.

The Eastside Village Governing Council





May 4, 2020

Dear Eastside Village Members and Volunteers,

Last week, we focused on the importance of connecting with others. This week, we want to continue to focus on making connections with other EV members and on reaching out to our Portland community and beyond.

Here are some ways you can get through this difficult time and be as positive as possible with good humor. Engage with others by calling a neighbor, chatting over the garden fence, and sending an email to others isolated in their homes. Become a virtual volunteer at a local organization. Put rainbows, teddy bears and happy faces in your windows and signs in your yards. Join a pick-up band or sing-along with your neighbors, from your window, front porch, or yard. Take part in EV virtual Zoom events such as Happy (half) Hour, Coffee Hour, Book Group and Men’s Lunch Group. Sign-in details are at the EV Events Calendar.

Reminders

#GivingTuesdayNow, May 5, is a new global day of giving and unity. It is an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19, a day to do good, to give, and to celebrate generosity.

In celebration of #GivingTuesdayNow, Eastside Village is collecting contributions for a special fund that it will donate to the Oregon Food Bank on behalf of the “Members of Eastside Village.” EV has received several donations from members and is accepting new donations through May 5th.

If you would like to be part of the EV Pen Pal experiment, be sure to send a note expressing your interest (with “Pen Pal” in the subject line) to Wendy Orloff by May 8th. After randomly pairing you with another participant, Wendy will send you your pen pal’s contact information and tips for successful pen pal-ing.

May 19, 2020 Primary Election

By now, we have all received our voter’s guide and ballot for the 2020 Oregon Primary Election. Ballots are due by May 19th. This year, we cannot do the usual house to house canvasing, campaign parties, and other face to face events.

You may want to join a virtual discussion of the 19 Portland Mayoral candidates, other races, and ballot measures at 3:00 pm on Wednesday, May 6, at 3:00 pm. Sign-in details are at the EV Events Calendar.

The League of Women Voters of Portland prepares non-partisan voting guides to give you reliable information about conversations with candidates and ballot measures based on interviews with organizations that support and oppose each measure.

Vote411 can create a custom guide for you, with information about candidates and ballot measures on your ballots. It also offers videos of interviews with candidates. You can register for a guide at its website.

You can write postcards to send to voters to remind them to vote in their 2020 Primary. These postcards are handwritten reminders to targeted voters to give a candidate a winning edge in close races throughout the country. You can make phone calls and perform other volunteer activities for specific campaigns and for organizations supporting or opposing various ballot measures by contacting the campaign or organization directly. These groups would welcome volunteers.

Lastly,

Governor Brown announced that on May 1st, healthcare providers at hospitals surgical centers, and medical and dental offices may resume non-urgent medical procedures “as long as they meet COVID-19 safety and preparedness requirements.” Providers must guarantee that they, their workers, and their patients have adequate protective gear. The Governor explained that non-urgent does not include minor procedures.

This is good news of progress in Oregon toward containing COVID-19. The state expects deliveries of millions of surgical and KN95 masks for healthcare and other workers. OHSU has developed low cost ventilators using 3D printer technology.

Let’s continue to connect with others and enjoy the Spring. Get outdoors when possible and enjoy the warmth of the sun.

Until next week, stay well, friends.

The Eastside Village Governing Council





April 27, 2020

Dear Eastside Village Members and Volunteers,

Last week, we reiterated the value of wearing masks and listed some virtual activities for us to keep busy as we shelter at home. This week, we want to focus on the importance of being connected to others and reducing stress in other ways.

Coping With Isolation

Being isolated from family and friends is difficult, especially if you live alone. Many people feel anxious, fearful, and worried about the impact of COVID-19 on their health, finances, and the ability to obtain necessities. Some feel anxiety so intense it prevents them from sleeping. These feelings are normal at times like this. Connecting with others can alleviate feelings of helpfulness and stress, and can help you understand that what you are feeling is normal.

To help motivate this process, we challenge each EV Member reach out to three others in your EV Neighborhood Circle this coming week. [You should have received a list of your Circle’s Members not long ago. Please contact the office if you would like a replacement.] It doesn’t matter whether you know the others or not. Simply being in touch with one another will help us all feel less isolated. It’s your choice whether to connect by phone, email, note card, or video options such as WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom. Who knows? You might discover a new friend! As we connect with others in our Neighborhood Circles, we may touch base with those not previously known to us. What a wonderful opportunity to get to know new EV Members and others we've not met before now.

Another way to reduce stress is to maintain a regular routine. Sometimes having a checklist like the one you can download here can be a way to get started. Putting routine back into your day is a good way to feel more normal overall.

#GivingTuesdayNow

The GivingTuesday organization and movement was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good on the first Tuesday in December. Over the past eight years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give.

#GivingTuesdayNow is a new global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5th as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.

While you are certainly encouraged to participate in this special day of giving however you like, the EV Governing Council would like to suggest that we focus our energies and donations on a single, critical organization: the Oregon Food Bank. To that end, any donations that you send to the EV office between Monday, April 27th, and Tuesday, May 5th, will go into a special fund that will be sent—in its entirety—to the Oregon Food Bank on behalf of the “Members of Eastside Village.” (Please be sure to include a note with “for OFB” with your donation.)

Lastly,

One last thought about social distancing, this time from psychologist Dr. Lindsay Jernigan:

"Try this perspective shift. Instead of seeing “social distancing” and travel bans as panic, try seeing them as acts of mass co-operation intended to protect the collective whole. This plan is not about individuals going into hiding. It’s a global deep breath... an agreement between humans around the planet to be still. Be still, in hopes that the biggest wave can pass without engulfing too many of the vulnerable amongst us.”

Nice mild weather and beautiful blooming gardens brighten our days. They make it easier to spend time outdoors. We understand the importance of connecting with others – even virtually. We are resilient and strong. Thank you for being a part of our community.

Until next week, stay well, friends.

The Eastside Village Governing Council





April 20, 2020

Dear Eastside Village Members and Volunteers,

Last Monday, less than a week after the call went out, Eastside Village members and volunteers had made and delivered a pair of masks to each EV member and volunteer and others in her or his household. What a remarkable feat of organization, sewing, and delivery! Our sincere thanks to Wendy Orloff for spearheading and the many others who contributed to this incredible effort. What a wonderful and giving community this is!

Oregon Updates

On April 13, 2020, the governors of Oregon, Washington, and California informed the public of their agreement to work together on a shared vision for containing COVID-19 and restarting their economies. The following day, Governor Brown announced that, before lifting any restrictions, there must be a reduction in new cases and enough personal protective equipment to protect health care workers. She outlined her framework for reopening Oregon:
  1. Expand testing, increase isolation and regular hospital beds, and accumulate personal protective equipment (PPE) for all health care workers;
  2. Create systems to trace contacts of people who test positive for COVID-10; and
  3. Establish quarantine and isolation plans for new cases.
Governor Brown said her decisions would be based upon expert medical and public health information. She explained that lifting restrictions will be done gradually and on a county by county or regional basis, and not statewide.

COVID-19 Statistics

As of April 18, 2020, there have been 726,000 positive Coronavirus tests and 37,938 covid-19-related deaths in the United States. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported that on that same date, 37,583 Oregonians have been tested. Of those, 1,844 people had positive tests; 72 people had died. In Multnomah County, of the 8,640 people who were tested, 493 tested positive and 28 have died.

Governor Brown believes social distancing and stay-at-home orders have reduced the spread of COVID-19. At the same time, the Portland Police Bureau says residents may not be as vigilant about complying with orders as they were in the previous month. We cannot afford to be lax or cavalier about these measures, as they have been shown so effective in keeping our rates of infection down.

And those masks we mentioned earlier? If you’ve doubted their effectiveness, here’s a quick reminder:



Fun Virtual Activities as We Shelter at Home
Lastly…

Our gardens are blooming. The sun is shining. Our days are longer. The weather grows warmer. It rains less often. We are settling into routines as we ride out this pandemic. We are reminded of the importance of joining together — even virtually. We are resilient and strong.

Thank you for being a part of our community.

Until next week, stay well, friends.

The Eastside Village Governing Council





April 13, 2020

Dear Eastside Village Members and Volunteers,

Last week, we shared some thoughts about wearing masks. We introduced the EV Village Mask Project to ensure that every Village Member who needed a pair of masks could have them. Our Members have truly stepped up with generous offers to make masks; donate money, fabric, and other supplies; and to distribute the finished masks. This morning, a cadre of Neighborhood Circle members will deliver the freshly laundered masks, together with washing and wearing directions. Once again, Eastside Village members have shown the compassion and strength of our little community. Well done, everyone!

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the continued use of 6-ft social distancing together with cloth masks when around other people. Peter S. Tippett, MD, PhD, has posted a great explanation for how these protections “work together” to enhance one’s safety in various situations. He’s also a big fan of the simple cloth masks that our Members will be receiving, noting that they have three main protective properties:
  • They make it hard to touch your nose and mouth, thus providing great protection for what is the biggest infection vector in most situations, i.e., hand-to-face transmission.
  • They reduce the exposure of your nose and mouth to viruses in the ambient air (directly breathing in viral spray or viral fog).
  • They reduce the chance that others will get infected from you when you are sick and don't know it (and when you are sick and do know it!).
Federal and State Taxes

As it is now mid-April, our thoughts are inevitably turning to taxes and tax relief due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The traditional April 15th deadlines for filing both 2019 federal and state tax returns and paying any taxes owed have been extended to July 15th.

If you pay estimated federal taxes, your first payment (originally due April 15th) is now due on July 15th; your second payment (originally due June 15th) is also due July 15th. The third payment due date, September 15th, is unchanged (estimated payments 2020). Deadlines for state estimated taxes (April 15th, June 15th, and September 15th) remain unchanged (Oregon estimated taxes 2020).

The federal CARES Act waives all required minimum distributions (RMDs) from retirement accounts for 2020 for anyone who turned 70½ before or during 2019 or turns 72 in 2020. That means you are not required to withdraw RMDs from retirement plans in 2020.

Finally, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will soon be distributing economic impact payments to eligible taxpayers. The amount of payment will be determined from 2018 tax returns if 2019 returns have not been filed and from 2019 tax returns if filed.

Planning for the Future

This period of enforced “home stay” might be the perfect time to review our estate planning documents to be sure we have or have updated all our important documents. These might include a will; a financial power of attorney (for someone to manage our financial affairs if we're unable to do so); a health care power of attorney (for someone to make medical decisions if we can’t make them ourselves); and a POLST and advance health care directive to spell out treatments we want or don’t want if we become seriously ill.

This might also be a good time to talk with family members about our end-of-life decisions and to let them know where to find our documents.

Lastly...

While there's been some talk about reopening U.S. businesses, sending people back to work, and relaxing social distancing, public health officials warn that opening the economy too soon and too quickly risks new surges in coronavirus cases and deaths.

Oregon has been spared the brunt of the pandemic’s devastation, in large part because we instituted -- and complied with -- such distancing measures early. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reports that as of April 11, 2020, 28,638 Oregonians have been tested for COVID-19. Of those, 1,447 people had positive tests and 51 people had died. Of 6,357 tests in Multnomah County, 343 were positive and 18 ended in death. OHA believes social distancing and stay-at-home orders have greatly reduced the number of new cases and the burden on local health care systems. Now is not the time to let down our guard.

It looks like a great week ahead, so spend time outside if you can. Temperatures are expected to reach high 60s to low 70s, with sunny skies on many days. Find a spot in the sun, listen to the birds, and be patient.

This situation is not forever; we will be whole again. Isolating ourselves now helps insure that no one is missing when we do get back together again.

Until next week, stay well, friends.

The Eastside Village Governing Council





April 4, 2020

Dear Eastside Village Members and Volunteers,

While some of us were still dithering about whether to wear face masks when we go out in public, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has made up our minds for us. Last Friday it announced the recommendation that all Americans wear masks “in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain,” such as grocery stores and pharmacies.

The latest information indicates that, although most people with Covid-19 will experience nothing worse than flu symptoms, this virus is nonetheless ten times more deadly than the seasonal flu. And the seasonal flu kills hundreds of thousands of people worldwide each year.

Because Covid-19 is a new infection -- to which no one has yet built immunity -- and because scientists are a year or more away from a commercially available vaccine, the virus is spreading rapidly through the world’s populations, straining and overwhelming medical systems.

In the United States, we do not know who has the virus and who has not, because wide-spread testing is unavailable. Yet there is ample evidence that people who have the virus, but don't have any symptoms, can still spread it to others. These are compelling reasons for masking. Another is that, no matter how often we wash our hands, we are apt to touch our faces frequently. This can allow the virus to enter our eyes, noses, and mouths. A mask can help remind us not to touch our faces. Of course, we shouldn't touch the masks either.

Finally, a mask is an important public health message. It says to the people around us: This is a serious situation. For our own sake and the sake of others, we need to take it seriously.

It’s important to understand that wearing a mask is NOT a license to go where we wish when we wish. Maintaining our safe distance from others, even when masked, is essential to slowing the spread of Covid-19.

As you may have heard, medical-grade masks are in short supply and must be reserved for those on the front lines of our response to the virus: the medical personnel, first-responders, and essential workers who continue to serve us in this uncertain time. But simple, cotton, made-at-home masks do offer some protection and are recommended for wear in any situation that brings us close to others. They are a "better than nothing" solution to our hopefully temporary scarce supply.

Taking all of this information into consideration, the Eastside Village Council has decided to undertake the “EV Mask Project,” which will provide two masks to every Village member and volunteer. The freshly laundered masks will be distributed -- in zip bags with washing instructions -- via a fellow Neighborhood Circle member. Someone from our Rain and Shine team will be contacting you soon to see if you are in need of masks.

Please let us know if you already have masks or can easily obtain them yourself, so that we might lighten our production load.

Our next step will be to find members and volunteers to make our masks. If you’d like to help, please email Wendy Orloff (see member directory) to get a pattern and directions. Our sincere thanks in advance for your help with this project.

One last thing: please remember that ALL masks -- even home-made ones -- require careful handling. To put one on, first wash your hands in soap and water or hand sanitizer. Do not touch the inside of the mask as you put it on. Do not touch it while you are wearing it. To remove it, again wash your hands, take it off carefully, touching its two surfaces as little as possible. Wash it in soap and water after every wearing.

Let's all try to keep our wits and our sense of humor intact for the duration!


Until next week, stay well, friends.

The Eastside Village Governing Council

------
Can a face mask protect me from coronavirus? Covid-19 myths busted.
Do face masks protect against coronavirus? Here's what scientists know so far
The evidence for everyone wearing masks, explained.
How to significantly slow the Corona Virus
Empowering and protecting families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Corona Virus 2019 vs. the Flu





March 29, 2020

Dear Eastside Village Members and Volunteers,

Last week, we shared some ideas for quarantine activities. This week, we’re going to focus on food and groceries. If you’re feeling a bit reluctant to go to the store yourself, there are several other options available to you.
  • Portland’s own Store to Door will call you every week, whether or not you have an order. They then shop for your groceries, prescriptions, and household items. Then they deliver to your home and even help put your groceries away. Upon delivery, clients pay their grocery bill and delivery fee (10% of the total grocery bill; prescriptions not included) with a minimum of $3.
  • Meals on Wheels are nutritious meals that are delivered weekdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The cost of each meal is $7.39. Participants are asked to contribute to the cost of the meal.
  • Websites like Amazon Fresh, Instacart, Fresh Direct, and Peapod are all good ways to order food deliveries, most from local grocery stores, with delivery charges that range from $4-$8.
  • Meal kit services provides weekly boxes with ingredients for 3-4 meals (two people each). Prices range from less than $5 to $12.50/meal, depending on how much preparation has been done in advance.
Whether you have your food delivered or decide to do your own shopping, here’s what you should know about how to deal with the food coming into your home.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. It cites two primary forms of transmission: Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

This is why experts recommend social distancing, hand washing, and regularly sanitizing high-touch areas as the best measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Although the risk of coronavirus transmission via food and food packaging is low, the biggest grocery-related risk is contact with others and with high-touch areas like shopping carts and basket handles, making it important to:
  • practice appropriate social distancing while in the grocery store,
  • avoid touching your face while shopping,
  • wash your hands thoroughly when you return home from the market.
The FDA’s guidelines on food safety and coronavirus do not include the disinfecting of perishable and non-perishable grocery items. In a statement on March 24, Frank Yiannas, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for food policy and response, said, “There is no evidence of human or animal food or food packaging being associated with transmission of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.”

Cleaning Produce

Perishables do not need to be disinfected prior to use, but fresh produce should always be washed in water. But please, hold the soap: Soap is designed for use on dishes or hands. Accidentally ingesting soap can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Cleaning Reusable Grocery Bags

Reusable grocery bags, which are considered high-touch items, should always be cleaned regularly (at least once a week) to ensure they remain free of bacteria that cause food-borne illness. Nylon and cotton grocery totes can be machine-washed in cold water and air-dried; bags that cannot be machine washed can be wiped clean with an antibacterial wipe or all-purpose spray and a paper towel.

Food Delivery and Takeout

The most impactful precaution you can take when ordering food delivery, including grocery and liquor deliveries, is to avoid direct contact with couriers. Where possible, choose services that offer contactless delivery; many delivery apps have contactless delivery options built in that also allow you to tip delivery workers. (And please do tip delivery workers well! While cash is usually the best way to tip service workers, card or touch-free tipping might make more sense for now.) When placing orders by telephone, you can request that the delivery be left on the steps, porch, or driveway outside your home or in the lobby of multi-unit buildings. Either include a tip when you’re paying by phone or leave an envelope with cash and give instructions on where to retrieve it (placing the envelope under a doormat is a good option).

If you’re picking up your takeout at a restaurant, practice appropriate social distancing with restaurant personnel and other customers. Although the risk of transmission from payment systems is believed to be significantly lower than from people, if possible use touch-free payment systems rather than cash or credit cards to avoid cross-contamination.

While the risk of transmitting the coronavirus via packaging like paper bags, plastic bags, or cardboard boxes is low, there are some steps you can take to mitigate the risk and assuage your fears:
  • Place delivery bags and containers in the sink rather than on table- or countertops.
  • Transfer food from takeout containers to a plate.
  • Discard all delivery bags, boxes, and takeout containers in the trash or recycling.
  • Wash your hands before eating.
  • Leftovers should be put in your own food storage containers rather than in takeout containers.
  • Clean and sanitize the sink after your meal using a product from the EPA’s list of Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2.
Mail and Packages

Just as with food packaging and delivery items, there is currently no evidence that Covid-19 is being spread through the mail. Also, like food packaging and delivery items, you should avoid contact with the person delivering.

It’s likely that this situation will continue for several more months, at least until we see the crest of infections. Please continue to stay in touch with family, friends, and neighbors... and fellow Eastside Villagers, of course!

Until next week, stay well, friends.

The Eastside Village Governing Council




March 22, 2020


Dear Eastside Village Members and Volunteers,


As of Sunday afternoon, Oregon has a total of 161 known cases of the novel coronavirus and four known deaths related to the virus. Given the nature of these things, these numbers are guaranteed to rise; how much they will go up depends in large part to how well Oregonians are following the state’s “social distancing” admonishment.


In the meantime, here's a reminder from the CDC about what can you do to stop the spread: (1) Stay at home if at all possible and avoid close contact if you must go out; and (2) clean your hands often.


Public health officials say that it will likely be months before life returns to “normal.” Here are some suggestions to help you cope:


Avoiding cabin fever, Part 1: Talk it out

  • Have you called in to our Morning Coffee Break with Ann Gaffke or Linda Safran’s Happy Hour? It’s not difficult to do and is a lot of fun. (Feel free to contact Ann or Linda if you’d like a bit of coaching the first time out.)

  • Don’t forget about FaceTime (iPhone/iPad only) or Skype (platform independent)! Check in with kids/grandkids, neighbors, and fellow Villagers. Or friends you haven’t seen in ages. Chances are great that they’d be thrilled to see and hear from you.

  • Pick up the phone and call someone! Surely there’s another EV member who you’ve seen or heard about but don’t know very well; gather up your courage and give them a call! They’re at home and bored, too, and would likely welcome the conversation.

  • Sign up to be part of the Eastside Village phone tree. Be that cheerful voice on the other end of the line for some of our members who may not have family nearby.

  • Some members have suggested that this would be a great time to return to having old-fashioned pen-pals, using actual pen, paper, and stamps. We think having something to look forward to every day (or so) would be terrific.

  • Grab your lawn chair and visit with your neighbors on the front lawn. As long as you keep your distance, it’s a good way to stay connected.

Avoiding cabin fever, Part 2: Stay active in body and brain

  • The Heart Association has a fun handout with ideas for moving more at home (e.g., “Dance Party for 1 minute”) 24 Ways to Get Moving at Home

  • USA Today has a list of 100 fun things to do while you’re stuck inside (e.g., clean out your junk drawer or medicine cabinet; watch all the films that won Oscars for Best Picture). 100 Things to do While Trapped Inside

  • Find a friend or two who likes Scrabble or Words with Friends or one of the literally hundreds of apps and online games that can be played by two or more. Once you’re all comfortable with it, you could organize a virtual tournament!

  • Speaking of apps, if you have a smart phone or tablet, be sure to check out the many “brain training” apps out there. They’re quite a lot of fun. Five of the most popular ones are reviewed here

  • Write a “coronavirus haiku” and share it on the Member’s Forum.

  • Take advantage of these lovely spring days to get out for a walk in your neighborhood or on one of the many lovely trails throughout the city. Just be sure to keep your distance from any fellow walkers you might meet.
Please note…

Our volunteers are still available if you need grocery/prescription pick-ups and necessary rides. For now, we're suspending all other service requests. We will continually assess the situation and will reinstate service requests as soon as the situation allows. Our social members should remember that any services requested during this time of sequestration do NOT count against your annual total.


Lastly…

People across this country are, once again, discovering that which we have in common is ever so much more important than that which divides us. Let us all join hands, metaphorically speaking, to help one another get through this, to come out the other side a better nation, a better people, than when we went in.

When this is over...


Until next week, stay well, friends.


The Eastside Village Governing Council




March 16, 2020

Dear Eastside Village Members and Volunteers,

This is the second of what we hope will be weekly updates on the COVID-19 Outbreak and its impact on our Village.

Members should have gotten a call from the EV Office this past week asking if you were interested in having friendly/wellness calls, and/or if you wanted to be a caller. If you had initially said “no” but now would like to change your mind, please give the Office a call and we’ll add you to our list.

Many of our members make use of our generous group of volunteer and member/volunteer drivers. Recently, several of them have had to take themselves out of rotation for a variety of reasons, leaving us with limited options. Please be sure that your requested rides are for necessary (non-postponable) purposes. Thank you.

As you may know by now, Eastside Village is joining with the Portland School District, Parks & Rec, Multnomah County Library, and a host of businesses, schools, and organizations in cancelling or rescheduling public gatherings and activities in hopes that our members will take this opportunity to practice “social distancing.”

“Social distancing” is a term that epidemiologists are using to refer to a conscious effort to reduce close contact between people. Social distancing can help slow the speed of the outbreak, and makes the possibility of a catastrophic spike in cases that would overwhelm the U.S. health care system less likely. Public health experts have these recommendations for those who are symptom-free but are over 60 years old; those who have asthma, heart disease, or diabetes, or are otherwise at risk must be especially vigilant.
  • Avoid gathering in public places. People should be at home as much as possible.
  • Minimize social contact, i.e., limit all social engagements, including intimate gatherings among friends.
  • Get your workout at home, not the gym. For now, walking, running, and biking outside, in uncrowded locations, seems like a healthy thing to do.
  • Make use of the “order and pick up” option available at most grocery stores. [Tip: have cash on hand in case you have to pay for things delivered to your door.]
  • Wear gloves and change your clothes after going to store, especially if you are an at-risk individual.
  • Avoid public transit if you can; stay far away from other passengers if you must use it.
Social distancing is all part of an effort to do what epidemiologists call “flattening the curve” of the pandemic. The idea is to increase social distancing in order to slow the spread of the virus, so that you don't get a huge spike in the number of people getting sick all at once. If that were to happen, there wouldn't be enough hospital beds or mechanical ventilators for everyone who needs them, and the U.S. hospital system would be overwhelmed.

Once we’ve made the commitment to social distancing, how do we keep from going stir crazy? Here are some suggestions:

Stay in Touch
  • Call a friend, local or distant, to touch base or reestablish contact.
  • Want more than just a voice? Use Facetime or Skype to call your friends and family.
  • Eastside Village is sponsoring two daily video virtual get-togethers: Join host Ann Gaffke at 9 am for a Coffee Break or host Linda Safran at 5 pm for a Happy Hour Gathering. Instructions for joining can be found at the EV website under the Members menu tab. These can be an easy way to connect other Eastside Villagers, share how your day went, what's new, and more.
  • Write a “coronavirus haiku” and share it on the Member’s Forum.
  • Take advantage of these lovely spring days to get out for a walk in your neighborhood or on one of the many lovely trails throughout the city. Just be sure to keep your distance from any fellow walkers you might meet.

Please note…


Our volunteers are still available if you have outdoor tasks that need help, or if you need grocery/prescription pick-ups. Our social members should remember that any services requested during this time of sequestration do NOT count against your annual total.


Lastly…


People across this country are, once again, discovering that which we have in common is ever so much more important than that which divides us. Let us all join hands, metaphorically speaking, to help one another get through this, to come out the other side a better nation, a better people, than when we went in.


Until next week, stay well, friends.

The Eastside Village Governing Council


----------
Notes

What Does Social Distancing Mean?
Flattening a Pandemic's Curve: Why Staying at Home Now Can Save Lives
EV Virtual Gatherings
The Oregon Health Authority Information Sheet
CDC Recommendations for if you get sick





March 9, 2020

Dear Eastside Village Members and Volunteers,

We are writing to let you know that we are monitoring news and information about the COVID-19 outbreak and are considering the impact it may have on our Village.

We plan to follow the guidance and recommendations offered by the Centers for Disease Control and the Multnomah County Health Department. Neither agency has declared a state of emergency for Oregon as of this writing.

Office Hours and Scheduled Events

The EV Office will be open as usual, and we have not canceled any of the events and meetings scheduled for March. This situation may change over the coming days, however, and we will keep you updated by email and our website.

Scheduled Services for Members

No changes here. Services will continue to be provided, as usual. We are monitoring recommendations for any special precautions that our volunteers should be taking and will alert you should the situation change.

Be Prepared, Stay Informed, Stay Healthy

As the situation develops, it is important to obtain accurate information about COVID-19. Websites from the Centers for Disease Control and the Multnomah County Health Department are updated frequently and offer thorough and reliable information. You may click on the links below to reach those websites:

   Centers for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov/coronayirus/2019-ncov
   Multnomah County Health Department: multco.us/health-officer/novel-coronavirus-covid-19

What You Can Do

In closing, we want to reiterate the advice to individuals being offered by the Multnomah County Health Department. There are things everyone can do to prepare for this virus and prevent the spread of other viruses like influenza. That's because the same things that protect against cold and flu viruses, also prevent COVID-19.

To protect yourself, your family, and your coworkers:
  • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue, sleeve, or elbow (not hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home if you're sick.
  • Keep your immune system strong by eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and regular exercise, and by taking care of any underlying health conditions.
  • Make sure you have the kinds of foods, drinks, medications, and pet supplies you would want if you needed to stay home and limit your contact with other people for a couple weeks.
We will be back in touch with updates as necessary.

Sincerely,
The Eastside Village Governing Council


Eastside Village: 503-866-0571 • info@eastsidevillage.org • 3915 SE Steele St., Portland, OR 97202