Incorruptible Massachusetts

Solidarity LIVE! Mutual aid, a doctor's perspective, and Somerville paraprofessional teachers

June 03, 2020 Anna Callahan Season 3 Episode 2
Incorruptible Massachusetts
Solidarity LIVE! Mutual aid, a doctor's perspective, and Somerville paraprofessional teachers
Incorruptible Massachusetts
Solidarity LIVE! Mutual aid, a doctor's perspective, and Somerville paraprofessional teachers
Jun 03, 2020 Season 3 Episode 2
Anna Callahan

The audio portion of Anna's Solidarity LIVE! video interview with

  • Hannah Friedman from MAMAS (Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville)
  • Myfanwy Callahan, MD, a Medford doctor speaking from the frontlines on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting healthcare workers, hospitals, and medical facilities
  • Daphnee Balan, a Somerville paraprofessional teacher

(Apologies for the echoing is parts of the guest audio... we had technical issues with Skype)

Support the show (

Show Notes Transcript

The audio portion of Anna's Solidarity LIVE! video interview with

  • Hannah Friedman from MAMAS (Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville)
  • Myfanwy Callahan, MD, a Medford doctor speaking from the frontlines on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting healthcare workers, hospitals, and medical facilities
  • Daphnee Balan, a Somerville paraprofessional teacher

(Apologies for the echoing is parts of the guest audio... we had technical issues with Skype)

Support the show (

Anna Callahan:   0:00
[The following rough transcript was made by a computer program and has errors. The audio is the definitive version of the podcast.] and uh, so it looks like we are live. I want to say hello to everybody who's watching. Um, I'm I I see that Hannah is a little bit frozen, so I'm going to go ahead and, um, switch her over. Hey, we've got her. Awesome. So I'm Anna Callahan, and I have with me Hannah Friedman, who has been doing just amazing work with Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville. So fantastic. Really great. So, um, Hannah, I would love to have you just say a little bit about who you are and, you know, how MAMAS Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville started.

Hannah Friedman, Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville (MAMAS):   0:46
Yeah, thanks Anna. Hi, everyone. My name is Hannah. I use she/hers pronouns. I live in Medford, right by Magoon Square. And, um, yeah, I'm uh, been in Medford for -- I came here for college and stayed, and, um, MAMAS started right when about a week and 1/2 ago, two weeks ago, when a lot of the Coronavirus precautions were really starting to become like a present reality for everyone and with two of my house mates and another friend who's local to Somerville we started MAMAS, which is -- stands for Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville. And, um, it's basically a collective instead of resource tunes about how to set up a mutual aid network in your area. And so there are a bunch of different parts. There's ways where folks can provide offerings that they have the other committee members can can share in. There is a place where people can write about needs that they have. Other community members can get in touch with them to fill it. And then there are neighborhood pods, which are basically like folks that take on reaching out to their neighbors and, um, spreading the word in like a certain geographic region and then kind of connecting all of their neighbors with the larger resource bank that we're building with MAMAS. So things are still pretty new. It's only been about two weeks, and we are, you know, just, like, reflecting and trying to shift and build things out to really be the kind of network that we're gonna need to weather this crisis.

Anna Callahan:   2:23
Yeah, absolutely. We're -- So we're gonna talk more about MAMAS in just a second. Um, I thought we might open up with a couple of public service announcements. Um, and I don't know, if you've had a chance to read these, there have been some Medium posts that became very popular by a guy named Thomas Puayo. I'm not sure that I pronounce that correctly. I don't know. Um, but, uh -- Oh and by the way, if you're watching on YouTube you can just write a question or comment, and then we can see those and we will answer people as this goes on live. Um, so in the first Medium post that he that he made called "Coronavirus: why you must act now" that one is really about how serious this is and the importance of, um, social distancing or what I like to call physical distancing, right? We need to be physically distant from each other. Um, keeping six feet of space, not touching things other people have touched just the the reality of how incredibly contagious Coronavirus is, um, and how important it is that we we slow down. We like, flattened the curve. As they say, we slow down the number of people who are infected because of the fear of overwhelming our, um, our hospitals. So I don't know if you have any thoughts about that.

Hannah Friedman, Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville (MAMAS):   3:56
Just to keep listening to -- uh oh...uh

Anna Callahan:   4:01
You seem good. I can hear you.

Hannah Friedman, Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville (MAMAS):   4:03
I'm so sorry. Technical difficulties. So sorry

Anna Callahan:   4:07
that's OK. We can see and hear your great

Hannah Friedman, Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville (MAMAS):   4:10
Great. Um, yeah, that's that's sounds good to me. Just trying to keep up with all of the the really fast moving, like, new public health guidelines that are in place.

Anna Callahan:   4:22

Hannah Friedman, Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville (MAMAS):   4:23
You can to keep totally safe.

Anna Callahan:   4:25
That's right. Yeah. So I just wanted to kind of start this off in case there are people who don't really understand the magnitude of the crisis that we're in and why people are doing all these measures. Like, why the -- while the schools have been shut down? Why all the restaurants have been shut down. Why? While all this stuff is happening, um, that it really is critical that we not overwhelm our -- our hospitals basically. Um, but the other one and he did a second post after got, like many millions of views on that first post. Um, and basically, it's talking about what does this look like? Do we have to stay indoors, you know, socially isolated from each other for six months or a year? Like how long, you know, for people who have or may be aware of how bad it is and want to -- to not be, uh, and need a ray of hope. So the ray of hope is that already in some countries they have flattened the curve. Um and so it's really a question of right now doing everything we can to reduce the number of people who get it at the same time. Um, but, you know, there was a great video, uh, of a doctor talking about what's happening in Taiwan, and in Taiwan, you know, they are, um they are currently kind of going about their daily lives. They have tons of tests -- they have testing for everyone there. Plenty of masks. Everyone wears masks as you enter public places, like schools or shopping malls, they have little people who have, like, a little forehead temperature check. Um, and then if you are quarantined, the government actually calls you -- the national healthcare. So the national health care system calls you three times a day to ask you about your symptoms. And if you need to go to hospital, they arranged to have you delivered to the hospital, and they pay people to stay home. So, you know, there's a lot of hope there that we're not gonna have to live like this forever. Um, and if we could just, uh, you be good for the next few weeks, we'll see every country's different every region's different. But hopefully we can get it under control and have some hope for more normal lives soon.

Anna Callahan:   6:48
Um, okay, great. So now I want to ask more questions about about Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville. It's so exciting. I know you guys have, um you have a lot of email lists. Can you just talk about sort of what you have available to people and how people are communicating through MAMAS.

Hannah Friedman, Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville (MAMAS):   7:08
Yeah, so things are still in the works, and we are launching new systems like almost every day, which is pretty cool. But, um, right now, the things that we have available for folks are to connect via the Needs and Offerings spreadsheets, which can be found on our website mutual aid mamas dot com. And we also have a hotline that's available to folks. Um oh, my God. I should know the number by heart, but I don't let me pull it up. The hotline number if anybody like ever needs anything wants to get in touch with anyone connects up with some resource is you can call our hotline at 339-5451315. Again, that's 339-545-1315. And we have an awesome rotating list of volunteers that are answering those hotline calls every day and, um, connecting people with the resources that they need. So in addition to the hotline and the Needs and Offerings list, we also have a set a Google Groups that folks can join if they're interested in taking on a more active organizing role in the network.  And we also have, like a WhatsApp chat of all of the neighborhood point people who can get together and just like share best practices and tips and ideas and support each other on that. So, yeah, if you sign up with the through the Offerings form or otherwise give us your email, um, we will put you on our our email list that we've been sending out a couple of newsletters we just started this week, and hope to continue sending out newsletters with like resource roundups, and calls to action, and other ways that folks can plug in.

Anna Callahan:   8:51
Yeah, that's awesome. Um, so I know that, uh, we -- we don't want to, you know, give out any personal information. But what are the needs that you're hearing, right? I'm assuming, uh, like, there are people who lost their jobs. There are people -- there are college students who have been kicked out of the -- out of the dorms. Um, so tell me, what are some of the things that, uh, that you're hearing from people in their needs?

Hannah Friedman, Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville (MAMAS):   9:26
Yeah. It really runs the gamut. Folks are in all kinds of different situations and like you, like you lift it up. There's a lot of college students that were needing, especially right when Tufts was closing. Some, like, rapid response support and some housing support. But we've also just had folks who are either immunocompromised and self-quarantining -- are folks who, like might be -- might have been exposed and are self quarantining, um, who needs support in getting groceries from the grocery store and picking up their prescriptions and running errands. Um, we are connected with, um some different like local nonprofits to help, like run deliveries back and forth. Are turning some of the little free libraries on the corners into micro food pantries, Which is a pretty quite taking the books out for now and putting some cans and, uh, canned food in. Um, but yeah, and it's also a lot of just like checking in on older folks. We have someone who used to live here who now moved out of state whose mother still lives in Arlington, and he's like, he called us and he was like, she has all alone she doesn't have any groceries? How can you help? And someone was going grocery shopping for her in, like, 15 minutes and, um, yes, stuff like that. There was a pretty funny and really sweet example, right on St. Patrick's Day of an older woman who was really disappointed to be missing out on her annual community corned beef dinner and, um, like, posted about it on the Needs group, and somebody responded and went to the grocery store and bought the ingredients and cooked her a corned beef dinner, delivered. So, really cute. Very Boston.

Anna Callahan:   11:16
Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Um, I want to go ahead and take this opportunity. There was, um, there was somebody posted a need. And, um, you know, for the show, we kind of reached out to a few people. And she says she's very happy to have her, um, her email that she had sent read on the show. So I'm just gonna be the very opening. "My name is" this is -- she said it was fine to read her name. So "my name is Ivy Ryan, and I am a Somerville based actor and teaching artist, and I just lost 3/4 of my income, and I'm scrambling to make it through March and April." So I think there are all sorts of needs that people are posting. Um, it's -- it's really amazing to sort of see what you're talking about, that there are people posting what what's going on in their lives. And then there are all sorts of people who are offering to help. Um, and I think it's very exciting and really what, what every community needs, what our community needs, but what every community needs. Yeah,

Hannah Friedman, Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville (MAMAS):   12:22
Yeah, totally. Yeah, I do just want to speak also, though, too, the role that, like governments could be playing. That would certainly make Mutual Aid work a lot easier. I mean, I feel pretty nervous for April, hurts to roll around and everybody's rent to be due because we are receiving a lot of donations, but it is not gonna be enough to cover all of the needs that folks are gonna have with with bills and rent due April 1st. And I do think that there is an action groups like City Life Vida Urbana that are based in Boston, um, have been calling for rent freezes, moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, mortgage defense, um and there are, like, real material choices that our state politicians could be making to make this crisis a little easier for everyone to weather.

Anna Callahan:   13:18
Absolutely. You know, so thanks for that great segue. Because I was gonna I was gonna run by you. So, Ben Ewen-Campen, City Councilor was going to be here tonight, and then you know how everything is changing, like, every five minutes. I feel like the last week we've been through, like, a month. Um, things are changing so quickly every day, so he's not able to make it tonight. But he sent over some of the the things that he and J. T. Scott -- two Somerville City Councilors, um, have requested --they did a resolution, um, for things that they say the state and national government should do. And I'll just read a few of these off, and I'd love to go to get your your sense about them. So, um, for workers and small business, including universal paid family and medical leave for all, and expanded unemployment insurance for all workers, including self employed, hourly, and gig workers. Um, financial assistance, including regular direct cash payments to all people without means testing for the duration of the crisis. A public ownership stake of any large corporation receiving a federal bailout. And a prohibition on stock buybacks for any large corporation receiving a bailout. And, you know, Stipe stock buybacks or this thing that not like confusing that people understand it if they were illegal until 1982. So it is very recently that corporations have been allowed to sort of buy up all of their own stock, which increases the price of their stock, which makes all their shareholders richer and does nothing for the company except put it in deeper debt. So any thoughts on those before I go on to the next tune.

Hannah Friedman, Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville (MAMAS):   14:55
keep going!

Anna Callahan:   14:58
Awesome um, voting rights, including immediate implementation of vote by mail policies in all states and territories and assure that our demo democ, hoo! that our democracy functions during this crisis? Um, and the 4th one is incarcerated people, including taking all steps to avoid COVID-19 infecting -- infection among incarcerated people, such as releasing all people currently held in pretrial detention. A lot of those are people who just don't have the money to pay for cash bail -- so sad. Um, prohibition on detaining people for greater than 48 hours without a court order. Um, sorry without a court order finding a threat to public safety and immediate clemency and release granted for incarcerated people who do not pose a threat to public safety. Your thoughts?

Hannah Friedman, Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville (MAMAS):   15:53
Yeah. I mean, both -- all sound very important. I hesitate a little to weigh in on your questions about, like, social distancing, public health policies like state policies cause I am not an epidemiologist. I am not a politician. I do not write policy. I'm just like a regular Medford resident like trying to keep things organized. But, um, from what I know about about Ben and J. T., those sound awesome, and I'm really grateful to have their progressive leadership in this moment. I think that all sounds exactly like, um, what is needed. And I feel really excited and blessed to like, follow their lead.

Anna Callahan:   16:32
Yeah, totally. Um, I will say I think we're gonna have a criminal justice person on next week to talk about what's happening in inside of jails, where, you know, they're literally isn't soap. It's like the people are forced to, like eat at the same time. I mean, it's just terrifying, terrifying,

Hannah Friedman, Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville (MAMAS):   16:52
Right, on top of like the existing, like human rights abuses that are already happening.  

Anna Callahan:   16:57
Exactly, exactly, exactly. And the number of people who are in jail for for, like, marijuana, marijuana crimes, which is not a crime. So crazy, So crazy. Um,

Hannah Friedman, Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville (MAMAS):   17:10
yeah. I appreciate you bringing all this up.

Anna Callahan:   17:13
Yeah. Um, any final words before we go on to invite our our local doctor in to chat with us.

Hannah Friedman, Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville (MAMAS):   17:23
That's it! Just that everyone in Medford and Somerville is welcome to get involved. If you are living in like, a neighboring town, we can hook you up with other mutual aid networks that are popping off all across the state and the country. Um, and if you I want to get in touch with us, you could just email mutual aid MAMAS at gmail dot com. And again, if you have any needs whatsoever, you can always reach out to our hotline. That's 339-545-1315 And find us on our website Mutual Aid MAMAS dot com and on Facebook. So that's it for me. Thanks Anna!

Anna Callahan:   18:01
Thank you so much for all incredible, incredible work that you guys have done. It's amazing. Thank you. Thank you. We'll see you soon.

Hannah Friedman, Mutual Aid Medford And Somerville (MAMAS):   18:13
Thank you.

Anna Callahan:   18:18
Um, so I am now going to invite in a doctor whose name is Myfanwy Callahan. And yes, it is not an accident. She is my sister. Uh, and she -- here she is. Oops, let me switch over the name the first time I've done this. Some think There we go. Um, Myfanwy, hello!

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   18:39
Hi there

Anna Callahan:   18:40
I appear to -- unfortunately, you are frozen at the moment, let me just, um, see if I can. You're frozen in Skype. Oh, dear. Oh, my God. Oh, no. We've got it. We've got your photo but we cannot see you in Skype. So let me -- do you mind if I just call you back?

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   18:59
That's absolutely fine. Go ahead. I'll be right here.

Anna Callahan:   19:01
Do that. Oh, no. Let's see. I have lost both of them. I'm gonna do a quick dial in. All right? I haven't seen Hey, it's definitely fall in, I think one second I'm gonna see if I can get my sister in here. Daphnee is gonna be on with us in just a minute.

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   19:39
Hi, there. Hopefully, this is working.

Anna Callahan:   19:41
Great. Give me one second, I'm going to switch over the camera. That looks perfect. Um, one second here. Okay. Hi!

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   19:52

Anna Callahan:   19:53
Um, great to see you. So..

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   19:56

Anna Callahan:   19:57
First, if you don't mind just introducing yourself for, um, for the audience.

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   20:03
Sure. Absolutely. I'm Myfanwy Callahan. I actually practice right here in Medford Center. I'm a primary care internist, uh and I've been working in Medford for about four years, and in Somerville. I was a Somervillen just living there for about 15 years.

Anna Callahan:   20:19
Great. That's awesome. Um, and, uh, yeah, can you? First of all, I'm gonna interrupt to say there was a question. I'm I'm just now looking at the comments. So if you're making a comment said, uh, the guests audio is echoing. Hopefully, we just.  Hopefully it's not echoing anymore. Um, got a thumbs up. That looks like that's right. Someone asks, "Hey, everyone, what's for dinner?" So always, it's always good to have fun on these shows. Um, and someone asked "How many people are involved in MAMAS?" I meant to ask that question. I'm sorry that I didn't, um, we'll get well, next time we'll get some updates on that. So, um, Myfanwy, I would love to ask you just a general question like, "What is it like to be a doctor here in Medford during the -- this craziness?"

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   21:11
I have to say it's not like anything I've ever seen before. And I think everyone could say that, Um, it's really unprecedented, and I think for us as it has been for people in any profession, it's been different every single day. So we actually have been having meetings every day, sometimes multiple times a day. As the guidelines have changed as the testing has become available as the epidemic is expanding and so just trying to keep up with the latest recommendations has won one of the difficulties as we go along.

Anna Callahan:   21:44
So what would like what are -- can you give an example of like a recommendation that was yesterday or the other.

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   21:49
Big difficulties that we're still struggling with is the lack of enough tests. And I will just frankly say, there are not as many tests as I would like to have for Coronavirus. Um, at the very beginning, only, and this was now two weeks ago, only eople who had international travel or knew they were exposed to someone who was positive for Corona virus could even get a test. And obviously we knew there were already cases in Washington and California, you know, all over. And we just didn't know who was exposed and who wasn't. So about 10 days ago, they lifted those restrictions and we were able to test investing cases. But because there are so few tests, they're not nearly enough test to test even the sick patients. And we know that there's some asymptomatic people as well. Um, we're really focusing on those that air high risk for transmitting to others. So people who live in nursing homes, E. M. T s firefighters, grocery store workers who, if we don't know if they have Corona virus or not, could potentially spread it to dozens of other people. So I every day I have questions from patients and I would love to test everyone that is sick and that I think could very well have Corona virus. And currently we just do not have enough testing in the state.

Anna Callahan:   23:03
Wow, any ideas of when that's gonna change?

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   23:07
So I do have some good news, and once again, this is changing every day. So on Monday, the Road Institute reported that they actually developed a rapid test that would take about an hour, possibly even less. That has not been in production and really widely distributed. But I think it should be coming soon. So there is some news, but I still feel that right now we have a test that takes 345 days to come back. Sometimes even Maur, um and people are sheltering in place, not just sheltering. They're quarantining their families, quarantining their friends or quarantining. And it has a huge effect.

Anna Callahan:   23:48
Yeah, and if we only had the testing, then people could get tested and they wouldn't have toe.

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   23:54
Exactly. Then we'd be ableto have the people who need to be quarantined stay home and the people who can go back to work go back to work that's been affecting our providers as well, because right now our biggest effort is to do no harm. So any provider that walks in and has a sniffle I mean, we really have to take them out. Wow, until we get them tested so that we know that we're not spreading it to our patients. And so, um, one of the issues we've had is that we have multiple providers who are quarantined. Um, and they're not able to see patients, which means that limited number providers has to see everyone else.

Anna Callahan:   24:32
Yeah. Um, how can you talk a little bit about other ways that clinics that are that are still open are protecting both the clinicians and patients?

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   24:47
Absolutely. So, one of the things that we have established, we actually have six centers across the state that do drive through testing. And so this is really key, because when we have someone that we think may have corona virus weaken, do the testing, we can get that information to them and they never walk in the building. We know that this has passed through droplets, but also if droplets fall on a surface, a table or a door knob. It can get passed from person to person. So we're really doing our best to limit the exposure of people who might have a Corona virus to people who don't. The other thing that we've done is we've really switched over a ton of visits to telephone or video visits. So, for example, people who might have had their diabetes visit with her doctor now they will talk about their blood. Sugar's over the phone. They'll talk about any side effects. But we may not bring them in because we know that diabetics, for example, are a higher risk of complications. And then the other pieces that were actually canceling a lot of elective visits. Um, I say elective. What I mean is kind of preventive care what usually we want to do to keep people healthy, but those physicals regular check ins we're just postponing for now. Um, and I know that's true in other hospitals to they're cancelling all of the surgeries that don't have to be done right now, knowing that bringing people into the center could help contribute to spread, and that we're gonna need that capacity as the numbers keep skyrocketing.

Anna Callahan:   26:16
Yeah, And so one thing I also wanted to ask you about just because I know we've talked about a little bit is, um, there's some sort of rotation schedule. There's so their specific places where the coefficients are being sent and other places where they're not coming in. And then there's the rotation schedule. You talk a little bit about that.

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   26:35
So, for example, we have those six sites that do the drive your testing they're seeing, um, it's all the patients that normally would be spread across multiple practices. Anyone that we even think could have Corona virus goes to those testing centers, which allows the other testing centers to see other patients that need to be seen. You know, people still sprained their ankle, they still get appendicitis. They still need to come in from time to time. And we just want to protect those patients who have the usual things from getting corona virus.

Anna Callahan:   27:07
Yeah. Um, and is there a rotation of, uh,

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   27:11
yeah, so I mean, for example, I'm basically we're trying to let every doctor know that we just gonna be a selectable. It's possible. So, um, I'm gonna be working at one of the Corona virus sites where we have a rotation of people who can. I mean, some people obviously have medical reasons why they really shouldn't be in those sites. So, um, we're tryingto find positions that can do that and rotate them through, um, both for relief of the people who are seeing all the Corona virus patients. Um, and also, just because we know with quarantining with the possibility of getting sick, we're gonna need extra provider's health care workers are really a very high risk of getting this, Um, and we know that and we're willing to do that and be there for people. But at the same time, we're gonna need those second ranks and those third ranks to come in when those providers air out for a couple of weeks.

Anna Callahan:   28:10
It's really incredible the sort of organization that is happening between these different hospitals and different, you know, different sort of corporate entities, right? So that so there's, you know, various different organizations that own different clinics, and so it's really amazing to see that all this coordination happening. I

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   28:30
know that some of the hospitals are already out reading Thio other centers, community health centers, our centers to see if there are physicians that could work in the hospitals when it when that need comes to pass. And as much as that may feel like disaster preparedness that it's exactly what we're doing, we want to be prepared. Hopefully, it doesn't get to that point. Hopefully, everyone's work was staying at home means we really flattened the curve. But if we need to, we want to make sure that we know who we can call in and right now, just tow talk a little bit about the numbers we had over 700 cases yesterday. Were it over 1800 today. So we're really on that steep end of the current. So we don't know exactly where this is gonna flatten out, but it's definitely not there yet.

Anna Callahan:   29:17
And the idea of letting the curb is that the action you take today will flatten the curve 10 days from now. Something like that.

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   29:25
Absolutely so. One of the key pieces is that if we don't exceed the hospital capacity than everybody can get the care that they need Yeah, the worst case scenario is always seen in Italy, where they're really making choices about who gets a ventilator who does, and we just do not want to be in that situation right now. We're very looking in Boston that we have a lot of hospital. Resource is I think we saw that in the Boston Marathon bombing, where there were a lot of victims, but we had the resource is to really take care of everyone. It was injured. And I'm hoping that we are able to pull through this because of all the resources that we have and the preparations that we're doing.

Anna Callahan:   30:06
Yeah, And you were mentioning earlier today. I think that we have Maur hospitals and medical clinics per person than most places are

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   30:16
then most Texans exact. Them in Boston is fairly unique. We have a ton of teaching hospitals and just a lot of hospital systems. And for this situation, that's actually a real blessing. So we're in a good position. But I do think that everyone is taking this very seriously Already. Hospitals, they're seeing a lot of Corona virus patients. And once again, we don't want to get to that point where we don't have enough beds.

Anna Callahan:   30:44
Yeah, So all you out there, um, this person you're seeing on the screen is one of the people that you will say if a big nightmare and headache and staying up late and working too hard and maybe get in front of our city. Um, stay home, huh? Keep

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   31:01
your shirt. Yeah, This

Anna Callahan:   31:02
wash your hands get youto say one little thing about why washing your hands is really effective. But that is effective,

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   31:09
that effective. So we think about droplets and people coughing and sneezing. But the truth is, we all touched her face 100 times a day or more. And so the truth is that when you just scratch your nose, then you might have Corona virus on her hands. And so you have to wash your hands regularly. And if you go out if you go grocery shopping, I just really encourage people to wash their hands after they got home to make sure that everything from when they were out is off.

Anna Callahan:   31:37
And the good thing about washing your hands is like the virus itself is encased in like a lipid. And

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   31:43
thank you. Yes. So it has a little It has kind of, ah coating of fat around the outside. So if you break up that fat, The virus can't survive. And so the truth is that just good old regular soap and water works. Use it regularly. You don't need to make hand sanitizer. You can just use regular soap. It works just fine.

Anna Callahan:   32:03
Wonderful. Thank you so much. Thank you. Of course, For the work that you're doing. You guys are the heroes of the the day, the week, the mud, the year Probably. Um, And thanks for being on.

Myfanwy Callahan, MD from Medford MA:   32:15
Absolutely. Thank you. Good luck out there.

Anna Callahan:   32:18
Okay. Be safe. Um, okay, So our next guest is, um, Daphne a Ballon. Here she is. Hey, Daphne. How are you?

Daphnee Balan, Somerville paraprofessional teacher:   32:32
I are you

Anna Callahan:   32:33
good? And Daphne is one of our para professional teachers in Somerville public schools. Do you want to give a little? I just gave Inter already. But do you wanna say anything more about sort of who you are, and

Daphnee Balan, Somerville paraprofessional teacher:   32:50
yeah, um, again, my name is staff. Me. I am a proper professional. I'm worked in the preschool pre k eight smile program. Um, and that's about it. Yeah. Um, so I've been in the education field for years. I'm great.

Anna Callahan:   33:08
Um, Ugo. So, um, so I really have two questions for you. The 1st 1 is what it's like to be a teacher during the whole Corona virus craziness. And then the 2nd 1 is gonna be about the Paris and the current contract like that you're in. But if you could talk first about, like, what is it like you're you're a teacher and then all the schools are closed.

Daphnee Balan, Somerville paraprofessional teacher:   33:33
It's unprecedented. It's completely different. It's almost like your life has been slipped upside down. Um, the thing about our teachers is that we you know, as much as they say, leave your work and home work at work. We take our work at home with us because these are vulnerable Children on DSO we care about, um, what they've done, how they get, how their accomplishments. Um, go, um we care about their daily lives and you deal with different types of Children. So you have Children that don't necessarily have you don't you don't necessarily have a concern for them in terms of their home and what they're dealing with. Then you also have Children and that do have concerns. Um, you have Children. You have, you know, the classroom every day, shifts and changes, and we always have to be prepared for that. Something happened that day in the classroom way kind of go home and try to process. Try to figure out what can we do next. So the next day to kind of have a successful day for these Children So we don't, you know, go to bed and forget about our problems, um, or our daily issues. And this has been very, very, very emotional to us because, um, it's different and everything has shifted from for us. Um, and we're not just concerned about what our lesson plans are or how these Children are going to learn. We're concerned about how they're feeling and house its chain is affecting them and how that's going to affect them moving forward. And our biggest thing is to try to figure out, you know, communicating with the students, being specific toe with students of the future that you have the most connection with, um, trying to figure out, Can you help? We have a huge lead for translation. Um, many of parents speak different languages, and they have no idea what's going on. They don't understand it through this whole, you know, having virtual learning things is difficult. Parents have to go to work their appearance that have to goto work on DSO. What happens to these Children? So it's been hard. It's it's a process, and we're dealing with. We're going head first with it, but it is different. It is different.

Anna Callahan:   36:21
Yeah. And what is your Are you So are you doing things during the day? Um, through the public school system that they have. What are you doing training? Are you doing? You know, you were acting within zoom calls with the kids. Like what? What's what's happening? David

Daphnee Balan, Somerville paraprofessional teacher:   36:37
said, We deal. So my class in particular we d'oh once a week where we meet with the Children on Zoom. There are other classes, depending upon the beach and what's best for the individual teachers. They may have zoom every day. Schools classic have zoom meeting every day. There are others that have twice today or things of that sort. Um, within the hour, classrooms, classrooms in our actual school, we have to conference meetings a week, um, just to keep connected with each other and bounce off ideas. What would work best in certain situations on dhe? Try to figure out How do we keep Brussels float during these times? Of course we still have. The pre entries were giving out diapers and chromebooks to students in need. So we're we're still working behind the scenes, trying to do our best to provide for these Children and help these families things Time?

Anna Callahan:   37:56
Yeah, we have. We have a comment from one of the viewers says Thanks. Daphne, on the the welcome project is offering translation service is for free to help communicate. Resource is etcetera.

Daphnee Balan, Somerville paraprofessional teacher:   38:10
Asset. That's something that I could definitely go ahead and convey that message to anyone. Um great. Yeah.

Anna Callahan:   38:20
Good. Good. Um, yeah. So I would love to hear from you a little bit more about the Perez. I know you guys were in a contract fight with the city of Somerville for a living wage, and if you could give us a brief sort of rundown of what? What? Like what it is. And then sort of What's the the state of it now?

Daphnee Balan, Somerville paraprofessional teacher:   38:43
Sure. Um, well, one of our biggest fights is that power professionals, without whether they have a degree, whether they don't have a degree whether they have experience, do not take more than $25,000 a year. That's

Anna Callahan:   39:03
like so

Daphnee Balan, Somerville paraprofessional teacher:   39:04

Anna Callahan:   39:04
horrible. It's like I can't even believe

Daphnee Balan, Somerville paraprofessional teacher:   39:07
it. Zane. So a lot of purplish in teachers are making $20,000 a year, Um, forcing them to have to work to three jobs to be able to make a meat and sleep. Um, a lot of all of the paraprofessionals has to wait every year at the end of the school year to know if they're going to have a job the next year. Um, e. I mean, and this is from someone That's Bree and Mule that's just been working a year to people that's been working 25 30 years. Um, so our fight right now is shoe kind of flip when what's been wrong with this system and kind of start to get in for change, and this isn't going to happen overnight, and that's why we've come up with this plan where we're asking for $25,000 because $5000 is not really an old pillow. It happened exactly, But what will happen is as we if we start there and then we could move on, move into something that is fair and just for thes people that are working with the most vulnerable Children the people in our in our world, our city in our district. So we have been working really hard with the help of our union, of course. And so many community members that have just been standing with us in this fight. Um, and we're going to continue to call it a fight until because that's what it is, because we have been dealing with a lot of pushback. Andi. So here we are. We were in the were going to have our first negotiation meeting with and that birds of the school committee, um and that happened asked arrests after we came in as a school committee meeting, and they finally made a decision to meet with us. But unfortunately, everything Corona virus came in. And, um, we weren't able to have that meeting's canceled and schools were closed out that day. But we are pointing to have a beating next week. Sometime the date has not been set. I mean, I could imagine, um I mean, we said next week, but that was before Governor Baker said that we have to do have subs the school doesn't probably starting from a for the

Anna Callahan:   41:59
up seven today, right?

Daphnee Balan, Somerville paraprofessional teacher:   42:01
Right? Exactly. And it's just, you know, it's a lot. It's a lot for a school committee and for a superintendent deal. What's so Their plan was to show up, Um, this. So we will say, hopefully we could have a meeting next week, but it's not, um, we continue to persevere, Um, and we'll see what happens next.

Anna Callahan:   42:27
Great is it's good to have the update on what's going on with that. And, uh, for Abby, of course. Absolutely. There's lots and lots of us who are on your side. Um,

Daphnee Balan, Somerville paraprofessional teacher:   42:41
we appreciate that

Anna Callahan:   42:42
course. So, yeah, great to talk to you. Do you have any final thoughts, By the way and what? He has questions. We can always throw your questions appear. Um, you can just put him in the in the comments in the YouTube common section. So, um, yeah, if, uh, if you have any final thoughts you wanna about just about how can we weather this? How can parents get through this time? E

Daphnee Balan, Somerville paraprofessional teacher:   43:07
i e drunk's, um but yeah, the biggest thing that they need right now is to feel as though they have a strong support system, and I know that we're going to have work for them. We're going to, you know, You know, I have ideas, Um, as to how to make the structure of the day go well for you. So try your best two exhibit in a structure that's going a work best for you and your home and your Children or child. Um, because you don't want them to be overwhelmed. Um, let them have son. Um, this is this is different. So them and they miss their teachers. They miss their they miss their classmates. I mean, I have my daughter with me, and she tells me every single day I miss school. I'm in school. We just had a zoom, um, meeting with her classmates and all of them, which just so happens each other. And they, you know, they just expressed how much they miss their class. And so it's different. And so, you know, think of those things and find things that they enjoy. Keep them entertained. Um, entertainment is learning. A lot of people think that you know, a notebook and papers part of the learning process, but there's so much more and daily interactions is so much a child can get with a walk outside with you in the dog or just good an adult in the conversation, they are learning their sponges. So take advantage of that and gold in there.

Anna Callahan:   44:56
Yeah. Yeah. And by the way, like being outdoors A OK, right? So a you know, the soul stay at home thing. Doesn't mean you can't let go for a walk, go for a bike ride goto, go to a park and stay six feet away from other people.

Daphnee Balan, Somerville paraprofessional teacher:   45:10
Right? Right. Exactly. You know, And that's the best time for that. Because they need it. Yeah, they dio. Yeah.

Anna Callahan:   45:19
Great. Thank you so much. Lovely to see you,

Daphnee Balan, Somerville paraprofessional teacher:   45:23
girl. You for having me. Good to see you, too.

Anna Callahan:   45:25
Absolutely. On. We'll keep in touch, and we'll keep people updated on how the Paris fight is going as well.

Daphnee Balan, Somerville paraprofessional teacher:   45:32
Sounds good. Thank you very much for your help with this. Well,

Anna Callahan:   45:35
have a good night,

Daphnee Balan, Somerville paraprofessional teacher:   45:36
Harry. Take your,

Anna Callahan:   45:38
um and so that's it. Um, we're gonna go ahead and I will close up just with a reiteration that, um, number 100 I have a lot of comments coming in. Let's see. So this is funny. Um, living in a roommate situation can be tricky in easy times. How do you convince roommates who won't agree to stop having guests over to agree? Um, is having one guest in your personal quarters over. Okay. Um wow, That's a very interesting question. Um, who knows who is the best person to answer that question? I have lived with roommates for pretty much my entire adult life. I lived in co ops in my family. Now, listen, Coop, and we love our housemates, but But we all sat down and we had the conversation about you know, who was going to invite it over. It was not gonna be invited. Over. Um, where is it? Okay for us to go out of the house? Um, you know, Riel conversations about the the sort of danger, the actual danger of what it could be like, Um, and and not like. I know a lot of people because it's more dangerous for people who are older. Um, maybe younger folks are thinking like, Oh, well, even if I get it, it's like a blue. It's not a big deal. Like even if you are okay. And even if it is like the regular flu for you, or even if you do not show symptoms, um, the reason this thing, you know, my sister, who was just on was saying that there were 700 something cases yesterday in Massachusetts and like, 1700 cases today, so more than doubled the number of cases that we saw come in. That's because you transmit the disease to anyone that you interact with before you even have any symptoms at all before you know that you have it. So for other people, it is really important. Um, that you guys have that conversation and talk about like, Hey, you know who is going to come over, Um, And what are the Where are those people going? What are those people doing and washing your hands and all those things? So, um, I do, um, feel for you. Ah, having roommates can be a big blessing. Makes you less lonely. Um, but it also, you know, these these things to discuss and agree upon are pretty important. So good luck with that discussion, and, um oh, and we have a comment from from someone saying I would have a conversation with your roommates about not having guests over. We're closed loop. You could have the better chance of not spreading less interaction, less spreading. So, um, great. And, ah, And then finally ah, I will put Ah, I don't know how to do it right now. I'm still new to this, um, thing of broadcasting at the same time, um, as having other people other speakers on so using in some new software. But I'm gonna put some links to the Tomas Boyo articles that medium articles. Um, about why you must act now. So the importance that might be helpful with the roommate discussion, um, and then the hammer and the dance, which is a lovely of really good article that gives you hope that we're not going to be here social distancing forever. Um, I also have someone commenting saying that if it's multiple roommates that having a group conversation and getting everyone on the same page is really important. And I totally agree with that. Thank you, everyone. It has been great. I want to say one of the big goals of doing this. We're trying to it every week with different folks. We have city councilors from several and Medford that will have on the show. Ah, and lots of other people. And one of the big goals is to hear stories of what's happening in our community and have others in our community be aware of what's happening to the sort of more vulnerable people. So we know that their folks here who have lost their housing because they were at Tufts, we know their folks here who, um, who have lost their jobs on DSO Finding ways to that we can support each other is what this is all about. Thank you, everyone. We're going to find out for now. You can always go to anna. Callahan dot com slash get updates. Um, Thio, sign up thereto. Make sure that you hear about future shows that we're gonna have to try and have him once a week. Thank you. But I say