April 3rd E-newsletter from Legislator Kara Hahn
Reminding Suffolk County to Stay home, Stay safe, Save lives!
Suffolk County continues to see an increase in illness, hospitalizations and deaths related to the novel coronavirus. It is vitally important that all Suffolk County residents following social distancing guidelines and virus containment recommendations.
Know How COVID-19 Spreads
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- 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.
Take steps to protect yourself Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
Stay home if you’re sick
Cover coughs and sneezes
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a facemask if you are sick
- If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
- If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
What You Should Know
When you hear, read, or watch news about an outbreak of an infectious disease such as COVID 19, you may feel anxious and show signs of stress. These signs of stress are normal, and may be more likely or pronounced in people with loved ones with heightened risk. In the wake of an infectious disease outbreak, monitor your own physical and mental health. Know the signs of stress in yourself and your loved ones. Know how to relieve stress, and know when to get help.
Know the Signs of Stress
Behavioral, physical, emotional, and cognitive responses are all common signs of anxiety and stress. You may notice some of them after you learn about an infectious disease outbreak.
Monitor Your Behavior
- Increase or decrease in your energy and activity levels
- Increase in your alcohol, tobacco use, or use of illegal drugs
- Increase in irritability, outbursts of anger and frequent arguing
- Having trouble relaxing or sleeping
- Crying frequently
- Worrying excessively
- Wanting to be alone most of the time
- Blaming other people for everything
- Having difficulty communicating or listening
- Having difficulty giving or accepting help
- Inability to feel pleasure or have fun
Monitor Your Body
- Having stomachaches or diarrhea
- Having headaches and other pains
- Loss of appetite or eating too much
- Sweating or having chills
- Getting tremors or muscle twitches
- Being easily startled
Monitor Your Emotions
- Being anxious or fearful
- Feeling depressed
- Feeling guilty
- Feeling angry
- Feeling heroic, euphoric, or invulnerable
- Not caring about anything
- Feeling overwhelmed by sadness
Monitor Your Thinking
- Having trouble remembering things
- Feeling confused
- Having trouble thinking clearly & concentrating
- Having difficulty making decisions
You can manage stress by taking time to take care for yourself
Keep Things in Perspective
Set limits on how much time you spend reading or watching news about the outbreak. You will want to stay up to date on news of the outbreak. But make sure to take time away from the news to focus on things in your life that are going well and that you can control.
Get the Facts
Find people and resources you can depend on for accurate health information. Learn from them about the outbreak and how you can protect yourself against illness, if you are at risk. You may turn to your family doctor, a state or local health department, U.S. government agencies, or an international organization.
Keep Yourself Healthy
- Eat healthy foods, and drink water.
- Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine & alcohol.
- Do not use tobacco or illegal drugs.
- Get enough sleep and rest.
- Get physical exercise.
Use Practical Ways to Relax
- Relax your body often by doing things that work for you
- Take deep breaths, stretch, meditate, wash your face and hands, or engage in pleasurable hobbies.
- Pace yourself between stressful activities, do a fun thing after a hard task.
- Use time off to relax, eat a good meal, read, listen to music; take a bath.
- Talk about your feelings to loved ones and friends often
Pay Attention to your Body, Feelings and Spirit
- Recognize and heed early warning signs of stress.
- Recognize how your own past experiences affect your way of thinking and feeling about this event, and think of how you handled your thoughts, emotions, and behavior around past events.
- Know that feeling stressed, depressed, guilty, or angry is common after an event like an infectious disease outbreak, even when it does not directly threaten you.
- Connect with others who may be experiencing stress about the outbreak. Talk about your feelings about the outbreak, share reliable health information, and enjoy conversation unrelated to the outbreak, to remind yourself of the many important and positive things in your lives.
- Take time to renew your spirit through meditation, prayer, or helping others in need.
The current health crisis posed by COVID-19 is changing the way Behavioral Health services are being delivered. All the following providers are responding with safe, creative and remote connections to care. HELP IS AVAILABLE, so check out this list of resources:
Want to Help?
During this difficult time, one way to make a difference in the lives of your neighbors and in your community is by helping others.
Blood Donations Urgently Needed
The New York Blood Center is advising that it is in urgent need of blood and plasma donations from donors who have not been exposed to the coronavirus. If you are able to dontate, please call the Blood Center at 1-800-688-0900 for additional information and to schedule an appointment.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Supply Drive Continues
Stony Brook University is collecting donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) that will be used by Stony Brook University Hospital professionals. The university is currently accepting PPE donations that include face shields, N95 3M 1860 masks, protective eyewear, goggles, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and other supplies required for staff safety. The PPE will then be distributed to medical personnel to use while interacting with possible (PUI) and known COVID-19 patients.
If members of the community have medical supplies or comfort care items to donate, they should contact Joan Dickinson, Stony Brook University Community Relations Director, at Joan.Dickinson@stonybrook.edu or at 631-219-0603 so a drop off time and location can be arranged and donations put into the right hands quickly.
Looking to Fill Ten Minutes of Time Doing Something Vital for Your Community?
Help shape your and your community’s future by responding to the 2020 Census. Visit www.my2020census.gov to respond to 12 short questions that will take approximately 10 minutes of your time. Doing so will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, no matter the size, no matter the location!
Keeping New Yorkers Connected
Are you looking for ways to stay positive and connect to others while socially distancing? The following web site offers opportunities to connect to others in a safe venue that can help you stay connected.
Get Schooled With Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Offerings
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County is working to bring the knowledge to you when it is needed most!
Staller Center for the Arts Comes Home
The Staller Center for the Arts has announced that during the month of April it will be offering new resources from its Instrument Petting Zoo (IPZ). According to the organization:
"We know many of our patrons are at home with children or grandchildren and are looking for things to do with them. We hope you’ll find some entertainment, enlightenment, and education from our online resources. You can also download music education workbooks and create music together at home. Visit stallercenter.com/outreach for all available content."
The Staller Center also announce that in May it will make available online some of its award-winning short films from previous years of the Stony Brook Film Festival presented by Island Federal Credit Union.
Gallery North Invites you to Take an ArtVenture
Looking for something creative and fun to do with your children? Then visit Gallery North’s Facebook Page for its ArtVentures at Home videos. The daily uploads are a good way to let your creativity loose while you’re pent-up inside.
Residents who have questions related to the COVID-19 should continue to visit the county website, www.SuffolkCountyNY.gov or call Suffolk 3-1-1, or 631-853-6311 if outside the county, where you will be directly connected to a live operator who can direct your call to the appropriate place.