Metafilter Mutual Aid for COVID-19 March 22, 2020 10:26 AM   Subscribe

Many local organizations are developing mutual aid organizations of neighbors helping neighbors get their basic needs met (grocery shopping, phone calls for wellness/connection, etc.). I'm working locally in my physical neighborhood, but I consider metafilter my neighborhood as well. Would others be interested in sharing their needs and seeing if anyone in the community can meet them? For example: I have toilet paper to share (as long as you don't mind the recycled eucalyptus sort) and can do grocery shopping for vulnerable mefites in the L.A. area. If you're very low on tp I can mail you some and also toss in some local fruit from our backyard tree. I could use: if you're making fabric masks, I could really use them for my aunt (ICU nurse). She's running low and I'm working extra hours at work (I know, I'm lucky to be working) so I don't have time to sew myself.
posted by arnicae to MetaFilter-Related at 10:26 AM (22 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

I can sew, I'm sheltering at home (thanks to a genuinely decent employer) and I'm willing to ship small packages (small enough to drop in the mail without going to a post office). Masks made from regular ol' fabric would be a piece of cake, but they're not very effective so I've hesitated to dump them on places that might not want them. If your aunt can use some, please let me know (MeFi mail, post a link to her hospital's request for volunteer help, whatever). I'm in San Francisco so any local request for cloth masks would be also be fine. Thanks for setting this up.
posted by Quietgal at 11:32 AM on March 22 [2 favorites]


This is a lovely idea.
I’m in the south/west Chicago suburbs. I can grocery shop, pick up prescriptions, etc and deliver to you or someone you know in the area. Please feel free to Memail me if I can help you and/or your loved ones.
posted by bookmammal at 12:32 PM on March 22


I’m not sure if this is allowed or is too Pepsi blue/self posty but DrMsEld’s psychology practice is pushing (therapists and clients, where ethical) to telehealth and it is working pretty damn good all things considered. She really wants to hold off on actions that might A) harm her clients, B) cause layoffs, or C) harm the practice medium/long term. So, if you are in Florida (or know someone who is, healthcare workers that need help coping are a new focus for her and her partner) and are interested please reach out and I’ll put you in touch with their staff to see if, ethically and professionally, it’s an option.

Mods delete if uncool. No offense taken.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:45 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]


Hey Arnicae, where should masks be sent if we have them? I know a few people who are itching to make masks but the well-publicized requests in WA, IN, etc are fulfilled for the moment.
posted by notquitemaryann at 1:07 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]


Thank you so much for this post, arnicae.
posted by dianeF at 1:29 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]


Hi, if you're willing to mail them to me I'm sending a box to my aunt later this week. I'll send you a message notquitemaryann and Quietgal. I've gotten a few messages that it is ideal to use non-woven, polypropylene material (e.g. vacuum bags or other tightly woven materials) in mask construction. My aunt's response "absolutely! If you have vacuum bags add them to the masks. If you don't, fabric is better for me than nothing at all."
posted by arnicae at 1:29 PM on March 22 [2 favorites]


I've also set up an Austin-specific IRL group to coordinate similar. Note that creating IRL groups emails everyone who says that their address is within a certain geographic distance. It might be worth creating similar IRL "meet-ups" in order to coordinate folks in other cities, too, so that people with needs best served in-person (grocery delivery for example for immunocompromised folks) can find one another. Especially if the mail breaks down some.

Thanks for setting up this space.
posted by sciatrix at 1:40 PM on March 22 [3 favorites]


Alas, my vacuum cleaner is bagless but my fabric stash is ready to be of service.

Here is a tutorial for some pretty nice-looking cloth masks. A little too nice to wear once and throw in the trash, but at this point maybe they're planning to wash and re-use. (I read elsewhere that cotton was preferred, for its ability to be sterilized, but whatever - I guess if a mask melts in the autoclave they'll just toss it.)

OK, off to the sewing machine.
posted by Quietgal at 2:58 PM on March 22


I have an easier time with a video tutorial and this one is good. I don't have a machine but may give it a go if I can find some elastic.
posted by Glinn at 4:10 PM on March 22


Glinn, hit up itesser! I saw them posting elastic availability on a different platform.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 4:29 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]


If you're in Columbus, Ohio, I can bring you bread. Message me.
posted by Stanczyk at 5:01 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]


If anybody in or around Eugene, OR needs help - pet sitting, grocery fetching, prescription pickup, something else - feel free to message me.
posted by DingoMutt at 8:25 PM on March 22


Not so much Mefi, but my local Sikh gurdwara (who were in the news during the bushfires as well) are delivering food and other necessities for people in self-isolation here in Melbourne. They're asking for donations. The Sikh community here does an amazing amount of charity work, and it's just awe-inspiring.
posted by prismatic7 at 4:42 AM on March 23 [2 favorites]


We are in Boston, we are older and laying low for the most part but I am available to help if you have a parent (or more) in the area and would like a local contact. My biggest fear is my mom being so far away and I cannot care for her, if you are far away from elder loved ones, you've got a friend in Boston.
posted by InkaLomax at 9:28 AM on March 23 [2 favorites]


I’m in Jackson Heights, NYC, and I’m available to make grocery runs and pharmacy runs for people nearby. My MeMail is open.

Also, this article has a ton of great resources, including links to mutual aid societies all over the country.
posted by holborne at 12:30 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]


I can make limited runs for folk's relatives in wilmington nc. Caveat that I work retail so may be possibly germy.
posted by mightshould at 5:08 AM on March 24


Well, it's one small thing in the scope of everything else but my computer or SSD just took a fine time to take a crap this morning.

I think it might just be a bad superblock or cluster on the cheap ssd and it might also be the ribbon cable for the drive, but in the process of doing some frontier tech work trying to access and diagnose or fix that I used this shitty USB drive adapter with one of those notorious molex to sata power adapters and literally just let some of the magic smoke out of the SSD.

I took a chance and tried booting internally and... Still managed to get it to do it's 1 in 10 boot which wow ok nice job little buddy.

And at this point it's not even doing the 1/10 random boot then crash, yay.

Anyone have a 2011 or 2012 vintage MacBook pro unibody I can scavange for parts? A1278 here. It can have a broken screen or dead battery or missing power cord.

Argh I hate typing on phones.
posted by loquacious at 11:51 AM on March 24


Update: With many weird shenanigans I think I fixed it. Worst case I have a bootable USB now for a back up and manged to find my ISOs.
posted by loquacious at 2:41 PM on March 24


loquacious, one of my partner’s close friends is a collector of all things Apple and might have some parts from that era MBP, and coincidentally we are storing a lot of his collection in our garage, so I am going to check with him in case the fix doesn’t hold. You’re in/near Seattle, right? I’m near Portland so it’d be pretty quick to send something to you. I’ll report back (might be a day) or will shoot you a MeMail.

I can’t think of much else I can offer or anything I need, but I love this post. Thanks, arnicae.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 3:14 PM on March 24


the thorn bushes have roses: Thank you very much, but don't stress or worry on it. Even going out to ship stuff right now is a huge deal and risk, and at this point I'd rather not.

I just managed to boot strap myself from "omg worst case" to "ok now I have a variety of options" because I found my cache of ISOs, managed to back up my data and make a bootable thumb drive.

If I didn't have that stash of ISOs I don't know what I was going to do because I don't really have broadband out here right now and I can't go hang out at a coffee shop or cafe, and to be honest I'd like to avoid using mail or amazon to fix it and so on.
posted by loquacious at 3:27 PM on March 24


Good point, loquacious, reach out in the future if you think it’d come in handy. Not that I think the near future will be different as far as it being a good idea to keep shipments to essentials only, but you know. If things go back to normal-ish...at some point. Glad it’s working now!
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 4:12 PM on March 24


Starting next week (after my self imposed quarantine), I’d be glad to deliver groceries or toiletries to people in south central Wisconsin.
Or just check in with people via phone call, if that would help.
posted by areaperson at 4:32 PM on March 26


« Older Stardew Multiplayer Meetups   |   Previous post about effective meeting protocols Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments