#ShelterInPlace order issued today by #PublicHealthOfficials from seven #Bayarea counties over fear or lack of resources and lack of treatment options for COVID-19 raises a number of questions that we as a community need to answer.
As #Allies of the #specialneeds community and as an organization, at PRAGNYA, we really want to help figure a few things out. Regardless of whether you are touched by special needs or not, here are a few things that we need to think about and and how this order plays out :
1) How do #seniors or those with #specialneeds access #essentialservices like #IHSS (In Home Support Services, #Crisisintervention services, routine #Medicalcare (they may not be sick but would need trained individuals to help with medication dispensing, feeding etc.) ? And no, not all of them are in assisted living or group homes - they usually have support workers come to work with them ?
2) School services need to continue for those who are #disabled under #FAPE and #IDEA (Individual with Disabilities Education Act) but how will that possibly happen now for individuals who need 1:1 instruction whose services like #OccupationalTherapy, #BehaviorInterventionTherapy cannot be rendered virtually ?
3) #SchoolDistricts just made available FREE lunches for pickup and now this order prohibiting any non-essential stepping out of the house raises the question - when is it ok to step out ? If it is ok to go to #school to get your lunch or #breakfast aren’t you still at risk of catching or infecting someone else ?
4) Someone said its important to stay alive than to make ends meet. But that is just it - so many families and individuals have been one such order away from bankruptcy or losing everything in #life - including #SmallBusinessowners, #dailywageearners, #supportworkers, #individualswithdisabilities. They won’t make it or even recuperate from the financial hit they are going to take on account of this new order. Heck! Many of our 401Ks are also in jeopardy with the beating the stock market has taken with these announcements. What type of economic relief and stimulus will our local, state and federal Governments offer ?
5) where is the #ScientificData to prove #COVID19 is actually going to be contained with these types of measures ? If it is just a conjecture of the learned few to just shut down and stay home, since we dont have a cure or we dont have enough tests in place, the how long will we wait ? And when we come back from the 3 or 4 weeks as per these orders, where is the data that shows us there isn’t going to be a spike in infections ?
Oh, but of course, the argument is #Flattenthecurve - so we are merely going into shutdown mode to make the #Statistics look good and stagger the infection/death-rate ??? What about those individuals (asymptomatic carriers) who may never be tested and detected with this strategy but they could potentially infect others at a later stage - what then, another shutdown ?
6) Mental and #Behavioral Health services are a huge area of concern that will be heavily impacted with this order. There are highly vulnerable individuals with #mentalhealth and #behavioral issues who need constant support, structure amd integration to function as human beings. This order may impact their support-staff, their services from being provided and significantly alter their schedules putting them at greater risk of potential harm and #self-harm due to their preconditions. Will their services be uninterrupted - and will that be considered as an essential service ?
There’s too many questions and too few people who have the answers. But someone needs to “Really account for everyone” while making decisions for Public Health. Or like always, will our #SpecialNeeds population be forgotten, with their loved ones scrambling yet again to figure things our themselves ????
At the PRAGNYA family, we sincerely HOPE NOT !