Timebanking was created to connect people in order to help one another, increasing community well-being. But this is an unusual moment in time. The highly contagious coronavirus has become a pandemic. How can we stay connected when we need to stay away from each other? How can we support others while keeping to social distancing guidelines, self-isolating, or even when in quarantine?
Two area organizations are offering childcare and travel support for essential workers at no cost during the COVID-19 emergency. The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington has opened several of its branches and program centers to provide emergency childcare for workers, including at the Silver Spring branch. At the same time, the county’s Department of Transportation announced temporary programs from Capital Bikeshare and Lyft scooters to provide free rides to essential employees.
When Washington, D.C. residents Olive Blanche Kreuzburg and her husband Harvey opened Mrs. K’s Toll House Tavern on April 1, 1930, their cozy, country restaurant located out in the “wilds” of Montgomery County, there were probably those who thought that the April Fool’s Day opening was a commentary on the nature of starting such a business.
The County Council yesterday approved a package of measures to provide $36.5 million in financial assistance to businesses and other organizations affected by the COVID-19 emergency. The largest amount, $20 million, will fund a Public Health Emergency Grant Program that would allow the county executive to provide grants of up to $75,000 to county businesses and nonprofits with 100 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees that can demonstrate financial losses caused by the public health emergency.
The Montgomery County Department of Police and the state police yesterday announced policies and procedures the departments would follow while enforcing Gov. Larry Hogan’s Monday stay-at-home order. Neither department’s officers will make random stops to ask whether drivers are in compliance with the order to undertake only essential travel.
Gov. Larry Hogan has issued an executive order directing Marylanders to remain in their homes during the COVID-19 emergency, effective at 8 p.m. tonight, March 30. “I have signed an executive order which institutes a stay-at-home directive,” the governor announced during a press conference this morning. “No Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job, or for an essential reason, such as obtaining food, or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention, or for other necessary purposes.”
Gov. Larry Hogan extended the closure of public schools due to the COVID-19 emergency, and Montgomery County Public Schools began distributing laptops to students needing them for distance learning. The closures are in effect until at least April 24 and all extracurricular programs, athletic programs are cancelled.