Creating art helps children process their world and deal with emotions in safe ways. Art can be fun while also providing healing and solace during times of stress.

Alameda Education Foundation (AEF) has recently garnered support to purchase art kits for Alameda low-income students and distributed the first batch of 320 kits. As one parent said, the kits are “a blessing.”

At its April 21 meeting, the City Council announced the city’s plan to increase the minimum wage will move forward as scheduled despite the economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Oct. 16, 2018, the Council adopted an ordinance to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, regardless the size of the company (“Minimum Wage to Come Before Council” Sept. 18, 2018) by Wednesday, July 1. The current minimum wage is $13.50 an hour. 

Wendy lives with her husband Harold. As the shelter-in-place order continues into its sixth week, Wendy and Harold continue take actions to protect their health, including frequently washing their hands, limiting their travel and practicing physical distancing. One day, Harold gets an email from what appears to be a doctor from his local hospital. 

The email states that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requiring people to test themselves for COVID-19 and provides a link for people to click on to register for a testing kit.

On the shoreline near Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary and the eastern end of Crown Memorial State Beach, the paved path gives way to a sandy one. Near this intersection, out by the water, one can usually find long-billed curlews this time of year. 

These spectacular shorebirds, the largest species of the group, are easily identified by their large brown, speckled bodies, long necks and legs, and extra-long, down-curved bills. They’re about the size of a crow or about the length of two footballs. Their improbable beaks are nearly as long as their bodies.

Alex Confer processes donated fabric bolts at Alameda’s Hot Rod Shop on Clement Avenue. The fabric is being processed for kits to be delivered to individual sewists, who will then make the fabric into face masks. Alameda’s effort to produce personal protective equipment is headed by Danny Beesley, creator of the College of Alameda FabLab.

On Monday, April 20, the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) released an update of the county’s confirmed COVID-19 cases on its website dashboard. The updated number shows new confirmed cases in Alameda County continues to grow, but at a lower rate than days prior. A similar trend is happening in the City of Alameda.

The Coast Guard partnered with the American Red Cross Tuesday to host a blood donation event for military personnel at Coast Guard Island in Alameda.

Twenty-eight Coast Guard members, including 17 first-time donors, participated in the event to donate blood.

As we shelter in place, we must remember we are not alone. It takes all doing their part to continue forward in these trying times. We must support, however we can, those on the front line of this global pandemic: health care providers, first responders and scientists. We must also be kind to one another and grateful to our neighbors and friends. It is especially important to recognize and express gratitude to those who cannot do their work remotely and are providing services critical to the health and safety of our communities. 

At a special public meeting held April  9, the Board of Education for the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) voted unanimously to extend the suspension of in-class instruction through the end of the 2019-20 school year. Distance learning opportunities will continue through Monday, June 8. 

Registered nurses and employees with the Alameda Health System (AHS) and Bay Area human rights activists held a "lightning" rally Tuesday, April 7, at Alameda Hospital to voice their concerns with the lack of adequate personal protective equipment and weakened patient care standards for health care workers  and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the California Nurses Association (CNA).