Many of us are still sorting out what the spread of COVID-19 means for us, and how to take care of our neighbors, family members, and selves. A big shout out to all the parents who are at home with kids this week or scrambling to find childcare!
This is a time for us to look out for each other… and to demand that our government DOES ITS JOB to take care of us too. Here are four things you can do today:
- Stay safe and protect others. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has good information about how to protect yourself from COVID-19 and what to do if you feel sick. The West Virginia Can’t Wait Campaign has launched a useful resource page that is updated daily.
- Demand that Governor Justice act to protect our voting rights and provide safeguards for working parents, children, and people living in poverty during this crisis. ACLU is calling on us to contact the governor’s office and ask him to take affirmative steps to provide act IMMEDIATELY on this list of emergency policy changes from The WV Center on Budget and Policy to protect vulnerable West Virginians.
- Get what you need AND help feed neighbors if you can. If you or your family needs food, or if you want to volunteer to help others get food, check out the “WV Food ER” Facebook group started by our friends at Our Future WV and American Friends Service Committee. There you can learn about food distribution points and volunteer opportunities across the state.
- Request your absentee ballot ASAP for the May 12th primary election. In order to ensure people can exercise there right to vote during this public health crisis, Secretary of State Mac Warner announced yesterday that he is using his emergency rule-making authority to expand access to absentee voting.This means anyone can cite health concerns as a reason for voting absentee. Voters can request absentee ballots under this provision now, and county clerks will start sending ballots to voters next week. (Click here for absentee voter information.) Look for additional calls to action soon to protect voting rights, push for long-term changes like paid sick leave, and more.
Savanna Lyons and Julie Archer