Life feels like a roller coaster these days. Such beautiful yet troubling times. Enough Pie’s first book celebrating the elders at Joseph Floyd Manor came out to acclaim last week, yet we are struggling to procure hand sanitizer for our elderly friends at this low-income housing unit– and they could be the most deeply affected by the pandemic.
We continue to co-create a more deeply connected Upper Peninsula in Charleston where privilege and poverty are not in dire opposition but in intimate relationship. Together we take small but creative steps to ensure everyone gets a slice of the pie. Lately, due to a series of crises, EP has stepped up in new ways. This week our afterschool program at Bridgeview Village became child care for a young family rebuilding their life after losing everything in a tragic fire as the result of a domestic violence murder last week. The beauty of the coming-togetherness (sure, that’s a word) by community members like Queen Christine, Officer Ward, Renee of Stone Soup Collaborative, Gillian of Charleston Wine + Food, Steve of Indigo Road, Pastor Dixon and many more is noble and inspiring, and it can be a model for how we must act to survive this pandemic. It takes a village. If we allow the poor and elderly to suffer without support, who are we? What are we?
It has become crystal clear that ALL OF US are being asked to step up in new ways to meet new challenges in this shifting landscape. For over 8 years, EP has endeavored to address injustice and challenges creatively – climate collapse, food insecurity, transportation injustice, affordable housing scarcity – using creativity and artistic interventions to learn to love thy neighbor as thyself.
Now is the time to love ourselves AND our neighbor by taking simple yet critical steps to protect one another. We are being asked to come together in a new way: to disconnect for health reasons, while a fundamental part of our challenges come from disconnection.
"We tend to think about health as a very individual thing," Poorman, a physician from Washington State, says in this NPR article. "And we don't consider impact on the community and we don't consider the impact of our actions on people who have fewer resources. This is an opportunity to remind ourselves that if we don't take care of everybody, we're going to be affected."
In the coming weeks, EP is determined to support the community we love, and we will take all the support we can get – we will be procuring and delivering supplies and would appreciate your help, financially or otherwise. We will not leave our neighbors to fend for themselves – so we will take care of ourselves AND take care of our community as safely as possible.
LOVE & PROTECT YOURSELF:
- Stay home and social distance as much as you possibly can, especially if you feel sick – no ifs, ands or buts
- No hugs or handshakes – use Wakanda Forever hand salute, Spock’s hand greeting or a Japanese bow to say hello AT A DISTANCE
- Wash your hands thoroughly with HOT soap & water after any exposure to people or public doorknobs, handles, etc – sing a song as you must wash for at least 20 seconds! (and watch this video!)
- Cover your coughs, don’t share drinking glasses or towels
- Use hand sanitizer (a lot is sold out so make your own – here’s a recipe) regularly
- Have adequate water and dried food on hand if quarantined
- Join City of Charleston’s Neighborhood Services newsletter for local updates or follow the City's Covid-19 webpage
- Follow John Hopkins University & World Health Organization for updates
- Familiarize yourself with the recently passed House Coronavirus Bill - HR6201 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act which provides critical resources for food assistance, testing, unemployment insurance, immediate paid sick days, and protection for health care workers
LOVE & PROTECT A FRIEND OR NEIGHBOR:
If you have extra food, hand sanitizer, water, or books/magazines, please consider donating them to spaces that will be serving folks in need, or to an elder or struggling neighbor in your community. Poverty should not mean disease, and it is incumbent upon each of us, neighbors, to do more – to do better – with care and love.
- Please print & distribute the Covid-19 DHEC fliers on the ground (churches, telephone poles, grocery stores, etc) for vulnerable neighbors
- Make random acts of cleaning kindness daily: use disinfecting wipes on public places (doorknobs, bathrooms, staircase banisters) to assist in keeping germs low
- Help care for elders – if you have an elderly neighbor, please check in with them ASAP (but please be mindful of contagion – not touching is kindness now) and get a game plan in place for how your neighborhood can best support them
- If quarantined, please do not forget your neighbor! Make extra food and leave in Tupperware on their front step
- Join your neighborhood’s social media (if set up) to stay connected
- Talk to your building’s manager to understand plans for cleanliness and support if quarantined.
At the Bridgeview Village Vigil this past Tuesday night, Queen Christine said: “Remember, there is beauty in this City and there is beauty within you. If you try your best to be that beauty, it can have a tripling effect, you can have a domino effect. Be nice to somebody else… If you know someone who has a problem, go to them, don’t talk about them. See if you can lend some aid, instead of adding fuel to the fire. Be the change you want to see in your families, communities and the world!”
Take heed – please prepare.
Take action – please give generously in the ways you can.
Take peace – the Sacred & the Creative can guide us now
Enough Pie has joined emergency teams to support our most vulnerable citizens and we were in meetings on Friday to think creatively for solutions. We are working with the staff of Joseph Floyd Manor and will support emergency planning, and we will report back so you can stay connected to what is going on in our most vulnerable communities. This is not a time to abandon our neighbors, it is a time to cautiously but lovingly lean in (but not touch).
The Enough Pie team is taking precaution, and we are proactive.
In Love & Peace,
- If you are in distress and are having trouble getting health information, food or any other basic services, please email email@example.com or call our office at 843-972-3253 and we will do our best to connect you to the right resources and provide all the neighborly care that we are able.
- If you are healthy, secure, and find yourself with extra supplies (soap, sanitizer, tissues, etc), please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will coordinate getting those items to community members in need.
Cathryn the Grateful