March 15, 2020 Caring for the Caregivers By Kamala Lopez We wanted to take a moment at this critical time to remember the mothers, wives, sisters and grandmothers who make up the first and last lines of defense when sickness threatens to enter our homes. We care for our loved ones with tenderness, knowledge and instinct, but women are not invincible or immune to dangerous diseases, colds, the flu and now the indiscriminate COVID-19 coronavirus. Yet by choice and predisposition we are most often the primary caregivers in our homes. Unfortunately, leadership at the highest level of government has been lax and trusted information has been slow to get out – even more troubling was the misinformation circulated from so-called leaders during the first weeks of the coronavirus reaching the United States. Equal Means Equal is committed to knowing and sharing the truth and caring for the well-being of its members and supporters. You are family to us, so we’ve done our homework, seeking the best sources available for reliable information. There is no evidence the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus has peaked in the U.S., and respected medical researchers conclude the COVID-19 stays in the respiratory system for 37 days, according to a study published in the medical journal, Lancet. Five weeks of carrying a pathogen in the body is a long time, so we must remain vigilant, especially for those of us who care for our most at-risk loved one’s like the elderly and family and friends with respiratory problems. The reliable American Lung Association doesn’t pull any punches in its analysis: COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system and there is no known cure at this time. The best defense is taking all steps to ensure loved ones with respiratory ailments are not exposed to the coronavirus. STAT, the award-winning science and medical news and information producer and aggregator, has prepared what we believe is the most thorough and easy-to-comprehend question and answer articles addressing care for the elderly during the coronavirus outbreak. You will find it here. If the worst happens and a loved one contracts coronavirus, Harvard Medical School has some recommendations for how we can protect ourselves from catching it too. The psychology staff at Harvard Medical School have some helpful tips for how to talk to children about coronavirus, as well. The one common thread for prevention that every credible source cites is the proper and frequent washing of hands The one common thread for prevention that every credible source cites is the proper and frequent washing of hands. Our partner, Dr. Bronner’s, offers a detailed explanation here for the correct way to wash hands with soap and water to prevent the spread of germs. Hand sanitizers are Plan B, but for those of us concerned about repeatedly applying excessive amounts of chemicals to our hands, Dr. Bronner’s Organic Hand Sanitizer is a safe and wise alternative. The organizers at Equal Means Equal cares in our hearts for the caregivers every day, but today we wanted to serve some food for thought during this time when we must again step up to protect our loved ones. We trust our sources, but we urge you to pursue your own research, as well. Women are the caregivers, because we are strong, smart and responsible. We are in this fight together, and like everything Equal Means Equal does, we are going to beat this together. Sincerely, Kamala Lopez President, Equal Means Equal PS: Your generous tax-deductible contributions are an investment in our results-driven organization on the front lines of the fight for equality. Any amount is greatly appreciated, but for donations of $500 or more we’ll send you our exclusive (and very popular!) handmade Equal Means Equal hoodie as a special thank you.