B-U COVID-19 Task Force reminds residents to take care of themselves while taking care of others

BUCKHANNON – While staying the course, be well.

With Upshur Countians staring down the conclusion of a month under the stay-at-home order, the Buckhannon-Upshur COVID-19 Community Task Force discussed ways to help residents that may be looking for ideas on what to do at its Tuesday, April 21 web conference.

The task force has shared a list of online and outdoor activities in previous weeks, but members felt now would be a good time to not only re-share that list, but also add ideas for self-care.

Psychologists consider “self-care” as deliberate activities people can do to take care of their mental, emotional and physical health. In times like the current pandemic, parents may be focusing on taking care of their children, which may take away from their own self-care activities. The same could be said for business owners, essential workers, etc. The task force in no way suggests that care for children, employees, etc. is unimportant; however, caring for yourself is also important.

Activities like getting enough sleep, taking walks outside, meditating and remembering to have fun can help. The task force also shared the following six questions citizens can use as guideposts for ensuring they are taking care of themselves:

  • What are my strengths?
  • What has helped me endure previous difficult times?
  • What health things can I do to soothe myself when I’m faced with uncertainty?
  • Is there something I can do to influence what will happen next? If so, what
  • What are my resources to increase my resilience?
  • How can I ask for what I need?

Residents should be on the lookout for signs of stress. Physical responses could be changes in sleeping patterns or appetite, dizziness, headaches or an upset stomach.

Emotional responses could include shock, numbness, anger toward others, fear, depression or loneliness. General confusion or difficulty concentrating could be mental responses to stress, while withdrawing from others, angry outbursts and decreased energy may be behavioral responses.

The stay-at-home order also offers residents time to tackle the cleaning or organization projects they have been putting off, and the Buckhannon Transfer Station remains open to support those efforts. Further, residents may use this time as an opportunity to check the batteries in the smoke detectors in their homes, check the charge on fire extinguishers, and so on.

Task force members share lists of activities via social media, so be sure to find the Upshur County Commission (@upshurcountycommission), City of Buckhannon (@buckhannonwv), the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department (@upshurbuckhannonhealthdept) and the Upshur County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management on Facebook. Other members, like Appalachian Community Health Center and Mountain CAP, make materials available directly.

In other news, the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department reported that Upshur County remains at four positive-confirmed cases. Three of those represent recoveries while one case is still active.

Medical providers continue to provide telemedicine options, and consistent with the Governor’s executive order April 20, St. Joseph’s Hospital will begin discussing its plan to resume elective surgeries.

Upshur County Schools reported that food distribution operations have been successful, with over 5,000 deliveries having been made in each of the past several weeks. The Upshur County Senior Center and the Parish House also noted that curbside options, food pantries and targeted deliveries have also successfully gotten food to families in need.

As a reminder, local resources like the Parish House remain operational and stocked. If anyone in the community has a need, they may contact the Parish House at 304-472-0743 for more information.

As always, trusted, reliable sources of information include the following:
• CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
• WVDHHR: https://dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/Pages/default.aspx
• Governor Jim Justice: https://governor.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx
• Upshur County Commission: http://www.upshurcounty.org/alert_detail.php
• City of Buckhannon: http://buckhannonwv.org/covid-19/

The Buckhannon-Upshur COVID-19 Community Task Force is a coalition of stakeholders representing the health department, medical providers, the county and city governments, as well as emergency response agencies, educational providers, social services agencies, and civic organizations. The task force also includes representatives from daycare centers, public housing authorities, nursing homes, etc.

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