Important Notice from Crown Heights Bikur Cholim

Important notice from the Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Bikur Cholim of Crown Heights regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

Message from Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Bikur Cholim of Crown Heights:

The Coronavirus crisis has gripped our community. We are overwhelmed with uncertainty and completely consumed with keeping our families safe, healthy and calm. Our hearts go out to all who have been affected by the outbreak as we continue to daven for their complete recovery.

We are deeply grateful to the hatzolah members, doctors and community leaders who have been working tirelessly and at great personal risk to protect our community.

Bikur Cholim is following the guidelines set forth by the CDC and endorsed by local leaders. As a volunteer-based organization, we are obligated to put the health and safety of our volunteers first. This limits the type of services we can provide during this time of tremendous need. Additionally, we are continuing to help those with medical challenges, most whom have to self-quarantine under very strict conditions for their or their loved one’s safety.

While social distancing is necessary to control the spread of the virus, it could lead to social isolation, which is a serious problem for the elderly and ill. As a community, we must be aware of the isolation and helplessness that our most vulnerable community members are experiencing and we must address it in a safe and responsible way.

Here are a few suggestions on how you can help without putting yourself or them at any additional risk:

· Don’t forget all those who were dealing with critical illness before this crisis- their challenges just got much bigger given all the restrictions and additional risks. Continue to check in (remotely) with friendship and reassurance.

. Check in with your elderly neighbors to make sure they have enough food and medication. Programs for senior citizens have been shuttered, leaving many on their own without meals or any social engagement.

· Call a new mother and offer to help with errands so she doesn’t have to leave her home.

· Skype someone who may be prone to anxiety or loneliness and offer a listening ear.

· Order extra groceries or supplies when doing your household shopping and have it delivered to a person in quarantine.

· Lend your extra tablet or laptop to a family with school-aged children who are having trouble accessing remote learning.

· Share resources with people who need more help than you can offer, such as the Gedalia Society’s Covid-19 hotline: 212-901-2000 or Bikur Cholim’s contact: 718-467-1661.

It has come to our attention that still today many elderly community members are not fully aware of the dangers that COVID-19 presents. Perhaps they don’t follow the news as closely, or they don’t get whatsapp messages with the Public Services Announcements, and thus are dangerously unaware that going out is truly a matter of life or death. Please make sure your parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors are fully aware of how serious the virus can be for anyone over 65 as well as those with chronic illness and certain medical conditions.

This is an unprecedented time in history, where we must come together while remaining apart. However, this forced separation cannot get in the way of the care and concern that we will continue to show each other.

If you or anyone you know needs help, or if you are in a position to safely volunteer, please contact Bikur Cholim at 718-467-1661 or [email protected].

Refuah Shelaima and Besuros Tovos.

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