There are unprecedented events in each generation, things that define and shape our behaviors and way of life. Right now, we are facing extraordinary challenges and changes to our daily lives that will impact us in ways we cannot yet fully understand.
In the past few decades, we have seen more and more of these unprecedented events, and they seem to be more often and in larger scale than ever before. Our world is changing quickly, and we are struggling to keep up with these changes. My children are still very young and cannot comprehend the full picture of what we face right now, but it will no doubt impact them throughout their lives.
The most important thing that we can do is to remember that we will get through this together.
“All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we’re giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world. That’s one of the things that connects us as neighbors—in our own way, each one of us is a giver and a receiver.”
- Mr. Rogers
While it seems overwhelming and all-encompassing right now, it will not be this way forever. I have faith and hope that we will deepen our ties of compassion and generosity for one another and will come through this with stronger relationships and stronger communities.
We must all do our part in this global crisis; it is our individual actions that will define the success of our efforts. The single greatest thing that you can do to help fight this virus is to stay home and limit physical contact. This seems easy, and may be for some, but can be a serious hardship for many.
There are many who have been laid off or furloughed and are worried about making ends meet. There are many small business owners that are facing hardships and losses. There are families struggling to coexist in their homes while also trying to homeschool. There are many people working from home and facing the struggles that can cause. There are many who are cut off from the contact with family, grandchildren, friends and community that are struggling to make it through the feelings of isolation. There are many who continue to take risks to themselves in order to ensure we have access to healthcare, food, transportation and other essential resources. And ALL of us are feeling the increased stress and anxiety during this time.
This is a redefining of how we live and function.
I know we’ve all been receiving a lot of communications with resources and advice but I feel it is incredibly important for us to continue to share resources and words of kindness wherever possible so that they are available to all of us when we need them the most.
So, with that being said, I have compiled the following resources. Please feel free to share with anyone who may benefit from them.
Personal Safety and Well Being Resources
While we are adapting to these changes it is extremely important that we all monitor and take care of our physical and mental health. Exercise, healthy eating and rest are more important than ever. Keeping to a schedule is also helpful. Reach out to friends and loved ones, check in, say ‘hi’, or play a game from afar. Just a few minutes spent talking to someone outside of your home can help reset and refresh.
Coronavirus Anxiety Toolkit https://www.virusanxiety.com/
My 'Go To' Recipe Page https://www.bonappetit.com/collection/best
An article that struck my fancy about staying fit and healthy https://www.zdnet.com/article/ideas-to-help-you-stay-fit-and-healthy-while-social-distancing-and-self-isolating/
An article about staying mentally healthy as well https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/five-tips-stay-positive-and-healthy-during-social-isolation
With people in higher states of stress there is also an increased risk to those who are already facing an unsafe environment at home. Keeping in contact with people you know can help provide them a healthy outlet and alert each other to someone who needs extra help.
National Parent Crisis Helpline 1-855-4APARENT (1-855-427-2736) https://www.nationalparenthelpline.org/
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) https://www.thehotline.org/help/
National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) https://www.rainn.org/
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
WA Substance Abuse, Problem Gambling and Mental Health Helpline 1-866-789-1511 https://www.warecoveryhelpline.org/
Economic and Small Business Resources
With so many businesses closed there are many, many people out of work. If you have been laid off or furloughed during this time, there are resources available to expedite unemployment benefits. If you own a small business, the SBA has declared Washington a disaster area allowing access to low interest SBA loans.
Employment Security Department https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment
Small Business Administration https://www.sba.gov/
My family has been homeschooling for a few years now and I know very well how challenging it can be to teach children at home. It can be overwhelming at times, but the best practice is to encourage learning in everything you do. Talk about how things work, answer questions about the world around us, encourage kids to ask questions and explore the answers. The more they enjoy learning, the more they want to learn. Try to do activities together (like building a volcano) or make challenges that kids can compete with (like who can construct the strongest toothpick bridge). There are many online homeschool resources that you can use for ideas. Try to stick with a routine for sleeping and eating and remember that TV can be a great tool when you need it. Try to watch together when you can and look for shows that you can learn from. And remember that sometimes watching their favorite cartoon for the 50th time is what everyone needs to reset.
Free educational videos https://ed.ted.com/
Free lessons and parental resources https://www.khanacademy.org/
The most important thing I want to encourage is to spread kindness and compassion whenever possible. We are all trying to adapt and to stay safe and healthy. Try to take some time each day to do something fun with the people you live with: play a game, watch a movie together, or cook a meal together. There are still ways to volunteer and help in your community as well. Reach out to see how you can help from home or if any essential services need assistance.
List of organizations that need help and resources https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/03/21/how-you-can-help-during-coronavirus/?arc404=true
While I will not be able to knock on your door or visit with you at events during this time, I am still dedicated to this campaign and am working hard to bring my experience, expertise and compassion to the legislature. As I said at the beginning of this letter, I have four very young children and their futures depend not only on the actions we take right now but the investments we make in tomorrow.
As always, if there is anything I can do to make your life a little easier while we all navigate this together, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
Candidate for State Representative, 10th LD, Position 1