Incorruptible Massachusetts

Solidarity LIVE! Somerville Homeless Coalition, Medford doctor, Somerville Community Corp

June 17, 2020 Anna Callahan Season 3 Episode 4
Incorruptible Massachusetts
Solidarity LIVE! Somerville Homeless Coalition, Medford doctor, Somerville Community Corp
Chapters
Incorruptible Massachusetts
Solidarity LIVE! Somerville Homeless Coalition, Medford doctor, Somerville Community Corp
Jun 17, 2020 Season 3 Episode 4
Anna Callahan

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/incorruptible_massachusetts)

Show Notes Transcript

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/incorruptible_massachusetts)

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.] Thanks for being here. This is Solidarity LIVE, where we discuss how COVID-19 is affecting Medford and Somerville. Um, this show is really about getting this getting through this crisis together. So if you have been affected by COVID-19, if you have lost income, if you're worried about a family member in a hospital, in a nursing home, in a jail, if you're struggling with school closures or anything else, please reach out. Good policy is based on hearing directly from people in need, and this show is about uplifting those stories so that we can solve these problems together as a community. 

Anna Callahan:   0:33
One example of how we're doing that is with, um, the SNAP of Food -- Food Assistance Program. Someone did reach out to the show, uh, week or two ago to say that his doctor had told him that he needed to stay indoors because of his lung condition. But he cannot use his SNAP card to purchase groceries online. He has to go to the grocery store in person. So we had an expert come on the show and give some advice. But it turns out that other states are allowing people to do online grocery delivery. And that is where you viewers of the show coming. Please sign our petition to make Massachusetts one of the states that allows SNAP recipients to get their groceries delivered. Together we can help our neighbors through this crisis. Our campaign is hearing directly from people in need, uplifting their voices and engaging the community to solve these issues.

Anna Callahan:   1:25
So today I have on, um, Hannah O'Halloran from the Somerville Homelessness Coalition. Ah, she's gonna talk about the homeless population here on and how they're being affected. Then we'll have David Tisel from the Somerville Community Corporation to talk about the tenants that they have and what they're doing to keep them in their homes. And after that, we will have Myfanwy Callahan who's a Medford doctor, and she will be talking about how our medical system is holding up under the stress of COVID-19. So I will go ahead and get us started here. Um, I'm gonna bring in Hannah O'Halloran. I just have to get her on the screen. Ahh, there we go. I, uh, there we go. I have managed to find the right button. And by the way, anyone who was watching on YouTube. You can simply comment in YouTube's comment box. Um, and then, you know, ask any question you like, and I can pull that question in, um, and we'll answer those questions live. So great. Hannah, I thank you so much for being here. I would love to hear a little bit just about your organization in general and the work that you do.

Hannah O'Halloran, Somerville Homeless Coalition:   2:49
Yeah, you know, thank you so much for having me. First of all, I really appreciate it. Um, So, like you said, I worked for the Somerville Homeless Coalition and it's a really small nonprofit in Somerville, but we serve, uh, lot of people we serve, you know, pretty much all Greater Boston. We're part of what's called the balance of state. So we're not really just stuck to some herbal. We do take a regional approach to serving people experiencing homelessness as well as people on the brink of homelessness. So my particular role there is called the Emergency Service's program manager. So I kind of have two focuses. My main one is to supervise and, um, kind of control the daily operations of our two shelters. So we have an individual shelter and a state funded family shelter. And then the second part of my job is to oversee our street outreach program, where we're going out on into encampments in the area, you know, hitting the streets where people are sleeping at night, kind of the most vulnerable homeless people that we see, um, and really trying to engage with them.

Anna Callahan:   4:05
Yeah.

Hannah O'Halloran, Somerville Homeless Coalition:   4:06
that's what I do.  

Anna Callahan:   4:08
That is, that is great. Really needed work. Do you have an idea of, like, how many folks you interacted with, uh, as a homeless population in need, like on a daily or weekly basis?

Hannah O'Halloran, Somerville Homeless Coalition:   4:23
So our individual shelter alone services 16 people and our family shelter holds five families at a time, a maximum of 20 people. Um, at a given time, like I did street outreach today. And I would say we probably saw 15 people out in encampment and then probably another, maybe 5 to 10 people sitting in Davis Square. I'm separate from that. We also provide what's called permanent supportive housing, which is when we go out, we rent apartments, take people out of homelessness and put them in those apartments. So, through that program, we lease, uh, over 60 units and house, probably, over 100 people...

Anna Callahan:   5:05
That's amazing!

Hannah O'Halloran, Somerville Homeless Coalition:   5:05
And then, yeah, we also have our food pantry, that on an average month, we see probably 300 to 400 people. Currently, we're definitely seeing that number kind of double. So it really all depends on the program as far as how many people we see.

Anna Callahan:   5:22
Yeah. And where does your funding come from?

Hannah O'Halloran, Somerville Homeless Coalition:   5:26
Oh, kind of everywhere, honestly. Our family shoulder is primarily funded through DHCD on the state. Our adult shelter has city funding, has state funding, the federal government. A lot of our homelessness prevention comes from the City of Somerville. You just kind of piece together a lot of different funding sources to make sure we can stay open. And a lot of fund raising, that's for sure. We just did a online campaign where we raised to the best of my knowledge, I think over $100,000 which was huge for us.

Anna Callahan:   6:00
Yeah, it's amazing. Can you talk about how probe in 19 is affecting the people that you're helping?

Hannah O'Halloran, Somerville Homeless Coalition:   6:10
You know, it's stressful, much like everybody else. And again it kind of divides up into different sections. Like our permanent supportive housing program, their service is now remote and it's really hard to provide case management to, uh, an 18 year old in recovery and living on their own for the first time when it's just a phone call. Or, our shelter, now we're only -- we capped it at 13 right now, hoping to move out some more people. That way we can lower the number even more because social distancing just does not exist in a homeless shelter. Uh, it's real hard. Our family shelter, the kids aren't in school, so you know, we're trying to engage them, we're trying to educate them. All of a sudden, the direct care workers are now teachers, just as much as parents are, um and yeah, it's definitely hard. I think we're all tired. It -- we'll be grateful when it's over, but we're showing up every day. You know, our services remain open. We're still street outreaching, which is great, and we have our masks on, we have our gloves when we go out there. But, you know, today when I was in the woods, a lot of people that typically make their money off panhandling aren't getting money because people aren't going to work or people are afraid to stick their hand out the car window and give money. So people now are starving in the woods because they don't have any money to buy food. So when we go out there, it is constantly "Do have food today? Do you have water?" You know, those basic needs that normally aren't as dire really are dire at this point.

Hannah O'Halloran, Somerville Homeless Coalition:   7:57
So things that I never thought kind of would have come up like money from panhandling, but we're definitely seeing a lot of it.

Anna Callahan:   8:06
Um, um, what do you think is the best way for people to be able to help out? Is there --where they donate? Can they volunteer? Are there other ways that they can help?  

Hannah O'Halloran, Somerville Homeless Coalition:   8:21
Yeah, I know our food pantry is taking volunteers because they're getting a silly swamp. I think it was the month of March typically we see 300 people, and it was over 800 people. You know, surrounding cities that have had to close their food pantries, people are now coming to Somerville that typically, you know, we don't service, but we're not going to turn somebody away for food. So we are really looking for people to donate food to Project Sukar our food pantry. They can go, they can help sort cans because we're just handing out bags of food at this point. We need a pack those bags as well as you know, you can always go on the website and donate money. Honestly, we're operating our shelter 24/7 right now, and that's not something we have funding for. Typically, our shelters only open 16 hours a day, and since the beginning of March, we've been open 24/7. So that's something that you know we need to find funding for. That's one way the community could help us for sure.

Anna Callahan:   9:24
Absolutely. Um, do you have any final thoughts, anything else that you want people to know, um, about what's happening? Oh, you know, I heard on WBUR there was, a segment on homeless shelters, and I only remember is hearing that they had done it, gotten, um, enough tests to test an entire homeless shelter, like every single person in the shelter, and that some crazy high percentage of them had it...

Hannah O'Halloran, Somerville Homeless Coalition:   9:56
One in three.

Anna Callahan:   9:57
Thank -- yeah, that that's what I remember. But I didn't want to quote because it seemed so high. But a lot of them were asymptomatic, and they didn't show signs of the disease. What do you think that that, that that means?

Hannah O'Halloran, Somerville Homeless Coalition:   10:10
You know, I think it's hard because we've really heard when it comes to, you know, the shelters. We need three things we need depopulation, we need quarantine, and we need isolation. And I feel like this is always an issue with homelessness, is, is it gonna be a state response? Is it going to be a regional response? A federal response or a local response? And I've never seen that more present than I do right now. How are we going to respond? Is it gonna be the city? Is it gonna be the state? Is it going to be regional? And so as we kind of sort that out, you know, things start -- people get symptomatic, people get sick. Um, and it hit Boston hard. It hit the Boston shelters really hard. One in three. And now it's starting to make its way over the river. You know, it's gonna hit Cambridge, and then it's gonna slowly progress. So the more we can do to get ahead of it and depopulate our shelters and set up those quarantine sites is gonna really make the difference from, you know, Boston to the city of Somerville and Medford and these surrounding areas.

Anna Callahan:   11:15
Yeah, absolutely. And so it sounds like the program that you have where you actually house people is the safest for them.

Hannah O'Halloran, Somerville Homeless Coalition:   11:22
Correct. Um, I was on a call...

Anna Callahan:   11:24
In addition to being obviously the best for them when you get out, people they have their own home is clearly better for many reasons. But here in COVID-19 it's even more crucial.

Hannah O'Halloran, Somerville Homeless Coalition:   11:35
Exactly. It's really showing many the holes in the system and what really will make the difference for homelessness in the future, which in reality will always be housing will always be what makes a difference for someone experiencing homelessness.

Anna Callahan:   11:50
Well, thank you so much. Um, the work you guys do is totally amazing. And I don't envy you the amount of work that you have to do these days. So, uh, you know, we will be encouraging people to help you out -- to volunteer and donate. Um

Hannah O'Halloran, Somerville Homeless Coalition:   12:08
Thank you so much!

Anna Callahan:   12:10
Yes. It's really good to have an update and stay safe. Uh, do personal care. Everything that you that you need to do, um, and thank you so much.

Hannah O'Halloran, Somerville Homeless Coalition:   12:23
Thank you. I appreciate it.

Anna Callahan:   12:25
Um, I'm gonna go ahead and bring on, um, David Tisel from the Somerville House-- uh, Somerville, sorry, Community Corporation. Let me to switch the titles here. Here is he! We got you on. Um, thanks for being on. I would love to hear, um, a little bit about what the Somerville, uh, Community Corporation does and your role specifically.

David Tisel, Somerville Community Corporation:   13:02
Sure. So the Somerville Community Corporation, or SCC, is a nonprofit community development corporation for the City of Somerville. So our main areas of work are building and owning and operating affordable housing. We have about 275 units throughout the city, um, scattered around in different buildings. We also have team people that helps Somerville and other nearby area residents get jobs in the community. Um, and we also do community organizing for policies that support economic justice locally and in this state. So, um, my work is on the affordable housing side with my supervisor Scott. Um, I manage a program called 100 Homes where we purchase buildings in Somerville and convert them to affordable housing using subsidy from the City of Somerville. sometimes also from state and federal, but mostly from city. And then also like private mortgages. Um, and so in this program, we have right now 85 units in the 100 Homes program

Anna Callahan:   14:20
You're getting close!

David Tisel, Somerville Community Corporation:   14:20
and it differ-- yeah, it differs from sort of traditional affordable housing development in that it's the already existing structures that become affordable rather than creating a new building.

Anna Callahan:   14:31
Mm, Yeah, that's very important. I mean, it seems like, you know, there's only a certain amount of new construction you could do in the densest city in the whole of New England.

David Tisel, Somerville Community Corporation:   14:44
Right. And it's really expensive now to buy anything in Somerville, but especially to purchase land, hold it, try to get your zoning, try to get in line for tax credits and everything to do. The traditional development is really hard. Now, we're still are doing that and trying to do that. But in addition, we decided that based on just the community and the the market, that worrying that this was a way that further our mission at this time through purchasing buildings

Anna Callahan:   15:11
Yeah, that is great. Um, so I'd love to hear how common it is affecting Your organizing is affecting your tenants. Look, What do you see happening?

David Tisel, Somerville Community Corporation:   15:24
Yeah, So, my I know, Um, I guess the most about just on the landlord side, cause once we buy these places, we own them. Um, and definitely our rent collections are less than usual. For this time of month, we've had, ah, a large number of tenants reach out to us that they lost their jobs. Whether they're ours have been cut, and a lot of them are trying. Thio apply for unemployment. And our team of people that help support get jobs is mostly focusing on helping people get unemployment, Al, because there aren't that many news jobs. Except there's be fresh, I guess, and some other places where they're hiring more people. Um, and, uh, we have a large number of tenants that are immigrants, and some of them are different. Um, no status is of immigration status. And so people that are undocumented typically can't utilize the same benefits that people that are residents or, uh, you know, permanent residents or citizens can so working. You know, it's especially tough for some of those people. Some of those tenants that we have that, like, can't work now. So zero income so they can't pay the rent. Um, and you know, we are tryingto help everyone extent we can. And there are some. One set up, for example, is one. Costa has a funds, and also there's a new one that just has launched, I think today for United Way and City of Somerville with casts. But can you actually just see if Somerville sort of came together and launch this fund for Centerville residents? So we're steering people towards those resource is in addition to trying to help them get unemployment. Or, um, there's also what's called a raft, which is, uh, the state's funded say, the Masters. It's funded rental arrears. Um, provincial assistance programs were helping people for that, too.

Anna Callahan:   17:36
Is that something new to Kobe 19? Or is that something that existed before

David Tisel, Somerville Community Corporation:   17:41
it existed before? But it's been expanded because of Copan 19.

Anna Callahan:   17:45
Yeah, So can you talk just a little bit more about that? In case there are people listening

Hannah O'Halloran, Somerville Homeless Coalition:   17:49
who, um, you know, might be looking into that?

David Tisel, Somerville Community Corporation:   17:53
Yeah, it's a raft is administered around summer goal by Metro Housing Boston, and the information's on their website, and basically you can apply for our rears or up thio $4000 of ah budget. Or it could be a mix of arrears and future budget. So if you're behind, if you're rents like $2000 you're behind one month, you could apply for the monthly behind. And next month, Um, and you have to provide a lot of documentation. I'm not gonna go over all of it, and I can't remember all of it. But if you go, if you look for raft and metro housing Boston, you'll see the application. See what type of stuff you have to attach proof like stuff about your income status and documentation of your income.

Anna Callahan:   18:47
Okay, good to know. Um, you know, it's funny.

David Tisel, Somerville Community Corporation:   18:51
Shortly before

Anna Callahan:   18:52
this call, I happen to be talking to my mom who lives in California. And she was saying that Governor Gavin Newsom, uh, you had very recently, um, given ah, speech or a talk where he was saying that the like 10% of Californians are undocumented and that these undocumented workers were the people growing the food. Were the people delivering the food and other essentials. They were the people working in the grocery stores that they but these are the essential workers and that he was going to ensure that they had medical care, that they had, that they were all going to get unemployment. Um, and I just wanna I haven't looked into that from a policy like, I don't know what exact policies he passed, but I literally just got off the phone with her. But But I'd love to hear from you a little bit about about your thoughts on that.

David Tisel, Somerville Community Corporation:   19:51
Yeah, I think that I agree with that. Totally. Um and I honestly, I don't know what documentation you need in Massachusetts to get unemployment. I think you have to be a resident, lawful, permanent resident. But I'm not an immigration where, um I know that there's something different programs have different. He's, I think, I think, for a raft, you need to show a Social Security number for the applicant. I'm not sure how it works if you have, like, a mixed household. Um, but I think I mean, immigrants, regardless of status, are what makes this country what it is, and it's who we are. And it is my opinion, and I think it's also a lot of people that are most at risk right now because of their jobs. So absolutely,

Anna Callahan:   20:47
um, other ways that people could get involved, um, can help out in the work that you guys are doing. Uh, you know, tell us. Tell us what? What weakened. D'oh! Um, as faras.

David Tisel, Somerville Community Corporation:   21:01
Thanks. I mean, uh, if you want to try and help people directly, I think that the best is this new funds for some local residents that just came out and their fundraising. And also, if you're specifically concerned about undocumented people in general, that is the cassette fund. Um, at CC is a non profit, and we also rely on fundraising. So if you want to donate testy, See, that's great. We have Ah, you mean the investment tax credit program as well. Um, you can learn more about on our website. Somerville si si dot or ge. Um and I guess this is a little out there, but if you're trying to sell your house, maybe we buy it. Not maybe not a house, but like you got a triple decker or something with tenants, you know, you want to try and keep people there? Um, a lot of most most investors that buy investment property there. Business model is to displaced people, and ours is to keep people there. So something I think about you and Dad. Yeah. Shadow toe s h. See some of the homeless coalition. We work with you guys a lot. Thank you, Hannah.

Anna Callahan:   22:11
Absolutely great. Um, thank you so much, David. Great to see you. Uh, and, uh, thanks for coming on and talking about the great work you guys do. Thank you. Um, wonderful. We are going to wrap up this, um, this episode with ah ah, really, uh, having my sister come on one more time because there is all they're always updates in the medical community. Um, and we want to know what is happening with our medical personnel. What is happening? You know how our doctors and nurses doing? How are hospitals doing? Are they able to cope with the stress of all of the new patients? Are there enough beds or the ventilators? What? The number is? Tell us your updates.

Myfanwy Callahan:   23:05
So, um,

Anna Callahan:   23:06
you and I apologize. I asked all these questions, but you know what? People who didn't see the episode two weeks ago please introduce yourself.

Myfanwy Callahan:   23:14
I'm Myfanwy Callahan. I work at Atrius Health in the center of Medford, and I'm a primary care doctor. So I can tell a little bit of the story just from my experience as a primary care doctor. But I also just recently got completely up to date on the numbers in Massachusetts as well, because as people know, we're approaching the peak numbers for Coronavirus. So the latest numbers we have nearly 30,000 cases in the state of Massachusetts and over 1000 deaths from Corona virus. So it is very real for many people. I think more and more people will know someone who had Coronavirus. Um, and unfortunately, there there will be more deaths as well. The expectation is it's gonna peak around Patriots Day, so it's gonna be very unusual for everyone. On a day when everyone is used to going out to the marathon and having all sorts of gatherings. This is going to be a quiet day, and it's gonna be really the peak of activity for all the medical personnel. What I can say that's really hopeful is that we have not reached peak capacity in terms of ICU beds Massachusetts has been amazing. They nearly doubled the ICU beds in the state.

Anna Callahan:   24:21
Wow!

Myfanwy Callahan:   24:21
So we went from 1500 to 2700 beds

Anna Callahan:   24:24
In three weeks? In a month?

Myfanwy Callahan:   24:26
in Great just in the last month or so. They also basically built a hospital at the Boston Convention Center, 1000 bed hospital. And I actually think it's wonderful that we have the Homeless Coalition and other groups on today because half of that convention center is intended for the homeless population, and it's being run by health care for the homeless. So as we just talked about, it's a huge risk to be in a homeless shelter. Obviously, there's really no way to socially isolate, so that convention center is gonna provide beds for patients who may be doing better in terms of their Corona virus. But they have no home to go to, um, or they really can't isolate. And so that's gonna be a place where people can convalesce, stick and they can you get better, but it's staffed by medical personnel. Atrius sent 40 docs and nurses over there. There's docs and nurses from Partners and other hospitals, all coming together so that we have this, um, facility that can take a lot of the extra patients off of the hospitals. So the patients who are really struggling and really need ventilators, they can get the care that they need.

Anna Callahan:   25:37
Yeah. Yeah, that's incredible. That that all these beds have been built, It's really it's really amazing.

Myfanwy Callahan:   25:45
We -- I believe that we've done everything that we can, and I truly hope that we're gonna have enough to meet the surge. So far, we are doing it and we're we're meeting that need. Um it is really tough, I would say, on the ER docs and on the ICU docs, they have never needed to manage so many patients on ventilators. Um, it's not just the doctors but the respiratory techs who are there adjusting the machines and all the nurses, and they're the ones that are really getting exposed to the virus. And there are medical personnel getting sick.

Anna Callahan:   26:16
Yes, and I know there was, uh, there was a ballot measure recently to limit the number of patients that nurses would have to deal with at a time. Um and that didn't pass. Ah, do you -- do you have any sense of whether, um, I mean obviously there's There's no avoiding in a pandemic that people are gonna have more patients. Doctors are gonna have more patients. Nurses are gonna have more patients, everybody, you know. Then some medical professionals are going to get sick and be out. Um, so as faras, um, just the medical professionals are people working crazy hours, are you? I know there was some sort of rotation happening. Like, how is that working out?

Myfanwy Callahan:   27:00
So, um, I can't really speak to inpatient experience. I believe they really are working crazy hours just being perfectly frank with it. From the outpatient experience, there's not really vacation or weekends anymore. We are all working seven days a week. Uh, right now, our whole practice has really been transformed because we're trying the best we can to actually promote social distancing. So we're avoiding bringing people in unless they really need to be seen physically. So for that blood pressure check. If they've got a blood pressure cuff at home, we can call them. We could talk to them, even things like rash. We're getting everyone trained up to do video visits so that you could see someone in their home and not necessarily bring them into the clinic where they might be exposed. So we're completely transforming how we do care. But what we're finding is, well, well, people aren't coming into the clinic. A ton of people are calling with questions about Coronavirus exposure, symptoms, and so a lot of our staff have to been switched over to really receiving all those calls and just as you would imagine that's happening at every day, every time of day and night. So we have teams of people just rotating on to try to answer those calls and then to convert those to visits if we need to bring someone in. We've got drive through testing, Um, and we're trying to ramp that up as well.

Anna Callahan:   28:21
And how -- with drive-thru testing like, how long does it take to get the test results? Or you're just getting tested and then you get the results later,

Myfanwy Callahan:   28:28
That is an improvement. So right now, tests are coming back in 1 to 2 days. That used to be four or five days to get the test back. No 1 to 2 days is still a long time when you're waiting and your family's concerned and you're concerned and you can't go back to work. So, um, there are tests that are in testing. You may have heard from the Broad Institute and for Abbott Labs that will be shorter within an hour or even within 15 minutes. It's not widely distributed yet. I think that's gonna be, once again, transformative. And, uh, unfortunately, I think we'll probably see a second wave in the fall. I'm hoping by then we'll have a rapid test that'll be like walking into the clinic for a flu test. Once we have that, it will be much easier to really tell who has this disease and who doesn't and to isolate if you need to.

Anna Callahan:   29:19
How -- how is it going with, um, personal protective equipment? I know that's something that you see in the news all the time. There is not enough equipment. People are having to wear the same mask for many shifts in a row like has that -- has that changed?

Myfanwy Callahan:   29:32
It's changed in a way, so we've gotten better about reduce, reuse, recycle. And what I would say is a lot of these masks and gowns were designed to be disposable, and what we're finding is we have to find a better way. And what we've done is there are washable, waterproof lab coasts that we can use throughout a shift and N95 masks instead of changing them with each patient. We're using them throughout a shift, and then they're being decontaminated to toe. Believe all the hospitals are decontaminating their N95 masks, so they could be used up to 20 times. Wow, Now, this is a huge change, as long as it's safe to do. This is amazing, because then we're we don't need to buy millions of masks. We just need to safely decontaminate them and then get them back into circulation. So right now we're doing okay. I think that the limitation is always getting enough masks and really the right kind of mask so the N95 that provides a good seal. Those are really the key. But so far we've been able to meet the demand.

Anna Callahan:   30:40
OK, that is good to know. Great. Um, I would love to -- first, let me ask if you have other thoughts, if you have other things that you think people might find interesting.

Myfanwy Callahan:   30:52
The only other piece that I'm gonna put in there, which is a little bit less about Coronavirus but just about how medicine is going to change, I think people will like not coming into the clinic. I think a lot of these changes and making the virtual visits, making it easier for people who maybe have -- are mobility challenged, they can't get out of the house. Ah, lot of these things are going to stay with us, and that's a good thing. So we've been making the changes more rapidly than we ever imagined. But I think some of these they're gonna be really good changes that we can take forward.

Anna Callahan:   31:26
Uh, and I'm just gonna go ahead and and have you, um, finish up with a reminder, like, washing hands Like what? What is a reminder of, like, what is the proper How do we you best protect ourselves and others?

Myfanwy Callahan:   31:42
Right. So, um, as you have heard a million times before, this is a time for physical distancing. I like think physical distancing instead of social distancing when you cross the street, you could still wave and say hi, You just can't be right there with the person. And that is the most important. So really, do not go on errands unless you absolutely need to. If you conduce grocery shopping once every two weeks instead of every -- twice a week, that's better. Reduce the number of times that you really have to go out and about amongst other people. And then the very best thing is, um, washing your hands with soap and water. Gloves, you might have seen a few things on the Internet. There's it's very easy to cross contaminate. You wear gloves. When you touch your cell phone, you've got it all over your cell phone. So the best thing of all is really to wash with soap and water. 20 seconds. That'll kill the virus. It has that little coat of fat on the outside. So if you use soap, that'll take care of it. And I wanted to mention one last thing, because as we go on, we're gonna have more and more people that have recovered from this virus, which is a wonderful thing. And it is something where most people recover and do all right. There's a real need for convalescent plasma, and what that is is a blood donation from patients who have had it because of all the drugs and all the treatments that they have found, the one that really works is antibodies from someone who's recovered. So for people, if they know they had it, if they had a test and they're recovered and feeling well, please call the Red Cross. Think about donating. You could absolutely save lives.

Anna Callahan:   33:18
That is amazing. Thanks so much for that tip. That is really great. Hopefully, we'll soon get enough testing that everybody can know whether they have it, whether they had it. If they if they have been interacting with someone who has it or had it, Um, hopefully, we'll -- we'll be there very soon. Um, great. Thank you so much for the update. It's really great to hear about how the medical community is coping and that it seems like it's going okay, We're not gonna be totally overwhelmed. Yay! Um, and, of course thank you for being the front lines of this fight. Um, it is -- it is really -- you guys are all the heroes of the of the Coronavirus of the pandemic.

Myfanwy Callahan:   34:07
We're glad to do it.

Anna Callahan:   34:08
Wonderful.

Myfanwy Callahan:   34:08
Thank you.

Anna Callahan:   34:09
Thank you. Uh, I think that is the end of our show this week. As I mentioned before, please, um, do send us your stories of how, uh, COVID-19 is affecting you. It's affecting your family. Um, let us know what sorts of issues we can dig into, what things you're interested in. And we will bring people on to talk about those issues to uplift the stories of what's happening to people in our community. Um, and to try and solve things together. Thank you so much.