Volume 5 • Issue 10 • October 2020
Uplift Family Services is a trauma-informed agency, providing whole person care through resilience-oriented, data-driven, culturally sensitive services. We believe in the power of staff investment, advocacy and collaboration as we partner with individuals, families, and communities to heal from the widespread impact of trauma.
Boo! Preparing for Scary Times
Believe it or not, 2020 is about to hit us with at least two more stressors: the holidays and the election. Time for everyone, including employees and the families we serve, to think ahead.
Halloween and Día de Las Muertos are gateways to the holiday season, two months of fun, food, stress and strain.
This year, the holidays call for creativity and planning! Be aware of your county’s risk level and guidelines. Monitor and manage your stress. Avoid festivities if you have a positive test, symptoms suggesting COVID-19, or a close contact.
The California Dept. of Public Health strongly discourages trick-or-treating (the CDC suggests fun alternatives), but if you do partake, either as candy-getter or candy-giver, here are some tips.
- A Halloween mask is no substitute for a good face covering, but wearing both may make breathing difficult. Best to use one effective face covering, perhaps as part of the costume.
- Caregivers should enforce social distancing by their kids.
- Candy providers can place goodies outside or fashion a candy chute.
- Take hand sanitizer with you.
- Wash your hands before handling treats.
If you are determined to host a gathering:
- Consider fewer people, a shorter event, and doing it outside or in a well-ventilated space.
- Remind people not to come if they had a positive test, symptoms or a close contact. Anyone in a high-risk group may want to stay at home.
- Advise guests of the rules and remind them as needed. Consider providing masks and hand sanitizer.
- Avoid activities that require proximity. (That Twister Tournament can wait till 2021.)
- Plan meals to minimize object-sharing. For example, have one person serve all the food so that multiple people are not handling the same serving utensils.
- If folks plan to stay with you, ask them to strictly observe basic precautions for 14 days before arriving.
It’s safest to vote by mail. Registered California voters automatically receive ballots. You can check to see if you are registered and, if not, register online (…the deadline to register for the 2020 Presidential Election was October 19th in California, but you will never have to sit out another one).
To minimize exposure when voting in person, vote early (check your county election office) and in off-peak hours, i.e., mid-morning or mid-afternoon.
When voting in person, observe the 6-foot rule and wear a mask. You can also bring hand sanitizer, your own pen or e-stylus, and, to avoid the ultimate health hazard of dying from boredom, a book.
If you are feeling anxious about the election, make sure to take care of yourself. That includes managing your exposure to traditional and social media.
Make a plan with your family about what to do if there is civil unrest in your city. Anticipate what may happen, e.g., a greater police presence and even violence. Where will family members be? How will they keep in touch? Have first aid supplies, medication and food for yourself and pets, but avoid hoarding.
During unrest, your home is usually the safest place. Stay informed: keep an eye on your neighborhood, be in touch with friends and family, and follow the local news. If you do choose to leave home, websites such as Disaster Rally offer tips on staying safe in crowds, around police, etc.
Have fun. Vote. Stay safe. Life would be a lot simpler if eggnog killed this virus!
Mark Edelstein & Elika Beckwith