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Highland - November 24

Paula Campbell - Community Correspondent
Posted 11/23/20

November is certainly the time for giving thanks. Not only do we celebrate Thanksgiving, but we also honor all our veterans on Veterans Day.

Covid-19 has changed the way we celebrate but that …

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Highland - November 24


November is certainly the time for giving thanks. Not only do we celebrate Thanksgiving, but we also honor all our veterans on Veterans Day.

Covid-19 has changed the way we celebrate but that does not mean we cannot still be thankful. Many people are having a very tough time physically, emotionally, and financially as we seem to be battling the relentless spread of Covid-19 as hard as we can.

We find our self in a deeply divided country, and we are living in a moment when generosity matters more than ever. Each act of generosity needs to be acknowledged and replicated in some way so this wave of good will and generosity can possibly serve to heal us.

St. Anthony's Food Pantry which has been in operation feeding local families for nearly a decade just received a very generous donation. Rob Doherty of Bethel and owner of Sullivan County Farms and Chair of the Sullivan County Legislature took the extremely generous step and donated turkeys the Pantry needed for their Thanksgiving Dinner distribution.

Margie Granese the Pantry's Coordinator said, “I want to thank Rob Doherty for his continued support of the pantry's families throughout the pandemic and for his very generous donation of turkeys and to acknowledge everyone who donated towards our Thanksgiving dinner. All funds collected will go towards our ongoing food program and our Christmas dinner distribution.”

During the pandemic one additional action I took besides sanitizing my hands, wearing a mask, social distancing (like staying the hell home for the most part) and to do my part in stopping the virus was downloading some free Covid-19 related apps to my phone to help with my protocol.

The first app is called Covid Alert NY is an anonymous voluntary exposure notification app that comes in over ten languages. It is also an emergency notification system used to provide critical information during any emergency in New York State.

The Covid-19 portion of the app provides a lot of preventative information and daily updates about the percentage of positive tests broken down by counties in the State and testing sites broken down by zip code.

The app also allows you to keep a log of your own health by storing a history of any health symptoms you may be experiencing which would be helpful for follow up with your medical doctor. The third feature is a little less reliable-My Covid Alerts which shows your closeness to anyone who is nearby who has tested positive and reported it to the State.

This would equate to a contact tracing function and someone reporting your possible exposure. Even though all information is anonymous, it is still worth it to have so much data about the virus and to be enrolled in a New York State Emergency Alert System for getting notification of any future emergencies.

The second Covid-19 app I downloaded is My Covid Risk designed by the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University which was created by emergency room physicians to provide your Covid-19 risk factors. The app asks a series of questions about any event you plan to attend and then by zip code health data analyzes the risk of contracting the virus.

For instance my friend Sandy was planning to attend a family wedding in Memphis, Tennessee, we entered all the known factors about the event such as indoors or outside, expected ventilation of the venue, the duration of time spent, the number of attendees, percentage of expected mask wearers and most importantly the zip code for the event.

The app then assesses your risk of exposure and provides tips to possibly reduce your risk. Needless to say Sandy was not aware that the zip code for the wedding venue was a Covid hot spot and she will not be attending the wedding! There are a lot of Covid related apps available, and I guess their most valuable asset is to keep us all vigilant and safe.

For the seventh year in a row, Kezia Labuda and her family will be sponsoring a free home cooked Thanksgiving Dinner for anyone who is interested. It's take-out only. The dinner pick up is at the Lumberland Town Hall, 1054 Proctor Road, in Glen Spey on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26th from 12:00 to 3:00p.m. and it is a traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings. Reservations are required - call 845-672-3896.

I want to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!


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