Situations like this Coronavirus “COVID-19” pandemic make us feel helpless. No one knows who will be infected, and because of the up to 14-day incubation period, we may be infected and not even know it.
Well, as a crew of dedicated people committed to serving their community, staff and interns here at that Borderland Rainbow Center were feeling pretty sad and helpless about the new Center of Disease Control guidelines to avoid meetings of more than 10 people. Will we have to cancel all our events?
That leaves people not just socially distanced, but socially isolated. Then it occurred to me that we learned most everything we need to know to handle a pandemic in Kindergarten.
* Wash your hands. *Follow directions. *Eat healthy foods. * Take a nap. * Keep your hands to yourself (and away from your face). * Be kind. *Don’t run with scissors. * Share nicely with others.
It’s the last two lessons I’d like to consider a bit more closely here.
*Don’t run with scissors.
In this situation, this means, don’t take unnecessary risks. So rather than cancelling all of our regular events, the Borderland Rainbow Center decided in the interest of “not running with scissors,” we will be converting all support group meetings to an online format. You will be able to call in and receive support through a free conference call line.
The call-in number and PIN code will be listed one hour before the group is scheduled to start on our Facebook page on the event page of each scheduled group. If you have questions you can inbox us through Facebook and get help getting connected.
We want you to know that you are not alone. Help and support are here, and if you have a phone, you can access them. If you are unable to call in, please email us at [email protected] with your question or concern and we will do our best to support you.
So yeah, stay home. Skip the large crowds, cook at home if possible, get plenty of rest, and most importantly don’t go out if you are sick. If you have a fever that does not respond to a fever reducer like Aspirin, Tylenol, etc. and you are coughing or having trouble breathing, then follow the directions given by the Department of Public Health.
To my knowledge (El Paso DPH Webpage) this means: 1) stay at home; 2) stay away from others; 3) wear a face mask to cover your coughs and sneezes; and 4) seek medical advice. Do not go the Emergency Room unless you are having serious problems breathing.
*Share nicely with others
Sharing nicely means not hoarding food or supplies. Don’t price gouge if you do have extra stock of supplies. Your profit making is interrupting other people’s ability to keep themselves safe.
Sharing nicely also means checking on your elderly neighbors, family, and friends. Some of them enjoy talking on the phone, unlike our current text-focused generations, so this could just mean making a call every day or two to see how they are.
Sharing nicely with others also means sharing public space respectfully. If you need to be in public, do not go out when you are sick, especially if you are coughing, sneezing, or running a fever. You could be spreading COVID-19, or the common cold, or influenza. Anything that makes people sick increases their risk, not just actually having COVID-19. It’s not respectful to only consider your need to go out and do whatever, without considering the needs of other people not to be exposed to whatever is making you cough or run a fever. Be nice. Be considerate.
Most of all, be safe.
Author: Brenda Risch – Borderland Rainbow Center
The Borderland Rainbow Center’s mission is to create a community space in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex (LGBTQI) people and their allies can heal, grow, and empower themselves and others.
This substance-free space is governed and run according to ethically sound standards and research-based best practices for (LGBTQI) people and their allies. The BRC connects LGBTQI people to resources for improved physical and mental health, economic stability, legal rights, education, spiritual and cultural enrichment.