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The coronavirus and COVID-19 may have turned all our lives upside down, but the two essential pillars of Marin Villages—building community and helping older adults—have proven invaluable in these difficult times. Our person-to-person outreach has increased, deepening friendships and trusted connections among members and volunteers alike in these times of stress. Our amazing volunteers have donned masks and gloves and continued to provide members with essential services to make sure they have food and medicine, are safe at home, and have transportation for necessary medical appointments.

The connections we forged together before the onset of the virus have not only served as a springboard for even greater outreach, communication and genuine caring in this time of crisis, they are also creating new impetus for finding additional ways to execute our mission as we navigate this period of uncertainty and change together.
 
We don’t know how long this pandemic will last, or what the long-term effects will be, but we do know that the need for Marin Villages continues to grow. No matter what the future holds, we see the need to expand our volunteer base, our membership, and our services to open Marin Villages to an even wider circle in the county. Your continued support is essential to the work of helping older adults in Marin remain active, connected and independent in the place they call home—in good times, in crises like the one we currently face, and in challenging times such as we are certain to face in the aftermath of the pandemic.
 
Please support us as generously as you can while we work together to ensure a strong future for Marin Villages. Members of our Board and Advisory Council, as well as our Steering Committee Chairs, will match up to $20,000 in response to this letter. As we see neighbors and communities supporting each other unlike ever before, Marin Villages is demonstrating that the framework we have built over the past ten years is a crucial local support system for older adults in Marin during emergencies like this one.
 
Thank you for your support!
Cherie Sorokin
President


More Things to Do
Check out the updated “Things to Do While Sheltering-in-Place” list on our website. 

Things to Do While Sheltering in Place

New additions are at the top of the list, dated June 1. Among other suggestions, additions include virtual tours of local art galleries, lectures on the economics of the pandemic, and a fun new Jerry Seinfeld video on the trials and tribulations of married men. And don’t forget to check back through listings from prior weeks. There are lots of options! View the list here or download a PDF here. Printing the PDF may help in remembering items you would especially like to explore.

Have a suggestion you’d like to share with others? Email or call the office and we can add it to next week’s list!  info@marinvillages.org, or (415) 457-4633


Marin Recovers

Latest Coronavirus Updates from Marin HHS

Marin HHS Surveillance Reports

California Dept of Public Health

CDC information on prevention and symptoms

CDC recommendations on preparing your home


Dear Members and Volunteers,

Communications re Coronavirus 2nd June 2020
(previous Coronavirus communications can be found under Newsletters)

This is a sad and challenging time for our country and the events of the past weekend have added yet another dimension of stress, worry, and, for some, despair. In our generation, we’ve perhaps experienced more than our share of these emotions, but resilience and hope are also well known to all of us. Especially now it is good to remember the old Chinese proverb, “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” Let us hope that the trials we are facing now will indeed move us toward a better society and better times.
 
Something else to do
Have you renewed your membership in Marin Villages? It’s the time of year that many memberships are up for renewal. You can renew by calling or just mailing a check to the office. The annual membership fee can be paid in monthly installments if you prefer. Just arrange this with Diane or BJ. Membership in Marin Villages is such a deal!
 
Marin Villages programming
Staying Safe and Sane
Remember to save the date of THURSDAY, June 18 at 4:30 pm for a presentation on Zoom by Marin Villages members Sue Steele (MA, psychotherapist) and Patricia Stamm (MD, psychotherapist). This program will provide practical self-care tips to help us all navigate the ups and downs we experience during this pandemic, whether those ups and downs are generated internally or by external circumstances.
 
Sue and Patricia will also provide helpful info on what to look for in a therapist if at some point you think you need some actual one-on-one counseling. Sue Steele is on the Marin Villages board and an active member and volunteer in Mill Valley Village. Patricia is a Marin Villages member and volunteer in Novato Village. Both still work as therapists.
 
Please RSVP to the office if you are interested in attending this program. The Zoom link will only be sent to those who RSVP. Those of you without computer access can also phone in to the meeting. We will call you with the telephone number if you let us know that is how you would like to participate. RSVP to (415) 457-4633 or info@marinvillages.org
 
And more...
Did You Miss It?
The PowerPoint from the presentation by Daria Timonina of the Buck Institute is now posted on our website under the Newsletter tab.

Looking to the Future
Last week we asked members to fill out a short questionnaire on possible additions to Marin Villages activities and programming as we navigate through the changes we all have to face as a result of the pandemic. If you haven’t filled it out yet, please do so soon. If you have questions about it or would prefer to discuss the questions and your answers over the phone, feel free to call the office and BJ or Diane will arrange for someone to get in touch with you. Thanks for your help! (415) 457-4633 or info@marinvillages.org

More Zoom Training
We are offering two more group sessions of Zoom training for those who are interested in learning how to use this program or just want a refresher. If you use a computer or laptop, the date is Tuesday, June 9, at 2:00 pm. If you use an iPad or iPhone to connect to Zoom, the date is Thursday, June 11, at 2:00 pm. Please RSVP to the office to let us know you are interested, and we will send you the link to join the training session. These sessions are just for users, not for those of you wanting to host your own meetings. (415) 457-4633 or info@marinvillages.org
 
Is Your Poetry in Motion?
Don’t forget our Marin Villages Poetry project! Send us your poems, short or long, funny or serious. Don’t be shy! We know there are poets among us. Send your entries to Cherie Sorokin by June 30. The only requirement is that they are written by you during this shelter-in-place time! cheryl.sorokin@gmail.com
 
Things to know
COVID 19 Update
As of June 1, Marin County has lifted all previous limits on motorized access to its parks and beaches, and added outdoor retail (beyond curbside services), office space, outdoor dining, and curbside library services to the list of businesses and activities allowed to operate if guidelines from Marin Public Health are followed. These Public Health guidelines require a site-specific protection plan that defines how a business will reopen in a safe and clean manner for patrons and employees. Re-opening does carry the risk of infection. But there are no viable zero-risk options. For this reason, please remember that adherence to Marin Public Health guidelines for businesses, as well as personal adherence to enhanced hygiene practices and social distancing, continue to be important, as the virus is still among us! And for those of us over 65, limiting trips outside the home continues to be one of the best ways to avoid infection.
 
How Many Ways Can Mother Nature Take It Out on Us? 
Alas, Mother Nature has any number of ways to make life difficult for us, and one of them is the annual wildfire fire season which is about to be upon us. Below are some easy actions you can take now to help minimize the risk of wildfires. Some of these likely require the help of a gardener or tree service. Fortunately, those businesses are allowed to operate now, so you don’t have to do your own weed whacking or tree trimming!

• Keep your grass mowed

• Clear plants and combustibles at least 5 feet around your house

• Cut tree limbs so they are at least 5 feet above other plants or combustibles

• Make sure your roof and gutters are free of leaves and pine needles and other debris

• Rake leaves and debris accumulated under other plants

• Remove plants that are known fire hazards, particularly if closer than 10 feet to your house or near the street (juniper, acacia, etc.) and replace with others that are less combustible (https://www.firesafemarin.org/plants/fire-prone)

• Use composted wood chips for mulch, not other organic mulches, or consider inorganic mulch

Most important of all, and something you can easily do yourself: keep a “grab-and-go” emergency bag packed and easy to access if you must evacuate suddenly.
 
PG&E Webinar on Power Shutoffs
On June 10 at 5:30 pm, PG&E has scheduled a webinar for Marin County residents to explain its wildfire safety program, including the scheduling of power shutoffs (which, thankfully, are expected to be shorter and less broad than last year). Registration for the webinar is available on this PG&E webpage.  You may also phone in to listen if you don’t have computer access. Toll-Free Attendee Dial-In: (866) 501-6088 Conference ID: 4272554
 
Closing thoughts
There might be a lot of gloom and doom out there, but there are also some comforting and fun things happening, too. Looks like our friend “Karl The Fog" will be making his “you-can-count-on-it” visit here for the month of June, and maybe will be accompanied this year by a little rain to help stave off the fire season a bit longer. Our carbon emissions have dramatically reduced worldwide, helping to counter climate change. We’ve had time to re-connect with friends and family. We’ve learned how to Zoom. Our access to free cultural events is almost overwhelming, AND Diane Castro had a birthday last week! Many happy returns, Diane, and also many thanks for all you do to make our volunteers and members happy every day!



Cherie Sorokin, President, Marin Villages
Peter Lee, Interim Executive Director


Be Alert to Scams. 
Emergencies bring out the best in some, and the worst in others! It may be harder for us all to ignore scam emails and calls, and especially those robocalls since we’re at home all the time. The Federal Trade Commission is already aware of scams out there falsely indicating there is a medicine that will protect you from, or cure you of, COVID 19. These may request money to put you “first on the list” to receive the medicine, or even promise to ship it now. DO NOT BELIEVE any such request. Here are a few tips that may be helpful in general:

  • Don’t answer the phone if you don’t recognize the number; let it go to voicemail. You can return the call later if it was from someone you want to speak with.
  • Hang up quickly if there is a brief pause between the time you pick up and someone starts to speak. These are usually robocalls.
  • Check the “from” line of any suspicious email you receive to make sure it is coming from the person indicated. The name might be familiar, but the email address may be sending you to a different person.
  • Don’t open attachments from anyone you don’t know well.
  • NEVER respond to requests by phone or email requesting money or gift cards or your social security number or bank or credit card numbers.
  • Be ESPECIALLY WARY of urgent requests.
  • Talk to a friend or family member before you respond to any request to send money or give out information.

ABOUT MARIN VILLAGES
Marin Villages is a network of volunteers and local villages empowering older adults to be active, connected and independent in the place they call home. Our members and volunteers support one another and enjoy a variety of enriching events, creating vibrant local communities that promote healthy lives, foster new connections, and make everyday life easier as we age.

What we do
We help members stay engaged and active by presenting a variety of programs tailored to their interests. Our programs include coffees, happy hours, educational talks, cultural outings, hiking, games, and more. These opportunities help prevent the isolation that can come with aging and builds a sense of community among members.

Our vibrant volunteer network provides members with necessary services such as transportation, handyman help, organizing, tech support, pet-care, companionship, and more. Marin Villages volunteers are more than just service-providers—they are a comforting connection to individuals who are truly interested in helping ease some of the stresses of aging.

 Contact Us

Our small central office is located in San Rafael and our amazing networks of volunteers head up the six branches which we call our local villages: Mill Valley, Novato, Ross Valley, San Rafael, Tiburon Peninsula, and Twin Cities. Marin Villages is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.


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Marin Villages Newsletter 

(access past issues and other village newsletters).


Marin Villages is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization • 415-457-4633 • info@marinvillages.org • 
4340 Redwood Highway, Suite F-142 San Rafael, CA 94903