We know there has been a lot of uncertainty and anxiety around the COVID-19 outbreak. Our hearts are with those directly affected and we want to encourage everyone to take precautions and listen to health experts’ recommendations. We also want to ensure you that our organizational commitment to protecting, restoring, and sustaining a healthy environment will continue as we weather this outbreak together. We must work together to tackle this pandemic just as we work side by side to address the climate crisis and restore the health of our forests and Puget Sound. As we are all adjusting our daily lives, I want to share with you how the WEC staff and board are responding and providing you some resources to do the same.
Until further notice, WEC has adopted the following policies in order to keep staff, board, volunteers, and the community safe:
- WEC staff will not be sending staff, board members, or volunteers to in-person conferences and meetings, and are drastically limiting other WEC-related activities that require travel or involve being in close physical contact with others. Meetings will now be over the phone and/or video conferencing.
- WEC’s 2020 Gala has been cancelled. We know this is a special event for so many of our members to see each other and a chance to hear what’s ahead for WEC. It is also our largest fundraiser and supports the work we do to protect Washington’s environment all year long. But for the safety of everyone, we will not be holding an event in person. Stay tuned for information about how we’ll be bringing our community together remotely.
News of the outbreak is constant and can be overwhelming. Here are some resources we are using to help guide our decisions:
- Federal: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- State: Washington State Department of Health
- Local Public Health: Examples include King County and Snohomish County
Just as the climate crisis impacts the most vulnerable among us, so does a viral pandemic that only exacerbates the systemic inequalities. Here are some resources for you to help protect those who are most at risk:
- Mental health support: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
- Nutrition access:
- Public school food access: At the state level and at the Seattle level
- Information for workers and employees: General information and benefit access
- Take action with Working WA: Urge your local leaders to preserve medical benefits, halt evictions, prevent utility shut-offs, and provide emergency income assistance.
Finally, we are social people and social distancing and the stress of uncertainty can be hard on our mental health. Here is a resource from the CDC on coping with anxiety and stress.
Alyssa Macy, CEO