Kaatscast: the Catskills Podcast
March 21, 2020

Special: COVID-19

Special: COVID-19
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Thousands infected, businesses shuttered, social distancing, and closed schools. In this special, unscheduled episode, listen in on 5 interviews on the pandemic, and how the Catskills are responding. 

• Lissa Harris, reporter for The River Hudson Valley Newsroom
• "Rachel," a recent college grad who's battling COVID-19 head-on
Ulster County Economic Development director, Lisa Berger
• Local restaurateur Mike Cioffi
Onteora school superintendent Victoria McLaren 

Thanks to our interviewees; stay healthy, everyone.

Produced by Silver Hollow Audio

--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/kaatscast/support


It's Saturday, March 21. New York State has about 8000 cases of COVID-19. The stock market has plummeted. One in five Americans has been ordered indoors. The IRS has given us three extra months to file our taxes penalty free. In two weeks time we've gone from Normal to anything but Welcome to an extra edition of cats cast, no theme music, no ads, five interviews by phone addressing the impact of Coronavirus here in our region and our state. First up Lissa Harris, updating us daily for the river newsroom, a regional publication taking the lead on the local impact. Then we'll hear from Rachel, a recent college grad with ties to the area whose family is battling COVID-19 in downstate New York. After that, a chat with Lisa burger, director of the Ulster County Office of Economic Development. Then we speak with a local restaurant owner to see how he's adapting hour by hour. And finally we check in with onto your school superintendent Victoria McLaren. On the fate of the school year and considerations for our kids. nearly nine years ago, Lissa Harris kept the Catskills in the know, as Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc through our communities. Today, she's reporting around the clock for the river newsroom. Caught me at a decent time, my six to 10pm has been frantic, but then the rest of the day kind of ramps up to it. So yeah, I would imagine. So tell me a little bit about your publication, first of all, how to log on to it and how you've switched gears to cover COVID-19? Sure, well, I'm working for the river newsroom. as a freelancer I've been writing for them for a while, but we're kind of switching gears over there pretty fast. Mostly what the river has done up to now has been features, you know, long in depth stories, and also some just aggregation of of interesting issues in the region that connect to national issues. And I don't think you can find a better description of a regional issue that connects to a national issues and then COVID-19 in the Hudson Valley right now. So it's not really my publication. They called me last Wednesday, on the strength of the work that that I and my wife had done for our own website, the watershed posts back in the Irene floods in 2011. So we're not we're not running the watershed post anymore, but we did a lot of disaster coverage on a very shoestring operation. And we learned a lot about how to do breaking news disaster coverage in our region. So you know, the river was looking at that. And they thought this is an opportunity for us to do something really useful here. And and they called me and I said, of course, I remember your Irene coverage. Well, and so it came as no surprise that you'd be you'd be covering this as well as you are for for us now. Thanks for the compliment. Yeah, tell me the website real quick. Sure. It's the river newsroom calm? Where are you based where you reading from? My house like everyone else. In Margaretville in Delaware County. I know, things are changing by the hour. But can you give us a bird's eye view of where we stand here in the region and New York as a whole. Um, things are moving really, really fast. And so it's hard even to say, you know, excellence such has happened or is happening because even the web is is tough to keep pace with the dizzying pace of the news that's coming out about not just about COVID-19, and what we know about it, and what we know about it medically and epidemiologically, but also in terms of its effects on policy, and the decisions that state and local governments are making, which are just coming down incredibly fast. And this is one of the reasons why I decided pretty early on not to try to do the kind of live blog that we did. For Irene in the watershed posts. It's just there's the information is so conflicting and so fast moving, that I think the daily round up at the end of the day when most of the news that is going to come out during the day has come out. And you can kind of go through and say, Alright, well, this is what happened today from the state. And this is how all of the county governments are reacting to that, that news and to the news about how many cases are within their borders. And you know, here's some other interesting stuff that you might want. Want to know? So, you know, it's not all government news we've been we've been trying to keep up with what's going on in the business community and other interesting local snippets. But it is such a firehose, what should we all be doing or not doing, as per the latest New York State or CDC guidelines. Um, all the guidelines from individuals has been, you know, not as quick to change as the rest of it. And I think the the overwhelming message here is that we all need to take social distancing very, very seriously. Not just for ourselves. If you know whether or not we think we are at personal risk, but for the healthcare system, which we would like to be there for us if we, if we get hurt, or if we get sick in another way. Because their their projections are looking like if we don't take social distancing very seriously, and possibly take other measures as well, including ramping up testing, that the hospitals are going to get overwhelmed. So it's not just vulnerable people that need you know, elderly people and immunocompromised people that need to think about social distancing, it really is everyone, we live in a in a region that seems to have an abundance of resilient people. Going back to Irene and other just kind of everyday life here in the Catskills can sometimes be a challenge during our long winters and such, is that going to help us at all in an area also that lends itself to social distancing? to begin with? I think in some ways, yes. And maybe in some ways, no. And, you know, we'll have to see how it plays out. But I think that people are, you know, pretty prepared to hunker down and amuse themselves and live off the food in the chest freezer, if they have one. You know, we certainly have more space than most of us anyway, then a lot of folks living in the city, and we have access to nature, which is, frankly, you know, a really good thing in these times. I think there there also is probably a tendency among people who are very resilient and very capable to think that they're, you know, immune to viruses. So, I'm not sure that will help us but be resilient and be smart, be resilient and be smart. We also have a very elderly population. You know, the Catskills is a place where, you know, the demographics are graying, and, and our hospitals are already you know, Delaware County where I live has three hospitals, they're all critical access, meaning that they're small, they don't have a lot of beds, they are far from other hospitals. And there just isn't the same level of access to health care in rural America that there is in the cities. And so some of the things that are working for us like great distances between things, and between people and more space. So some of those things that are going to help us are also going to be a challenge for our healthcare system if it gets swamped. Tell us one more time where to go for the information that you guys are providing so well and what time of day is best to check in for new material. Sure, there are actually a couple places where people can go because we are also collaborating with local radio stations and kind of behind the scenes with a lot of local reporters. And so you can go to the river newsroom calm. You can also go to the other Hudson Valley's website and that is run by a collaborator, Roger Hannigan Gilson who is helping us put out these updates. He is putting out the same ones on his site. wg XC radio station out of Greene County, has begun to broadcast them over the air. I believe now they're doing it at midnight, 5am 7am and 9am. And also there is a Spanish language radio station out of Kingston that is translating them into Spanish and making them available on their site. That's that's Lovells radio, Kingston. We tend to put them out around between nine and 10pm, sometimes a little after 10pm they go up on the river newsroom. And so you can check in late at night or early in the morning to get the freshest news. Great. Well, good luck. Thanks for everything you're doing. Stay healthy. And one of these days you and I may even have a chance to meet in person. I will I will gladly you know Venmo you a beer and we can you know, post it on zoom some time when this is all quieted down. Great the new paradigm. Yeah. Thanks a lot. Lissa. Thank you. Take care. Bye bye. Cheers. We go now to downstate New York. We're Rachel name changed and voice altered, is experiencing COVID-19 firsthand. So I chose to do this interview anonymously, because the people in my house that are affected by this virus that habit, have already contacted people that they possibly were in contact with before they started exhibiting symptoms. Since my mother actually got in contact with her boss, about being confirmed. With COVID-19, there's been an email sent to the workers of her workplace, saying that someone has been confirmed there. And she's actually already seen, then the folks around the area in our community are posting online, basically trying to figure out who it is that has the virus. It kind of feels like a witch hunt right now. That's basically the reason why. So there's a stigma attached with being diagnosed with COVID-19 at this point, which I'm sure will change very soon. Yeah, 100%. It feels as if we are the virus, and not that we have the virus. This is when people are scared, feared does things to you. So you never know how people are really going to react. So it's a little bit concerning. Can you tell me who in your family was diagnosed and what their approximate ages are? Technically there is only one confirmed case. And it's, it's my mom. And she fell ill about a week ago, she started exhibiting these symptoms, she woke up with a fever, called into work did not go in. And the very next day, I woke up with a fever, also do not go to work. And since then, we we both went to the doctor, our private doctor actually the same day, and we both got diagnosed with bronchitis. And we were prescribed an antibiotic. We got that antibiotic, stay at home. And my mom wasn't feeling better. After a few days of being on this antibiotic I was I actually was slowly getting better. But she wasn't. So I'm glad that she decided to be overly cautious instead of not cautious enough, because she stayed home again. And I stayed home to what there because she wanted to get tested for COVID-19. She said she had a feeling that she has it. So I said okay, I'll stay home too. At the same time, my father started exhibiting the same symptoms. The only thing that was missing for him is he did not have a fever. But he was coughing like crazy. Definitely looked like he was hit by a truck and said he felt that way too. So they both decided to go to the clinic and get tested. Once they came back. My mom informed me that only she was tested, the doctor refused to test my father only because he didn't have a fever. So it was up to their discretion to decide who gets tested and who doesn't. So two days later, we got the call that my mom was confirmed. It's like by assumption that my dad also has it, even though he was never tested. And once there's one confirmed case in the house, everyone in that same household is basically treated as if we all have it. I by assumption also had the virus because I had the same symptoms as my mom does day after she started having them. I'm I think fully recovered. I feel totally fine. And I recovered within five days. But my mom is still kind of struggling and my dad is really not doing so well. They're both in their 50s than I am in my early 20s. What kind of guidance did your parents get in terms of treating themselves at home? Stay home for 14 days stay quarantined, which we have been drink lots of fluids, get lots of rest, just like any other virus, there's really not much we can do. Other than like, basically ride it out and just try and treat the symptoms. We've been taking Tylenol, extra strength that's helping with fever, body aches. So I'm definitely concerned about my parents. I think my mom is doing a better job she's she's progressing, but slowly it's basically lingering with her. My dad is who I'm definitely more worried about. He's got a much worse off than her. His body aches were a lot more intense. And I don't see my parents sick very often. But it's definitely beating them up a lot more than it did for me. Even though my dad is not doing so well, I don't think we're gonna have to go to the hospital I hope not. But if that is the case, it is what it is. I'm just trying to help them feel better. I've basically taken on the role of a nurse myself on my house. Right now the precautions that we're taking. As a family or social distancing within the house, we're trying to stay as far away from each other as possible. Sleeping in different rooms, different beds, using separate bathrooms. And I've been wiping down a lot of things I've been cleaning every day multiple times a day, with cloth lights, spraying Lysol. Soaking water, washing my hands like crazy, my knuckles are very dry. Are all of your close friends and family aware that you're all affected by this? Yes, as soon as we got the news, we immediately called our family and close friends. Like I said, anyone that we possibly could have been in contact with before we started exhibiting symptoms. And also just people who want to know how we're doing. And we're very lucky to have so much love sent to us, through our friends and our family. Everyone's been very helpful, offering to get us things at the store, food shopping, anything we need. So luckily, we're not 100% trapped, we have some help on the outside. Are you doing anything to keep your spirits up in terms of non virus related activities at home, kind of difficult when you're stuck in your house. I mean, I could go in my front yard, I'm allowed to go for a drive my vehicle and not leave my vehicle, I can go in my backyard. As long as I'm not interacting with anybody or contacting anybody. Physically, then I am kind of fine. But when it comes to lifting my spirits up, I've just been watching shows that I enjoy listening to music. I was actually planning on taking out some of my painting supplies, and doing something with that. I think the hardest part is finding motivation to exercise and how to do that. All right, well, good luck to you and your family. Rachel, thank you so much for taking the time to share your story. Of course, thank you so much for integrating me I think it's really important to talk about Thank you. Alright, get well. Back here in the Catskills. Ulster County's Office of Economic Development is doing what it can to support local businesses in a time of great uncertainty. Lisa Berger is director of the Ulster County Office of Economic Development. Hi, this is Lisa Berger. Hi, Lisa, Brett Barry, how are you? I'm good. How are you? Good. Thanks. Just tell me quickly what does the Ulster County Office of Economic Development do in normal times? And how is that changed with the covid 19 pandemic. So you know, interestingly, one of our biggest missions here at the Office of Economic Development is to retain and to expand our own local businesses, and the business community at large. So we are very much engaged in county wide expansion and retention of businesses. And what we're seeing in this crisis is thank goodness, that's part of our core mission, because that's exactly what we're doing. And the other part of our business that we do, that we've really had to let go entirely, is attraction trying to attract new businesses to the county, because we just don't have the bandwidth right now, to be able to deliver to them the kinds of services and tools they need. And also businesses, wherever they are right now are just scrambling and struggling to stay alive. So we're providing our business community with the vital information that they need right now. And trying to set up tools that we'll be able to help them move forward. What are some of those tools or what types of resources are you making available to businesses? So one thing that happened yesterday that we are so very good grateful to congressman Delgado for in for and and we're grateful to the efforts of our own county executive Pat Ryan. They were tireless advocates, to the Small Business Administration federally to get New York state the entire state, a disaster declaration that we needed in order to have our small businesses eligible for disaster loans that are 0%. So that work almost like a line of credit, they can use those loans to pay their workers to pay their rent, to pay their mortgages to buy supplies. It's a zero interest line of credit. And I know that businesses are strapped right now. But it can be a lifeline for them as we move through this next phase. So that's one tool that we're thrilled that we managed to get now. We are working right now around the clock to identify manufacturers here in Ulster County, whose lines can be repurposed to manufacture vital supplies that the state needs right now, this may be a way to keep people in those businesses working. And depending on demand, we might be able even able to put to work some of the people in our service industries, who have really taken this hit hard. We are working on making sure that we communicate clearly with our business community, all the new rules and regulations as they come down. And we're helping businesses that want a waiver from that 100% requirement. That goes into effect on Sunday night. We're helping those businesses that have a legitimate reason to stay open, but may not fall directly in one of the identified categories. We're helping them to process appeals so that they can stay open. Everyone thinks that their business is essential, right. But there are there are lines. So helping us navigate, you know, what really is allowed to go on as usual. Yeah. And and some of it falls into a gray area. I mean, let me I just can't give you a quick example. One of our local hotels has a number of utility workers who are who are from outside the area who have long term contracts who are staying with them. Also a local nursing home needed to provide child care for their workers whose kids are now out of school. So that nursing home took room in this ballroom, and they're going to be a limited number of kids. They're starting Monday. And these and hotels don't fall into the exception. And here they are providing vital vital services though, right? So that's an example of the kind of waiver we're looking for. What are the best ways for businesses to get in touch with your resources? And if they had a question to be able to contact your office? Yeah, absolutely. So the COVID the county's COVID 19 website is probably the best place for them to go for all of our information. And for other information that may be useful to people right this second. And so they can go to Ulster County, New york.gov Coronavirus, COVID-19 information, that's the name of the web page. And they'll be able to find all of the information that I just spoke about, as well as the form they need if they'd like to request a waiver for their business. There are some businesses that would like to stay open, and we understand that. But if you can't make a really good case for staying open, and people are just blanket putting in waivers, it's going to overwhelm the system. So we really want businesses to think long and hard about whether or not they really need this waiver, before they put it in. What are some ways that our communities can continue to support each other? Yeah, that's such a great question. And I will say that I've seen incredible acts of generosity in this one week and, and kindness from our business community and the community at large. So one way that you can help our business community is we're we're asking businesses, to please think broadly about companies and the local, small local mom and pops that they like and that they want to support, and that they do support all the time. And if they have a website where you can purchase goods from them, go on that and purchase. If they've got a Facebook page, go there and ask them if they have gift cards or anything that you would be able to help purchase right now from them. We're asking people to think broadly like about money. massages and yoga things you know, you're going to use down the line things that might make good presence. This cash being given to our small businesses right now is very much like alone and could make a difference between them staying open or not your favorite local bakeries, your favorite local restaurants, call them up and ask if they have curbside delivery if they've got takeout, or maybe what you do is call them up and say, Can I get a tray of lasagna and then you portion it out and freeze it, this is going to make a difference to these businesses, and you have to eat anyway. So we're asking people to be creative. We're asking people to think about all the goods and services that they know they're going to use later on down the line. And it may make the difference between them staying open, or not staying open. Sounds like a good plan. Thank you so much, Lisa, for your time. I appreciate it. Thank you and stay safe and healthy. Restaurants are still considered an essential business. People need to eat, but the business model is quickly changing. Mike Cioffi is owner of the Phoenicia diner, in Venetian New York, and Dixon in Woodstock. The thing is, I know, a mess for everyone. So it's not just us. And because you know, we don't have a view of what's happening going forward. If I knew it was like, two weeks, with any other like disaster, if like the plumbing broke, and, you know, I just keep everybody on, we figure something out, you know, we paint the walls do something to kind of stay busy and employed. But I don't know how long this is going to take. So I had to like literally act quickly, to you know, kind of get people off the payroll one for us. So financially, we can kind of stay afloat, and two for them, so they can get to unemployment, as soon as possible. As of today, the governor's ordered all non essential businesses to keep their workers at home restaurants are a little different. But there's obviously different conditions. So how have your two restaurants adapted so far? First thing we did was reduce the not not just the workforce, but but more importantly, we reduced the amount of people we were serving. So we cut our capacity in half, almost immediately. And and then shortly thereafter, we went to takeout only. So we went to zero guests in the building. And we moved on to on Thursday moved on to takeout only in both restaurants. And that entails you know, kind of changing the menu around. Because we can't we can't serve the full menu. One too is we have to, you know, we had to reduce staff, so we had to reduce the menu down. So it was, you know, manageable by, you know, two or three people rather than the 12 that we normally have. And three, our revenue is down, you know, immediately by more than half. So none of it really makes financial sense at the moment, we're going to keep going. But we're doing it at a loss because we you know, we just want to keep the doors open, we want to keep feeding people who need it, and who want to, but we're doing it very cautiously. So online ordering, we have we set up in both places, immediately. So payments, you know, for the most part 19 95% of payments are done online. So there's no transaction when you pick up the food, so you don't have to, like find it when you got to sign some stuff, but minimal touching of anything. And nobody comes in the building. So the takeout window with Dixon is utilized a lot earlier than we thought it would be when we move everything to the food truck at the diner. So the food is being produced in the kitchen, but the order is taken at the window at the food truck and it's processed. And then and we hand you the food through that window. We clean a lot, you know, to keep up with health standards. And we've doubled and tripled those efforts. You know, going forward considering this new announcement from the governor, does that change anything in terms of what you're allowed to do with the takeout from say two days ago? I was just looking into that today and everything that we see right now tells us that restaurants are still included in that essential service. So we are not changing anything at the moment. In fact, we're trying to figure out ways of expanding the takeout to some people that are in need here in the community as well. What should customers know before they placed an order? That is all you know, we prefer everything to be done online for for both from distancing standpoint. You know once the order is placed online, basically it Kind of automated from there. So that that's the preference. I know some people, you know, don't have internet access, or don't know that we have something online, they'll call in, which is fine too. And you can, you know, make the payment here, but we prefer to prefer to happen on you know, remotely and to patients. Everybody in this industry in this area that has a restaurant is adapting rapidly to what's happening. So. And when I say patients, I mean, you know, we're figuring it out on an hour by hour basis, what's working, what's not working, you know, the menu that we have for takeout, we're trying to modify on a daily basis to make it more streamlined to utilize things that we have, have you gotten any support or guidance from the town or the county? Or are there other networks that you've found have been helpful? Yeah, for sure. We were in on on Pat Ryan, you know, online meeting a couple of days ago, I feels like I'm sure it was yesterday, but it feels like last week, but I think it was yesterday or the day before. And I'm going to try and get onto one tonight that Anthony Delgado is hosting the Chamber of Commerce in Ulster has been very helpful. They've been posting constantly and updating who's doing takeout and promoting that the town here in shandaken has been amazing Joyce grant, specifically, every time that we post something, you know, she she posted to the town Facebook page, so that word messaging gets out, you know, about our hours takeout menu, and she's been doing that with everybody. She's just been great and supportive. And the same thing in Woodstock, we've been, you know, like I said, everybody who's been arriving there to take at has been, you know, really supportive. Everybody has been throwing in to see you know, what they can do? And then part of the issue is I'm not quite sure what we need at the moment. And I know that sounds crazy, but you know, it certainly needs business. But we can't, that's not really plausible, because they're not people coming out, or allowed to come out, which I agree with. I mean, I we're just trying to figure out what we need. And once we, once we get there, we'll we'll put the message that out as well. How long do you think this latest business model can last? That is a great question. I think right now we're looking at at two at a two week window. So our horizon is so short that my answer is like I'm going to reevaluate this through the weekend and see what transpires in terms of you know, how busy the takeout is, and who's arriving and, and the timing of all that. And I think by Sunday, we'll we'll adjust and then, by the following weekend, kind of have a much more definitive answer on, you know, going forward, if you know how we're going to kind of adapt to it. So I would say, I got a two week window right now to kind of figure out what we need to kind of adapt to, to continue past the two week point. And then once this all kind of lifts, hopefully, how quickly do you think you can get back to a normal a normal schedule and getting all your staff back and up and running? Again? I think that's an important question that I can answer pretty much immediately, when we had the layoff we we did it, you know, as quickly as possible. But also, we have a really amazing staff that that I believe will we'll all be back when we flip the switch again, I think the deeper question is, what happens, what's the what's the paradigm we're going to go into? Once we reopen? So and that has to do with guests reaction and what what it looks like on the other side of it in terms of you know, people gathering in places like restaurants. So that so we'll be ready, I have no doubt we're going to be in fact, we're going to be chomping at the bit to to ramp back up to where we should be. In fact, I think we'll be we'll probably ramp up paths where we would normally be good. There'll be some pent up. Certainly some pent up demand not and I'm not just talking about the diner. I believe that for the whole county, what are your revised hours now at the two places so as at the diner right now where nine to three. And again, this is all floating right now. We may extend it over the weekend, but we're not sure what the demand is going to be so we don't want to make any moves right now to to modify it. At Dixon. We added an hour. So right now, Dixon were from 12 to six. All right, well, thanks a lot, Mike. If we're still allowed to leave our house in the next few days, we'll definitely come by and pick up some food so good luck. And we're in for you. Yeah, same same here. You got they they they've been helping Hello, you're rich, the anterior Central School District, as per the directive of the Ulster County Executive and the Ulster County Commissioner of Health. All schools in Ulster County are closed for two weeks. The anti euro Central School District encompasses nearly 300 square miles, serving 45,000 residents. In the heart of the central Catskills. Victoria McLaren is the superintendent. Okay, so as of this moment, what is the prediction for students coming back to class in person. As of this moment, according to the governor of New York, the prediction is in less than two weeks, April 2 students will be back in school, I personally don't necessarily believe that that's going to be our reality. And until kids are back in school, what provisions have been made for learning at home. So our staff, our administrators, our teachers, are all working on coming up with all the best ways to serve our students. We're trying to gather information related to how many of our students have access to device and internet access so that we can structure their supports and their resources appropriately. There's a lot of work going on behind the scenes, but I don't think we're ready to roll anything out quite yet. Thankfully, we are still technically on spring break. And I think we're going to be positioned well, Spring Break will lead right into some unused snow days, which also helps and then into online learning from there. Correct. And then what are the differences between students who are in elementary versus middle and high school in terms of how they're going to receive the information that they need? I think there's going to be a few different modalities. And it's going to also have to depend upon student's individual means as well as, as we know in our area, access to technology and, and actual internet or cell service. So we're going to have to be really creative because everything is not equal in in our geographic region, unfortunately. And speaking of which, there's a program now that I see the district is offering in terms of food delivery, can you talk a little bit about that? Sure. One of the really important things for school districts is ensuring that kids get good nutritious meals. And that's one of the benefits of having kids in school. And so in order to try and accommodate for the loss of that service, we have created a program, our school lunch manager did an amazing job. And our transportation director, and her staff have done an amazing job. And they've created a program through which we can deliver in two different deliveries in one week, enough breakfast and lunch to carry each student that is signed up for this program through the week. So we've had one successful delivery this week. We're looking to have two next week. Our only concern right now is that the next delivery is supposed to be on Monday, and there's a potential snow event. So we're staying on top of that, and more information will be coming. What are some of the biggest concerns that parents have right now? What are the what are the messages that you're getting to respond to? I think a lot of the concerns have to do with the uncertainty. And dealing with having children at home long term and really wanting the best for the children. And the best instructional outcomes for this year. I have been reached out to by some parents of secondary kids. And they've asked us to really reinforce the kids that the idea behind this closure is social distancing. And I know that it's so hard for our young people to go from being an integral part of their friends circle to being isolated. And so their natural instinct is to try and get together with their friends. And I know a number of parents have reached out and asked us to reinforce the idea that that's really just not in anyone's best interest right now. Right? You take the blame for my kid not being able to hang out with their friend a lot easier for the parent. Well, I just think it's hard. You know, teenagers are social beings and, and different times of your life. Things have different priorities. And that's really a priority for our young people. And I don't blame parents for wanting a little backup. I think it's got to be a really hard conversation to have especially when You're feeling like this could go on. And kids are beginning to feel disconnected. And so we're also trying to put together some ways to help support people in the social emotional realm, and I'm not sure what that's going to look like. But I think it's really important to reinforce with adults and children, that this is a very stressful time. And you can't let go of taking care of yourself and your family. And, and it's, it's easy to get caught up in the stress, and that sort of frantic mentality that can be out there in society. But I think it's really important that we all take a deep breath and and enjoy our time with our families and focus on some self care. And if parents or students have questions, what's the best way to keep in touch with the district? Is that a webpage? Or where are you posting updates? We are posting updates on our web page, we actually just reorganized the page today, because we've been posting so many updates that it started to get a little confusing and overwhelming, actually. But we have the web page. And if people have specific questions, they can reach out to their building principals. And we do keep trying to put updates out on Facebook and on the web page so that there are different places where people can go to look, we've also kind of carved out a section of our page. The page that's related to this school closure, we carved out a section and we have information there about other community resources that are available, like food pantries, Ulster County has a county wide food delivery program that they're setting up. And we actually are putting a Facebook post out today to let people know that that's there and to ask if anyone has other community resources, that would be good for everyone to know to send them to us and we will put them there as well. Can you give us that address? onto your that? k twelve.ny.us. All right, Victoria McLaren, thank you so much. I appreciate it and stay healthy. Thank you so much you as well. Okay, talk to you soon. All right, bye. This has been a special edition of cats cast, produced at silver hollow audio. Stay healthy everyone, and we'll see you next time. 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai