In this together
and together getting through this

 By Christiane Marshall, Editor

(Note: This article was written at the beginning of the lockdown.)

Saying we’re all in this together is almost an understatement. This is global and it is local. And people truly are pulling together. Nations helping nations, neighbors helping neighbors, local governments doing things we’ve never done before. Innovation is in the air as much as our fears are, maybe more so.

There may be craziness online or here and there as people hoard supplies, but there is also much kindness. Before I say more, I want to be sure you know that you can ask for help. There is a lot of help out there. Marietta and Beyond and other local publications will try to keep you aware of the help that is out there – that is here. You can reach out to us by messenger too and ask specific questions. If we don’t know, we will search for the answer.

Let’s all check on each other and keep each other informed. Your elderly neighbor, or the young single mom next door — may have turned the news off for a couple of days to recover from the negativity. They may not be aware of something important.

Do you live alone? Is anyone checking on you daily? If not, please ask someone to check on you daily. It’s ok to ask. And remember that the little things matter. I’ve been offered toilet paper at least 4 times, and this may sound strange, but it was heartwarming to be offered this much sought after item. I finally I accepted the offer in a parking lot the other day from a stranger who had asked me what the shelves looked like, and I said I hadn’t been able to buy toilet paper since this started as part of the conversation. This is the element we need to grasp right now – the connection we have to each other. It’s like no one is a stranger now. I’ve seen more kindness than craziness. The kindness is all around me here, in this place. Yesterday, I was in Lori’s parking lot in Caldwell to get some writing done in my car before heading back to Marietta. The owner came out to check on me. He just wanted to make sure I was ok and reassured me it was ok for me to work in the lot. I sometimes go into Lori’s to eat and work.

Then today, I heard a voice outside. Up on the roof was the mom of 6 kids – her body half inside and half outside on the porch roof, cleaning her windows – with the sounds of children playing behind her. She can’t go to work because the daycare is closed. She’s bored, she said, but her windows are gleaming! It put my windows to shame as pounding out writing does nothing to keep things tidy and clean! Fortunately I am not bored — or maybe unfortunately – Ha!

Everywhere I went a week ago, preparing to hunker down by picking up essentials, people almost instinctively stood 6 feet apart. We’re all talking about the same thing. To say it is surreal is an understatement. The last time I remember that happening was when there were only two channels on tv — or maybe when the whole world was watching Neil Armstrong take steps on the moon.

At first, Americans were comforting Chinese families across the earth – sending encouragement to people in Wuhan – we will never forget that there is a place called Wuhan — and now Chinese families are comforting and expressing concern for us. I would not have ever imagined this could happen. Just the other day, the parent of one of my students contacted me on Chinese social media and after first checking to see if I was okay, offered to send me masks. He apologized that he could not send a massive amount, but would send what he could. He explained that there is not as much available as previously because China is sending masks to other countries now.

As I drove past the downtown shops this morning on my way back from an essential errand, I saw the closed shops in beautiful downtown Marietta. They will reopen. Things will go back to normal, and maybe they will even be better! Some are still open for business, though in a very different and limited way. As you reach out to neighbors and friends to check on them, as you share your toilet paper or food, if you’re able — order food from a local restaurant, or even call a shop to order an item. Maybe they can serve you curbside or ship something to you? Amazon is convenient, but let’s try to find it local too, ok — or maybe let’s look here first. 

People are sewing masks due to the shortage, and the Makerspace is making face shields to help with the shortage of protective gear for medical personnel as part of a nationwide project in Makerspaces. They are asking for anyone with a 3D printer to help out. The Makerspace’s resources only allows them to make 8 face shields in 24 hours, but they have enough material to make 4,800 shields.

Want to help make face shields with your 3D printer? Here is everything you need.

Interested in helping sew masks or donating 100{adf03471c70bc8114ba939a4ead795dc42e1770869422a3fc5206141d27312b1} cotton for sewers? See Mid Ohio Valley Masks for the Front Line

It almost sounds cliché to say it now – that we’ll get through this together, but I can’t think of a better way to say it. Let’s clasp metaphorical hands together now. Check on each other. Actively care and share what we have.

Here are some resources that might be helpful:

  1. How to sanitize your groceries youtube.
  1. This is an amazing youtube video of an interview with a Korean doctor who has been through 3 pandemics. It is the best information I have found on COVID 19. You have to read the closed captions and it is a little long, but it is worth your time.
  1. A Huffington Post article on the terms “isolation, quarantine and social distancing.”
  1. Local Community Action
  1. Local Resource Guide PDF 

6. While you’re at it, get into a superfood salad habit to boost immunity. 

7. Jo Momma’s Kitchen is delivering food to people over 60 who need to stay home. They could use healthy volunteers and donations. If you’re over 60 and need a meal delivery, contact them. Anyone interested in a meal or to volunteer should read their thoughtful post

8. A video on How to safely sanitize and reuse your mask without taking away its effectiveness. This is not for frontline medical people. It’s for the ordinary trip to the grocery store or taking a walk and maintaining social distancing. A commentor mentioned that he talks too long. I agree. It’s interesting, but I summarized the instructions in comments. I’m going to go add this to the post itself as well. 

 Help us add to this list for others by posting below either here or on the facebook post. 

Stay strong. Encourage each other. Be safe. Stay healthy. 

~~ Christiane