13 things to do this weekend! (March 27th – March 29th)

Local News

(WOWK) — With the current pandemic, many events are cancelled or rescheduled! So this weekend we will be bringing you 13 different ways you can help your community, or yourself during this time!

1.) Send words of encouragement

13 News Reporter Nicky Walters says, a few words of encouragement can go a long way when it comes to getting through a difficult time. HospiceCare is asking for the community’s help to boost employee morale as they continue to care for patients and their families.

A post on social media this week from HospiceCare asked the community to send words of hope. It started with a simple idea.

They hope that over the next few weeks they’ll be flooded with messages from people of all ages giving the staff a much-needed boost.

2.) Provide medical care to needy

13 News Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis explains that, nearly 30,000 people a year get health services from West Virginia Health Right. Its clinic serves among the most needy in society, including the homeless, the uninsured, or the under-insured.

Because of all the recent layoffs, it is seeing a huge spike in demand from people who have no health coverage. Since the coronavirus outbreak, Health Right’s pharmacy has seen a 400% increase in demand.

3.) Fill out an absentee ballot

The plan now is to still let people vote in-person for the May 12th primary, and to early vote in-person beginning April 29th. But the Secretary of State will now mail a postcard to all 1-point-2 million registered voters in the state, asking them if they’d like an absentee ballot so they can just vote by mail.

“You send that back in and then the clerk will send a ballot to you, and you vote your ballot. And we are encouraging people to vote early, to get on with this process. There’s no reason to wait until Election Day,” said Secretary of State Mac Warner, (R) West Virginia.

4.) Talk to your children about COVID-19

Many people are feeling anxiety and stress as they try to adjust to a new way of life. The abrupt changes to day to day routines can be an especially heavy burden for children.

“We are explaining what a pandemic is, the history of it and the seriousness of it,” said Chris Walters. He and his wife Elizabeth are helping their kids handle the COVID-19 crisis by giving them information.

“They’ve not been fearful or skeptic, however my nine year old has really been concerned about senior citizens and what is happening around the world,” he said.

You can find the full story, here.

5.) Listen to useful tips

A Michigan doctor is sharing advice when it comes to safely getting food during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen, a physician with Family Medicine Specialists in Grand Rapids, posted an informational video to YouTube Tuesday to share tips on safe grocery shopping.

“When you’re out at the store, it’s not just about wiping down the shopping cart handle with an antiseptic wipe,” VanWingen said. “We need to be better than that when we go to the supermarket.”

His top tips include minimizing the time spent at the store by planning ahead and to only touch the items you’ll be taking home.

6.) Make your own mask

Keeping the coronavirus (COVID-19) contained and eliminating the spread can be a hard task, especially if you don’t have the right equipment.

The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) in Huntington has been dedicating its time and energy to making face shields for those in the medical field. The new design will ultimately create an inexpensive and safe product to be used by medical professionals.

RCBI staff members say the shields comply with the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines and are also fairly quick to make. The face shields can either be 3D printed in their “Maker Vault” or laser cut out of sheets of clear plastic.

7.) Go for a walk of fresh air on the Kanawha Blvd.

Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin says Kanawha Boulevard will be closed from Brooks Street to Court Street to encourage safe recreational activity this weekend, March 28-29, 2020.

Lanes will close Saturday at 9:00 a.m. and reopen Sunday at 6:00 p.m. The restrooms will be opened at Haddad Riverfront Park.

“It is important to engage in safe physical activity during this pandemic,” said Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin. “Currently there isn’t enough space on the boulevard to push a stroller or run with a friend and keep within the CDC guidelines for social distancing. With the weather being nice this weekend, we felt it important to give folks a place they could safely enjoy.”

8.) Video stream someone at a nursing home

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is making it harder for families to see their loved ones who are currently in nursing facilities. Following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, nursing homes and senior living facilities have been restricting access to outside visitors.

Nursing facilities are also trying to make this transition easier by offering new video web streaming services. While the face to face connection may not be the same as in-person, the nursing facilities believe this is one of the best alternatives given the situation.

Family members say that they understand that the restrictions are necessary, but they’re hoping to see their loved ones face to face again soon.

9.) Utilize free educational resources for kids

With schools closed and families staying home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, here are some free educational resources to keep your kids entertained and learning.

Interactive learning:

  • Weather for Kids is offered by our sister station WKBN’s weather team offering lessons and projects every day for kids.
  • Accessibyte is offering free access to all of their learning apps during the pandemic including Typio and Quick Cards
  • Arcademics offers free multiplayer educational games for math and language arts
  • Cool Math 4 Kids offers free games, quizzes and lessons in math for younger students
  • Explorable offers free educational science projects including how to make sundials and how bread decays

10.) Watch and instructional Facebook Live

Conservation educators from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will be hosting special Facebook Live sessions while schools are closed across the state due to COVID-19 concerns.

The department says these Facebook Live sessions will take place at 1 p.m. ET on weekdays so teachers and students can continue receiving wildlife conservation programming normally taught in the classroom. The approximately 30-minute sessions will live stream on the Salato Wildlife Education Center’s Facebook page (@SalatoWildlifeEducationCenter), according to a press release from Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.

11.) Do your taxes (If you haven’t)

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says the deadline to file state taxes is being extended to July 15. This decision coincides with the change to the deadline for filing federal taxes.

He says the state tax department will provide additional details on its website.

12.) Sit in on a virtual church service

Large events and social gatherings have taken a huge hit these past few weeks. One of the largest groups affected is our religious groups.

Church leaders like Paul Boekell, Redemption Church of Huntington, West Virginia Discipleship Pastor, are facing the challenge of staying connected with their congregations.

We have been scrambling to figure that out, because this is a brand new experience for, I think, all of us.

PASTOR PAUL BOEKELL

13.) Order take-out from local business

While some businesses have temporarily shut their doors, others are trying new strategies to boost business. “Folklore Music Exchange” on Charleston’s West Side is encouraging internet sales, for customers that might be reluctant to shop in public.

Many restaurants are also gearing up for increased carry-out and delivery orders. Now that they’ve been told to temporarily halt in-house dining, they want people to know their kitchens will remain open.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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