Saturday, April 11, 2020

Senator Rausch: COVID-19 Update #11


Friday, April 10, 2020

Hi friends,

I hope everyone is safe and healthy. I can't believe this is our 11th coronavirus update, especially since we are just now approaching the anticipated surge period. Things are going to keep getting worse before they get better. Over the next 2-3 weeks, it is absolutely critical that everyone stay at home as much as possible.

I want to take a moment to be present in this reality with all of you. This is hard. This is really hard. Each and every email or phone call I get from constituents, each conversation with medical professionals, confirms for me what people seem to already know: we weren't prepared for this, we are losing people to this, and we are behind the proverbial 8-ball in our response to this. A friend recently said something that really resonated with me: "we can do hard things." Yes, this is hard, maybe the hardest period some of us have ever experienced, but we will eventually find the downswing of infection and the end of the pandemic period. In the interim, do everything you can to take care of yourselves, both physically and mentally. Get outside every day (not near other people); one dad told me he and his kids went puddle-jumping in the rain last week and it was great. Drink more water than you think you need. Use technology to connect with others. Sleep at normal (or close-to-normal) hours. Do something that brings you joy and still maintains social distancing, and do that thing at least a few times a week. This is a marathon, not a sprint. And, importantly, reach out for help when you need it.

My team and I remain fervent in our work to mitigate the impacts of coronavirus and support the people and communities we serve. Some highlights:
  • The Senate passed two really important bills yesterday: the first prevents evictions and mortgage foreclosures during the pandemic, and the second waives the MCAS exams for the current school year. As always, my efforts on these bills centered equity and fairness. Additional legislative work is ongoing, including figuring out how to support virtual Town Meetings.
  • My team and I have been connecting with hospitals and medical staff in our district to get a comprehensive handle on capacity and conditions of care on the ground. Relatedly, I've been briefed on the impending surge and our preparations for it. I've received and elevated areas in which we must make significant improvements to protect people, and do so equitably.
  • We held our second virtual office hours today, with continued success. (You don't need to have a coronavirus question or concern to chat with us during office hours! Today's appointments were split 50-50.) Sign ups are now open for our third virtual office hours, which will be on Friday, April 24, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • I joined with colleagues to get the Administration to speed up licensure for foreign-certified medical professionals, and then it happened.
  • Today I called on Governor Baker to get the CARES Act unemployment benefits into people's hands NOW. Under the plan he announced earlier this week, the updated unemployment system won't be functional until the end of the month. People can't wait until May for this money when they're hanging on by a thread today.
  • I did my weekly coronavirus interview with Peter Gay of North TV (from a different room, for those who are following along).

Yours in service,

Senator Becca Rausch

This newsletter was shortened for publication here. To view the full content follow this link:

Senator Rausch: COVID-19 Update #11
Senator Rausch: COVID-19 Update #11

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