We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy during these difficult days. It’s normal to be fearful amid the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. Every day we hear about more and more people testing positive for coronavirus and we are more restricted in where we can go and what we can do. It is also hard to feel connected at a time when we are all so isolated.
The Library would like to suggest some resources that we hope will help.
Talking or texting through your feelings about what’s happening now might be helpful.
- NYC WELL - This is an important service allowing everyone to text, email, or chat with a counselor 24/7 for free. Go to www.nyc.gov/nycwell and follow instructions in order to:
- TALK - Call 1-888-NYCWELL.
- TEXT - Text WELL to 65173.
- CHAT - Go here.
- The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene put out this informative one pager on how to cope with stress during disease outbreaks, which you can print out and/or share with your family and friends.
- For some of us, it might be difficult to explain the ongoing situation to our children or grandchildren. Encourage your kids to share their feelings. Please remember, keeping the TV on all day can be stressful to us as adults, but it is even more stressful for kids to hear repeated negative news. Children might also sense the way adults react and behave. Hopefully one day, our kids will not remember the virus specifically, but how the family time was spent. If you’re inside with your child all day, try to spend quality time together—get out those board games, color, read, work on puzzles, listen to music, cook or bake, and enjoy each other’s company. Visit our list of resources for parents and caregivers.
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides advocacy, education, support, and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives. Visit their website or call the NAMI helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). Or, are you in a crisis? Talk with someone at the Crisis Text Line by texting NAMI to 741741.
- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a partnership with Headspace, an online healthcare company specializing in meditation, allowing New Yorkers to get free meditation, sleep, and movement exercises and resources. Visit www.headspace.com/ny to learn more.
- Home is not always safe. If you or a loved one is experiencing domestic or gender-based violence which can include sexual violence, human trafficking, stalking, elder abuse, and intimate partner violence, help is available. Visit nyc.gov/nychope to find resources. You can also call the NYC Domestic Violence 24-Hour Hotline at 1-800-621-4673 (HOPE) or 911 in an emergency. To access services, contact the Family Justice Center (FJC) in your borough Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. through 5 p.m: NYC Family Justice Center, Queens: 718-575-4545. During off-hours and weekends, victims and survivors can access help and resources by calling the 24-hour hotline or texting 844-997-2121 if you cannot safely call. Learn more about domestic violence from The Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV).
- If you or a family member are disabled and need COVID-19 related medical advocacy or support, you can call the National Disability COVID-19 Healthcare Support and Advocacy Hotline at 1-800-626-4959.
The best way to protect yourself from the new coronavirus and COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
- Practice social distancing: Stay at least six feet away from others. The virus is thought to be transmitted through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes within close proximity of others. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Clean your hands often: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings. CDC posted instructions on its website and released a video on its YouTube channel on how to make a simple cloth mask yourself.
- Do not put others at risk of infection: every New Yorker must stay at home from work, unless they are an essential worker, by orders of Governor Cuomo.
- If you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and don’t feel better after three to four days, call a doctor or 311. Don’t go to the emergency room unless it’s an actual emergency.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces: Wipe down tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks every day.