The Good, The Bad & The Ugly in RI – March 20, 2020

by Nancy Thomas, opinion


Americans helping Americans

From small acts of kindness to true acts of sacrifice. Fitness centers who are putting short daily workouts on Facebook Live. Neighbors and family members checking in on sheltering 60+-year-olds to see if they need anything. The 1,746 retired and private sector healthcare workers who responded to the New York City’s call for help to come out of retirement.

Research, Science, and History

Using drugs already approved – for arthritis, for malaria, for high blood pressure – to possibly treat coronavirus. Early research is promising. With a vaccine so far away, anti-virals seem like the most positive step to get us back to a near-normal or a new-normal life. Watch these developments from the FDA – they are where we see the most hope in the near future.

Christmas Lights in RI Goes National

The Griffin family has made the national news with #LightsForLife – putting Christmas lights back on their home – and it’s going viral. The Hallmark Channel will start a 3-day Christmas special today, too.


Infections on Boxes & Surfaces

More and more is coming out about how infectious bacteria can live on metals for hours and even on cardboard. Thinking Amazon and grocery delivery? 24 hours is what scientists are saying about how long bacteria can live on boxes. Tips we’ve heard – leave mail in the mailbox for 24 hours before retrieving it. Kick the Amazon box into the garage for 24 hours, too. Open boxes outside and wear your gloves – then wash your hands and wipe down all surfaces. Ordering food? Make it only hot food, and wear your gloves when you pick it up – don’t have hospital gloves, then wear your leather ones or ski gloves, we really don’t care. Reheat that food very well, and dispose of the containers. Wash your hands at all these steps. Assume every surface is contaminated outside your bubble. High risk? Be extra cautious.

Our Young

No, the young aren’t exempt from all this – 50% of those who die are under 65. We’re worried about grandma and mom – now we worry about us all. Early messaging that youth might be exempt probably contributed to the kids-acting-badly behavior we’ve seen.

Grocery Shopping for Seniors

Good ideas gone bad? Having seniors come out at the crack of dawn – as early as 5am or 6am for ONE hour to shop seemed like a great idea. But in reality what happened was stores overstuffed with people, and empty shelves at a major grocery store, and at some others, too. We say “Seniors, stay home.!”  Have someone shop for you. The spirit of the advice is that you stay inside and keep space between you and harm that can come from being around people – and the bacteria. Social distancing is not what we’ve seen happening in stores, or at curbside food pickups.


Beach Blanket Bingo & Falcons on the loose

The beaches of Florida. The kids partying. And the governors and mayors who won’t call it off. Young’uns who not only don’t get it, but whose parents seem oblivious to allow it to happen. We’ll add to that quite a few Cranston youth (representing 1,800 of the 2,500 in self-isolation) who think playing contact football or running track, working out in a gym, going to work, hanging out in a library are ok things to do. They are not. Here’s a wakeup call – we need you to protect older people, yes we do – but now we know that you, too, are at risk. And it’s our job to send out this warning to you.

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