Things You Can Do This Weekend Inside
By Patrick Wilson
While increasing numbers of us are spending more time social distancing, attempting to avoid the Coronavirus, we are finding ourselves with a whole lot of time to worry about the situation at hand. Many of us have had a very high stress level since the 2016 election. The ineptness of our government to handle the situation, or even let us know the seriousness of it is apalling. If we are to persist, we need to take care of ourselves.
Yoga blends a bit of the mind, body and soul. There are many proven benefits both physically and mentally. Yoga reduces stress. It improves respiration, energy and vitality. Maintains metabolism. Improves cardio and circulatory health. Some studies have shown that yoga helps increase the maximum uptake of oxygen. According to healthline.com, “After a three-month yoga program, the women had significantly lower levels of cortisol. They also had lower levels of stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression.”
Spa Night(or Day)
There are so many times that we wish we had a day or two to nurture our needs. For some, it might be lighting those candles and actually soaking in the tub without thinking about the time. A facial, manicure/pedicure, massage, we can by treating ourselves stay a little healthier. Others might like to organize their space, polish that gear, start to get rid of that extra stuff that’s just sitting around. Cleanse the body, cleanse the house, cleanse the soul.
Read a Book
What a great opportunity after a spa night or day, or even perhaps during, to rekindle our love for books. The smell, the crispness of the pages, the first fold. Letting our imaginations take us to different times and places, learning new things. Maybe pull out that old copy of ‘Rules for Radicals’. This is a great time to read a book.
Have a Party
Having a Party is a social event. Going to a bar/club many times is a social thing. Having tea with the ladies is definitely a social thing. Even that afternoon sesh is a social thing. Just because we can’t do those things in person right now doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the same things virtually/remotely. Facebook live allows you to add other users to your stream which goes out on facebook. There’s also Hangouts(google), and YouTube(also google) which offers ways for you to make that stream public or private(you and your guests).
Many musicians and bands are playing online shows using facebook or other online mediums. They are doing it for good causes. Many of these performances, although free, offer the opportunity to donate a few bucks, which normally goes to struggling artists and the places that they normally perform. Maybe you haven’t performed in a while, but why not. People are doing it informally in the comfort of their kitchen or living room. You don’t even have to be a musical artist. Now is a great time to share our passions.
Do a Cooking Show
Have something that you’re really good at making? We all have plenty of devices that are connected to social media. Why not get things organized and do a facebook live and teach others how to make your dish too. People are able to interact with your stream as well, so this is also great social interaction. If you can’t break bread together, why not kinda make it together this way.
Play Board Games
If you’re at home with family and loved ones, think about pulling out some of those old dusty board games. Sooner or later you are going to want to do something besides stare at television and computer/device screens, and board games offer not only a diversion from the news but an opportunity to interact on other subjects. With televised sporting events canceled, those that like to wager are finding different outlets for their entertainment.
Marijuana is legal now in many states. Thank Goodness, right?! In many states, it’s also legal to grow your own. In the northeast, it’s about the right time to start seedlings. This is very simple to do. You obviously have to get some seeds. I would recommend buying some legally, that way you at least have an idea what you are going to get. There are tons of how-to videos and instructions online that can help you with the process. Grow and Share. This is also a great time to germinate flowers and vegetables for planting in spring.
Make a Podcast or VideoBlog
Are you a media junkie? Do you have expertise in an area that is of public interest and pertinent? Maybe you teach a college course or two. Share your knowledge as it relates to current events. You can help to not only educate the public, but also give diminished voices a place to be heard. There are many simple ways that you can do this using your phone, tablet or computer.
Take an Online Class
Students around the world are going to be continuing their educations online for the near future. Part of our health is our mental health, and nourishing the mind is as important as the body. It doesn’t matter what your age or educational level is, there are free educational opportunities online that are structured and will allow you to learn valuable new skills.
‘Willfully Choosing Not to Listen to Scientists’: DNC Chair Tom Perez Under Fire for Urging States to Hold Primaries Despite Coronavirus Crisis
“That Tom Perez is encouraging this, and threatening states who postpone in-person voting, is criminal.”
By Jake Johnson
Ignoring urgent pleas from medical professionals and other health experts to postpone primary elections amid the coronavirus outbreak, Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez late Tuesday encouraged states to go ahead with their scheduled contests, claiming “we can in fact have voting and protect our workers, our voters, our candidates.”
“I think it’s a false choice to suggest we either have to protect safety or protect and ensure our democracy,” Perez said in an interview with NPR late Tuesday as voters in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois went to the polls despite widespread calls for a delay. Former Vice President Joe Biden swept all three states.
“Deeply disappointed that the DNC is willfully choosing not to listen to scientists during one of the most critical moments in recent history.”
—Dr. Lucky Tran
“What you saw in Arizona today, and in Florida, was in Arizona more people voted early than voted in the entirety of the Democratic primary in 2016,” Perez said.
In a statement earlier Tuesday, Perez critized Ohio’s widely praised decision to delay its presidential primary, asserting that it “only bred more chaos and confusion.”
Critics argued that Perez’s position runs counter to the recommendations of scientists—as well as the federal government—and could put countless lives at risk.
“Deeply disappointed that the DNC is willfully choosing not to listen to scientists during one of the most critical moments in recent history,” tweeted biologist Dr. Lucky Tran.
Pointing to a video of an elderly Illinois resident voicing alarm Tuesday about conditions at her polling site—where she said hundreds of people, including vulnerable seniors, were gathered in a room for hours at a time—The Intercept‘s Ryan Grim ripped Perez for permitting such a potentially disastrous situation.
“That Tom Perez is encouraging this, and threatening states who postpone in-person voting, is criminal,” Grim tweeted, referring to a DNC memo sent last Wednesday warning that states could face a “delegate penalty” if they push back their scheduled elections.
“It’s not out of the question that when this is over there could be demands for prosecutions of those who knowingly did this,” Grim said.
Puerto Rico is set to hold its Democratic presidential primary on March 29, followed by contests on April 4 in Alaska, Hawaii, and Wyoming.
That @TomPerez is encouraging this, and threatening states who postpone in-person voting, is criminal. It’s not out of the question that when this is over there could be demands for prosecutions of those who knowingly did this. https://t.co/4DpOygKtXE
— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) March 17, 2020
Ahead of Tuesday’s primaries, more than 1,600 people—including at least 100 medical professionals—signed an open letter demanding that the DNC and secretaries of state to delay primary contests until at least May, a move that would allow states to implement alternatives to in-person voting if needed.
“By postponing primaries, state governments will be able to keep resources focused, and they will not need to worry about the distraction of running primaries while responding to this pandemic,” the letter reads. “This will also give time for the states to implement alternative voting mechanisms, such as vote-by-mail, at a sufficient scale if the pandemic continues to be an emergency for these states.”
“As people are understandably avoiding public places and crowds, we expect turnout to be depressed. Rescheduling the primaries would ensure that more people are allowed to exercise their right to vote without fear,” the letter continues. “For the health of our fellow citizens and our democracy, please act now to postpone the upcoming March primaries until May.”
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‘They Are Saving Our Lives’: Demand Grows for Grocery Store Employees, Other Frontline Workers to Receive Hazard Pay Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
“Crewmembers are terrified, knowing their job is putting them on the frontlines of a global pandemic.”
Grocery stores and other U.S. businesses remaining open amid the coronavirus pandemic are facing pressure from unions and activists to provide hazard pay for employees whose jobs involve tasks that put them at direct risk of exposure to the infectious disease.
“Trader Joe’s needs to provide workers hazard pay starting right now,” tweeted Trader Joe’s Union, an account formed by a group of workers pushing for the store’s employees to unionize. “Crewmembers are terrified, knowing their job is putting them on the frontlines of a global pandemic. It is not enough to receive [paid time off] only after being proven sick.”
“We have been hearing from workers across the country interested in unionizing,” the group added, “but we’ve also been hearing from workers who feel forced to work until they get sick, who don’t have the means to find safety or security in calling out, and who are terrified at what’s to come.”
Trader Joe’s (and all grocery store employees) are first responders. They are saving our lives by making sure we can eat during a terrifying crisis.
Take two seconds to email https://t.co/m1XqohI28x and ask that they get hazard pay NOW. The store is making bank. They can do it https://t.co/ZueFwj3JWT
— Dani Fernandez (@msdanifernandez) March 16, 2020
A video posted by chef José Andrés of supermarket employees stocking shelves in the early hours of the morning Monday sparked an outpouring of gratitude for the essential role grocery store workers are playing in providing Americans with food and other necessities during the outbreak.
Supermarket jobs are overwhelmingly low-wage and often don’t come with decent benefit packages—or the luxury of working from home until the COVID-19 outbreak subsides.
“They deserve hazard pay and paid sick leave,” said one Twitter user. “They should also get some [paid time off] once this crisis passes.”
Andrés, founder of a non-profit devoted to providing meals following natural disasters, amplified that demand:
Late at night 2:00 and is amazing how on every supermarket, farmers markets Etc women and men like them will work non stop to replenish every shelve. Next to the Medical staff across the world, people like them are and will be heroes to keep humanity fed! Thank them! #CoronaVirus pic.twitter.com/6J006BbPpU
— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) March 16, 2020
Unions are also demanding hazard pay for public-sector workers facing possible on-the-job exposure to COVID-19, which has infected at least 3,600 people and killed 66 in the United States.
“The federal government has hundreds of thousands of workers who come in daily contact with the public—workplace inspectors, mail carriers, hospital workers, park rangers, passport processors, Social Security representatives, museum workers,” the Washington Post reported Saturday.
In written testimony to Congress last Wednesday, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) demanded that government employees facing possible exposure to the novel coronavirus receive adequate protections and hazard pay.
Government Executive reported last week that three Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers in San Jose, California tested positive for COVID-19 and “a couple dozen employees deemed to have had contact with those workers are home on self-quarantine.”
TSA workers are not currently eligible for hazard pay, despite their jobs requiring daily interactions with hundreds of travelers.
“We do everything we can to protect passengers, but who is protecting us?” Hydrick Thomas, president of AFGE’s TSA Council, asked in a statement last Thursday.licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.