Pollution Harms our Health

Dramatic clouds at sunset
Our health is affected by pollution from burning fossil fuels. Some of us are making a stand against the installation of a new gas and oil fueled electrical generator in Peabody MA, about a mile from where I live. There has been no comprehensive public health or environmental assessment of this project which threatens the health of elderly, children, and all those with health conditions such as asthma, COPD, and heart disease. The threat to public health, the environment, and the climate is echoed everywhere.

Vaccine Day At Peabody Fairweather

Glen Jalbert, Fairweather resident, and Caroline Cubbison, resident physician at North Shore Medical, give a thumbs up after Glen is vaccinated. Sharon Cameron, Director of the Peabody Health Department, looks on.
Today, on March 26, 2021, at Fairweather apartments in Peabody, a team of nurses and doctors administered a COVID vaccine to 29 people, out of a population of 80 current tenants. Some, like Glen Jalbert, and several others, had already recovered from COVID. Many of those receiving the vaccine are frail, and might not have been able to travel outside the building to a central vaccine clinic. PHOTO: Glen Jalbert, Fairweather resident, and Caroline Cubbison, resident physician at North Shore Medical, give a thumbs up after Glen is vaccinated. Sharon Cameron, Director of the Peabody Health Department, looks on.

Adventures With COVID-19 & Vaccination

Photo: Bonny Zeh's story begins with her shopping for supplies to make origami like her folded paper dog.
After I had COVID I was vaccinated. COVID-19 is no joke, and I only had a mild to moderate case of COVID. I had side effects from the vaccine—they aren’t that bad—COVID is worse, and I know the difference from personal experience. Photo: Bonny Zeh's story begins with her shopping for supplies to make origami like her folded paper dog.

Are We Safe Now?

One unmasked tenant sitting with others in an entrance lobby said,

“Oh, isn't it great that the pandemic is almost over, that’s why we can hang out without masks.”

This conversation took place in the lobby of an apartment building of 112 units in Salem public housing for the elderly and disabled, where at least 9 tenants have current or recent cases of COVID, including one recent COVID death—a rate of 8% infections.

Stop COVID in Elderly Housing

Today, too many people are getting COVID and dying in what should be a safe haven—public and subsidized housing for the elderly and disabled. These tragedies are largely preventable.

We want the legislature to create laws that will guide the Governor and the Department of Public Health to take new steps to reduce the spread of COVID, and better protect citizens. We can prevent COVID from spreading if we assure compliance by enforcing the public health mandates. To address the public health threat we must know where people are infected and dying.

Ombuds Agency to Protect Tenants From Bullying

A Bill Establishing an Ombuds Agency Protecting Tenants From Bullying, Mobbing, and Hostile Environment Harassment in Elderly Housing

The bill as filed by Senator Joan Lovely:

https://malegislature.gov/Bills/192/SD1928

Below is the version as developed by the Stop Bullying Coalition

Legislation to Protect Tenants from COVID

Update on our legislative advocacy

Our legislative partners, including Representative Tom Walsh and Senator Joan Lovely, have determined that the first step is to bring our concerns to the newly formed Joint Standing Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management. That body will be tasked with oversight of the state’s pandemic response and take on an advisory role for the Legislature. It will also weigh broader issues of disaster preparedness, emergency management and communication.

Competence and Compassion In Housing

I live in an apartment building with 55 units, and at last estimate, 12 people are sick with COVID-19, and one is on a ventilator in hospital. I am now in my 6th day of quarantine with the virus and it hasn’t been fun,” wrote one of us, Lynn Costello, a tenant in Lowell Public Housing for elderly and disabled persons, early in December, 2020.

In February, 2021, Lynn is well but she notes that 3 tenants were seriously ill and hospitalized with COVID, and two of them have died.

“We’re Here to Help”

To save lives, we need answers now

What is the best way to protect elderly and disabled tenants of public and subsidized housing from COVID-19? We can find answers where someone has developed a practical, effective solution.

Chelsea Housing Authority

Let’s consider the approach of the Chelsea Housing Authority (CHA) as a case in point. Everything they do seems to flow from the motto of Paul Nowicki, Director of Operations, “We’re here to help.”