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Noon Edition

How To Adjust To Uncertainties COVID-19 Brings

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>>BOB ZALTSBERG: Welcome to the noon edition on WFIU. I'm Bob Zaltsberg from WFIU WTIU News. Welcome to noon edition on WFIU. I'm Bob Zaltsberg from the WIFIU WTIU news team. We're doing the show remotely today to avoid risk of spreading infection. I'm co hosting with Sara Wittmeyer of WFIU WTIU news director. This week we're gonna be talking about adjusting to the uncertainty of society and the age of covid 19. We have four guests with us during the first half the program. We're gonna have a fifth guest in the second half of the program. Hilary Elliott is with us. She's coordinator of Monroe County's Women Infants and Children program. Deb Fabert is director of clinical operations behavioral health services IU Health Leamington hospital. Lindsay Potts is the manager of outpatient behavioral health services from Indiana University health. And also joining us for the first half of the program is Jeff Mease who is co-founder and CEO of Winny's and The Hive. So thank you all for being here with us today. And we're doing a show remotely. But we apologize for any technical glitches that we have. We're going to do the best we can to get the show on the air and get you lots of different information. Do you have questions or comments? Please send us your questions to news at Indiana Public Media dot org or at noon edition. You can also call us at 8 1 2 8 5 5 0 8 1 1 or toll free at 1 8 7 7 2 8 5 9 3 4 8. You can also - we won't be putting you on the air. But our producer will take your questions, and we'll go forward. All right. So first question I have I guess is for both Deb and Lindsay. You both work with behavioral health services. And I want to talk. I just want to ask you how are people in general coping with these issues? 

>>LINDSAY POTTS: So this is Lindsay Potts. And thanks for having us on. I think in general the coping that we're seeing within - it kind of is in two different categories of people who are affected differently by the current emergency response. So individuals who have pre-existing behavioral health conditions were finding them needing some additional support. We're also finding that individuals who maybe didn't need behavioral health support, before are seeking out those services now. Also we are finding that individuals who are the first line responders have some unique coping needs. And so we're adapting our services to make sure we can support them as well. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: All right. What kinds of things are you doing to adapt the services? 

>>LINDSAY POTTS: So our outpatient clinic - we are providing all services virtually now. So we're providing services via a virtual application that IU Health has. So those are - that's for our existing patients. We're also offering telephone support. And we're expediting support for our health care workers to make sure that they can get connected to our services very quickly as they need the need - that help. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: All right. And Deb how about you? 

>>DEB FABERT: Yes. So on the inpatient units for the hospital, really I feel like our inpatient nurses, providers, physicians, techs are really handling the stress of this pandemic very well. You know we as behavioral health being me and having an inpatient unit a lot of staff have reached out to us. One of the really nice things that we're have a call later today for is to plan some respite rooms for the staff to have available to them as they're taking care of these patients. And they are able to get a break to maybe go into a room that has some soothing music and calm lighting some snacks for them, maybe in a diffuser of some essential oils to help them calm themselves and give them just a few minutes of respite away from from the hard work they're doing. Health care workers in general - I mean we signed up for this. We know that when people are the sickest is when we're going to have to respond. And I'm really very proud of Wellmeton hospital and really the south central region, Payoli, Bedford and Morgan. We are in daily meetings and conference calls to set up what are our processes will be as we get more patients. And we are really very ready for it from taking care of physical needs as well as us being able to address needs for our staff as they become fatigued and need some extra support. Lindsey and her team has also volunteered to help with the IU Health. We have virtual telehealth hub for all of IU health for behavioral needs. And Lindsay's team is supporting that. Any of our staff throughout the state can call in to a central number and get in the moment counselling should they need it and then follow ups as they need it as well. So I feel like we're really very prepared to handle the pandemic in our area. 

>>HILARY ELLIOT: Let me ask Hillary Elliott. She's the coordinator with Monroe County Women Infants and Children's Program. How has this affected your program? 

>>HILARY ELLIOT: Well for us we're used to seeing everyone face to face. But right now the whole entire state no matter what county you live in all WIC appointments are being done via, over the phone so that we don't interrupt any of their benefits. And the only issue that we're really seeing is some of those WIC benefits that go to the store to get are not being found. But I know the stores are working super hard on making sure we get (unintelligible). 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: All right. Are you hearing from a lot of your clients about - you know about their struggles? 

>>HILARY ELLIOT: We are. And it mainly is just trying to find their wic benefits in the store. And we just keep telling them to keep checking back and trying the best we can because we know the stores are working really really hard to get that stuff. We've had a few families call that haven't been on wic for a while. And with the situation that's going on and some people aren't working as much, we've been able to help them the same day and get them back on wic so we can get them benefits right away to help the families out. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: OK. We also have Jeff Mease with us. And Jeff is the co-founder and CEO of Lennie's and The Hive and Pizza Express or Pizza Ex. I'm sorry Jeff. That dates me. So I know that you've taken a lot of steps. You have a lot of people that work for you. What are you doing to try to help your employees and other employees of restaurants for instance that have been - have lost their jobs? 

>>JEFF MEASE: Hi. Thanks for having me on. So immediately when there was - well our catering business is sort of the linchpin in this, which our catering business just evaporated of course at the beginning of the when everything was going on. So we were forced to - we were forced to really be cautious about our outflow of money because we're very - we've built a lot of things and have some massive debt obligations. So we quickly got people to unemployment from Lenny's and from One World catering, about 100 hundred people. But we also immediately realized that we could feed our own staff a typical restaurant family meal which is - there's not much choice and when it is or what it is. But the food's good, and you can count on it. So we call that family meal. And we've continued to do that five days a week for our our staff who are laid off. And then we just - we felt like we could expand it to the larger food and beverage community because it's - we can do it really efficiently and effectively. And there's a lot of food sort of still in the local restaurant system. The food service system people are donating food to us, other restaurants. And so that's sort of where we are today. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: So how's the pizza delivery business? Pizza Ex still delivering? 

>>JEFF MEASE: Yeah. It's about the same as it is usual. We're a little bit slower. We basically - what we try to do with Pizza Ex is we want to keep it open. But we also want to make it safe for everybody as possible. So we've gone to very easy contactless delivery which is probably going to become mandatory really soon. But we just kind of wanted to step into it and let people understand. When I first heard of contactless delivery I like kind of rolled my eyes. And then I realized. What are we going to do? We gonna put the pizza on the ground. No. It's easy. Just put a chair outside the door a little table. But Pizza Ex I think could have a strong role to play because we can get food to people at their homes very cost effectively. And we want to keep that open. But we also really curtailed our hours to just make it easier for us to manage. So even at Pizza Ex we're not so convenient as we used to be. But we're open. We're closing the stores at 11 o'clock or so where we used to stay up until 4. But the pizza delivery business is - and of course our campus store is way off. But we're gonna try to keep that keep that open just with tighter hours through that duration of this. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: All right we're talking to several people today about the impact of the corona virus, the pandemic and what they're doing to cope and what people can do to cope. If you have questions or comments for our four guests today, you can give us a call at 8 1 2 8 5 5 0 8 1 1 or toll free at 1 8 7 7 2 8 5 9 3 4 8. But those - we won't be able to put you on the air. And also you can follow us on Twitter @noonedition. And the best way to get questions for the show is news at Indiana Public Media dot org. So I wanted to talk about the mental health issues again. And you know what are some things people can - what are some - what's some advice you would give to people who are at home really trying to deal with this issue? You know what words of advice and encouragement can you give them? Deb or Lindsay? 

>>LINDSAY POTTS: Yeah. So this is Lindsay. And I think kind of right now a lot of just validation of what is what would be kind of the typical response to what the current environment is. So a lot of typical responses are kind of this feeling of overwhelmed helplessness, exhaustion. We're all kind of in a different routine than we're used to. And so with that comes kind of some new discomfort and what I would say is kind of mood swings. So just in seeing with a lot of the community members and even our team here what I'm noticing is fluctuating between feeling pretty empowered and like OK we can do this, we're gonna be able to overcome and then kind the counter to that of - kind of this disillusionment and just exhaustion with this situation. The situation is unique. It's not - it's a crisis in a sense. However it's a crisis that is really long. So the unpredictable nature of this comes with some unpredictable kind of emotions and reactions. So a lot of validation and just normalization of that for everyone who's currently working through creating new routines and kind of a new sense of normal right now. So I say kind of the - really the coping response with this is in kind of creating a sense of flexibility and adaptability around what's currently going on. And that includes lowering expectations. I know a lot of people are working in different environments or having to juggle childcare, teaching your children which is new which I know is a current struggle for me, trying to manage how to keep my kids engaged while also managing a full time job at home. This is the reality for the majority of the people in the community right now. And so it's lowering expectations of how we're going to get things done, how much we're gonna get done and really what that's going to look like. So that's a really important way to kind of help cognitively respond to this in a way that will potentially get this - will potentially help foster connection during this time. So that's kind of a really key component is creating your own boundaries within your day and and within what expectations you should have. Another thing that is really helpful is narrowing your own kind of lotus of control which is what I like to call it and this is basically what what impact can we actually have. So there's a lot of information out there. And this information can be - it's coming from every direction. And it's - it can be hard to digest what really do we have control over? And right now kind of the locus of control that we all have is pretty small. It's fully in our own activities. It's in what we do every day. It's in the interactions that we have with our loved ones. And so focusing in on that lotus of control can help invite those feelings of empowerment in, kind of the way those feelings where you may be feeling just overwhelmed. So those are some key ones. Deb I know has some wonderful examples of how to connect virtually and how she's been supporting our team and connecting and how those can be applied even to your own smaller community. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: Okay Deb. 

>>DEB FABERT: Yeah. So thanks for that Lindsey. Again thanks for having us on. So yeah - so how - when - I've got younger kids that are teenage and early twenties. And one of the biggest struggles for them is really not having the social interaction they would normally have, being able to go out and see their friends which is really dangerous for them to be doing at this time. And I don't want - I think the biggest thing about social distancing is is a need to realize that we have to treat everyone like they're covid positive. You know nothing - contact with anybody is really not safe except for just your family that you're quarantining. And so that's really been a struggle for my kids and done. And so what we've done is started at least three nights a week doing what we call current teen quality time. And we just Facebook each other and or you know video chat with each other and have a meal and talk like we normally would if we were sitting around a table. And that has been really fun for us to do. And it's really kind of made some more normalcy to our lives - kind of like what Lindsay was talking about. In my work environment we have what we call teams. And it's a Microsoft product that you can put put video chats on. And so my leadership team - there is so much information that is coming out daily. In fact what we were doing yesterday probably will change today and then change again tomorrow. So it's really hard to keep my staff updated with everything that's going on. And so what we've done is tried to do - I can go out and talk with the staff and keep our distance as best we can but talk with them. But then I'm not reaching all of them at the same time. So they're not going to I'll get the information. And information in this crisis is really - I think is empowering. The staff want to know what's going on. They want to know what the latest decisions are. And they're changing so quickly it's really hard to keep everyone updated. So we've been using teams and video to do a daily update on that. And then we end it with something silly. One of our video chats this week ended with a question to the staff. What would you do for a roll of toilet paper? We got some interesting - people are like well I'd give up my first born. Well maybe not. You know or they were making food for each other. And those kinds of things. So offering a hundred bucks for you know a roll of toilet paper because who knows why? But that seems to be the things that people are hoarding. So we've been doing that. We've been also feeding the staff. I think you know with Jeff on this radio broadcast as well you know, I think it's really important to nurture people if we can. And feeding people always is comforting to them? It makes them feel well cared for. So we've been ordering lots of pizzas and lots of food for our staff. The other thing we've done is we've asked people - you know when you ask someone how are you? - you know you usually get the answer fine. Well that doesn't really tell you very much because it's just something our culture - in our culture that we say. And so we kind of change that up a little bit to say OK, if you were the weather forecast today what would your forecast be? You know is it sunny and warm? Is it stormy? is there a tornado or hurricane? What do you have going on? And so that's kind of been a fun way for us to connect with people and with our staff and try to keep things lighthearted as we face this pandemic and caring for a lot of very sick people. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: Well Deb and Lindsay thank you for those answers. I think one thing I heard Lindsay say is you can kind of give yourself permission to make a mistake now and then. And I have given out our phone numbers a couple times today. And I really shouldn't have because we don't have anybody in the studio who are answering those phones. So if you have a question please send it to news that Indiana Public Media dot org or you can also find us on Twitter at noon edition. Sara... 

>>SARA WITTMEYER: We've gotten several questions about food safety particularly about restaurants and whether takeout food is safe. Jeff I was hoping you could just address that and talk about extra precautions that you're taking to just ensure food safety. 

>>JEFF MEASE: Yeah. You bet. Well. Where to start? You know I can only speak in our operations. But that it's been a - you know every day you find ways that you can be more safe. So early on you know the issue was handwashing and surfaces. And we jumped right on that. But then quickly we realized you know we got to get people - we've got to get people in masks or bandanas is really what we're using. And that started about two weeks ago and because for obvious reasons. But every day we're finding ways to just be safer. About ten days ago I was walking through some cooler strips. You know we use we use strips hanging down to separate cold spaces from warm spaces and realized you know we were sanitizing them every day. But there's 50 people you know that go through these things and just realize in a moment this - we got to get these things down. So in about two hours we got all around the company and took those down. But we didn't - you know you don't see them until you see them. So we're just trying to be as us aware and get our staff as aware as aware as possible. And I think at least in our operations we're as safe as we can possibly be which is not 100 percent safe. But boy. Everybody's on it. And it's a big big part of what we're doing. 

>>SARA WITTMEYER: Are you working with fewer staff just to try to keep the numbers down and lower that risk of the virus being transmitted? 

>>JEFF MEASE: No. That's why we've reduced hours. And we like - we're running high. We kept hive open for a while. But we just on Monday thought let's just close it down. It's less to manage. There's less chance. We were afraid we had somebody who had tested positive at Hive. And I actually still haven't heard 100 percent on that. So that's why we immediately cut Pizza Ex back in terms of hours. But it's not - we basically - if somebody doesn't want to work, if somebody feels unsafe, if an employee feels unsafe or just you know family to take care of whatever we're just basically very quickly getting them laid off. So we're just trying to manage that. Essentially I wanted to be our people's choice. Nobody should have to keep working if they don't feel safe or who doesn't want to deal with what we have to deal with to keep the doors open. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: Hey Jeff. We're going to let you go now. I know you were gonna be with us for the first half of the program. I want to thank you for all you've been doing. You've really taken a leadership role in trying to take care of people in the community. And I think the community really appreciates it. 

>>JEFF MEASE: Well, thank you.

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: So keep up the good work. 

>>JEFF MEASE: We all do what we can do. So thank you. I'm honored to have the opportunity to help. So thank you. Thanks for having me on. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: All right. Thank you. That was Jeff Mease from Lenny's Pizza Ex and Hive and One World catering. So we're talking about the corona virus, several aspects of it today. We talked about food and food safety in restaurants. In the first half the program we are going to be joined - we are being joined in the second half of the program now by Jimmy Moore who is the pastor at St. Mark's United Methodist Church. Jimmy thanks for joining us. 

>>JIMMY MOORE: Hey thanks Bob. Thanks for the invitation. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: Sure. So we also have on the program for the second half of the show Hilary Elliott is still with us, coordinator of Monroe County's Women Infants and Children program, Deb Faber who's director of clinical operations at behavioral health services IU health clinics and hospital and Lindsay Potts the manager of outpatient behavioral health services for Indiana University health. We're not taking calls today because we're all doing this remotely. We're trying to stay as far apart as we can. You can join us by sending your questions to news at Indiana Public Media dot org or on Twitter at noon edition. So Jimmy let me ask about just the spiritual aspects of this and how you keep a congregation together when you really can't meet on Sunday morning. 

>>JIMMY MOORE: Well most of us - many of us in faith community have obviously moved more toward communicating through computer livestream worship services, zoom and other platforms like that for meetings. But I will say I've been in ministry for quite awhile. And we're reinventing the wheel right now. We're doing it differently than we've ever done it before. And we just have to be able to connect. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: And so what kinds of things - I mean when you say you're reinventing the wheel I mean I know I know you're using social media. And you're having services on Facebook. What are the kinds of things that you're doing to try to make sure you connect with people in your congregation? 

>>JIMMY MOORE: Well I think that we've done several things. Again, I did mention the worship services that we're doing. And that's been intriguing. We didn't really know how quickly we would have to go to that. This has been a gradual - for all of us in our culture a time of gradual acceptance toward greater restriction. And so it's really interesting doing a worship service with no one in the building except a couple of people. But we chose to do livestream. Other congregations have chosen who are doing some kind of streaming service are doing like the recording and putting some things together and they're not doing it live. We chose to do it live. We may weave in some recordings. But we found that has been really well received. One of the things we discovered in the feedback that we've gotten is how - and some of your guests have spoken to this - but how socially isolated people feel. It's one thing to be socially distant in order to help keep the disease from spreading. But social isolation is really prevalent. And people are just hungry to be able to connect. And so in many ways while we might have in an earlier time said that people wouldn't connect well over the Internet we're finding that not to be as true they would rather see each other's faces and shake hands and embrace. But this is what we have. And for our meetings - and I did a pub theology meeting the other night with Zoom. We had about 30 or 40 people on that Zen meeting. That's actually - I'm sure Zoom is doing great. Their stocks be going through the roof because churches all over have started using this for many different kinds of meetings. And I'm sure there are many other platforms like it. But it's really reliable platform. There is a caveat for those who used it. Someone in my congregation told me be sure not to publish the link like outloud to people outside your group because there is something now called Zoom bombing where people who just want to create mischief will latch onto your meeting. And one of my one of my colleagues in another town found that out unfortunately the other day. The third thing we've done Bob is we've actually just used the old fashioned telephone with our cell phones. But we're calling people. And so we are actually organizing calling trees because even with the online services we know that there are people in the community in our congregation who either for varieties of reasons aren't very well connected with tech. And we just want to make sure that we're remembering them and trying to find out what their needs are. So those are a few of the things that we've done. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: So I want to make sure that people heard what you said. You said Pub Theology right? 

>>JIMMY MOORE: Yeah. Yeah. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: Can you explain what that is? 

>>JIMMY MOORE: Yeah sure. We sometimes - actually we were going to different establishments and having a little something to eat and drink and talking theology. When we weren't able to go to places anymore we invited people who were in that group. And we shared the link with others who they brought to our attention to do the meeting online on Zoom. And so I sent out readings and we talked - in matter of fact we talked about pandemic and quarantine and theological perspective in our last meeting. And it went well - it went really well. I mean it's not as great as being with people and and being in the same room. But it was really I thought well received by those folks who frankly hadn't been able to be with their friends. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: Yeah. I think this is something that Deb Fabert talked about a little bit too. And I think people are finding ways to connect you know whether it's groups that you get together with for breakfast or whether it's some kind of just getting family together to have a conversation or whatever. So you know I give you congratulations for doing that. I want to bring Hilary Elliott back in. She's the coordinator of Monroe County's Women Infants and Children program. And I think Hillary the - you have a certain certain level of service that you provide now. But I think the way that the economy's going it seems like the need for your services may really expand in the future. Are you prepared for that? And how can people - you know how to do people get connected to your program? 

>>HILARY ELLIOTT: Yes. We are prepared for it. We have quite a few registered dietitians that work for us in the office. And like I said we're doing all the appointments from home. We are fitting people in same day when you call us. If you're interested in which services and that would be anybody who's pregnant or if you have a child that is under the age of five then you would just give us a phone call at 8 1 2 3 5 3 3 2 2 1. And we can kind of ask you a few questions. We are an income based program. But we know everybody's incomes been cut a little bit right now because some of us aren't working as much. And we'll walk them through the steps and help them out in any way that we can. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: Ok. So when you talk about being an income based program - so if you have a certain level that if you make more than that level you would not qualify. Is that correct? 

>>HILARY ELLIOTT: Right. And right now we know everything's kind of up in the air. And you don't know when you're going to go back to work. So it's basically we're asking what your income in the past 30 days or the past couple of weeks? We can help you out. And we base it on the number of people in your household. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: OK. So people who may not have thought about you before because they didn't qualify might very well qualify now or they could use your services now? 

>>HILARY ELLIOTT: Correct. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: OK. Sara. 

>>SARA WITTMEYER: Hillary on social media There've been a lot of these pictures from grocery store showing price tags at grocery stores and saying if it has this wic symbol on them to make sure to save those for people who are restricted to buying those items. Is that true? Is that something consumers should be thinking about when they're grocery shopping? 

>>HILARY ELLIOTT: It actually is true. They do have like certain brands or certain sizes that you can only buy on wic. So for instance some of our breads - we offer wholegrain bread. They have to be a 16 ounce size loaf and they have to meet certain standards for how much fibers in them, how much whole grains. So they will have a little symbol that either says WIC for wic or if it will have a picture of our work at all. And those - the clients can only get those certain brands and sizes. You'll find that with cereals milks - let's see - our cheeses that they're allowed to get juice. It just kind of varies but it is true they are only allowed certain things. 

>>SARA WITTMEYER: So have folks had a more difficult time trying to shop right now with a lot of things being out at the grocery stores? 

>>HILARY ELLIOTT: They have. And I don't think anything was ever done intentionally. People just saw that oh that whole wheat pasta is available. I'm going to go ahead and purchase it and take it home when unfortunately that was the only whole wheat pasta or the whole grain breads at the wic participants could get. But the stores have seen that need and they are doing a fantastic job of restocking those as fast as they can for us. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: All right. If you have questions or comments for us please give us a call - don't give us a call. I'm sorry. Please email the show, news at Indiana Public Media dot org. You can also follow us on Twitter at noon edition. So of the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a survey in March, the end of March - and found that 45 percent of adults say the pandemic has affected their mental health. That's forty five percent of adults. I guess for Lindsay and for Deb do you expect that that number is going to go up in certain - in the next few weeks and months? And again are you all prepared to you know to to talk to more people. 

>>LINDSAY POTTS: This is Lindsay. And I would say I think yes, it will go up. I think as I kind of spoke to the humanness of all of us will respond to this in some way. And I think that there's - to expect some mental health impact is for everyone. And I think a lot of what we spoke to as far as trying to buffer yourself for the marathon, I think that's something to be aware of. I think initially this felt like oh OK. This is going to be just for for a couple of weeks. I don't know - I think even myself in that as I as I've gone along kind of have had to adapt my own expectations of how long this is going to be. So as this goes on, the feelings of isolation that have been discussed, the impact of the financial - the financial impact will become more pervasive. And as those stressors increase we absolutely expect that a lot of the population will have some negative impacts to their mental health. And I would say as far as kind of our ability to respond, we're continuing to - now that we're in - doing virtual services. We're finding that we we do have some unique increased access points that weren't a part of our behavioral health system before. So we are working very collaboratively as a community and Working with our partners at center stone and working with our other private practice Community providers for behavioral health to make sure that we're all collaborating together to meet this need. It is going to take a village. And if anybody's tried to access Behavioral Services before this crisis understood that it's - it can be challenging. So we're trying to to really take down those challenges and those boundaries. The last thing we want to do is to as somebody is trying to seek help - that in and of itself causes a lot of stress. so We're absolutely working as fast as possible to remove those barriers and then also just continuing to try to support the community and neighbors with just how we can all rally together to support each other - I think is a really important piece of this and hearing about the faith communities and how that's such an important piece here, gathering and untraditional ways within other social networks. Another thing that we're doing is we are - we have one of our staff that we've adapted their role. She used to do a lot of our check in and get vitals now that we're virtual her role is adapted. And her - a lot of her role is just calling the patients that we know aren't alone. And so she's just simply just reaching out to connect with them and be like hey we're thinking about you. So I encourage that for everybody to do that. If you know of people in your life that maybe are more alone, just that simple contact can really help people get through that day, get through that next week as we continue do on this kind of marathon of a journey through this kind of isolated time. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: Deb. 

>>DEB FABERT: Yeah. So to tag on to what Lindsey said, I really think this is going to come in waves of of different mental health needs. You know in the short term, when something happens like this, I think a lot of people just generally feel like well that's going to happen to others but it's not going to happen to me. And so the social isolation piece I think is challenging for folks now. But as the pandemic continues and we have - you know as we heard on the news broadcast on the radio right before we went on the number of cases and the number of deaths in the state is increasing. And we're seeing that curve upward of the pandemic affecting us. So what's going to happen next - they predict that as more deaths happen, as more people are hospitalized in ICU, as there is more strain on the hospital system to care for people that more people are going to be touched personally by the illness. So they're going to know someone who either has it or maybe they'll know someone who who dies from it. And so then that will be another wave of oh my gosh, this really is real. And the longer all of this goes on I think the harder it's going to be for people to hold themselves together and cope with their normal coping mechanisms. They're going to either have to develop additional coping mechanisms and try to keep as much normalcy as they can in their lives. But I think we're going to see a surge of folks really struggling with this. And so the state has done a really good job. I'm on the Indiana Hospital Association Behavioral Health Council. And they sent out a survey a few weeks ago to find out how many beds we have. Are those beds going to remain behavioral health beds? Are they going to maybe be converted to medical beds? And so each hospital - I know IU health is doing this. And I know across the state they are as well in other hospital systems - is we're really planning to make sure that we're there for the medical overflow should we need be. But we also need to be sure that we're caring for our behavioral health patients who are inevitably going to need the beds as well. What's really interesting to me that I did not anticipate seeing. Of course all of this is unprecedented times. But my background before behavioral health was emergency nursing for over 30 years. And I was a manager in the downtown Indianapolis Methodist Hospital Trauma Center - is really the patient volume. Inpatient at at our hospital is less than it's been - then it routinely is. Our number of emergency visits are less. And the behavioral health census on our unit is way less than it has been. So I don't think anybody - other than folks staying home and maybe not wanting to come to the hospital unless they feel they need to be tested for covid I don't know why that's happening. But it's kind of a blessing because it's allowing us time to get things in place to be able to care for what needs to be cared for. And I really don't anticipate us not being able - we're going to have behavioral health beds. And we'll find ways just as Lindsay's team and I know other people in the community are doing as well to reach out to people either virtually or by the phone to meet the needs. So I think we're prepared to meet the needs. It's just going to be interesting to see you know how the needs change throughout this. Again it's unprecedented times. So we really just don't know. One comment I want to make real quick is to Reverend Moore. There was a prayer vigil that was done in the Bloomington parking lot. I know it was on the news. I can't tell you how moving that was that our community came together to support the health caregivers. It's overwhelmingly moving to see. So I don't know if he could speak to that. 

>>JIMMY MOORE: Well I want to just say Deb first how grateful we are for those of you in health care including mental health care which is an extraordinarily vital part of health care for the work that you're doing. It is brave it is compassionate. And it is loving. We are deeply moved by that. And Deb is exactly right. This is going to continue to grow. Wave is a really I think apt way of describing it. Someone sent me an article the other day by an Irish journalist who talked about will coronavirus inhibit our ability to mourn? Because he quoted of all people Stalin who said, one death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic. And I think that - I remember taking a polio vaccine when I was a kid. We haven't lived much in a world in which there hasn't been either a vaccine or a treatment for most - for many illnesses. That's not true anymore. This is happening to us. And so what I have seen and some connections I have is that one of the great - first we're going to be experience more death. And it's going to be - people right now can have funerals at funeral homes or in churches. That can't happen. The other thing that can't happen is that families cannot visit their families in the hospital, even those in intensive care, maybe especially those in intensive care. And I have an acquaintance right now whose grown daughter is fighting this virus and is in really tough shape. And she might be able every now and then to get a face time view of her daughter. So this is profoundly challenging, spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. And it calls for all of us. Whoever it was that said this calls us to be a village is exactly right. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: Sara... 

>>SARA WITTMEYER: Reverend how are you counseling people in those really tough situations? We've been working on a few stories about that about funerals and about folks losing loved ones. How do you help them get through this when they don't get to say those goodbyes or... 

>>JIMMY MOORE: Who is that for Sara? Is it for me or for someone else? 

>>SARA WITTMEYER: That's for you. Yes. 

>>JIMMY MOORE: Sure. Well one of the things we did very early on was just to call the funeral homes to see. And and I will tell you early on they were kind of ahead of the curve. And they were working with their families to say already what you need to do right now, the best thing we can offer you right now is a private service, a graveside service or something like that. So my wife and colleague is going to do one tomorrow. And then after this is more - we're more freed up - and who knows when that will be - we can offer you more public celebration. And so with counseling - part of counseling is listening. And so much of that is just listening to their ache. Both - not only about their grief but about the inability at this point to have the community surround them with care and love. And then to hopefully give them other options if they can find a way to get their family or their connections together down the road. But that is - this is something that we're going to see in larger numbers. And so we are just preparing to be present with those families to in the best way that we can. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: This kind of segues into a question that we had from one of our listeners. We've had over two hundred and twenty questions in the last 10 days or so that have come to our newsroom. And we're trying to get to as many of them as we can. But this one says besides staying home and imploring others to do the same, is there anything we can do to help health care workers prepare for what lies ahead? And I think you both started - a couple of you start talking about that before. But what can we do to help these healthcare workers that are on the frontlines? Who wants you take that? 

>>DEB FABERT: Yeah. So this is Deb Fabert. Really I think staying home is the biggest thing. And I know everyone has heard that already. But you know the fact that we don't - one thing that we've seen in our emergency department is normally our census in the emergency department is 140 to 160 patients at Bloomington hospital every day in a 24 hour period. Yesterday they only saw 72 patients. And so what that has allowed the hospital to do is really focus on the pandemic and on the patients who are coming in exhibiting those symptoms so that we can give them the best care that we can and that they deserve. So staying home and not utilizing health care services for anything other than in the emergent things is really important. I know we've - you know personally I've had three or four doctors appointments in the last been canceled proactively because I don't have anything really going on that needs to be handled right now. It's something that can really wait until after we get more of a handle on the pandemic. So I think that's the number one thing. The other thing is I know that personally I've gotten a lot of texts and phone messages and Facebook and Face Time messages from my family and friends saying hey Deb take care of yourself. That is really meaningful also you know it's I think if you know someone in health care. Reach out to them and tell them how grateful you are that they are willing you know to stay on the front lines and take care of people in this trying time. You know the last thing I'll say is that prayers - that pray vigil from last week went viral around the hospital. Really very comforting to know the community is supporting us in the work that we're trying to do because it is hard. You know we've got around the clock phone calls where the leadership is being called in because the situation is changing. And we need to adjust our processes. And we have to cascade that information. So it's really hardly ever getting off. And so we're trying to help each other with that and cover and leave you know - leave someone in charge when you're - you need to have a day off but you know any of us taking time off right now, it's not going to happen. I mean we need all hands on deck and to support each other if nothing else you know within the hospital walls. So really praying for us and reaching out to give comfort and comforting words to health care workers I think is a very meaningful thing that anyone can do right now. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: OK. Anybody else wanna add. Jimmy or... 

>>JIMMY MOORE: I just want to once again say that these brave souls are in our prayers and our community that I've been in touch with in my commendation is so moved by what they know that these workers are doing and what they're having to prepare to do. And I think part of the challenge is for us is that we're not always sure if there's anything else we can do or what there is to do. So we're always listening. But remember caring people in our hearts is what we definitely are doing right now. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: We only have a couple minutes to go. And it looks like Sara may have another question. Sara. 

>>SARA WITTMEYER: Yes. This is probably happening for Deb. But one of our listeners is wondering about tips for coping with financial stress. 

>>DEB FABERT: Actually I think Lindsey might be able to address that. She's probably dealt with some of that in her outpatient tele health care. 

>>LINDSAY POTTS: Yeah. Absolutely. I would say again kind of back to - focus on what lotus of control you have so some of the resources that I know with wic and I know that the state of Indiana is making sure that people have access to and are getting quicker access to SNAP benefits as well, so that way people can continue their - to receive their there there additional funding to get to acquire food and those basic needs. I think focusing on what is happening with with what the community is doing to try to support people within that space. Beyond like if we look at broader financial stress that sometimes can happen as far as not knowing when this will end, it's narrowing the focus into one day at a time, one week at a time. And that can help to keep that stress lower. The reality of many people's situations is potentially going to get pretty dire. I think some of the individuals - some individuals that have never sought public assistance before may have to at this point. And so it may be accessing resources that previously people haven't had to access before to kind of get through this phase and focusing on what those things that they can do to do that. And as far as all of us as a community helping with that kind of financial stress, I think one of the things that has been empowering for people who aren't able to is is finding those local resources and funds that are available to support individuals that are currently struggling right now. There's some different state initiatives and local initiatives to help cope with that. So all of those are things that I think can help people whether this time, the realities of the financial hardships are very very real. And i want to make sure that - I know something that we do is constantly keeping resource lists up to date on within our practice of what is out there for individuals to access to support them through this time. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: Hilary in the last 30 seconds can you give us the numbers for how to reach Monroe County Women's Women Infants and Children program? 

>>HILARY ELLIOTT: Yes. You could just give us a call at 8 1 2 3 5 3 3 2 2 1. And if we don't answer the phone leave us a message. And we'll call you back right away and figure out how we can assist them. 

>>BOB ZALTSBERG: OK. Thank you very much. We're out of time. You've all been very very helpful. I want to thank Hilary Elliott, Deb Fabert, Lindsay Potts Jeff Mease and the Reverend Jimmy Moore for being here with us. We've had a lot of production help from John Bailey and Mike Pesca, Matt Stonesifer and Sarah Wittmeyer's been our co-host. Bente Bouthier has been our producer. Thank you. This has been Noon Edition. Take care.

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Local restaurants and employees face uncertainty, as they lose the business of Indiana University students who opt to remain home rather than return to Bloomington. Restaurants have had to move to a carry-out only business model as well. (Emma Atkinson, WFIU/WTIU News)

Noon Edition airs on Fridays at noon on WFIU.

The COVID-19 pandemic has required fast policy response from state and local governments and big behavioral adjustments on an individual level. 

More than 120,000 Hoosiers filed for unemployment insurance last week according to the Department of Workforce Development. 

According to the report, that means more than 3.5 percent of Indiana’s entire labor force applied for unemployment benefits last week. 

Though the statewide stay-at-home order has not been extended past its April 6 end date yet, Governor Holcomb continues to appeal to citizens to avoid all unnecessary travel. 

As more people adjust to new schedules and limited social interactions, the Center for Disease Control says the transition will hit a few groups especially hard. These include:people who are helping with the response to COVID-19, elderly, young people, and people who have mental health conditions including substance abuse.

You can follow us on Twitter @NoonEdition or join us on the air by calling in at 812-855-0811 or toll-free at 1-877-285-9348. You can also send us questions for the show at news@indianapublicmedia.org.

Our Guests

Hilary Elliott, coordinator Monroe County's Women, Infants, and Children Program

Deb Fabert, director of clinical operations Behavioral Health Services IU Health Bloomington Hospital

Lindsay Potts, Manager, Outpatient Behavioral Health Services Indiana University Health

Jeff Mease, Co-founder and CEO of Lennie's, The Hive, Pizza-X

Rev. Jimmy Moore, St. Mark's United Methodist Church

For the latest news and resources about COVID-19, bookmark our Coronavirus In Indiana page here.

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