COVID-19 Community Response
NOTE: California is under a shelter-in-place order as of 3/20. As far as we know, our volunteers are delivering supplies and resources that fall under the purview of "necessities" given this order, and we will update if anything changes. We encourage everyone to take all needed precautions if they choose to leave the house at this time to run errands or deliver supplies.
First, the best ways we can slow the spread of COVID-19 are to stay home when (even slightly) ill, decrease social contact with others, and practice good hygiene and sanitation.
That being said, as the pandemic spreads and we face more disruptions to our day-to-day life, community solidarity is more important than ever. It will be on us to do what we can to mitigate the almost-inevitable increases in systemic inequities and injustices as a result of this crisis. Here are some opportunities to care for one another safely:
Create material support networks for those in isolation
If you are self-isolating and in need of help from a community member, please fill out our Community Needs form.
Si estas en cuarentena y en necesidad de ayudar, por favor llene este formulario para recibir ayuda de nuestro equipo de apoyo comunidad.
We have been running errands and delivering supplies to self-isolating community members, making DIY hand sanitizer/cleaning supplies and DIY face masks, mobilizing a mental health team to assist those struggling with isolation, and coordinating advocacy work to push for needed changes with the other organizations/institutions in our coalition.
Talk with and support your neighbors in a community pod
Community pods are hyper-local networks of communication and support within neighborhoods. Several community pods are already springing up across Humboldt County. Bayside Community Hall has put up guiding information on how to start a community pod.
Remain social and spread some joy from home
Starting on Sunday, March 22nd, Cooperation Humboldt is throwing nightly "Party-in-Place" remote happy hours over Zoom from 8:00-9:00pm. We're inviting any community members to share music or stories, comedy or poetry, host a talk or discussion, share a meal, throw a dance party, or create any other remote event to bring joy and sense of community amid this isolation.
Offer or request financial assistance for those economically struggling
Humboldt Mutual Aid has put together an amazing spreadsheet for peer-to-peer financial contributions and other resources. Please fill it out if you are in need of financial assistance, or have financial resources to offer.
Organize, organize organize!
Disasters like COVID-19 typically throw the already-existing inequalities and injustices in our society into sharp relief. But they can also be opportunities to create unprecedented social change if we organize and work together. We're collaborating with AHHA, Centro del Pueblo, Club Triangle, HACHR, Humboldt Area Foundation, Humboldt Bridges to Success, Humboldt Mutual Aid, Humboldt Pachamama Alliance, Klamath Salmon Community Response, the Middleway Network, North Coast People's Alliance, Old Town Community Alliance, and the Wiyot Tribe to form a Humboldt COVID-19 Response Coalition.
If you are a representative of an organization that is working on COVID-19 response, or that works with vulnerable populations and has had your work impacted by COVID-19, we'd love to have you join. Please reach out to Anna from Cooperation Humboldt to be looped in.
We'll continue to update this page with more information and actionable ways to be involved as time goes on.
Above all, we ask that you remember that your community members are human beings in need of love and care, not just vectors for disease. Yes, it is important to be careful when touching others, but maintaining a community sense of care and mutual aid is our best defense - for our own immune systems, and for ensuring we make it through this period as a community.
Beyond self-isolation when we’re sick, here are some tips to best protect yourself and your community.
Practice good hygiene and sanitation, and avoid close physical contact with others, including:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and hot water, and/or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer in your car or purse/backpack is also a good idea.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and stay at home if you are sick. Greet people with words, waves or elbow bumps; not handshakes, kisses, or hugs. Avoid unnecessary crowds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue to be tossed, or into your sleeve or elbow (not hands).
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces – a 0.1% bleach solution will do it cheaply. Use disinfectant wipes at stores when available; wipe handles and child seats of grocery carts.
- Use only your knuckle to touch light switches, elevator buttons, or signing at the checkout machine.
- Work from home if you can and conduct meetings via teleconferencing.
Take steps to boost your immune system, such as:
- Avoid eating sugary foods, drinking alcohol, and smoking.
- Eat plenty of fresh vegetables, especially greens.
- Add immune-boosting foods and herbs to your diet, such as garlic, ginger, citrus fruits, green tea, turmeric, bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, almonds, and blueberries.
- Prioritize getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night, and maintain a regular sleep schedule.
- Stay hydrated and drink water regularly.
- Practice stress-reduction techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or other means of reducing anxiety.
Take steps to ensure the resilience of your household in case of social disruptions due to the disease spread, such as:
- Ensure you have 2-3 weeks worth of food in your pantry.
- If you take medication, ensure you have 2-3 weeks worth of extra medication in case of quarantine.
- Keep extra cash at home.
- You can also keep a pair of washable lycra gloves and a pack of surgical face masks, which are especially important for those who are sick but cannot avoid contact with others (such as other household members).
In addition, here are some other resources to look at to ease the financial stress of this crisis:
- Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development COVID-19 page
- CDC’s COVID-19 planning tips for Businesses and Employers
- California DIR COVID-19 FAQ page
- EDD guidelines for accessing sick leave, family leave, disability, and unemployment insurance support
- California Department of Public Health daily updates
- Humboldt Health Alerts
- North Coast SBDC COVID-19 Resources