In this season of Easter and rebirth, let’s take time to notice: the joyful crocuses and daffodils — the chirping birds and croaking frogs — the ice-out on lakes and ponds — the love, hope, generosity, and outreach rising above our nation’s serious concerns.

We are probably all aware, in these most difficult times, what an important part of our lives our fantastic technological advances have become. The Zoom meetings – whether among families or for professional meetings. The online learning that is opening new opportunities for both students and teachers. The ingenious, expeditious ways healthcare providers can help their patients while avoiding trips to the office or hospital. The endless supply of entertainment. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, these operations have certainly become embedded in our lives. And we suspect our adaptations in the past month have suggested new ways of looking at life as the “new normal” emerges.

Many Mainers are realizing that they are at a disadvantage because either the cost or the inaccessibility of adequate internet services makes it difficult for them to take advantage of this new way of life. Note that Maine’s primary has been rescheduled for July 14, and on that day Mainers can vote on a referendum to fund high-speed internet expansion to underserved and unserved areas. FMI: https://states.aarp.org/maine/high-speed-internet-is-a-must-for-mainers.

SAD 44 has recently received grant money to enable them to install devices in the homes of underserved students and families. Just another way our school system is helping in this crisis!

Other area services:

BANR-19 volunteers: [email protected], 207-370-2520.

Bethel Family Health Center: 207-824-2193.

Bethel Food Pantry (824-0369): first Wednesday of each month, 9:00 am-6:00 pm; other Wednesdays noon-2:00 pm. Drive up and stay in your vehicle as food is loaded by volunteers.

Free meals for area students, and also for adults: 10:00 am-noon and 5:00-7:00 pm Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at Crescent Park, Woodstock, and Telstar High Schools.

Chamber of Commerce: area services (https://www.bethelmaine.com/covid19).

West Parish Congregational Church: emergency food boxes (207-824-2689).

Donate to community response systems with a check to MSAD 44, noted for BANR.  Mail to MSAD 44, 1 Parkway, Suite 204, Bethel, ME 04217.  The money will be distributed to the variety of requests that have come to the Bethel Area Neighborhood Response Team.

From AARP: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Telemedicine (https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2020/how-telemedicine-works.html?)

From AARP: workout videos (https://videos.aarp.org/detail/video/6148606814001/10-minute-stretch-and-energize-workout-with-kathy-smith?)


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