Brooklyn Boro

COVID-19 update: Masks for Southern Brooklyn: Treyger hosts two distribution events this week

May 12, 2020 Editorial Staff
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On the front lines of the war on COVID-19, there are many civilian heroes going out of their way, as volunteers and contributors. Also, many who are elected to serve are going the extra mile. In this column the Eagle hopes to give our readers an ongoing update on those fighting in the front lines.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Councilmember Mark Treyger is hosting two free mask giveaways for residents in Southern Brooklyn to help combat the transmission of COVID-19. This initiative builds on his advocacy for the City Administration to allocate free face coverings to Southern Brooklyn after the entire lower region of the borough was originally shut out of the distribution process. Treyger has partnered with the Sea Gate Police Department and Women on the Rise to distribute the free masks this week for residents in need.

Brooklyn Public Library launched a new service on Monday providing the community with free stories and poems via a phone call. Librarians from across the borough will present both a poem and a bedtime story seven days a week. “We are thrilled to be able to offer a bedtime story to our young patrons every night and a poem to inspire the whole family,” said Chief Librarian Nick Higgins. “Poems and stories have tremendous power to create space for reflection and joy amid the uncertainty we are all facing.” “Library On Call” is part of a suite of programs by phone, designed to provide library services to people who are unable to access the internet and risk social isolation during the pandemic. The number is 718 230-2283.

On Friday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams hosted the first virtual “Breaking Bread, Building Bonds” dinner amid rising social tensions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, including hate crimes affecting Asian Americans and the NYPD’s recent physically forceful enforcement of social distancing in communities of color. The conversation was facilitated by The People’s Supper. Adams encouraged the virtual dinner’s participants to speak to their respective communities about the importance of social distancing and other basic steps New Yorkers can take to protect themselves and their families from the coronavirus. “As we adjust to a new normal, we must undertake a citywide “re-culturing” to ensure everyone knows how to keep themselves safe and healthy,” Adams said. “We can only do that by engaging people of all cultures and backgrounds in this effort.” Watch dinner here.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Sunday that New York state is notifying 49 other states across the country of emerging cases of COVID-related illness in children. The state is currently investigating 85 reported cases in New York where children — predominantly school-aged — are experiencing symptoms similar to an atypical Kawasaki disease or a toxic shock-like syndrome possibly due to COVID-19. The illness has taken the lives of three young New Yorkers and an additional two deaths are currently under investigation.

Google has announced the launch of Grow with Google OnAir, a free digital skills training program that brings the resources, classes and 1:1 coaching previously offered in person at Grow with Google training events to small business owners and job seekers nationwide. At a time when many Americans may be grappling with unemployment or trying to reach customers online, the program will offer free virtual programming for jobseekers and business owners. “We hope that people across the country — including jobseekers and small business owners — can boost their potential with the diverse content contributed by our Grow with Google team and our incredible partners,” said Grow with Google Director Jesse Haines.

As the city confronts the social and economic damage of the COVID-19 epidemic, the existing homelessness crisis could get much worse, according to Win, the city’s largest provider of shelter and support services for homeless mothers and their children. On Monday, the group announced a housing stability and recovery plan, which details immediate steps to address the increase in housing instability that so many will face as the city’s most vulnerable families lose employment and income. The group urged Mayor Bill de Blasio to commit to funding the plan as part of the city’s long-term recovery effort. “Family homelessness and the COVID-19 crisis will be defining issues for life in New York for the next several years,” said Win President and CEO Christine C. Quinn. “It is our moral and financial imperative to enact proven policies and interventions to help families keep their homes, or exit shelter more quickly.”

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