We Are Resilient
As a physician and psychiatrist, I am reaching out to share my perspective about the mental health part of handling COVID-19.
First, since I’m running to be NYC’s mayor, I want to point out that New Yorkers have a long history of handling massive challenges well. Whether it’s 9/11, blackouts, Ebola threats, Super Storm Sandy or other disruptions to our lives, our city is resilient. When the going gets tough, we get tougher.
So — I am confident New Yorkers will handle this with strength and grit as a community in a respectful, deliberate manner. We will do what we need to do, together.
But this is obviously a stressful situation with a lot of unknowns. Here’s what I am advising my friends and family:
- Rely on trusted health resources, NOT your friends on social media: Do, however, stay in contact with those you care about — whether by phone, email, social media, kitchen table, exercise, FaceTime, mindfulness, gratitude or prayer . . . Social connection reduces stress and can strengthen our immune systems.
- Preparation prevents panic — focusing on what we CAN control prevents stress overload: If you are worried about COVID-19’s effect on your family, or how it might affect a loved one who is at high risk, focus your attention on the precautions we can take to protect ourselves. Stay informed, follow community health directives, and know that we are all in this together.
- All things in moderation work better — food choices, media exposure, sleep discipline, hydration and shopping habits: There’s nothing wrong with an abundance of caution. However, that doesn’t mean you need an abundance of toilet paper . . . Or alcohol, all-nighters, cable news and junk food!
Every municipality and state across the country are mobilizing. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has led the way in delivering relevant, punctual and timely updates — tune in for regular briefings. If elected Mayor, I look forward to working with the Governor, City Council and Borough Presidents to ensure that we are prepared for whatever comes our way.
Then, turn off your TV or device for a few minutes or even hours . . . You’ll be glad you did.
FYI, my preferred ‘go-to’ mental health resource is published by the Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences — easy to read fact sheets reflecting world-class expertise, knowledge and wisdom.
Lastly, please know how grateful I am for the opportunity to share the world’s greatest city with each of you . . . As fellow New Yorkers, our best is yet to come.
Current State of COVID-19 in NY State/NYC & General Health Resources
Legal & Financial Resources
In response to COVID-19 impact on city workforce, NYC has developed a list of resources for those who may be unemployed due to COVID-19 or are seeking additional assistance.
US Government Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program provides temporary benefits to people who, due to a major disaster, lost employment or self-employment interrupted.
NY state government page containing overview of WARN act – which requires covered businesses to provide early warnings of closures/layoffs to workers, employee representatives, Department of Labor, and local workforce development boards.
NYC employee retention grant program – helps small businesses retain their employees. Grant allows for small businesses with fewer than 5 employees to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months.
The emergency injury disaster loan advance provides small businesses impacted by COVID-19 with up to $10,000 – loan advance does not need to be repaid.
Mental Health & Domestic Violence COVID-19 Potential Resources
NYC Schools/Online Education
Mutual Aid/Getting involved
Share your space survey – identifies spaces in your community that could potentially support the city’s emergency operations or be used for community outreach events.
NYC Service leads the Volunteer Coordination Taskforce, a partnership with NYC Emergency Management, New York Cares, and other partners to centralize and coordinate volunteer efforts during emergencies. Link to their COVID-19 response efforts webpage.
Community Specific Resources
Entertainment & Fitness
Planet fitness is currently offering free “home work-ins” – a series of free fitness workouts for everyone – which will be streamed live daily Monday-Friday at 7:00pm hosted by their trainers/surprise celebrity guests. For those who cannot participate live, each workout can be viewed on their Facebook page/Youtube channel
DoNYC’s Stay the F*** Home Fest is a remote online show open to artists from around the world. This is free, although Venmo tips for musicians is encouraged. The goal is to create an outlet for artists to celebrate live music’s power to bring people together, whole encouraging social distancing to flatten the curve. DoNYC has a ton of entertainment streaming resources for lockdown additional to this.