Residents coping with COVID-19 cabin fever with creativity to offer help, keep busy, connect with others
BY CHERYL SHUMWAY
North Country This Week
How are local residents coping with cabin fever during the coronavirus quarantine? Many are using creativity and social media to offer help, keep busy, and connect with others.Alicia Taillon, Madrid, started STLC COVID-19 Help and Info, a Facebook page that now has 2,183 members, to help St. Lawrence County residents share resources and reach out for help.
“It's been amazing to see how fast those in our community are willing to either provide requested items to those in need or connect them with the local resources that can provide them what they need,” said Jamey Merkel, Potsdam, a page administrator.
Many local musicians have been performing live online, but the Todd family has also been raising money for local charities. Ben Todd, wife, Alisah, and daughters Jillian, Shannon and Catie, have been singing from their Potsdam living room Friday nights at 6 p.m., using Facebook Live.
The family has raised over $7,000 for local charities such as Reachout, Renewal House, Helping Hands and the St. Lawrence County Community Development Program food pantries. About 1,000 people have viewed each concert, either live or recorded, and many have donated, Todd said.
Matt Akins, Raymondville, created an obstacle course for his four children he called a “lava team-building exercise.” His children helped each other jump from wooden boards, pallets and other objects to try to avoid touching the ground. He also has developed a workout program for them, including a log rolling activity.
While many are making face masks, architect Rebecca Weld, Potsdam, is going a step further in her quest for the “perfect” face mask. She has created patterns for better fit, breathability and appearance, and shared them on her website:www.thecookiearchitect.com. Weld is also known for her elaborate gingerbread houses during the holiday season.
Ellen Nesbitt, Norwood, used a Zoom conference to celebrate the 65th anniversary of her parents Gerald and Beverly Ballou, of Hannawa Falls. “It was fantastic. Our parents could see and hear us. A great way to keep in touch," she said.
In Potsdam, Elaine LaLone has begun playing Mah Jongg remotely. “My friends and I play using our laptops or tablets for the game and use our phones for a conference call while we play so we can laugh, chat, and complain or cheer about the hands we have been dealt.”
Jim Holt, of New Hope Community Church, Potsdam, has produced a YouTube video of the food pantry at Helping Hands, Hannawa Falls. Holt shows how the food pantry works, as he uses the drive-thru pickup location. It is viewable at https://bit.ly/2VT1m2y.
Ruth McWilliams, South Colton, has been busy finishing her latest barn quilt, in addition to volunteering for non-profits TAUNY and Sunday Rock Legacy Project. She is also spiffing up the grounds of Catamount Lodge.
Don Straight, Brasher Falls has been creating graphs analyzing growth of COVID-19 cases in St. Lawrence County in April. They can be viewed on the STLC COVID-19 Facebook page.
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