80 Facemasks Available

I just found a bunch of respirator-style facemasks in my closet. I’don’r even remember how I got them. I’d like to get ‘em out on the street, where they’re needed.

Right now, they are in two boxes, one containing 20, and one with 60 masks. I’d like to sell them in those quantities. Please call me if you can use them.

Brattleboro Area Hospice Virtual Advance Care Planning/Advance Directive Session

Brattleboro, Vermont.  May 13, 2020 10 -11 am Brattleboro Area Hospice’s Taking Steps Brattleboro (TSB) program will host a zoom Advance Care Planning/Advance Directive Question and answer Information session. If you are interested in attending, please contact Don Freeman by email: don.freeman@brattleborohospice.org  or calling 802.257.0775 ext 101 and leave your contact information so that you can receive the emailed zoom invitation and/or telephone call-in number.  

Interested people are encouraged to attend this informational session to ask questions about how to complete or update an Advance Directive for healthcare including where do I find the forms, who should be named as an healthcare agent, who do I give the completed form to, and how do I talk with my family about my healthcare wishes if I am unable to speak for myself? Anyone over 18 years old should have a completed Advance Directive. This is the second weekly zoom informational session, which will be held each Wednesday from 10-11 am through June 24, 2020.

Happy Walpurgisnacht Everybody!

Walpurgisnacht or Walpurgis Night is the eve of the Christian feast day of Saint Walpurga, an 8th-century abbess and is celebrated on the night of April 30 and the day of May 1.

Saint Walpurga is revered by Christians for battling rabies and whooping cough. Miracle cures are reported from ailing people who anoint themselves with a fluid known as Walpurga’s oil that drains from a rock at her shrine in Eichstatt, Germany.

How To Wear A Mask

Over the past few weeks I have been tempted to create a squad of the mask police. I have seen too many people who either don’t seem to understand how a facemask is supposed to work or they think half a job is better than none.

When I see people who do not cover their nose with a mask my blood pressure rises a little, but I have refrained from telling them how to use it correctly. Forty years as a nurse in a variety of settings has given me some credibility in this area, having probably spent hundreds of hours in close proximity to communicable disease while wearing a mask and other protective gear.

This isn’t rocket science. It’s actually pretty simple if you just put a little bit of thought into why you are wearing a mask. Although some masks are more effective than others they all have the same purpose: to stop the spread of disease.

Vermont COVID-19 Cases – May 2020

We’ll continue our daily dashboard number roundup, with numbers from the Vermont Department of Health and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital with looks at nearby counties in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

You can find the April dashboard reporting here.

Vermont Covid-19 Real Estate Guidance

Stay Home Stay Safe Sector Specific Guidance

New Rules effective April 20 for various occupations:

Guidance specifically for Real Estate

Blind Men and An Elephant

There is a lot of solid science to help us understand how to deal with COVID 19, the disease caused by SARS-Cov 2. Keep in mind that this disease is related to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that occurred in 2002-2003, but experts believe that COVID 19 has somehow become more pathogenic.

We want to trust the experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, because he has become a prominent spokesman for delivering news that seems based in science and not politics.

But even Fauci and many other equally reputable scientists admit they wish they knew more about this new disease outbreak to provide guidance about the safest way for societies to proceed. Politics is clouding the picture and erring on the side of caution is the best advice for now. We need to move slowly while using the best available scientific information.

Coronavirus: Vermont AFL-CIO Crisis Demands & The Need To Rebuild The Economy Through A Green New Deal

Much progress has been made in the Green Mountains since the start of the Coronacrisis. And we should all recognize the rapid pace at which it was achieved. Together, as Vermonters, we have:

* Unemployment Insurance: Greatly lowered the qualifying thresholds for unemployment insurance;

* Worker Safety & Health: Seen most unionized cities and towns take meaningful steps to better protect the health and safety of workers;

* Feeding Low Income Children: Secured food for low income children;

Vermont Cases of COVID-19, April 2020

Here are the daily Vermont Department of Health COVID-19 Updates for April, 2020, as they are released. Also, surrounding county information for the Brattleboro area. Also, as of April 3, we’re including numbers from Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

Blood Drive at Winston Prouty on April 14

Winston Prouty and the American Red Cross are hosting an upcoming blood drive on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, from 12 – 5 PM in the Prouty Gym in Brattleboro.

Blood levels are historically low. Red Cross protocols will ensure a safe environment for this essential event.

Don’t Forget The Support Staff

Everyone treating COVID 19 patients are risking their lives. Doctors, nurses, respiratory, physical and occupational therapists, pharmacists, lab techs, social workers and a host of other professionals are on the front lines of an unprecedented health care battle and they are making do with dwindling resources. It’s as close to a worst case scenario as there can be.

There is also another group of health care workers that never get enough recognition or pay because they are the invisible foundation or our institutional health care systems. They are the housekeepers, maintenance personnel and food service workers who make sure that the patient care environment is safe, supportive and clean for the sick as well as for the other health care workers who make a lot more money than they do.

WGDR Interview: VT AFL-CIO President Van Deusen on the CoronaCrisis & Rebuilding Through A Green New Deal

The Coronavirus public health crisis is rapidly becoming an economic crisis for the working class. In this interview (WGDR 91.1 FM) Vermont AFL-CIO President David Van Deusen discusses the steps already taken to address the needs of working people, what still has to be done in the here and now, and the need for a Green New Deal to rebuild society after the immediate danger passes.

Click on the below video link to listen to the full interview:

Reflections In The Time of Pandemic

We are focusing our efforts on self-preservation and prevention during this time of pandemic. But we will all have more time on our hands for reflection and I urge people to stand back a little and try to take the bigger view whenever possible. It will help with the state of your mental health and it may provide some comfort, even if fleeting.

Most of us have had little experience with the process of death and dying and that inexperience tends to create fear. In past generations death was a part of life that everyone watched play out in their family. They had a chance to understand what lay ahead and they learned acceptance of that inevitability.

Information About Alternative Disinfectants and Hand Santizers

Because rubbing alcohol, disinfectant spray, and hand sanitizer are still difficult or impossible to find, here are two ideas:

1. Grain alcohol –  BE CAREFUL,   IT IS VERY FLAMMABLE!  and it’s not cheap ($19- $21), but these are unusual circumstances!

Everclear Vodka is 151 proof (75.5% alcohol) available at NH Liquor Stores. Here is link to the current supply on hand at each store, and what’s on order:    https://www.liquorandwineoutlets.com/products/detail/1692/everclear_151

VT AFL-CIO On Combating the Coronacrisis: Where We Stand – Where We Need To Be

Montpelier, Vermont – In the seven days since the Vermont AFL-CIO put forth a list of demands to State government on behalf of ALL working class Vermonters, we have seen meaningful progress. The following steps have either already been taken, or are in the process of being implemented:

· Our Labor and Health: An overwhelming number of Unionized employees of Towns & Cities continue to receive full pay and benefits even if ordered home (and in many communities older or health compromised workers have been afforded the right to go home with said pay, even when their job responsibilities are important to base line operations);

There’s Something Very Unifying About A Global Crisis

Cruise Ship

There’s something very unifying about a global crisis — a great inescapable event that affects us all at the same time.  Such crises seem rare but in modern times, they happen often.  We have world economic crises, a global climate crisis, and a crisis of faith in our leaders that’s led to widespread social uprisings around the world.  These sorts of crises affect everyone to some extent, but the effects are hard to gauge.  Some people are affected disproportionately, others not at all.

COVID 19 and the U.S. Health Care System

There may be a bright side to the current COVID 19 pandemic, at least in terms of showing how the current U.S. for-profit health care system fails people when they get sick. In the political debate about a Medicare for All plan the defensive posture is to tell people not to support it because they will have to give up their current health insurance.

Last time I checked I couldn’t find people who tell me they love their current health insurance plan and that they would never give it up. As things stand now for people who have private insurance that they pay for in part, or in whole, contracting a serious case of COVID 19 could mean bills anywhere from $10,000 to one million dollars depending on the type of insurance they have or don’t have.

Coronavirus: We Need Public Healthcare, Paid FMLA, Paid Unemployment Benefits For All – Not More Rhetoric

As Vermonters, we have heard the warnings to avoid crowds and unnecessary travel. We have heard the recommendation to wash hands frequently. And now we are hearing that some institutions, like Vermont Law School, Middlebury College, & Champlain College are closing their campuses. We also hear rumblings that school districts and perhaps even aspects of State Government will follow suit if and when the infection rate grows. We are being told that this is to diminish the transmission of the Coronavirus and therefore to save lives. What we have NOT heard is how 10,000s of workers are expected to survive with no wages and a limited access to healthcare if and when more workplaces shutdown.

So if I work for private non-union shop that closes its doors in reaction to the virus, and if I am receiving no pay, and if I have no healthcare, how I am expected to feed my family, pay rent, get medical care, and not face an economic disaster? Conversely, what if my work stays open but my kid’s school closes down? Without public (or affordable) childcare how am I suppose to care for my children? Where is the plan to protect working people not only from the virus, but also from economic ruin? Must we as workers decide between exposure to a deadly disease or total economic collapse? Or will that bad choice be made for us?