The epidemiological advice we are hearing and reading is compelling: We have to keep reducing our physical contacts to avoid an unacceptable meltdown of our health care system under the burden of COVID-19.
Government has a responsibility to lead and advise the public, but social distancing is something we all have to do together as a social choice. Ultimately it’s on all of us to control the disease, so I have been eager to get a sense of how my constituents were feeling about the challenge.
Thank you to the over 3200 people who took the time to let me know how they felt about our social distancing efforts by responding to an email survey. Overall, I found the results encouraging — a strong majority of respondents seem willing to accept the challenge we face together and to go further in social distancing. The surprising result of the survey is that willingness to increase social distancing appears, at least in this sample of people engaged in the community, to have only modest relationship to age, zipcode, financial security or current working arrangement.
People made a number of thoughtful comments as part of the survey. I have reproduced them below the survey analysis.
We sent links to the survey through the following channels:
|Subscribers to email news list (subscribe here).||3800, roughly 2/3 in 2d Suffolk and MIddlesex Senate District|
|Other residents of Second Suffolk and Middlesex District who have been in touch by email with senate office.||3900, all in 2d Suffolk and MIddlesex Senate District|
|Community news lists in Belmont and Brighton||Unknown — 5 to 10 thousand — mostly in 2d Suffolk and MIddlesex Senate District|
|2000 (geography skewed towards 2d Suffolk and MIddlesex Senate District but unknown)|
|Approximate total outreach||20,000|
The survey was anonymous. No open or click tracking was included in the outgoing emails. No facebook pixel tracking was used. No URL differentiation was used to track categories of respondents. We did review access logs by IP address to assure that consecutive duplicate submissions were eliminated.
Email delivery occurred between 12:40PM and 5PM on Sunday, March 22, 2020 with most delivery occurring between 1 and 2PM. The Facebook post went up at about 1PM. The survey was closed at 1:20PM on Monday, March 23. So, the survey was open for a little over approximately 24 hours.
Survey responses came in as shown below. Almost all of the responses reflected the social distancing orders in effect before the Governor’s announcement of additional measures on March 23.
Survey Responses by Time of Day
|Date||Hour Beginning||Percent||Cumulative Percent|
|March 22, 2020||12PM||0.2%||0.2%|
|March 22, 2020||1PM||19.3%||19.5%|
|March 22, 2020||2PM||16.4%||36.0%|
|March 22, 2020||3PM||12.7%||48.7%|
|March 22, 2020||4PM||10.7%||59.4%|
|March 22, 2020||5PM||8.2%||67.6%|
|March 22, 2020||6PM||5.5%||73.1%|
|March 22, 2020||7PM||3.4%||76.5%|
|March 22, 2020||8PM||2.8%||79.3%|
|March 22, 2020||9PM||3.3%||82.7%|
|March 22, 2020||10PM||2.4%||85.1%|
|March 22, 2020||11PM||1.4%||86.5%|
|March 23, 2020||12AM||0.6%||87.0%|
|March 23, 2020||1AM||0.3%||87.3%|
|March 23, 2020||2AM||0.1%||87.5%|
|March 23, 2020||3AM||0.1%||87.5%|
|March 23, 2020||4AM||0.2%||87.7%|
|March 23, 2020||5AM||0.2%||87.9%|
|March 23, 2020||6AM||0.8%||88.6%|
|March 23, 2020||7AM||1.3%||90.0%|
|March 23, 2020||8AM||2.5%||92.5%|
|March 23, 2020||9AM||2.9%||95.4%|
|March 23, 2020||10AM||1.9%||97.3%|
|March 23, 2020||11AM||1.2%||98.6%|
|March 23, 2020||12PM||1.1%||99.7%|
|March 23, 2020||1PM||0.3%||100.0% (N=3259)|
Survey Participation — Sample Characteristics
Our outreach methods were not designed to produce a representative sample of the community. The outreach heavily targeted people who are engaged in their local community. All exposed to the survey were people who had either:
- Subscribed to my office news list (open to the public and limited to non-campaign content);
- Contacted my office by email (usually to support or oppose proposed legislation);
- Signed up for community news lists;
- Tended to engage with my political Facebook page.
These engaged people were sent an email with a fairly neutral subject line:
Subject: COVID-19 Check-in
The body of the email read:
I’d be grateful for your response to a short COVID-19 check-in survey at the following link: https://willbrownsberger.com/covid-19-response-questions/
State Senator — 2nd Suffolk and Middlesex District
Back Bay, Fenway, Brighton, Allston, Watertown, Belmont
The Facebook post was similarly brief but there were only 215 link clinks on the post according to Facebook.
Within the engaged universe of perhaps 20,000 who were exposed to this invitation, 3259 responded. There was no follow up email. The roughly 15% of the reached universe who chose to respond are among the most engaged people in the community.
Age of Respondents (self-reported)
|24 or Under||78||2%|
|25 to 64||2244||69%|
|65 or over||937||29%|
Zipcode of Respondents (self-reported)
|02115 (East Fenway)||117||4%|
|02116 (Back Bay)||151||5%|
|02215 (West Fenway)||118||4%|
|OTHER (many Boston)||569||17%|
The full text of the questions can be viewed at this link. On all questions, an “other” option was provided but these responses were recoded and grouped with the closest standard response.
Question 1: View of Massachusetts’ COVID-19 response so far
|We have not gone far enough.||1773||54%|
|The balance is right at this time.||1387||43%|
|We have gone too far.||99||3%|
Question 2: How a “shelter in place” order would affect me
|I would experience real hardship immediately.||194||6%|
|I could handle two to four weeks.||1680||52%|
|I could handle shelter in place indefinitely.||1385||42%|
Question 3: Work Situation
|No need to leave home to work — WFH, retired, . . .||2379||73%|
|Still leaving the home to work||329||10%|
|Unemployed, including newly unemployed||328||10%|
|Non-response, including form software glitch||223||7%|
Question 4: Financial Situation
|I cannot pay bills due now.||100||3%|
|I am OK now, but concerned about the next few months.||1292||40%|
|I feel secure for at least the next year.||1865||57%|
Crosstab A: View of response vs. age
|Age||% Answering Question 1 “not enough“||% Answering Question 1 “too far“|
|24 or Under||64%||1%|
|25 to 64||58%||3%|
|65 or over||45%||3%|
Crosstab B: View of response vs. zipcode
|Zipcode||% Answering Question 1 “not enough“||% Answering Question 1 “too far“|
|02115 (East Fenway)||44%||7%|
|02116 (Back Bay)||45%||6%|
|02215 (West Fenway, Kenmore)||53%||4%|
|OTHER (Many Boston, mostly out of district)||60%||2%|
Crosstab C: View of response vs. shelter in place attitude
|Response to Question 2||% Answering Question 1 “not enough“||% Answering Question 1 “too far“|
|I would experience real hardship immediately.||21%||18%|
|I could handle two to four weeks.||51%||3%|
|I could handle shelter in place indefinitely.||65%||1%|
Crosstab D: View of response vs. work situation
|Response to Question 3||% Answering Question 1 “not enough“||% Answering Question 1 “too far“|
|No need to leave home to work — WFH, retired, . . .||55%||2%|
|Still leaving the home to work||56%||6%|
|Unemployed, including newly unemployed||52%||6%|
|Non-response, including form software glitch||48%||3%|
Crosstab E: View of response vs. financial situation
|Response to Question 4||% Answering Question 1 “not enough“||% Answering Question 1 “too far“|
|I cannot pay bills due now.||60%||13%|
|I am OK now, but concerned about the next few months.||55%||4%|
|I feel secure for at least the next year.||54%||2%|
The anonymous row by row results can be downloaded in spreadsheet form for additional analysis here.
The main and encouraging result of the survey appears in the answers to Question 1. Before the Governor’s most recent orders on March 23, only 3% of respondents felt we had gone too far and 54% felt we should go further. This suggests that the Governor’s new orders will be well received and compliance should be high.
The surprising result of the survey is that willingness to increase social distancing appears, at least in this sample of people engaged in the community, to have only modest relationship to age, zipcode, financial security or current working arrangement. People who said they are experiencing current difficulty paying bills were more likely to say that measures have gone too far, but even in that category, only 13% expressed that view and 60% felt we should be going further.
The one question that correlates heavily to attitudes to further social distancing was “How a ‘shelter in place’ order would affect me”. For those who felt that ‘shelter in place’ would create ‘immediate hardship’, only 21% favored going further, but still only 18% felt we had gone too far. Based on subject-supplied “other” responses to this question it appears that some people read this question more as an emotional question than an economic question.
I have a very disabled child who the only thing that keeps her calm is a car ride to no where. We have been complete isolated except we take a car ride just to get out once a day. I am afraid if we go shelter in place we will be unable to do this and she will spiral down because she is unable to understand what is happened.Anonymous respondent
I could handle it for two weeks now but not if it began in two weeks. If it overlaps with Passover, it’ll affect me mentally. Services are already cancelled (and rightly so), but if we couldn’t gather together safely with one other couple who are also isolating right now in a safe way (and neither of us have kids), then that would be very difficult. Because electronic communication is not an option religiously during the Passover Seder, I and my wife would be forced to go it alone. If we start a stay in place order and end it earlier rather than later, it could be safer and also not have this difficult effect.Anonymous respondent
In this sample of people who are engaged in the community, an overwhelming majority recognize the need to engage in social distancing and are willing to do their part to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Even among people who are experiencing financial or emotional hardship, very strong majorities support at least the measures that had been taken through March 22. However, financial and emotional hardships do associate with modestly higher rates of negative perceptions about measures taken so far.
Ultimately, the economic relief programs that we are able to put in place to support people who have lost their business or are out of work are likely to be very important to maintaining solidarity and compliance with social distancing as the pandemic continues. Economic relief will not be only a matter of justice, but also a matter of public health. We also need to do all we can do to support a sense of connection and community as people remain limited in their physical contacts.
Click here for links to additional COVID-19 information, including closures.
Anonymous Comments from the Survey
I wish some media genius could come up with an indisputable image or message to help the public at large understand why it’s worth following the rules and guidelines that the Governor has put in place. Apparently the idea that we might inadvertently infect someone more vulnerable to this virus than we believe we are ourselves — our elderly, our friends who have asthma, our friend who survived cancer, and other people with compromised immune systems, etc. — is not enough. Apparently the idea that if our hospitals become swamped with too many patients that many people will die is also not enough. I don’t know what happened to our sense of service to and empathy for our fellow humans. The images and stories coming out of Italy are heartbreaking and the shortage of PPE for our frontline health care workers borders on criminal. I pray that we get this under control enough to avoid so many otherwise preventable deaths.
– Please Please Please, ask people to stay home – Ask for a shelter in place for everybody for at least 2 weeks – Stop national flights – Look at what’s happening to France, Italy, Spain : people to not respect the rules, hundreds/thousands are dying – Look at what happened in Wuhan : shelter in place was mandatory for everybody, for any reason, and they stopped the epidemic – Look what big companies are doing in France and do the same in the US : => LVHM makes hand sanitizer for French hospitals : Luxury goods group dedicates three sites to producing hand gel to help fight Covid-19 outbreak (12 tonnes of sanitizer per week). => Due to the lack of protective mask textiles manufacturers team up to produce face masks
Governments need to enforce social distancing by closing public places such as beaches, trails, and other sites for Mass gatherings.
A shelter order would absolutely be the WRONG measure. Like throwing gasoline on hoarding/panic buying/ general disregard for the law at the very time we need it. Please Senator take heed.
My employer has told us as of March 23 to ignore the shutdown. We are being threatened that if we do not come in, that the company will go out of business. This is wrong and totally not true. They also used their attorney to look for loopholes in the shutdown to justify us having to come in. We are not a company that truly fall under the “essential workers only” guideline. The company is located in Waltham. Many of us fear retaliation if we speak up.
I could survive self isolation for a lengthy period but after 4-6 weeks I would be bonkers!
We have to let people work and get into a regular routine in the next few weeks. So many people are losing their jobs and small businesses are going under. Places like South Korea have contained the epidemic by lots of testing and then restricting accordingly so life can go on. We need to do the same.
When this is over, please make sure our societal system/infrastructure is built to manage future pandemics. We already have known gaps – start focusing on voter quality of life and not GDP of corporations. The Administrators/Politicians in place from the 80s-Now should be deeply ashamed of their self-centered lack of resource consideration for the generations beyond their own. Adjustments per forecasting should have happened to prepare for the known changes in Boomer census and the relaxing of regulations in deference to capitalism over people is a sinful legacy of greed necessitating indirect conditions of semi-austerity for kids, grandkids, and greatgrands. Failure to act is the action of Neglect.
I was furloughed by my employer and feel it is absolutely necessary for a shelter-in-place order to take affect immediately to help flatten the curve.
My job is secure and I am able to work from home. My partner works at a museum and is on “hiatus” for a few weeks; we worry his job will disappear entirely.
I am keeping up with my 3 hours a day of yoga and tai chi, as well as a 45 min walk each day, which is my regular routine. We must keep our immune system strong. Thank You, Will, for being out there on the front lines for us.
We have all been too slow to respond to this disease. We should have been on it by February. Easy to say now of course.
Rent needs to be suspended immediately.
Both my wife and I can weather a shelter-in-place, for now. We have a 4 month old who can no longer go to day care and I don’t think the Emergency Child Care plan is catering to parents who can work from home. Caring for him is a full time job on it’s own. Having to choose between caring for him while doing my job poorly from home and having to take a possibly unpaid leave from my job is bogus. That’s a huge financial hit.
The Incidence of Covid-19 in Massachusetts is rising exponentially as well as the death toll. The virulence of this virus is unprecedented and it has all the characteristics of a toxic virus i.e. able to replicate rapidly, able to spread rapidly, able to cause illness rapidly. Like a Swiss army Knife it is very, very adaptable. Under the microscope the little prongs of the corona are the key to the lock that opens up the cells to cause disease and death. It is in short tremendously lethal. No one on the planet is immune to this virus..Asymptomatic infection is invisible. We have testing only in hospitals, not enough equipement for our Nurses and Doctors to protect themselves. No absolute drug or vaccine currently available both of which will require time to test efficacy. Not enough respirators..The economy is important, but the death toll takes precedence over the economic losses. We need to shut down.. period.. As the Italians have demonstrated it is the only logical Public Health Intervention !!!
My real concern is for how we’re going to vote in November. Let’s make sure there’s a plan for that if sheltering in place is still happening
Thanks for asking. Just yesterday, I learned of the first person I knew personally who died of coronavirus, a respected older colleague who lived in the Chicago area. There will be many more. You or I, or family members, could be among them. China has shown that the pandemic can be beaten with a month or two of strict lockdown. We must do the same here, while supporting people who lack the income or savings to tide them over. The alternative is millions of dead, worst of all that medical resources will not be sufficient to save people who otherwise would survive, and that the burden will be worst for medical professionals. Governor Baker has finally taken action, I wish he had done that a week earlier, and Massachusetts would have had about 1/5 the number of cases. We have already passed the point as indicated in many forecasts, where there will not be enough hospital beds, ventilators and other supplies.
I think it disgraceful and expected from this pretend administration that they are leaving it up to the states to figure out plans for their people. We should expect much better from our federal gov’t.
Probably we should have a more restrictive state policy than we do at the moment. That said, I do trust our governor to balance all the competing needs. Sadly, I do NOT feel the same way about the federal government and definitely do not feel that our president is up to the task.
It would be helpful to suspend or defer rent payments immediately, and protect employees of small businesses like myself, that are being dragged around and all but gotten laid off.
Trump and those like him should be publicly reprimanded for calling the covid-19 virus the Chinese virus and trying to make it a racist thing and putting the blame on China while he has been so irresponsible. Also, the people should be helped financially. The big corporations can help themselves and should not be bailed out with taxpayer money.
Banks should be close immediately. they always push customers to use alternatives ways of banking , i.e. online banking, and now at time like this they cannot say the opposite. Cash handling should be stopped immediately, cash is the easier and fastest way to spread virus.
We need more testing!
Charlie Baker is doing a good job -responding to the data and his experts read the Gawande article in the New Yorker https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/keeping-the-coronavirus-from-infecting-health-care-workers?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosam&stream=top
I do not feel my town has anything in place for people like me who do not drive/have a car. It is a 1/2 hour walk to the grocery store or a trip on the bus is necessary. There can be no drive-thru testing for people like me and others who live close to Cambridge/Boston without transportation. Same for the elderly who don’t drive. Thank you for your continued service and work for the people of Massachusetts. It is always appreciated but particularly so in times like this.
The governor and corrections bureaucrats should move to send all pretrial people and all non-dangerous low-level offenders home, before the first prison-wide epidemic strikes. Guards and staff continue to inadvertently bring in Covid 19! Your voice in particular could really help get this to happen – as in L.A. and other states! thanks.
I am concerned about a run on medication that I need to treat my auto-immune disease. I am on the hydroxychloroquine that Trump mentioned as a possible remedy for Covid19. I think the drug companies need to set aside supply for those of us who already relied on this drug.
Comment above on my economic situation reflects some concern about whether I could face a layoff if the economy spirals into a longer-term recession.
I believe that most people do not have any idea who was the person in the community that infected them. Most people with the virus are carrying and spreading it 7-10 days before becoming outwardly ill: little, medium or very sick. This is one of the big problems: continuing to function, while seemingly healthy, spreads the disease. Trumps pronouncements do more harm than good. His only concern is bringing the stock market up. He has his daily comedy show. And Gov. Cuomo has the reality program. Thanks for reading.
Im concerned that veterans canteen service (vcs) is considered an “essential worker” category in the VA. Since we are not medical people, we dont have any PPE available to use, even though we are exposed to patients, staff and visitors alike.
I pray everyday that this will be over and we will all come out of this better.
Thank you for asking In a time like this, giving people a chance to share the essential information and feel heard is critical
Thank you for asking these questions!
I do not feel that a militaristic enforcement would work, but stationing staff with protective gear at some intersections to persuade people to go home if not on an essential errand would help. Strict, legally enforced anti-hoarding would help . I, among others, have no toilet paper or tissues Peapod, Amazon, etc will not deliver these items. I am about to go out searching stores for them. Stop the hoarding and this sort of search mission will be avoided.
When the weather is warm, as it was on Friday, large crowds of people were out walking around Jamaica Pond, so that maintaining 6 feet between people was virtually impossible if you stayed on the path.
The biggest issue is access to testing. If we had access to testing, we would be able to know how careful to be when leaving our homes for necessities, how to prevent spreading it within our homes, and we would be able to accurately predict how long the shelter-in-place will last. Testing early and often should be the priority. Please urge the CDC to release information on how to conduct the test in a modern lab environment. If the method was public many many research labs in Boston could be providing the service of processing samples and providing results. The burden does not have to rest on the government and alone to administer testing if the information is made available.
Thank you for your important work during these frightening times.
I totally realize that there are no easy answers to this surreal pandemic. We need to find a way to “get through to” the youth, who seem to think this is all a joke. Countering the downplays is, again, no easy task … especially since a lot of the downplay comes from some in authority. The income issues will be, for us, quite debilitating if this continues indefinitely.
While I feel like the balance is right in Boston, I am not at all opposed to a shelter-in-place. I personally went for a run in Mattapan yesterday and saw a packed arboretum on the way, as well as several folks at the park. So a lockdown might be timely.
I am willing to do whatever is needed. Appreciate being able to walk outside away from others.
I think the MA state/city of Boston governmental response has generally been appropriate. Irrespective of how regulations shift around shelter-in-place, I would hope legislators would focus on 3 issues: 1. Getting residents to commit to the announced public health policies, which requires not changed knowledge but behavioral interventions. Eg. transition from saying “people should wash hands” to enacting hand sanitizing stations outside open pharmacies/groceries/hospitals/etc and utilizing the existing emergency network (used for national emergencies/Amber alerts) to text all residents at set intervals [e.g. every 3 hours] “Everyone in Mass. is washing their hands for the next 30 seconds.” followed by a second alert 1 minute later, “Well, that felt good. Unless, are you the one person who decided to risk us all with unwashed hands?” (or a similar FOMO-based message). Eg. transition from press conferences and posters saying “people should practice social distancing or shelter-in-place” to (i) adverts with actual images of people dying from COVID-19 or their failing respiratory systems and text saying: “standing too close may kill your neighbors. or your friends. or your family. or yourself” or some similarly impactful statement, (ii) limiting number of people [including staff] inside any open facility by square footage, and (iii) a measure to keep people from going to parks together with friends – I’m not sure how, unless somehow using phone gps tracking software that would emit an aggravating noise whenever it senses another phone inside of a minimum safe distance away. 2. How to provide supplies, training (if addt’l workers are needed), and rest & physical/mental health support for health care workers. 3. Programs to provide financial support to struggling residents while also maintaining sufficient gov’t funding for the previous two initiatives. More info for point 1 above: https://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/april/watching-hand-washing-041414.html https://www.vox.com/2016/6/2/11818692/plain-packaging-policy-us-australia (about impact of images) Thank you for your consideration of these opinions, and thank you for your service.
I have a child with special needs, sensory processing issues, adhd, spectrun issues. We’ve been managing with bike riding and walks in the woods, teleconferencing with his MDs & therapists. We are balancing everything now. But a shelter in place will upset this to the point, where I may need to have care givers come into my home and help.
Thank you for being proactive and asking for this feedback. My only concern is that people be allowed to drive their cars for pleasure rides, and to commute from other homes (i.e. I came up to NH to our 2nd home and am telecommuting). I don’t want to get in trouble for returning to our home in Back Bay. Also, RESIDENTS should be allowed to park ANYWHERE in their residential area, with their valid sticker, regardless of meters, street cleaning, etc. without fear of ticketing. Thank you.
Please have all reps and senators consider signing bill HD4963. Government Baker refuses to address the incarcerated population, and some are only in there for probation violations, some only have 6 months or less left and we want them home safe and healthy! Some are elderly that just want to be close to their family for the remainder of their lives, not behind bars. Have some compassion please. They are humans too and you treat your dog better than them.
There needs to be a three to four week lockdown at the minimum in the hot zones, if not nationally. Gross government incompetence is going to kill hundreds of thousands if not millions. Read the UCL study. We had two months warning and did nothing. As much as possible has to be shut down now. A 3-4 week lockdown stops the virus and gives the healthcare system time. Do nothing means 500k-2 million unnecessary deaths.
This pandemic reveals the inequities in our society. White privilege gives some of us a huge unearned advantage.
A tough call, ’cause people will become more desperate during a shelter-in-place. But needed to protect health workers, prevent health care collapse, and unimaginable illnesses and deaths. The federal government basically signaled states are on their own (except for ‘spectacular’ interventions in a few states. So how can MA alone make up for lost jobs, wages, support the health system… So that we – the public – CAN endure and survive the other hardships? Those of us who are seniors and/or frail or ill could use community organized volunteer assistance with eg. grocery shopping, so that we stay safe indoors and don’t infect others or get infected and spread it on….
real question is how we taper off from a shutdown
Just got an email about small classes to resume at my child’s local gymnastics gym this week… unbelievable. I wish the government would take some drastic measures to test more people and shut everything down (including interstate travel) and implement paid sick leave federally. Where I previously lived (Nova Scotia), everything is shut and there are massive fines ($1000 to $7500) for ignoring social distancing and quarantines. Most of the population seems fine with it.
This pandemic is truly frightening. The White House is responsible for deaths for lack of action. The federal govt. is a disgrace. Get Moscow Mitch and Putin’s bitch, Rump OUT of the oval office and into prison for Crimes against Humanity and our planet.
If people are unable to work and get salary, how are some of us going to pay the exorbitant Real Estate taxes in Belmont? I’m a paraprofessional in BPS and cannot afford to pay real estate taxes without my second job, babysitting, which is gone now due to the virus, Will I lose my house??
The impact will depend on how well Massachusetts protects it’s people that are affected by the layoffs, everyone is affected but the higher earners are not feeling it as much as some can work remotely and are not in retail or service job. Tax credits and loans are more the more well off. Hopefully all the promises are going to get realized but being said and done are very different and people can feel skeptical. The shutdown can only work if people are feeling that they will be taking care of in the meantime.
I was kicked out of my 1-bdrm Watertown apartment in June, where I’d lived for 11 years. I was paying way below market rate so couldn’t find another 1-bdrm I could afford, and so was looking for a room-mate and for a 2-bdrm apt in Watertown, and in the meantime living with my sister in West Newton. Now it looks like I’ll be here for a while, with my things in storage. So for now I’m a Newton resident, but hope to move back to Watertown some day. I’m a professional classical musician, teaching online now, but not performing- all my concerts are cancelled. So my income is reduced, but I don’t have to worry about rent as much (I pay, but my sister is understanding if I can’t, and it’s less than rent for an apartment).
I have heard that in certain other states, exemption of research and laboratory services has been used by biotech companies to require that people come in to work. However in Cambridge and Boston, where a majority of Companies are biotechs (that don’t necessarily work on COVID-19) exempting research would render the shelter in place mandate useless. So I hope the guidelines for exempt businesses very clearly clarify what is really exempt and what is not!
Trump is a debilitating element in all of this, he should not be making any more public appearances disguised as press briefings. Better leave it to the emergency personnel, the physicians and the scientists, people who don’t lie or brag. Wonder if Massachusetts leaders might relay that message on behalf of so many US residents.
I welcome opportunities to be – safely for myself and others – useful. Contacted our senior center. Experimenting with online patterns for sewing masks.
The decision about the “right balance” should not be political. It should be a consensus of medical, public health, economic consultants along with political leadership. The lack of tests obliges us to use fairly stringent measures of social distancing.
Unfortunately I think the only way to arrest the situation and not have this be a continuing loop of sickness this is shut the whole country down right now close every state border containment within the states and let it run its course. Otherwise it will just keep circulating. My job depends on people traveling So I have no ability to make an income but we all have to sacrifice to get rid of this thing once and for all.
New Hampshire is a little behind the curve so far: few cases, not everyone observes distance; in our retirement community EVERYONE takes it seriously. Mail presorted and dropped at the front door for everyone, no one allowed in, or if they are, screened for symptoms first. Portsmouth has a couple of cases. God save the commonwealth of Mass.
Please continue to take strong action while providing relief for those affected. Let’s implement sheltering in place. Thank you.
I am mostly concerned about the lack of PPE for medical professionals – when we don’t test because we can’t protect the medical folks we are admitting that we can’t control this epidemic.
Hospital preparedness needs extreme investigation.
I am lucky in that I am able to work from home, but am extremely concerned for friends and loved ones out of work as a result who are unable to pay rent and other expenses. There should be a rent/mortgage freeze or something in place at this time for these cases.
We have non-liquid assets to fall back on so we are in critical but stable shape if we can liquidate those assets quickly. There needs to be a stronger public gathering situation especially at grocery stores for 60-90 days. I know this will probably hurt us badly. It needs needs to be done. I worry about those that are not working and have no assets to fall back on. For us, it will hurt our long term. For them, it will hurt their everything.
I think one in one out measures at grocery stores and pharmacies should be prioritized. I think breaking up large public gatherings at parks, etc should be prioritized. I think we should make those public stores become more delivery accessible to the older generation – many do not know how to get deliveries. Also, large scale sanitation efforts that were seen in China could help. Shelter in place should be taken as a last resort measure. I am self quarantined and hate to have the few people refuse to comply ruin the last few freedoms we do have. Also, projections for if we behave this way for x period of time would allow us to go back to normal in y amount of time might be helpful to see.
nervous but hopeful
Retired; handicapped; housebound anyway.
(1) Because most (all?) of what 45 says in his daily press conferences is not just untrue but also dangerous, can direct broadcast of them be stopped? Review the for truth and broadcast that. (2) Provide info/locations with info for projects people can help with. Example: ways to help provide PPE (where mask sewing or 3D patterns are), data related things IT oriented people could do.
I consider myself very lucky in that I have the ability to work from home, was provided a laptop by my employer and my employer has committed to pay us whilst we work from home. I have not had to use up vacation or sick time. A friend of mine who works in the catering industry has seen the bottom drop out, he has gone on unemployment, he is living week to week. I have offered to help him out if need be, he remains optimistic.
The best idea I’ve seen so far is to give everyone money tied to the military housing allowances, that ensures everyone will be able to pay rent and doesn’t tie it to income from a year ago (2018 taxes, situation may have changed since then). If wealthy people don’t need it they can donate it or we can tax it back later. I am in film post production but if we can’t shoot anything the work will be gone in a few months. It’s much more important for us to save lives and maintain a functioning healthcare system which is why the government must step in immediately. Many workers that are not essential are still going to work because they’re scared that they will lose their housing or starve. They are terrified that they or their loved ones will die. I am fortunate enough to be able to work remotely but it will not last as long as this pandemic does. We need to either freeze the financial system entirely and convert to a wartime ration system (which the GOP would not like) or give everyone enough that they can pay rent and feed themselves for as long as this lasts.
please help the restaurant and entertainment workers
A lot of people still seem to not be following stay-at-home recommendations. I think a full lockdown is the only way to make people see this is serious.
I fully support a shelter-in-place for Massachusetts and firmly believe that it is required at this time, to save lives.
Working mothers with kids have been hit really hard balancing work and life during this time.
I think a pause is an appropriate move. I am very worried about our health care workers.
I am required to come into work though I do not feel that I am performing essential functions. The only thing that will change that is likely to be an order from the Governor. Just to be clear, I am not coming in every day, bus roughly half time.
Please convince the state to shut down everything now. My husband and I have been basically maintaining shelter in place already. With only a single trip to the grocery store in the last 11 days. We are doing are part but are growing weary as others are not. Please take action NOW!
I almost chose “We have not gone far enough — people are still doing unnecessary and unsafe things.” But I’m worried about people who cannot afford not to work. Leaders are facing impossible choices. I believe in a robust taxpayer-funded safety net, so I support 1) putting money in people’s hands, enough to live on, for a while, along with 2) stronger restrictions, so more people stay home. Thank *you*.
I hope you are your family are staying safe…xoxoxo!
Thanks Senator, I appreciate what you are trying to do.
We feel younger people are not taking the situation seriously enough, but are not sure how to convince them more without further penalizing those like us who are taking it seriously. I also have many friends who were self employed in the food and gig industry and who now need unemployment assistance. However they aren’t able to apply for it because of restrictions, which should be changed immediately to include them among those most hurt by social distancing closures.
I am a scientist, and do strongly urge that MA takes faster action and does not reach anywhere close to NY. My scientist friends (we don’t research on COVID) in CA and NY are going to work as the state has exempted ALL research despite the shutdown. None of us feel morally right about this at the time when we all feel social responsibility to curb this pandemic. In MA, the leadership at my company also believes since NY has exempted research, we should remain open too. Greater boston has >200000 or even millions of research workers across biotechs, pharmas, hospitals, universities, venture capital firms, consulting firms to name a few. People work in dense places like longwood, kendall sq, sit in close proximity in 1000s of startups burgeoning in Boston, and commute through crowded public transport. Keeping “all” research labs and industry open poses a strong risk (given the biogen outbreak too) and would only lead to exponential spike in cases and mortality. I hope we all can have shelter in place for a couple of weeks and try our best to flatten this curve and do our best to help health care industry.
Will, I hope you’ll consider encouraging DCR to create open streets to be a relief valve for overwhelmed paths / parks. People need to get outside and to do it responsibly, they need to be able to safely stay 6 feet away from other people. That isn’t possible if we’re all on the same paths. With reduced amounts of people driving, we should be opening those streets to people walking, running, biking. Let’s start with the section of Memorial Drive that is closed on Summer Sundays.
I don’t even know what to say. People are stupid.
Thanks for being a voice of reason in this crazy time, Will! Truly appreciate your service.
The stricter we are for the next 3 weeks, the sooner we get out of this
Thanks for checking in with us about this.
Thank you for your concern, interest and service to the state.
My biggest concern is getting PPE to health care workers, my friends that are doctors and nurses are scared after seeing the reports from Italy. If there is anything that can be done at the state level to increase production, please do all you can do.
Hang in there. Thank you.
Am concerned about getting laid off and approaching retirement, watching my savings dwindle and concerned about getting new work at my age.
With two working parents having daycares closed for a prolonged period of time is a significant hardship.
I’m a college student who grew up in Belmont so I am back at home to finish my semester online. My father is a professor (still running classes online) and my mother is a bank executive (meetings are all virtual), so we are okay. My main concern is that more people need to be tested, because as a healthy 22-year-old I know I will be okay if I contract coronavirus, but I can still transmit
The most serious presenting problem is our Fearless (Feckless) Leader. Anything you can do to put him on ice would be most appreciated.
Hi Will, I urge you and your fellow legislators to consider reopening public schools. I am a single parent on the faculty at UMass Boston and am retooling my classes to an online format, which I must teach from my home at my regular times–in addition to having meetings, serving on committees etc. while my kids are home. And then I am supposed to home school?? And that’s far from the worst case scenario. Can we not follow Denmark’s lead here and send at least elementary and middle school age children to school?
I am glad to see this inquiry, and generally feel like the governor is dragging his feet. I worry that regardless of what he and the legislature approve in policy measures, our immigrant brothers and sisters will be once again left out of the equation. Living in the shadows is traumatic. Covid-19 only exacerbates the situation. Immigrants’ ability to *get* to a hospital and *receive* a Covid-19 test is critical to MY health and OUR health.
Use the model of gas lines – people can shop based on odd/even side of street or license plate or different neighborhoods – I have not been able to find TP anywhere (stores should have been limiting customers right away!). People are waiting in lines – more likely then to spread the virus. I think there should be days for seniors/disabled/high risk people and days for the rest – 2 hours in the morning is not enough.
We need more of a wartime approach to this crisis, and I am dismayed not to see it having come months ago from our federal leadership. I hope that on a state level we do not follow that example, but instead follow the examples of South Korea, Singapore and others. People need to know they are needed, and need leaders who are willing to step up with clear instructions on how they can help. Thanks for reaching out!!
Thanks for asking. I don’t like Gov. Baker’s attitude … We need to rely on government to help in this national—global—emergency. Too much Republican “you’re on your own.” The effect on businesses is important, but we need a united effort, as in WWII, to stem the tide of this frightening pandemic.
Thanks for the Questionnaire Senator, I live close to the grocery store – bank -post office – gas station – and family -in Belmont so in a good spot to weather out the coronavirus. However I do own 2 rental properties in Wellfleet – my rental agent just told me there are absolutely no requests – so without rentals – this will really cost me a significant amount of additional money this year and I may need to sell the properties there. Also completely dependent on rentals here since I own a 2 family – moved from Newton to be near family and bought in Belmont 3 years ago. So far have tenants but given the situation with the Coronavirus – hopefully it doesn’t go on for six months or more – who knows what folks will need to do !! Niece in Scituate planning wedding in June – all up in the air – tough for everyone! Nephew graduating from Fordham – may need to have postponement !! Grandchildren in Belmont and Watertown struggling with the days off – need to get routine for school children – and parents struggling too with work – either at home or at the office- a real hardship for them juggling child care – and doing all the other tasks. And all of us practicing social distancing !! I know the Governor and his Secretary Marylou – know and worked with them both – total confidence in them – but hard to contain coronavirus – get the testing done – and get the hospital staff what they need !! Tremendous coordination effort on part of all folks – costing lives, sickness, money, etc. Praying all gets better – the good news is spring will be here soon and warmer weather !! But we all need an end date !!! Thanks again !!
I’d like to understand what Massachusetts will be doing on a state level to minimize harm to vulnerable, politically disempowered groups like prisoners, undocumented immigrants, domestic violence victims, etc.
Having the MBTA operate on a Saturday schedule has made some lines overly crowded (unsafe!) and the drivers have to still come in to get paid & are then hanging out together in an unsafe manner!?!
HI I just meant to add a suggestion/request. Many people are using our public parks and lands for exercise and recreation and this is essential for mental and physical health. The State’s closures of toilets and even port-a-potties or composting toilets in these public places is a real problem, given the increased use. I suggest these be opened again at least the porta-potties, and that there is limited opportunity for disease transmission from keeping these in use. The DCR could also hire workers to disinfect door handles etc once or twice a day to further reduce risk. Thank you.
Don’t let the republicans bail out big business and not the little businesses. Loans vs Free money?! Who gets what? Why are student loans being collected and charged interest? WHERE ARE THE TESTS?! Can we take power away from Trump as he is INCOMPETENT to run the country. Please act swiftly and without concern for party or politics. People first! Thank you!
I appreciate the way you are staying in touch, and like your newsletters. Thank you.
Organize for a rent suspension. It’s not right to collect rent when so many folks literally cannot work or have been laid off.
Shutting down small business and restaurants would mean we loose all mom and pops and have nothing left but the big chain
I am a realtor.
People should not be able to fly unless it’s a dire situation
I do have a roommate who is in the film industry and completely out of work. Not to mention, our landlord decided not to renew our lease after 5 years (he wants to renovate) so we are scrambling to find a new apartment – but our only options for viewing are virtual tours and videos- realtors will not run the risk – so the search is doubly difficult. thank you, Senator!
Support statewide shelter in place. Ideally should be federal but current administration too mistrusted for this to be accepted.
I wasn’t sure about my answer to question 1. My local concern is mostly citizens not acting like citizens – hoarding, etc. I have real concerns about the president, not so much Gov. Baker. I am retired and doing okay now but am worried about my retirement funds in the future. I appreciate factual information delivered rationally.
If we do have a “shelter in place”, we would need to engage the networks of relief agencies to get vulnerable people the food and other services they need – there are also groups made entirely of volunteers (there is one in Belmont from a parents facebook group) who are running grocery and pharmacy deliveries to people who cant get out of their homes because of self-isolating, being high risk, or infirmity. The other issue I want to address is that there is a group who is working on helping Americans in other states register to vote by mail, and while we have gone to a largely virtual set-up, we still need to get materials to people who write the post cards, and how the mail would be affected in this case might impact that program, which is getting out 15,000 postcards per month. I would very much like to speak with your office if we do go with a Shelter in Place, because I know non-essential mail can be affected under those circumstances. I agree with you, that we should have a shelter in place
I am curious what would be considered “essential business”. I personally can work from home, but delivery and other personnel working for my family’s business do need to be in person to complete their work.
PPE for health care workers is a huge, huge crisis. Family members are MDs in Boston area hospitals, and they are all terrified and angry. Gov. Baker is competent, but federal government is a disaster.
Thanks for everything you do, Will. Especially with the MBTA. Especially letting the buses continue to go underground during winter. I enjoyed your talk on this at the library.
I always order my steaks rare when not familiar with the steakhouse because it can always be done more, but cannot be undone. Until testing is widely available and we have a clear picture of what we have, we should be staying home. The order can be loosened once we know we’ve gone to far. But to tighten the order after we let the cat out of the bag spells disaster.
I think there needs to be a more of a campaign promoting the shelter in place rules in multiple languages- I still don’t think people understand it or take it seriously
I am a physician at MGH, so I am going in to work, if only to my office in isolation most days. We have limited our clinic exposure using a tight rotation in the hospital and clinic. I am assured that I will be paid my salary on schedule, so I am very fortunate to be in this position now.
Thank you for creating this space for transparency and voice. I used to be served by you in a different district but I continue to subscribe because you so readily share information. Thank you for everything you do!
former 02478 resident who follows Will because of the excellent information he provides and I am still concerned about the local issues in my home town
We have not done enough. Non-essential workers (i.e. people who work at for-profit companies making needless items) are reporting to work, causing group gatherings. People are crowding inside restaurants waiting for food pick up. We are not social distancing enough. If we continue to allow these workers to go to work, we will be Italy in a few weeks time.
MA should make testing for COVID19 more accessible. So far the numbers of tests completed is concerning to me, and I couldn’t have a good idea the real number of infected people are.
Please prioritize the health and safety of the residents first.
Thank you for checking in! ?
Dear Senator Brownsberger, First off, thanks for the brownies at the Ward 21 caucus – a little bit of a blood sugar boost was so helpful before public discussion. I don’t want my survey Response to paint an overly rosy picture of my direct community. My nonprofit employer, the Earthwatch Institute is already looking at furloughs. While I have savings to last a few months without work, I am worried about my coworkers who are recently graduated, have student debt and in some cases live paycheck to paycheck. If we can pay per time citizen outreach advisors to remind people on the street of the current social distance recommendations (and likely future shelter in place rules) we might be able to hold off from avoid shelter in place for a little longer. I am imagining hundreds of crossing-guard style part time employees taking an online course and standing at key intersections, in front of stores, and at T stops in towns and cities to remind folks of best practices verbally and set up A-frame signs with more information about CDC recommendations and resources. This could be a source of employment for people formerly employed by restaurants and other affected industries like mine. Here on Chestnut Hill Reservoir, hundreds of folks walk around the footpath and come within close proximity. I also noticed hundreds of people still going to South Shore Mall and other shopping plazas this weekend. Thanks for doing a great job!
I heard a rumor that one or two states are putting a hold on the mortgage payments during this time. Never sure of what you’re hearing is true. Is this something that could happen in Massachusetts for home owners?
The State needs to be more clear on its message some people I have communicated with think that if we shelter in place that stores will be closed and fuel oil delivery stopped. As a result, panic has set in , this is one reason shelves have become bare already, so a definitive message needs to be prepared. Also I would like to see more information as to who is at most risk. I will make one observation., even though we are experiencing a pandemic, one thing remains U S Congress and the Senate still can’t get their act together for the greater good. Mass is doing well
I work in healthcare (not direct patient contact), and I believe stronger and immediate measures are required to slow the spread. Our healthcare staff and facilities are already overwhelmed, and do not have the safety supplies they need! Thank you~
Please consider in all policies you put forth the reality of someone at the poverty level who earned scholarships, worked in non-profits hoping to discharge debt and landed on SSDI permanently. That’s a $725/mo check which, with COLA increases, has not gone up more than $200 in 20 years BEFORE taxes and with no Medicare taken out. Everything from relief during a pandemic to any other policy from your office assumes, inaccurately, that including “low income” people can be represented by people whose health won’t allow it. E.g., zero-net emissions: No “low-income” participation on a committee can reflect people who are nearly always at home, need to use electricity, but almost never drive. Our net carbon footprint is probably less than others, but we’re the ones who can least afford to be penalized as providers like Belmont Light move to 100% renewables. Before providing relief to people who are temporarily out of work, and will continue to accrue work quarters toward Social Security — please remember that that disabled Americans don’t accrue additional quarters or miraculously get additional Social Security when they reach the age of 67.
I’m an essential worker- healthcare/pharmacy. I will be forced to go to work if a shelter in place is enforced and will still be able to go to the grocery store as needed.
I feel we need to make stronger restriction for all MA residents. It’s 4 weeks, of isolation people can handle it to get this virus under control.
Please consider making emergencies funds available for small businesses like restaurants, bars, fitness studios etc
Work in Watertown
Dear Senator…I appreciate your efforts always.but most especially during this crisis…however your last email, which came at a time that I was in a very panicing place, quite honestly, scared the hell out of me
I NEED my surgery. My intestine pokes through the hernia in my stomach. My surgery was scheduled for the 23rd. I am not emergent but it can be life threatening if my intestine gets stuck but these new rules I have to wait until I almost die! I am in pain, I have no underlying health conditions, my surgeon says it’s ok just a day surgery, I will probably be fine waiting or this delay could kill me and cause a significant and dangerous surgery. Keep you laws off my medical care!!!!!
I wonder if the epidemic will last till the end of the year.
We are a two-income household. I am working at home but my wife still has to go to the office (as of 3/23). Her company won’t shutdown unless there’s a govt _order_ to do so. She’d rather be home but, given the expected/coming market downturn, she does NOT want to be the one who didn’t go to work.
I’m a healthcare working as a CVS/Pharmacist and have observed people coming into unnecessarily, especially since we offer free delivery!
I think Massachusetts is mostly doing an OK job with the coronavirus crisis, but I did not think leaders were fully transparent about issues related to testing.
I am a health care provider.
time to shelter in place – people are NOT taking this seriously –
Belmont Public schools get an F, for years now increases to school budgets were to get all high school students iPads and to build IT infrastructure but no remote learning.
The positive COVID-19 numbers continue to rise and I am still seeing people out in groups. I have been self-isolating but walking my dog at a safe distance, and I am frustrated by the seeming lack of concern from others.
We need to do a shelter in place immediately to keep the teens from meeting up.
with the internet, isolation isn’t that bad. the concern with shelter in place is the logistics of getting supplies and avoiding hoarding. those of us the city don’t have much storage space.
I think we will need to have NY-like restrictions in place sometime in the next week, depending on spread. The NY order was promulgated 2 days before it went into effect; it may make sense to either provide more notice or to take interim steps so that people can prepare. We also have the ability to see what became issues in NY, Washington, etc and calibrate the executive order accordingly.
Regarding the first question, I feel the current orders are appropriate, BUT I see a lot of disregard to some of the recommendations around distancing and minimizing interactions.
I work in a two-person office and we switch off. We are a not-for-profit and feel compelled to continue our services as we can.
Faster you act getting these irresponsible people in shelter faster we will get back to normal life!
I feel that the State’s actions, thus far, have been commensurate with the risk. I believe that Belmont may have gone too far in closing town parks and the HS track, but there may have been circumstances that warranted such actions that I am unaware of.
I sent this to my representatives last night – Dear Rep. Garballey and Senator Friedman – I am an Arlington Town Meeting member for Pct. 17. I live with my husband, my 5.5 yo and my almost 3 yo at 56 Bow St. in Arlington Heights. I know you are both working hard to come up with the right policies and responses to the Covid-19 crisis. I am writing because I am becoming increasingly confused about why the state is not issuing a shelter in place order. My family has been isolating ourselves since last Friday when Arlington closed its schools. We have ventured out in the neighborhood or around the area a few times, always keeping ourselves at least 6 ft from anyone else. However, it is clear that while many of our fellow citizens are also doing this, too many are not. We live right off of the Minuteman Bike Path and see groups of people congregating there regularly. We have gone on walks and seen families together at playgrounds. I understand that an order like this would be a big step and very hard to enforce. But it seems like too many people need whatever extra prodding to do what is right. I hear the Governor saying that he is following the advice of experts, but I have not heard anyone give a satisfactory explanation of what that is. What does Governor Baker know that the governors of NY, IL, CA and many other places don’t know? I am scared for my immediate family. I am scared for my 74 yo mother who has to take immunosuppressants because she received a kidney transplant, and my 74 yo father who has been through radiation treatment for cancer. I am scared for my mother-in-law who has respiratory issues. I am scared for my brother-in-law and good friend who are both emergency room physicians. I am scared for the many people who are much less privileged and much more vulnerable than we are. Please help me understand why MA is not under a shelter-in-place order, and if we should be what you are doing to try and make that happen. Thank you and hope you are staying healthy and safe. 02474
Good Morning Senator Brownsberger, I work in the Human Services sector and we are charged with ensuring the care and safety of some of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens. Individuals who often do not understand how to keep themselves safe let alone understand social distancing. The organization I work for provides services to nearly 8,000 individuals in MA and CT. Our staff on the front lines trying to ensure the well being and safety of the people we serve. Our staff, like first responders and hospital workers do not have the option of staying home. While the Governor and the administration have been doing a wonderful job of communicating plans and thanking those on the front lines, Human Services workers are rarely, if ever, publicly called out for their work and dedication. Perhaps if you have the opportunity to speak with either the governor or lt. governor, you could ask them to remember to identify this workforce as being on the front lines as well? These are folks making low wages, but are still reporting to work to do their best to ensure the people we serve stay as healthy as possible. Thank you for your assistance and commitment to my district.
China and South Korea stopped it.
Shelter in Place would negatively impact my family as I need the ability to take my children out for a walk and to let them run around in an open place (Watertown Common) to burn off energy
I think it’s appropriate for responsible citizens to shelter-in-place for the time being to flatten the curve, but if this goes on too long we will impose terrible economic costs on those who can least afford it. Unfortunately, we have to learn to live with the virus until we develop effective vaccines, medicines, and herd immunity. This includes providing proper equipment and support to front-line medical staff.
While I am financially secure through this, I don’t know how how hourly employees whose businesses have closed would make it through a shelter in place without major financial assistance.
we have many MA and Federal tax payers on H1-B visa (and other visas). some of us have children who were born here (i.e. US citizens) completely understand that trade offs need to be made when allocating relief. please consider all constituents as this affects us as well.
well done, thank you for this opportunity. This is a very smart way to collect how this area is doing. I appreciate the creative thinking and may apply it as well to the work I am doing in the city of Chelsea (remotely). Thank you.
I’m fortunate not to be facing the challenges those racing children or in the workforce are facing, and, although I said I could handle confinement indefinitely, it would be very very hard psychologically, and I have much going for me here because others are living near and, as long as we stay 6 feet apart, we can and do see each other. I also don’t like the wording of the question. “Indefinitely” sounds like it could be forever and — with that wording — I may be the only respondent who answers yes. I figured you didn’t really mean forever, but that’s certainly one meaning of :indefinitely..
We need a shelter in place order now!! Baker is too timid to do so. We need action not empty words.
I don’t think solitary exercise is possible for those with children. I don’t believe the economy is going to get much worse.
I feel like I’m on an information rollercoaster. One news source says the government’s reactions are overblown…that most suffering will be due to resulting economic collapses. Another source says we’ll all be dead in a year. MSM shot its own foot with TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome). It politicized reporting and was caught too many times lying or exaggerating. So, just when we need “trusted sources,” we have none. Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio…and Walter Cronkite: “A nation turns its lonely [Covid-19-watered] eyes to you!” for facts.
Thanks for your diligent communication!
Please work on supplying PPE for healthcare workers.
What are you doing about the many businesses and families that will probably go bankrupt?
We’re tracking Italy in our initial response to this pandemic, and its clear people don’t understand the meaning of social distancing and the seriousness of COVID-19 There needs to be more education here. Hopefully we don’t end up in the same boat as the Italians who have a superior healthcare system.
Banks need to stay open at lest for some time.
Stop the madness and just let normal return
I’m finding a difference in how grocery stores, banks, etc handle disinfection. For example, at Whole Foods in the Fenway you are greeted at the door by a person who sprays your cart or basket with Lysol, then inside the clerk disinfects between each customer. I don’r see this happening in Star or other places.
It seems like most people are already essentially following “shelter in place” rules so would be good to make it the official policy to increase participation.
this is causing our business/partnership (Restaurant Group) extreme hardship, which we might not be able to recover from, without a lot of state and or federal aid, also help from landlords and banks,
Husband (lawyer) is working from home, family of three already sheltering in place, leaving house only to walk or bike for exercise, go out once a week for groceries (but looking into delivery option for that). It’s not fun, but it’s what everyone who isn’t doing non-essential work needs to do.
Governments generally have been chasing the virus, doing too little until it’s too late. You cannot titrate your response to a pandemic. It is very important to get in front of the curve. Not just this wave, but the one to follow and the one to follow that. Massachusetts has been doing better than the Federal government and many other places, and only a few places, like Singapore, really get top marks. We really will not see the adequacy of planning until medical facilities begin to be overwhelmed by critically sick people. If Italy is our future – and it more or less has been – we are in for a gruesome ride.
lot of people are still in denial; the world looks the same, there’s no virus visible; “it’s a problem only for other people, for old people.” I’m having difficulty persuading friends and relatives not to keep going out on frequent errands, mask-free, mixing with others.
We would like to see more capabilities of manufacturing PPE right here in the state. How about a manufacturing base in Springfield? This virus might stay here for at least 18 months. And we need to provide better protection for the general public
I’m currently functioning almost at shelter in place except for a few interactions with local grandchildren, but are considering not joining them for Passover seders, even if fewer than 10 as it may be closer than six ft at table, my husband is over 70, and some family will not be our immediate family.
I am concerned that front line healthcare workers are not getting the needed supplies to protect themselves, care of patients, and test those with symptoms. This impacts my confidence that the response to the Covid-19 crisis is inadequate.
I am a physician and our hospitals in Boston, which may have the most resources in the country, are already struggling to keep up with the volume of COVID-19 cases—and this is only the beginning. We need drastic action to flatten the curve and keep us from the brink.
I think we need to help the general public realize this is a new long term reality — at least until a vaccine is available — and won’t just blow over in a few weeks or months. And even if our social restrictions are lifted soon, there is a high chance of a resurgence of the epidemic that would necessitate additional round(s) of social distancing, school closures, etc.
People are not keeping 6 feet apart. There are too many young people in the Back Bay that think covid-19 will not affect them. I am glad the dog spa PAWSH finally closed until April 5. While the hair and nail salons are closed, they had no trouble grooming dogs.
Please help the community and families.
I’m more concerned about the economic fallout from this, which will wreak more havoc than the virus.
Great job, Senator. Thank you for your initiatives.
I am, by far, the exception. I’m a software engineer, and can work anywhere with internet and power. The local restaurant near my home is struggling, and will need to lay people off soon. They have been trying to get through with community support. I have friends that can’t work anymore (catering, tutoring, etc). I think the measures taken were absolutely necessary. I ran some SEIR models, and an R0 reduction of 40% (best estimate based on europe data) will reduce the peak MA hospitalizations by nearly half, and push the peak back about 40 days. The numbers are still staggering, and I hope that they are wrong.
This is not a tenable situation for an extended time. Many people don’t have the work flexibility to always be home or financial depth to be out of work for months. It’s terrible for schools, students and families. The lack of learning is going to negatively impact us for a long time. It will be challenging to catch students up if it continues for more than 1 month. We don’t want everyone to think it’s fine and then have another upsurge if illness though. It’s a hard balance.
This is the problem w the USA! Instead of making rules for the WHOLE country they’re allowing states to decide what to do. If you’re going to make some states go on lockdown may as well have the whole country on lockdown and enforce the same rules everywhere ! This is only going to get worse before it gets better if states don’t change rules soon ?
We cannot trust the public to self-quarantine. I have seen many people congregating together in public spaces. How many people have to die before they realize the selfishness of their actions?
I’m sort of in between advocating for a total lockdown and where we are now.
It’s the protective gear for medical workers, doctors, nurses, etc. and the ventilators/respirators for patients with Covid19 that are most important right now – as well as testing, but I’ve given up thinking that there will ever be enough tests to test everyone.
I work for a nonprofit organization (www.Addgene.org) that distributes important DNA-based materials to academic and industrial scientists. If a “shelter in place” order should go into effect, I would want our lab personnel (working in a controlled, shift-based environment to minimize contact with others) to be allowed to distribute these materials to labs that are dedicating themselves to COVID-19 research. Our mission is to help speed science, which is critical at this time.
Essentially since I am older and retired and therefore in a higher risk group, I am already sheltering in place. Since I have not been out much except to take walks I do not know if others are not currently taking the situation seriously enough. Regardless of whether they are or not, I imagine that the numbers of ill and hospitalized will undoubtedly continue to grow, so i believe that MA should take the hard but necessary steps now. It is a balancing act for sure but Trying to flatten the curve has to be the number one guiding principle regardless of the economic effects. I understand that being retired with an income stream in place makes sheltering in place a lot more palatable to me than many, but I believe that the science behind how NOT to overwhelm our health care system needs to be our guide. I fear, waiting is inadvisable – and will indeed put more strain on hospitals and medical staff who are already experiencing enormous stress. Thank you for conducting the survey.
About a month or two of isolation is pronably all we can manage. By then I hope better knowledge will exist about what is best to do to protect, detect, and treat; that the healthcare system will have worked out kinks and can smoothly handle ill people in volume; that stocks of critical equipment and supplies will have been built up some and more production come online; and that the curve will have been flattened enough to avoid overwhleming healthcare facilities. Then I think we need to let more at-risk groups continue isolation, but let the rest of the population get back to semi-normal.
Additionally, I have displayed major symptoms, but was told by my Dr not to go get tested. There aren’t enough test kits, and I’m low-risk. This leads me to believe the stats showing who has the disease are wildly inaccurate.
We have been dreadfully compromised by LACK of TESTS, and lack of preparedness to support medical community, lack of procedures in place in Dr offices, obstruction by Trump, slowness to action and lack of transparency by governor, Especially REGARDING TESTS! Thank you for your help.
Signs of economic instability started long before the discovery in Wuhan of the first COVID-19 case. Eerily similar to the Great Financial Crisis of ’08, the eco-system of the construction industry and large, reliable companies entering rounds of layoffs were harbingers to an economic downturn. Let us learn from the GFC and allow failure in the United States, particularly in Massachusetts where we have the capacity to recover far more quickly. Let the cruise lines, airlines and behemoth industry players fail – shame on them for squashing small businesses entering their spaces. Let the health insurance industry feel pain – they have created enough for their end users and service providers. Allow hospitals to show the true colors of internal strife, a hierarchy system, an administration so disconnected from their employees it is maddening. And please, for the love of God, let us rid our nation of corrupt players that have not done penance for their man-made destruction – opiod crisis, climate and environmental harm, and sucking our natural resources dry.
I’ve done a lot of reading on how countries that have controlled this well have done it, and we’re doing it all wrong. Shelter-in-place has an enormous economic and mental health cost on our society. We already have one family member in full-time mental health care due to the pandemic because she lost her job which was her livelihood, and her reason to get up in the morning. I’m pretty sure we will have much more mental health problems in my family if this continues with more serious shelter-in-place orders. There are so many Americans already out-of-work (two in our family) due to restaurants and bars closing. America might be short of respirators and ICU beds, but we will also be out of mental health beds and beds in homeless shelters if we continue closing down more businesses. Other countries have some much better at this. We can still do so much more, and not make the millions who aren’t sick now, or won’t get a serious condition from this virus pay in order to protect the 5-15% who might get very sick. Look at these articles” https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-the-hammer-and-the-dance-be9337092b56 https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/21/europe/putin-coronavirus-russia-intl/ Invest our resources in more testing, contact tracing, and quarantines for those positive or in contact with current coronavirus patients. The costs of more businesses is much greater than more containment and enforcement.
I will be working outside the home a few days a week. I don’t know if shelter in place is correct or not.
I’m fortunate not to be facing the challenges those racing children or in the workforce are facing, and, although I said I could handle confinement indefinitely, it would be very very hard psychologically, and I have much going for me here because others are living near and, as long as we stay 6 feet apart, we can and do see each other. I also don’t like the wording of the question. “Indefinitely” sounds like it could be forever and — with that wording — I may be the only respondent who answers yes. I figured you didn’t really mean forever, but that’s certainly one meaning of :indefinitely..
I will be working outside the home a few days a week. I don’t know if shelter in place is correct or not.
I am in the restaurant industry and have had to furlough 100 employees who have no means of support. We need help if we have any hope of weathering this crisis and re-opening our neighborhood restaurants, and our unemployed staff members need help immediately.
We are very worried about the next few months and how we will pay mortgage, health insurance, college tuition, etc. Closed colleges bring college-aged kids home, increasing family expenses, at a time when income for every family member just took a nose dive. Years of college tuition payments have already eroded the fibers of the safety net, along with the health insurance expenses that come with self-employment. Just hoping to weather this storm and still be afloat when it clears.
how is it possible that we still have not locked down when every expert, doctor, model , example, country in crisis tells us that the only chance we have against this plague is to catch it early. it’s already to late for early…. but now you are putting bandaids on a city that needs a cast… restaurants, clubs, small businesses, and everyone who depend on these places for work, for life, musicians, artists … you are giving them all a death sentence by extending this plague. Two weeks they can do. 6 months? a year?? they cannot. it is criminal to not take strict action immediately. Please Help Thank you
Thank you very Much for this Survey
I’m glad the state has been on the leading edge of containment/infection reduction efforts, but it’s concerning that it seems like the governor & other leaders needed the nudge photos of people standing in line outside bars last Sunday to move forward with more drastic measures. Of course this crisis brings to light ways a host of systems (health care, emergency management, unemployment insurance, pandemic preparedness, etc.) were caught spectacularly off-guard, or willfully dismissive of such a global catastrophe, at all levels (local, state, federal). I understand from a cash flow management perspective why hospitals have reduced their stores of PPE – I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I understand. What I find astounding is that there doesn’t seem to be any kind of backup – a state store of supplies, or industry or academia stepping up to offer what they have, or brainstorm a solution. We know a lot of people will get sick & we need our doctors, nurses, technicians, PAs, lab staff, hospital support teams, to be safe while treating these patients. Because if too many of them get sick, or worse, die, we’ll lose a horrifying number of fellow citizens & our self-quarantine/social isolation/physical distancing measures will have to tighten & extend, which will become untenable & unsustainable without discord & unrest.
We are pretty much doing shelter in place as it is. Perhaps it is psychologically good to know we have a little choice in the matter and we’ve done a little drive by shopping to support local businesses (once this week and once last week). I think it will take a little time for the increase in cases due to testing to be offset by the decrease in cases due to the current CDC-based efforts.
I would appreciate it if shelter in place allowed 2 people who are sheltering together to exercise together. I am extremely high risk (cancer patient) and would appreciate my adult daughter, who has moved in to be able to help during our voluntary sheltering-in place, being able to walk outside with me
I see most folks doing the right thing. They are social distances and not going so crazy in the stores. I think the stores have become a social need to get out. I feel for school age children. They miss school. For most students, the want to learn. The schools are working hard to feed those in need. By biggest concern is the disruption in the economy. So many people do live paycheck to paycheck. Those folks lucky to work from home are still securing a paycheck. Those folks working in the stores, restaurants, hotels, etc are suffering and need the money. Very simple:They need the money for food, rent and medicines. I have donated to food banks and find myself tipping in large amounts and yes I do pray for all of us to get to the other side of this virus. Your reaching out is important. I feel someone is concerned and listening. Real leadership when we need it the most.
A real issue for me is the fact that I have to continue paying for daycare throughout this crisis– my daycare, like many others, is claiming these weeks as snow days as still collecting monthly payments. I understand that teachers need to (and should!) be paid and that daycares also have overhead costs to cover during this time. But it’s a financial burden to be paying for a service that isn’t fulfilled, especially as I now do not have the funds to pay a private sitter. Some sort of state financial assistance to daycares so that they can offset the costs to parents working from home with little children would be greatly appreciated.
I pray for the people who are tested positive and wish for fast recovery and hope this ends soon and everything gets normal Jai Hind ??
I would prefer to take a short term economic disruption to help keep us safe. I am still being told to come to work and I am concerned we are not doing enough to prevent community spread through voluntary measures. My coworkers are interacting with each other throughout the day, well within 6 feet of each other. I understand we will lose our incomes if we shut down but it would be for the best.
Please shut it down! Let’s not become the next Italy. The Feds whiffed this one and time is of the essence.
I was out today gardening with a few friends and being very careful to maintain social distancing and do some sanitizing of our tools and such. This feels safe, but I hear that not everyone is taking this seriously which puts us all at risk. This is going to go on for awhile, too bad we don’t have national leadership that’s consistent and compelling and believes in the science and data. This is what happens when we elect a greedy clown for a president. alas.
If you have the potential to give feedback to DPH or Gov. Baker I recommend that as other states have, substitute “physical distancing” of “social distancing”. It identifies specific behavior that can be measured by others and gives weight to how serious this epidemic is.
I could work from home (and so could everyone at my office), but boss is keeping the office open and keeping us coming in until the government orders us to stay home.
Thank you for the survey. Please advocate for a shelter in place before it’s too late.
Daycares have closed down because of Covid. EEC set up emergency childcare. I had volunteered but it’s been set up so badly I will no longer be a parcipiant so no work or pay for now. Still think more strict rules need to be set. People are doing really stupid things. I saw 8 grown ups playing basketball today.
I work in admin at a hospital with a spouse who’s immunocompromised. Worried about infecting him, but told I’m “essential”.
My husband and I are very fortunate. I do worry about my autistic son’s education. But, he can always catch up if needed. Thank you!
Concerned about graduation, the bar exam, and the effect of e-learning. Also work in the entertainment industry and suddenly there are no events, which is an industry overlooked.
Thanks for reaching out Will – appreciate it. Hard really to know how to respond on some of this. We had family FaceTime tonight that included son in LA where they supposedly have shelter in place. He and his spouse mostly at home but went to pretty busy Farmers Market today to buy food but mostly support the vendors. They came home with great oysters from Pacific NW. Hard to know if I should admonish or applaud them. We all agreed that we should not be reckless but can’t avoid every risk. We here are ordering take out 1-2 times per week which I go out to pick up along with trips to grocery when needed. If we get through this, the Belmont Town Day should be an appreciation of first responders and grocery/pharmacy staff. My old lapsed Catholic faith has me recalling that in the end, God’s will be done. In the meantime we try to take care of each other and the vulnerable who count on us. Stay safe and all the best for you and your family.
I tried to explain to the kids playing basketball on my corner courts how pandemics work, how they could transmit even tho not sick, how maybe a tenth the population was already affected but does not know it. They were unimpressed and when they moved on me in a threatening way, I wished them well and left. I wish I had reminded them that the NBA has cancelled, the NCAA has cancelled. Maybe they are smart. They will get sick early, grab the ICU beds, and by the time I fall ill, I will be triaged out.
We need a shelter in place immediately!
We need to shut everything down until these 2 things both happen: 1) we get the number of people requiring medical care under max medical capacity. 2) The number of people requiring medical care has leveled off. Recovery is at the same rate as new severe cases. Then as people get the virus and recover and are immune we should open things up at a rate which allows us to remain just under max medical capacity. We need a large percentage of the population to get the virus, become immune, and recover while at the same time we need to protect at risk populations.
It would seem that even under a “shelter in place” scenario, members of a family unit already living together should be able to go out for walks or exercise together – at least in pairs, rather than solo.
I’m hearing stories of middle and high school kids and young adults still having physical contact with each other and not taking this seriously. If we’re going to sacrifice this much, it has to be worthwhile which means everyone taking this seriously and doing their part to help.
More testing and available tests are needed!
Thanks for everything that you’ve done. None of our previous senators did as much for us as you have. Actually, previous senators were useless.
Please let us know the results of your survey.
we need governor Baker to declare shelter in for 1 week and reassess afterwards before we become another NY…
At a minimum, we need shelter in place for the mostly densely populated counties – Worcester County on East.
Thank you for doing this!
We are no different from China and Italy. Unless we hit a full stop now, we will have the same results- it’s probably too late already. The government needs to get its act together and get critical supplies into the hands of doctors and nurses. Put partisan politics aside and get the job done.
I worry about everyone else, like families with children home that need educating and attention, people who need food, people who need help, people who are sick. I am so lucky. I wish I could help
Gov Baker is weak. Guidelines are not the same as orders! We are still in denial and should be in lockdown. It’s almost too late and we’re not learning from Asia and Europe. Even govt and school mtgs should be suspended -only absolutely necessary meetings via “teleconference” that could be streamed and recorded.
I’d like to know where I could donate federal $ that comes in. Others need this more than I do.
So, so grateful to the healthcare workers…where would we be? We need to shutdown nation wide simultaneously. Southern states are lagging behind, I believe? Are we in a bad movie? Thank you for your concern.
It’s critical to take more restrictive measures now otherwise the number of cases will spire up and will be too late.
Need a shelter in place.
I would agree with closing even more, or all, non-essential businesses. I strongly disagree with closing parks. Riding bikes around Grove St. park in Belmont was really helping to keep my kids and dog happy. Isn’t being outdoors in the fresh air more healthy physically and mentally? I don’t understand why Belmont closed parks. Before the closing, I observed friends and neighbors there doing a great job at keeping a safe distance from each other.
I am at home but partner’s office still open
More needs to be done. I’m an oncologist at dfci. My husband is a software engineer at Facebook. People are out and about too much right now. Shelter in place is needed and should be enforced by the police.
People are not taking this seriously. We need a shelter in place order now. Why waste the huge sacrifice we’re making having kids not attend school if we’re not going to do our best to stop the spread?
Please review what is being done for those who are laid off or furloughed in terms of unemployment and other support. My husband is furloughed indefinitely. At a certain point this will be a hardship on our family.
Control of the spread is of utmost importance and preventative measures must be stringent as it progresses or worsens.
Childcare is by far the hardest part of this for my family. I am fortunate to still be on paternity leave, but when I go back to work in two weeks my wife and I will both be working full-time from home and have to find a way to take care of our five-month-old daughter at the same time. I imagine parents of more, older, and more active children have it even worse. I don’t have a solution for this, but I wanted to raise it as an issue.
With federal payments to citizens based on prior income, those most in need will receive the least, and those least in need will receive the most. This is totally backwards. Massachusetts needs to pick up the slack left by the federal scheme.
Shelter in place now please. Let’s learn from other countries.
I only recently found a job and started 2 weeks ago. I would not be eligible for unemployment and could be laid off. Due to the huge stock market losses, I have limited money and lost a lot of funds I need for retirement.
Pragmatically, I think we should all be prepared to shelter in place for a couple of months. However, the federal government will need to do more to ensure replacement of income for jobs lost in hotels, restaurants, transport, and service industries.
The state needs to act to restrict interactions more and urgently.
The biggest concern I have is about the mental load that this situation places on us all. Human contact is a vital aspect of life. Video calls don’t substitute for being in the same room. The economics obviously can hurt, particularly the most vulnerable. I am in a privileged circumstance and I know others will need more direct aid. There are also ‘pipeline’ issues. We don’t have a problem with food supply for now, but I can see that changing, possibly rapidly.
Please advocate for a statewide shelter in place, too many folks are not taking this seriously. Thank you.
I am more fortunate than many but I worry about people with families and unable to bring in their usual salaries. Many struggle with obtaining he bare necessities and I know a few who are unemployed while struggling with college tuitions while their children sit at a home sharing a computer trying to get a college education.
Hi, Will, You might also ask how people’s health is and how many think they should be tested, in self imposed preventive quarantine, or in self imposed quarantine bec they possibly have it, since no one else is keeping track. We’re fine so far. Son in LA seems to have a mild case, but mild (so far) breathing issues, maybe bec he has asthma. No testing, so we won’t know. I’m sending you an email that is amazing about how to stop this pandemic/flatten the curve. Going to start making masks for nurses–in the USA, MA, year 2020. Can you believe it? Can you get Bill Gates to lead a systems upgrade and get this country moving? BR
I think we need to watch the number of new cases and be prepared to be more aggressive very quickly if they go up, hard to tell what the trend is right now. Also very concerned with the lack of testing. We are flying blind. The only strategy that will work over the longer term involves testing on a massive scale.
While I work well from remote, my wife is a classical musician, and her entire season is gone. Just like other businesses, I am concerned about arts groups and music in particular getting hit hard. When the federal dole money fires up, I hope arts groups are remembered too. My other observation: Boston is in a building boom of high density housing. Hard to socially distance when packed in like sardines. The pandemic is a good reason to rethink this unbridled rush into a morass of overly dense housing.
If the virus gets more widespread in MA I would favor shelter in place. I have been self-isolating for one week and will continue to do so until I see where things are going.
I think walking with a housemate is fine as long as you’re both being safe
I am originally from Italy and my family is there, I think we need to take the same restrictions applied there to be safe and not be affected for the next year or so.
I am a chaplain at a hospital, so I will still be “essential” and needed at my hospital no matter what. I feel the impact everywhere. I also have several immediate family members who live out state, have been exposed, and have been quarantined (I have not seen them in person!).
It’s necessary for citizens/voters within the district to follow the safety instructions/directions provided by both the Medical Professionals and Elected Officials.
My financial security depends upon the status of schools. Both my wife and I work in public high schools. Were we to stop getting paid, we could last 3-4 months before struggling with bills.
If only our well known citizens, like tRUMP and Dr. Rand Paul would obey the rules for the good of the world. Paul spent his usual time at the gym only to find out he was tested positive. He is ignorant and selfish!
I need to buy perishables but don’t need much else. My dog is well stocked. This is a war and that means all hands on deck to help. My wife is in a nursing home and hopefully secure. Some people don’t think this is real until they get sick. People worry about missiles and nukes but a virus may do more damage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m 75
The number of people infected has tripled since last week. I wish we would have a shelter-in-place to prevent further infections.
I’m worried about essential service workers, such as cashiers, who interact at close range with people all day. We could see a growing divide between those who can stay home and those who cannot. The federal government has shredded the safety net so people keep working. $1200 is not going to solve that problem. I support freezing evictions and foreclosures. Thx for asking.
I feel that most people are acting responsibly although grocery shopping can make me feel uncertain about my risks near other shoppers.
People in my town are adhering to the rules in general but I think it will be hard in the long term. I don’t feel like they understand how serious this is. I would like to see more energy devoted to problem solving and less to sniping at Gov. Baker. And I am a Democrat!
Senator Will, I am grateful for your announcements and for seeking our responses. You are right there on the front lines and so conscious of your constituents. Thank you!
Thanks for your good work and your attention.
We should be able to learn from the mistakes of others. Otherwise, we will be the next Italy; or worse. We’ll see the consequences of today within 15 to 45 days. By the time things get really ugly, we’ll be around 45 days late already. PLEASE, do take decisive and urgent action. We are very late already.
Completely closing off athletic fields is going too far. The are games that can be played without people breathing on each other – baseball for example. That reflects an authoritarian state idea of don’t ever trust anyone to do the right thing.
I am a biologist working at a pharmaceutical company. While I don’t want a lockdown, and feel that we need to be able to buy groceries and food in order for everyone to feed themselves and not waste valuable resources in that arena, the least number of times that you set foot off of your property or have anything delivered to your property is the best way to protect yourselves.
We need to do everything we can to stop the spread of this virus. People are still gathering and playing basketball. Not everyone is taking it seriously. We also need to make sure the hospitals have enough PPE, ventilators, and other equipment.
It has taken me a long time to appreciate the seriousness of the situation. I am sure that many other folks are similar or even more skeptical or cavalier in their thoughts about the virus. OTOH, I have friends who are very, very careful about avoiding contact. I have a dog so I always get outside at least a couple of times a day.
1. I think the gov’t needs to get a lot more prescriptive with businesses like grocery stores: Every one of them needs to do home deliveries now and stop the in-store shopping. Hire drivers and call centers/email ordering, get it done. 2. I think the Governor needs to lean in on the Congressional and Administration to force the Banks and Credit Card issuers to reduce their credit card interest rates down to 2-3% during the remainder of the emergency. The people are going to be leaning on credit cards to get through this time period and those card issuers need to stop what should be illegal 18% interest rates in ANY time period, and certainly now. Thanks Will, all best.
My spouse is a medical practitioner at a major rehab hospital. For the time being we feel financially secure. It is impossible to know what will happen 3-6 months out.
I think that Gov. Baker has been transparent and realistic in his actions and presentations so far.
The biggest problem is how few actively practice social distancing. Its not just the young. I think many people do not understand the seriousness of this. And for good reason – we haven’t been told why this is any different from other influenzas. That this virus was developed as a bioweapon that we would not have immunity to, due to the sourcing animals.
Given the huge unknowns due to limited testing, my answer to Q.1 was based on a hunch, which may be good enough for our President, but makes me uncomfortable
This is a serious situation and I understand all the closings
I am so concerned that much of this could have been lessened had trump not denied the seriousness of this for so long. It makes this so much worse.
We should help with programs that address the challenges of those who have trouble sheltering at home, rather than keeping things open. (I do think we should be able to walk outside – just not gather)
Is the current shut down working? Is there anything positive that can be promoted instead of the steady stream of awful news? I find some comfort that with so many tests being done only approx 10% come back positive.
My concern for myself is largely for my mental health. Being alone and seeing nobody in person has taken a toll. I’m also looking for ways to financially support the community.
I had symptoms last week. My doctor told me to go to the ER if I can’t breathe. That didn’t happen. So I recovered. The lack of tests is unforgivable. Why are only celebrities and senators getting tested??
Very much appreciate your devotion to the community and to inmates
Warmer weather will bring out people in droves to parks
Better to be over cautious then under cautious.
Unnecessary panic! Charlie baker has it right, one day at a time!
I still have a job and I’m working from home. We’re fortunate to have been able to save enough in our emerge fund for 4 to 6 months, but I’m really worried that the vast majority of the less fortunate will be devestated. I’m also afraid that most of the small businesses and restaurants in my area won’t survive.
We are a small business owner. Our suppliers just shut down in NJ And PA. We have customers without kitchens. It’s going to be tough for them. We have resources and can borrow money to survive but it’s going to be tough to catch up. Tough situation but we will do what we have to to be safe and survive. Tough times. Good luck and be safe.
There are many workers in jeopardy. Direct service workers beyond healthcare at low wages doing critical jobs in residential care. Their kids are out of school too and no one is talking about those workers. And they make little money. Less than living wage.
The death rate is not nearly what the Spanish Flu was and yet the world managed then…with less resources, less medical knowledge and probably less hospitals than exist in 2020. Perhaps it is nature’s way of reducing global warming. So be it.
The Mid Town area of Boston the buffer area between major points of Boston joining , between South End ,Roxbury , Fenway by Symphony Hall green line stop and Mass Ave orange line stop , has lost the majority of the the student population to evacuate in the origination and co-operation of the state and cities need to protect lives with the information needed for faster than expected success of responsive and responsible University and Educators needs met by the State of Massachusetts , that same need of support to educate local business serving the public at their personal sacrifice to serve the needs of needs of the citizens of MA and remaining students , could further their own ability to help more safely in service and extension of citizens needs and safety be more than encouraged to save more lives by making quick masks or bring bandanna or other similar natural material , to use with gloves if latex not available then thicker type rubber construction grip type electrical or garden is in stock in many areas and will work with smart phones touch screen in emergencies again , your impound lots for vehicles for auction are easy to clean to medical sanitary needs and can be fast addition to testing to the citizens of MA on major streets to work in tandem with hospitals , EMTs to maintain faster containment of virus , all , testing for product design companies and engineer companies and engineering students with emphasis of mock design of everyday materials and MIT engineers with robotic and hydronic with the fastest way to agree to less complicated hospital respirators for life threatening loss of life , inhalers of approved types should help with the mobile testing and more time to life of MA citizen and those serving non stop ,thank you , if you need me , you can email me 24/7 to get our state through this together
The answer “I would experience real hardship immediately.” is because I need to walk and clear brush in a local forest to keep pain free (it is volunteer labor). Walking up/down hills, pulling roots, sawing down invasive trees and bushes, crawling, and bending stabilizes my torn meniscus and keeps my hip joint from popping out due to scoliosis. Just a day missed from doing this and the pain starts; 3 days missed and the hip pops out and it is very painful. I need 5-6 weeks of phy. therp. to pop it back in.
Thank you! Boggles my mind how dense people are being about this public health emergency. I go outside to walk my dog and constantly have to jump out of the way on sidewalks where so many people are clueless or in denial about maintaining distance. Also, property managers need guidelines to keep we renters safe. And I would like to see Massachusetts tax filing day pushed to July like the federal.
Thank you for reaching out for the community input. I hope that lawmakers are considering ways to assist small business and renters.
Thanks for all the detailed updates.
We need to take more serious measures if we don’t want to be Milan. May be too late honestly. Thank you for putting this out there.
I think the sooner we shutdown, the sooner we will be able to get back to our normal lives. We shouldn’t keep delaying actions and spreading this killing virus. Thank you, we feel heard.
I am simply waiting. With such inadequate testing we have no idea whether in the next weeks we will see 10, 100, 1000, or 10,000 serious cases. When we have some facts, then I have some confidence the state government will do something sensible. I do not believe anything the president says until after hearing the results of careful fact-checking.
I currently work from home but if there was a shelter in place longer than a few weeks I might be laid off
Very upset our schools are not pursuing real online learning – are not teaching any new material (per DESE it was written). Abysmal when so many other schools are able to do it!
Thank you for doing this.
Good idea, this survey. Quality data, especially test data, is in short supply.
Thank you for doing this.
It is outrageous and dangerous that we do not have enough test kits, masks, and protective gear. This will kill many people.
I live along the Charles Greenway and I see people regularly gathering in groups. I’m concerned that not enough people are taking the pandemic seriously.
Thanks for keeping in touch and continuing to provide us with updates
Thank you. ??
It is a strange time to have no faith in one’s federal government. I literally feel that I cannot trust a single word about this pandemic from our President. I have more faith in Governor Baker now, but in the beginning it felt as if he was scrambling for the right words, and wasn’t being as forthcoming as needed. I have much more faith in our local governments (my own city officials) in terms of telling the truth about the levels of illness, the numbers of deaths, and about what is to come. In terms of sheltering in place: if the evidence is clear that less contact with others is the right thing to do, then let’s do it.
Thank you Will for asking these questions. I hope that a very large group will answer.
I hope we don’t need to remain indoors under a shelter in place or lockdown order. It helps me navigate these times when I am able to go out for a walk, most often with my husband. If that is not permitted for a while, I guess I would have to say “so be it” and hope it doesn’t last too long.
I am a healthcare worker and essential personnel.
Those I know, mostly retirees well over 65, are basically sheltering in place now. The greatest problems have been those posed by hoarders who leave the shelves bare necessitating more trips out to the grocery store than ideal.
Please—shelter in place now. Let’s end this thing!
I think we need to be doing more to beef up and support the medical community. Maybe that means just buying PPE and other supplies for them but whatever.
I just don’t know if this is overkill or less than thorough. This is going to affect so many people economically, our current response might be devastating to many more people than the number affected by the virus.
Please advocate for the closure of construction sites. Jobsites are not easily disinfected. Workers are constantly sharing tools/equipment while working in close quarters (less than 6ft). Additionally, hand washing is only available at the porta-pottys outside. Please help tradesmen and tradeswomen proctect their loved ones. Thank you.
Please prioritize saving lives over anything else, but don’t let us delaying the inevitable make a shelter in place ruin the upcoming holiday of Passover. Besides which, if we need a shelter in place order, we need it before it gets bad. If we don’t need it, then we just don’t need it. But regardless, I’m honestly doubtful that it will actually help more than social distancing. My understanding is that once Hubei was put under lockdown, people tried to escape, and that’s how it spread throughout China faster.
I hope our elected representatives do everything that they can to ensure the below: – our democratic process is not endangered – available state and federal money are not prioritized for corps. above small, local business – utilize this crisis to create needed changes in our society – e.g. increase the safety net, offer single payer health care option, etc. Thanks for your advocacy.
My understand is that the only way to stop the spread is to keep physically separate and that restrictions will have to stay in place until a vaccine is developed or until it is known that people have had covid-19 can no longer infect others.
I am a single, 64 year old woman who receives SSDI and works 4 different jobs in order to earn as close to the $1260 limit I am currently permitted to earn while working and receiving SSDI benefits. All of my jobs have been frozen due to the Corona Virus. I have no paid sick or vacation time and am planning to apply for Unemployment Benefits tomorrow. I work for the Watertown Public Schools in their Extended Day Program, M-W, do Per Diem Work as at Substitute Teaching Assistant @ Perkins School for the Blind and work for two corporate chair massage companies in the Gig Economy. If I am very careful, I can pay my bills for about 3 months. After that it will get dicey but I do have a 0% credit card that runs through June, 2021. A few friends who are aware of my situation have offered to lend me money but I would prefer not to do this and will probably resort to the 0% credit card that does have a balance already. I don’t have reliable family nearby. I am in good health so far and consider myself to be very lucky compared to others. I hope that the virus will be under control during the next 2 -3 months and that I can go back to work again. Thank you!
Public schools need to be teaching. Reviewing old material doesn’t cut it. I understand the Special Ed issue, but this is a State of Emergency and in special circumstances like this the state can and should do what is right for the 98%. Private and parochial schools in MA and public schools in other states are teaching material daily. I urge you to contact the Education Commissioner and demand teaching for students in your district. We all know that is likely to go through June at least. We are not just talking about 3 weeks.
I feel a state lock down is necessary. First teens are finding ways to gather and some parents aren’t taking this seriously; the teens aren’t because I have repeatedly heard “this doesn’t affect young people. I’m healthy!” People are fleeing to Portland, ME; Cape Cod; Nantucket; NJ shore racing through super markets to stock pile and not leaving enough for the year around residents when stores are not yet prepared for the summer influx. Worse the hospitals are not equipped to handle the influx should there be a break out. Every person that leaves their home town creates the multiplier effect. If we are going to stop this virus from spreading we need to stay put except for emergency personnel. Think about it: someone gets sick, they put strain on the pharmacy, or the end up at the hospital making it more difficult to treat residents vs summer people. And, if they die, are funeral homes equipped to transfer bodies ‘back home’ when there may be many people who may die from this? Not everyone is amenable to cremation. Thank you!
If you’re going to make people shelter in place than close EVERYTHING! Even the grocery stores. I have friends that are “sheltering” and preaching to other people and yet they go to the grocery store or Costco everyday to buy more food. One check out person said over 200 people pass through her cash register. Multiply that by 8 or 10 check out lines! Bring in the National Guard to distribute food and then I’ll think you are being serious.
Hi Senator Brownsberger, thank you for checking in. I live in Watertown but used to live in Cambridge. City of Cambridge sends out almost daily emails with updates on Covid19. City of Watertown has done nothing as far as i know. Not looking good for Watertown to be so lax. Whom would i contact about this?
Belmont Helps has been working hard, and our first delivery of groceries and meals was to someone in Watertown. We now have over 180 volunteers. Share these resources and add this to your outreach to the town. Volunteer or get help: http://Tinyurl.com/bmpghelps/ Belmont Covid19 Resource Guide: https://tinyurl.com/fasthelpbelmont/ Support local Covid19 needs: https://www.gofundme.com/manage/belmont-helps
I live in Needham, but my workplace is in Boston – 02116.
If you have figured out who I am, please do not identify me publicly, as the a respondent.
The questions do not address the complexities of the pandemic. The questionnaire does not ask whether or not the state and federal government are doing enough to reduce fears. Government officials have not made any connection between sheltering in place, testing, and long-term strategies for how public health and care plans will reduce spread of the virus next fall and winter. Federal and state governments have not been clear about the appropriate length of time needed for voluntary sheltering in place. Health insurers are not being required to provide very clear and consistent ways of providing equitable care for elders and persons with disabilities. Manufacturers are not being required to shift priorities to meet demand for PPE by medical professionals. Labs are not being required to make testing kits available to health plans and hospitals. No laws have been passed to prevent gouging or stockpiling of medical supplies. The state government is not saying anything that offsets the instability and inconsistency of messaging at the federal level. While it is important to develop a strategy to assist small business owners will be hardest hit by the economic outfall of the pandemic, nothing is being said about how reducing the impact or spread for people who are chronically homeless, mentally ill or dealing with SUD. Every weeknight at 8 PM the governor should do a 30 minute update. The update should include responses to questions addressed to DPH, MassHealth and the statehouse. It should include immediate plans, potential next steps and actions already being taken. All these news conferences do nothing but add to the chaos. Consistent daily updates would be far more helpful.
I am a physician
I knew Will when we were living in Belmont.
I have observed people not practicing social distancing – playing basketball on a court, partying — mostly young persons. There seems to be an impression among the young (less than 30yr?) that they are immune to the virus. Also… in many of the groceries, Targets, pharmacies, etc the aisles are too narrow to easily ensure 6ft of distance between individuals. Also also, how do we get people to _stop_ hoarding? I am guessing you are looking into the financial aspects of shelter in place. There needs to be some level of financial relief for those not able to work. …and those without health insurance. On the housing situation – I understand that the housing courts are delaying some evictions. I appreciate that we do not at this time want to add more people to the homeless ranks. However, one cannot ask landlords to not collect rents if the banks are not deferring mortgage payments.
I am 73 yo man living alone in an apartment with no outside patio (terrace) etc. I am extremely fearful of getting sick and having no caregiver available whether quarantined for 14 days or physically ill with Covid 19 or some other illness. My friends are in the same age group and not in a position to care for me. I have no relatives available to help me. I have no idea what government services are available. Or private for that matter (assuming I could afford it).
International student. I’m worried about having on-campus income. It’s difficult for us to not have that and afford the cost of living of the city.
Small businesses must already be about ready to go belly up – – hair & nail salons, small restaurants, household workers etc. etc. with current measures. PRESS the Federal government to show up for ALL Medical equipment, including making available masks and sanitizers for citizens. Tks Will for setting the pace with sharing your own social distancing behavior early on as an example that we’ve taken seriously. B.
I’d be okay if student loan payments were haulted (or forgiven). Thanks, Senator!
Really disappointed in some of my neighbors and family who do not seem to understand what is happening and are continuing wide contact with others
Finally I think the Tax Day for 1040 moved to 7/15, but no one tells me if State of MA goes along with it. Without the completion of 1040, we cannot complete the Tax Form for DOR in MA!
A priority needs to be testing. I know that the hospitals need all the help in the world, but we need to get reliable data, since the other states and the federal government have dropped the ball. Pitch the governor on this as a good management idea, data-driven, etc.
I am a nurse at Beth Israel Lahey in Boston. We need to go into lockdown immediately until we have enough PPE (personal protective equipment)for healthcare workers and are able to test everyone that needs to be tested. We currently have many patients that need COVID testing but we are not able to test due to national shortages of kits and swabs. At Beth Israel we keep a list of people needing tests. We tell patients it may be at least a week before they can get the test. Others we say that you may have COVID-19 but we can’t test you even though they should be tested. This is inexcusable. The number of cases in MA are significantly lower than what is being reported. We are not able to test everyone that needs to be tested, we are not able to protect healthcare workers (national shortages of N95 face masks, face shields), we have national shortages in nasal swabs, and medications that may be effective in treating COVID patients. This is dangerous. This is a disaster waiting to unfold and blossom out of control. We need lockdown NOW to slow the curve, get adequate testing, and get healthcare workers adequate supplies of PPE. We are at a crucial time in which our decisions now will make all the difference in preventing a disaster. I am frightened for my nurse colleagues and I’m frightened for my family. Thank you for all you are doing to reach out to the community.
Thank you for thinking in us. God blessing
Definitely concerned about the economic impacts, especially if this continues for up to 18 months. I think measures to help employees and small businesses affected by this situation are necessary — and we also need to consider arts organizations and musicians, which have been mostly left out of the conversation so far.
I am highly concerned about the disorganization of the MDPH and their complete unwillingness to make unpopular decisions, or share accurate information about the next steps
While my family is privileged to be in good position (financially at least) to survive an extended shelter in place order I am aware that we are in a distinct minority and I am very concerned for the future prospects for food service, retail and manufacturing workers.
Worried about shortages of masks, Purell, expised EMTs, inadequate testing & hospital resources& triage that would condemn the vulnerable elderly.
I believe we would benefit from the strategy used by South Korea which relied heavily in testing and tracing. Unfortunately, we do not seem to have the testing capability.
We’ve got it relatively easy; retired, have enough $$ stashed away, can get to Whole Foods occasionally for groceries. Zoom and faceTime are filling some of the social interaction gaps.
Will: Trump has taken over the airways, now on for hours and monopolizing every news outlet. The Democrats should demand EQUAL AIR TIME, as the nightmare (ie the Trump virus) just gets worse. Also, his completely inappropriate outburst is a perfect example of early dementia; I know this because it happened to a close family member and I watched the same behavior. That’s why it is so dumbfounding, it’s not normal nor within normal range, when it’s that absurd, it indicates a mental disorder. And no, I’m not a clinician, I just lived through it. Our legislators and the press ought to be focusing on this; it’s dangerous.
The worst part is the uncertainties and that the kids don’t have school. I hope we can get them back to school in April.
My husband is still working outside the home. His job does not allow for work from home so we could get by a short period with Vacation
I work at a hospital, so have to go to work. I have seen a lot of people playing basketball in the parks… otherwise, people seem to be getting it. Thank you for all your hard work!
Thank you for collecting data on this.
I am a defense contractor; my company has work that can be performed remotely for most of the rest of this year. Things could get difficult if we don’t get funding increments or the contracts we are currently negotiating with the DoD don’t come through. I am most concerned about people who’ve lost jobs, are hourly, etc. I think training as many people to support groceries, pharmacies, provide services to healthcare settings, would help – but supplies and PPE are desperately needed.
This is what I’m worried about. If both my wife and I lose our jobs how do we come up with the following for our family: $1600+/mo family health insurance $1100/mo house, auto, term life insurance $1700/mo mortgage and taxes $800/mo utilities $300/mo healthcare out of pocket $1700/mo food and household supplies (all set on these for the next month) That $7200/month is not including anything extra like clothes, gas, car and house repairs, etc. We have an old house that needs repairs. I have a 10 year old care on its last legs, my wife’s is not far behind. We haven’t taken the family on vacation in two years. We’re not an extravagant family but have little savings from numerous layoffs over the last decade. The economy and job loss is my biggest fear.
I think the balance has been pretty good so far. It’s unfortunate that some people have been slow to respect social distancing and other measures but it’s unclear how the government would effectively stop those behaviors. I do think that it is *critical* that businesses be given some kind of timeframe for when things will be opened up and how or the economy will be destroyed. As someone out on disability leave and a LOT of immunosupressants, I know I will be self quarantining for a quite a while but most of society needs to have a path to return to business. Thanks for your efforts!
We are ordering some of our groceries for pickup and we have visited grocery stores. That is our only outing for the past week.
Increase social distancing practices and implement mandatory paid sick leave. Increase drive through testing and work to have titer testing to help health care worker and those who have contAct with high risk individuals know if they are sick/immune
Thank you. Stay well.
I work in higher ed, managing online programs. So not terribly much has changed for me work wise. I’m grateful for that.
My adult daughter (who lives with me) has severe asthma. I take HUGE precautions. I walked the dog today and there were several people congregating together in the Boston Common. Also images of the kids in Florida on spring break – This makes me feel SICK. I feel I can lose my mother AND my daughter because others are acting irresponsibly. If people are this stupid, then let’s have a shelter in place others, before I lose all my loved ones.
Too many people are still getting too close to others in stores and sidewalks. People aren’t taking this seriously
Our current national leadership in this crisis is being provided by Anthony Faucci and Andrew Cuomo. In reviewing the reports and statistics from China, Italy, and the U.S., one can see that “social distancing” is insufficient to end this pandemic. The world and US economies have already taken a huge hit from our unsuccessful social-distancing efforts to contain the pandemic. One is left to wonder if there is any solution to this problem that can both reduce risk for our vulnerable populations and reduce damage to the economy. Can we develop an antibody test to show who has already recovered from COVID-19 and can we determine if long-term immunity is conferred by exposure? If so, could we let those who have the antibodies and are no longer shedding virus to return to the workforce? Could we move the vulnerable people (those ages 70+ and those with specified underlying health conditions) to quarantine locations with live-in staff until either 1. we develop a vaccine, or 2. the rest of the population–the younger folks with much lower risk–develop a herd immunity that will result in a far lower risk of exposure for the more vulnerable people? If this were possible, then–perhaps–we could protect both the health of our population and the economy (and, accordingly, the ability of our people to work and afford to care for themselves). Perhaps moving older and frail people to quarantine locations would present too big a risk of harming them, either physically or emotionally. Perhaps the idea is not consistent with the American way of life.
I need to get outside and walk or be in the garden I have no contact with others but fresh air is essential.
If we really want to flat the curve we need to shutdown completely for at least 2-3weeks.
Very concerned there’s a panic driven run on food NOW. Can’t get delivery from any major supermarkets, forced to unsafely shop in person, many shelves empty.
Wife works in high tech and is working remotely. Son lives at home and works for biotech in cambridge. His company has not even addressed the pandemic. Take the T, work from the office as usual to get paid.
Hi Will: I hope you and your family are well…And I really feel that we should shelter in place until the rate of infection declines precipitously. We have a lot of vulnerable folks who will really suffer if infected and never mind our health care professionals!
I feel the stricter we are now, the better the outcome economically and for public health. More lives saved. Thank you.
I know COVID-19 is a serious concern. I wish everyone took this problem seriously. We are trying to be cautious and careful. We hope we can continue to be cautious and safe in the foreseeable future. I am concerned with the mixed messages I get from Washington DC. I am losing confidence in the information coming from Washington DC
What a difficult situation. My heart goes out to hotel and restaurant workers, retail, barbers and hairdressers, etc.
The cautious are not getting through. People are making misinformed or uninformed choices and looking to government shut downs. Sadly they need to be treated like children.
If our president was more trueful it would be nice. He is such an instigator of negativity!
My husband & I are both very lucky in that we are able to work from home. We do feel that our 8 yr old son is certainly not having the educational experience that would be optimal for him, since we’re both working a lot of the time.
I really appreciate you reaching out with your emails. To be honest, I didn’t know who you were prior to this, but you’ve provided valuable information and a connection that I think is needed during this stressful time. Thank you!
I believe that Governor Baker should issue a “shelter in place” order immediately – Massachusetts isn’t doing enough to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, and clearly after what happened on St Patricks’ Day in Boston we need to have stronger government action or people will continue to ignore guidelines.
I think we could be doing more to protect health care workers and other essential workers like delivery drivers and grocery store works. I also worry about the lack of PPE for our health care workers in particular. I also think we as a state need to be more proactive in testing for corona in these essential worker populations. Thanks for your outreach!
The lack of testing and collection of PPE by Baker is unacceptable and embarrassing, especially compared to NY. The legislature needs to act to provide funding and flexibility to municipalities and prevent evictions and foreclosures. MA is supposed to be a national leader and we are failing.
I am very concerned about the short and long term economic impact of all of this. I’m also very concerned that this will impact the primaries and then the general election, leading to possibly very bad situations.
Thank you for all you do for the district, Will. These are very trying times and your leadership is appreciated!
My wife and I are fortunate to be young and in good health. People are still making unnecessary trips to the store for no reason, and I see many people walking with other people (who are not likely related to each other) on the river path whenever I go to get some fresh air.
Would I ever have dreamed of first worrying about a child and family exposed in Spain and Italy and currently in lockdown in Europe; and now additionally, the realization I probably will not see my Mother alive again given her emergency ICU hospitalization ten days ago in PA’s hotbed country? (no visitors) Surreal for sure.
Please limit all activity except outdoor activities. We need to be able to take family walks with small kids. Please.
I feel we are doing enough if everyone follows social distancing. This isn’t happening everywhere. There are gatherings in playgrounds which opens children up to exposure. I’ve walked past houses where there are clearly parties going on. It’s hard for young people, but as a senior citizen, this concerns me.
I live alone and work alone but am dependent on public transit to get from one to the other. My risk of exposure is low (except for the T) but underlying health issues make my risk for severity high. So I can’t risk it. There is no unemployment for self employed. Or any other supporr for that matter.
Some concerns are getting to an elderly parent in CT in an emergency; walking alone in the area and being mugged; increase in vandalism and theft in the neighborhood; increase in delinquent youth behavior
My work is luckily paying me and maintaining my benefits even though I can work at the moment. However, we need to implement a widespread social safety net of health care, economic support, and rent/mortgage freezes now to help those in MA less fortunate than me. This is an unprecedented crisis that requires unprecedented action.
It doesn’t seem like our government has done almost anything to prepare for situations like this. As a result, we’ve ended up with a bunch of inconsistent and ludicrous policies, as mentioned in my responses above/below. MA Covid-19 Response, so far: The balance is messed up. The MBTA is open, yet I can’t walk through a town park or the cemetery (closed with Police-Take-Notice signs). Nobody likes to see the impact on the Italian health care system, but we can’t shut down the economy this way. It’s been hard to reach a point of effective hygiene, which is frustrating. Wearing gloves on the MBTA, in grocery stores, etc. perhaps needs to be the norm, not the the exception. In the meantime, the impact on the economy (lost jobs and spending) is way too huge. It’s great that schools are doing some on-line “enrichment,” but it’s ludicrous that it’s optional, and not covering new material. I get the concern about “equity” and that we’re “following the guidelines set forth by the state,” with respect to new material, but what a backwards decision to shut down learning for everyone. Equity could be provided by having a limited number of students attend school, while most students work with Google classroom and their iPads. I’m sure there are other reasonable solutions. Shelter in Place This definition of shelter in place is a bit heavy handed. Why only solitary exercise? How about a family (normally cooped up in the house anyway) getting some exercise together? Camping? Hiking? Cycling? Once again, the MBTA, grocery stores, etc. are much higher risks for transmission. Work Situation My company has forced me (and almost all employees) to work from home 100%. This adds to my workload, with respect to managing other who work for me. At some point, I imagine lay-offs, despite messages from management. Much of our work cannot be done from home.
We desperately need to freeze rents/mortgages/utls and give people stipends to cover their necessary expenses, especially those who previously worked jobs that don’t qualify for unemployment benefits. Even for those qualifying for unemployment, we have no idea how long this pandemic will last or if their benefits will be sufficient to cover the prolonged period of lost wages. It is also concerning to me to hear that some people are not taking this seriously and continue to congregate in large groups, go out to bars/restaurants, without taking any proper precautions. Equally concerning is the amount of misinformation out there, including statements made by Trump and his staff, endangering our safety, increasing racist attacks on Asians, and making it even more difficult for health care professionals to do their jobs. Even more worrisome is the lack of testing, without proper screening tests set up at every hospital/airport/major public transit hub, how can we possibly hope to contain the spread of this virus when those who don’t exhibit any symptoms can still be carriers/contagious?
I am part of the professional staff that work in Harvard’s Central Administration. I am fine for now, but if I run out of work and the endowment loses too much money, I’m very concerned that I could lose my job.
Needs to be locked down, my wife is an icu nurse attending covid patients at umass memorial and they have been reusing masks for a while now. It’s getting out of control there. I’m gathering them from friends and friends of friends for her to bring to work. I’ve a well paying job but my companies owners discourage people staying home – they are worried their unemployment taxes will go up. Can’t imagine what pressure a lower wage earner is feeling right now-they need to be home w some kind of financial help.
so grateful for all the precautions I see or don’t see people taking and the sacrifices of grocery store workers!
I live alone and work alone but am dependent on public transit to get from one place to the other. Work cannot be done at home. If I had any way of getting from one to the other, I could continue to work. My risk of exposure is low but underlying health issues mean I would be at risk for severe complications so cannot risk it.
I lived in Watertown for several years before recently moving to the North Shore. I still work in Watertown and commute there typically 4 days a week.
What’s our exit strategy from this situation? Do we wait for a vaccine or development of herd immunity?
Thanks for taking the pulse of the community. Would love some insights in the hardships many folks might be imminently facing.
Appreciate the constant updates and hope we can turn this around.
Those who are blessed with having enough, living in a nice single home with yard, access to internet. Amazon, Netflix, and with enough devices for family members, are probably all set. They can certainly weather, entertain and even educate their kids. Those of more modest means, or more environmentally conscious who live small spaces, have not access to health care, jobs, savings, and are now surrounded with multiple neighbors they can’t so easily distance themselves from, let their kids get some fresh air, or maybe even afford much food or internet at home are headed to world of hurt. Everything that our country stands for is upside down. What is state of MA doing right now to help such families? Is there any thought about at least providing kids with some free internet and devices? Internet is a right now a lifeline that can keep sanity, educate, and even save lives. Is there any action to help lessen the cabin fever where many will not be able to sit this out as long as necessary without some help? Where are pamphlets to explain what is happening? Why is everything still so decentralized? In many countries business are stepping up and offering this help, including free internet for kids. Here in MA, 3rd richest state in the US, I only hear crickets. As a matter of fact Comcast just upped my price without any prior warning or communication. This is such a infuriating cliche and so appropriate in an environment where “anyone for themselves and everything for sale”. We will not survive if we fail to grasp, quickly, that life and rules as we know it, are going right out of window as we speak. All hands need to be on deck including multi billions businesses. There might not be as many customers after all of this is over. Those who are adaptable will have a chance to survive. I will not hide my disappointment with complete lack of preparedness, that will sadly cost us many innocent lives, and lead us to future civil unrest. May God help us if that is our trajectory with this string of failures and dysfunction in many levels of our government. Everyone is hoarding because everyone knows by what cruel rules we play around here, and there is no trust. Seems like we are civilization in a free fall, without enough unity, brains, or even basic supplies.
My husband started working from home this week, and it’s going well. We are only leaving the house for groceries, walks, and any pharmacy or medical needs.
Our current situation is in a state of flux, influenced in part by Federal decisions. Being ready to pivot or change policy within a day is essential, as is cooperation between local and state officials. Communication to all citizens is critical. Thank you for keeping on this.
I’m incredibly worried about shelter in place but at the same time I feel it needs to happen. People are still taking stupid risks. I’m ok for a month. My business (chiropractor) may fail if it’s longer.
Please make smart decisions, please help those who are in financial need and please make testing more widely available
You should read the article “Why telling people they don’t need masks backfired” by Dr. Zeynep Tufekei a professor of information science that was published in the March 17 issue of the New York Times. I am a PhD physical chemist and it is the best article I have read yet about protective measures for households. It links to reference a 20 page study funded in part by the CDC published in the Annals of Internal Medicine 2009 page 437. The Boston Globe has recently changed their advice and is now recommending masks.
Should be using all of the idle university space …. including dorms.. for hospital over-flow, infected homeless etc. Should determine very quickly if folks who have recovered from the illness are immune and no longer communicable… and ( if that is the case) enlist them to assist in the health care system or in other essential services.
1. We really need to follow the examples of NY, CT, NJ, PA, CA, others and be even more stringent to get a handle on this. 2. WHY don’t we have more available testing????!!!!
Unemployment assistance does not extend to those who are self-employed – so who is going to help us? We don’t qualify and it’s a real problem when your business relies on working as an independent contractor to companies that are now shut down. Again, self-employed do not get any help -anytime – and something needs to change about that.
Testing. Testing. Testing…all we need to stop this is massively scales testing. Why has that not happened?!?!
I am glad all schools were closed etc. but more needs to be done. Reading reports from other countries that point out what worked shows the US is not doing enough (let’s not even get started about the testing fiasco!).
A statewide rent moratorium-like the mortgage moratorium is needed. Gov Cuomo did it in New York already. If landlords are getting a break/forebearance on their mortgage, that should extend to renters as well. This moratorium should also apply to large management companies who may not have a mortgage. Mortgage holders can pay those payments at the end of their loan. However, it would not be wise or helpful for renters to have to pay that rent at a later date – if you don’t have it now, you won’t have it later. I think this is a very immediate need as April 1 rent is coming due for many of us. Having an eviction moratorium doesn’t help us – we aren’t there yet- we just need a break in the meantime. Thank you for reaching out to get perspectives.
Thank you for asking. I feel pretty lucky, but miss my family in VA
Boredom is setting in now that all my regular social activities as a retiree are cancelled incl. library. Thank heavens for the internet!
Rent needs to be halted and forgiven as long as the state of emergency is in effect.
My medical treatments have been postponed due to covod 19.
It is a necessary evil. We simply have to control the spread rate (keep it as low as possible) not to overload the health response system. The big inconvenience is preventing seeing health maintenance professionals (doctors, dentists, and even barbers) for some of our other illnesses, some of which could also be serious or at best uncomfortable.
I am concerned for those , especially small business owners, and those in the service industry who cannot work, for those who were struggling before this hit; healthcare professionals . Thank you for all you do
I am more concerned about the lack of medical (respirators and ventilators) and PP equipment and tests/access to tests, than about social distancing, as most folks seem to be pretty compliant with the latter.
I work in a supermarket and continue to work there. As of today, 3/21, I can tell you people do not understand “shelter in place” or naively believe there is no threat. Entire families come to the supermarket. Parents come with small children and babies come shopping. We have to work for them but their cavalier attitude puts us at risk. There should be one adult doing the shopping. Also, I hope that when testing becomes available, you will see to it that work places such as a supermarket have the employees tested as well as the environment of the store.
Given what we know about the spread of this virus l do not understand why Boston has not shut down.
I’m a nurse practicing at a facility that cares for COVID patients – more needs to be done to support healthcare providers. We dont have the option of staying home.
People are not following enough of guidelines. Backyard college parties, look around at parks and engaging in group activities (pick up basketball games). We are healthcare worker and city responders, the jobs are hard enough- people need to stay home.
I have witnessed the past few days, an overwhelming amount of people at Walden Pond in Concord Ma, as well as Beaver Brook in Belmont. At Walden the parking lot area was almost completely full. That’s over a thousand people at one location, walking along narrow paths. It’s dangerous to the staff and other people that so many are allowed to gather at one spot. I understand the need for recreation and people feeling a little cabin fever but this is out of hand. Something has to be done. Thank you for your hard work in these trying times.
I’m in a high risk pregnancy and am concerned we are not going far enough to protect the hospitals and the people who work there. Massachusetts should move to Shelter in Place ASAP.
I see groups of people not following recommendations for social distancing. Pull the trigger now. We need to do this for 2 weeks until tests are available. Then those under 60 should return to work and schools open again assuming that people testing positive are quarantined (and those living in the same residence).
I think economic catastrophe happens either way (with/without shelter in place), so better to experience it without a steep number of deaths and a cratered health care system — let’s shelter in place, to slow the spread of the virus.
We have been essentially sheltering in place since March 11. Today we went grocery shopping. There needs to be more consistent cleaning of shopping carts, baskets, and checkout lanes. Things were quiet enough to keep our distance, except people tend to clump up around checkout. I am more concerned about the medical shortages. Everyone needs to be tested, including the asymptomatic. Doctors and nurses should not be begging for PPE. I worry that social distancing will not buy enough time to get more ventilators. Thank you for posting this survey. If you do another similar one, consider getting a more detailed breakdown of older age groups: There are significant changes in risk at 60, 70, and 80.
As New York’s Governor Cuomo observed: ‘Shelter in place’ is a bad phrase to use. Please don’t use it! It evokes hunkering down during active shooter situations and drills in schools, or during tornadoes — not prolonged infection control for weeks, months, or longer. For many, uncrowded outdoor spaces will be safer than their homes, so while “Safer at Home” may be right for some of the rich, whose homes are mansions on large estates, it will mislead others. And to prevent widespread psychological harm, ‘social distancing’ (a bad name for keeping at a physical distance, for mutual well-being) must be supplemented by supporting safe social engagement. Perhaps we need a new greeting to use while avoiding (physically, not really socially) our neighbors; something like, “Be well! Stay well!” Parks should stay open, perhaps with organized activities in which all keep a six-foot distance while joining in exercise or song. We need to remain a community — united by expressed and visible mutual caring, rather than sliding into regarding each other as potential sources of infection, and nothing else.
I’m a federal worker but have to go in for now. It’s bs. Also my husband does construction and hasn’t had work. Thanks for your time
The N.Y. Times article on how Italy handled this with serious mistakes says it all. Too little too late. You don’t put out a raging brush fire running behind it. Sometimes you set fire in front of it to starve it from having anything to eat. The virus the same no new hosts to infect from one to the other. National shutdown or at least a State shutdown might spread to all states sooner rather than later.
I have been going out to speed walk in the early morning or evening. I try not to think about what I’ll do when my food stock is depleted. I volunteer at a food bank/community supper and I’m worried about folk who depend on our community goodwill to eat at least one meal each day of the month.
I just want to get out of this alive
I have observed many people not practicing physical distancing and I think an official order of shelter in place would make clearer what we need to do. I think the good weather is tricking people into feeling like this may not be as dangerous as it is.
I hope you run and ride your bike to stay healthy-and don’t fall! It would’ve good to have medical places away from hospitals soon for people who do have accidents so they do not have to go to hospitals—perhaps like those doc in box sites that have xrays only to be used for well triage visits for folks who may have broken a bone. Thank you for checking in, as always! Much appreciated!
I’m 60. My wife is a couple years younger. We’ve been sheltering in place since 3/13 eating food we already had plus grocery delivery. 3 of our children, one grandchild, a son-in-law, and a significant other are with us. My wife is retired too. One of my children is working. My son-in-law is between jobs. The other two children + girl friend are all students about to finish winter break and start remote learning.
I hope more can be done to check in on the vulnerable. Those living alone, laid off, elderly, compromised, homeless, low income. Can teachers face time their students one time per week to check in? Thanks for asking with this survey.
I get out to exercise and keep a safe distance from other people. Everyone else seems to be behaving the same way. Similar behavior in the grocery stores and pharmacies. People here at least seem to be taking this seriously.
I love Fresh Pond, but it’s overcrowded and dangerous right now.
My employer, based in CA but employing 40+ people in the Boston area mandated we all work from home for 30 days over a week ago. I had already stopped going to the office as it’s downtown, and I normally take public transit. We are a cloud-based, technology company, and are fortunate we have the flexibility to work remotely. My concern is for those who have lost jobs or are unable to work because their places of employment are closed.
I am concerned about those who do not have the resources to stop working because they are hourly workers or work in service industries. Almost all bakeries, small shops are closed and it will be hard for them to reopen. We need more testing so we know who needs to be isolated. This can to go on for weeks on end. People will die for other reasons and it will lead to more destabilization.
Given the rapid uptick in COVID-19 positive patients this weekend it is essential that we take important steps to curtail public movement. I believe this data has been shared with the mayor and with Charlie Baker. However we are deeply concerned that this has not been taken more seriously and that personal protective equipment is being used still by construction sites. If the modeling is correct we will look like northern Italy in 2 to 4 weeks
Retired, on social security but have some assets…maybe we didn’t teach enough lessons about saving for a rainy day. I abhor that people who have to work are in such precarious straits. There is so much money in this country and we have so many people without…we are not so ‘exceptional’…
Social distancing is just not working or being taken seriously. Small mom & pop restaurants should be allowed to stay open but for delivery only. Credit card payments should be taken over the phone and include tip or taken online. Then the food can be delivered outside of the door and the homeowner can open the door and take it. I’ve seen so many people outside in groups. If we want to get a handle on this we are in need of shelter in place.
I expect this pandemic will cause a global economic depression perhaps equalling or exceeding the Great Depression. We must figure out ways of taking care of everyone. This might mean that the rich will have to make sacrifices too.
Currently furloughed due to the outbreak. Hoping stricter measures could provide more definite timeline to bending the curve and re-starting the economy. Would need strict enforcement & hard line rules about employees eligible to continue working outside their home.
I feel lucky that I have enough disposable income to deal with this. I feel very sorry for others not as fortunate.
We are sheltering in place essentially now. As long as we can go to store for essentials, take out at restaurants, see occasional friend at safe distance and exercise individually outside we are fine. Able to use technology to stay connected and have meetings. We both also work at home tho also do a lot normally outside the house (all external things have of course been curtailed).
China and South Korea are still taking aggressive measures to stop the spread of the virus. And these countries are on the other side of the epidemic curve. We should be doing more than they’re doing. We need much more testing and we need to isolate any suspected cases quickly to keep the virus from spreading. Without a vaccine and without targeted treatment we need to choke out the virus collectively in order to save lives and save our healthcare system. Thank you for reading.
I live in a retirement community which has put strict guidelines in place.
My most significant concern is the effect on the economy, investment losses and the time it will take to recover. My concern would shift to health if I or a family member became seriously ill with the virus.
Suggested question: How long do you think it will take to end the crisis? 1. Month 2. 2 months 3. 6 months 4. Other
I’m afraid it will get much worse before it gets better, the more people congregate the more will get the virus and the more need for extended medical treatment that won’t be available.
The leadership at the federal level is sorely lacking.
I work in the public schools as a building substitute. I work part time and am paid per diem. I do not know if the district is going to pay me for the time the school is closed. As of now I have lost $500. I was told the superintendent was going to send an e-mail explaining pay but hasn’t yet. I am not sure if I should start the application process for unemployment.
I’m fine bc i work for a non profit where all work can be done online. My friends and family are going to be homeless, sick, and mentally ill if we don’t get widespread socialist measures ASAP — stopping rent, standing universal basic income checks, and creating jobs to care for community needs as opposed to for profit businesses. Also my friends in prison must be released ASAP for their sake & ours. Thank you.
Will, thanks for reaching out. You’re always sensing the pulse of the society. One thing emerges as important to me: we need to turn the problems we are facing now into a lesson about how to do things differently in the future. Disaster preparedness was weak on national level. Many jobs were eligible but not ready to quickly switch to remote operation – this is something, which will help the society in general (like addressing commute congestions). Thank you for your great work!
The worst problem is not knowing when this will end.
I don’t see people congregating in large groups (I’ve really only been going out for groceries), but I do see a lot of people not observing the 6 feet rule as they walk or shop. Younger people (under 30) seem the most oblivious group.
I am a rental property owner and have tenants with expiring leases. Worried I may have many vacancies starting in June, and tenants unable to pay rent which means I may be unable to pay my property loan without a full rent roll coming in each month! First world problem I guess but if I cannot feed my family without this regular income.
I am in favor of strict controls for social isolation as some folks do not seem to “get it”. My son is a geriatric nurse practitioner at Mt. Auburn hospital and is putting his life on the line while some morons are gathering together. Thank you for all you do!
For me, I can work at home. For self employed people, service workers, etc., they have no choice. If they don’t work, they don’t survive. They lose their business, their income, their home. I think we need to get a grasp on controlling transmission, even if self employed services stay open, they should have some controls in place, e.g., limit the number of people in the establishment at one time, but stay open.
Businesses are suffering and I’m concerned about our local economy going into a depression, but I’m more worried seeing people try to carry on as if nothing is happening. I hope we have plans to meet with local business leaders to see how we can help them reopen businesses. We need to halt rent payments and utility payments and housing evictions. We need to make testing, and eventually a vaccine, available widely regarless of insurance. We need to make sure families and young people are financially safe– mamy acquaintances of mine in service are out of work and terrified to default on credit card and rent payments.
If all the containment protocols had been started in February (first identified case was Feb 1) we’d be in a better position now. The mish-mash of do this now, no do this now, is like trying to keep out a rising tide. I get updates from family in Milan on how things are going there. We really don’t want to get that bad here.
People have very varied situations, we need flexibility. Too draconian a lockdown would cause a lot of trouble and harm. Being completely solitary is not good for mental health.
I feel fortunate that my wife and I both have jobs where it is feasible to work from home. However, I have grave concerns about the economic impact occurring now, which will also eventually effect us if the economy is stalled for long. The current situation is not sustainable for society. I also worry about the mental health of my our middle grade child who is now isolated from peers. We need to dramatically increase testing capacity so we can identify and isolate cases, adopt a war footing for production of PPE and treatment equipment. We need enough PPE for all employees of critical businesses, not just health care. We need to guarantee sick leave and in-parallel make employers liable who pressure sick employees to come to work. We need government to temporarily pay wages for employees now dislocated and explore debt relief/mortgage suspensions and other actions for small businesses who are not able to operate. Failure to take decisive actions on these things will make the difference between short term pain and permanent and lasting economic impairment. I hope the current response is adequate. The next 1~2 weeks will show us if it is working.
Please urge Gov. Baker to order the state shelter in place immediately! Too many people still having parties and gatherings, and hoarding in stores. This needs to stop to keep us well and give the system a chance to better prepare. Thank you Senator!
The reasoning in this article by a Yale MD is quite persuasive: If he’s indeed, right, we need to change course immediately and use what he calls a “surgical” approach. The fear-driven, panicky and blunt-instrument approach we are taking now will have not only catastrophic economic implications but also civil liberties and other possibly dire political implications. We’re taking extreme measures in the midst of panic and fear, but need to really stop and think for a minute about consequences and alternatives–now…..
It seems like most people aren’t following the six foot guideline, so I suspect having non-essential business be open is a driver of continued transmission in MA. And I know you mentioned it as essential, but it would be devastating to not allow solitary outdoor exercise during any shelter in place period.
I agree with Becca Rausch…shut the state down!
We need to be very careful with our health, using good hygiene and common sense to minimize the spread. There is no guarantee that sheltering will stop this as this is not a reasonable alternative to increasing the availability of testing. Sheltering will set people back too much. Unfortunately, for some, they will not be able to get of that hole. Even if they did not prepare for a “rainy day’, they did not deserve that.
I work in a hospital – visiting patients as a spiritual care provider. This is well received by the patients, whose visitors are currently banned. They feel isolated not to mention anxious. However, if the hospital asks only nurses, medical staff and respiratory therapists to come to the hospital, our department will find a way to work remotely
Thanks for all you do
My son shares this unit so I don’t have to go out. This Back Bay neighborhood has had the majority of students leave so there are very few people around. I am concerned for the small merchants.
I think that people need to be reminded constantly about touching their bodies, handwashing with soap and social distancing indoors and out. The MDPH website needs to be cleaned up, simplified and clarified with the most important points on the public facing page. It, frankly, is a mess and makes it laborious to find information. Good thing they are not trying to sell something as I feel when I look at it my first response is to flee from the site.
Gov Baker is doing the best he can, we are entering uncharted water. I just wish the $10,000,000 loan would include companies that are not making a profit but I understand the funds are limited.
Start supporting the president- bring country together Tell press to shut up
We need more, more tests, there should be enough for every person in the United States.
I generally think that going on the side of a more restrictive approach right now, with a small subset of the population exposed, is the way to go. In the long term, more economic studies should be done, but I imagine that the cost-benefit analysis at this point is very limited.
I have been careful – went to my weekend place in NH – but was exposed nevertheless to someone who’s since tested positive. I have symptoms, and it’s not a picnic, but not severe enough to merit a test myself.
Food and Medicine delivery service for us older folks who are self-quarantining would be nice.
Concerned about groceries not having enough food.
There should be a shelter in place. To many people are still going out. It’s the only way to stop this
None at this time.
We’re ok but very worried about all those who have suddenly lost income and still have to pay rent or mortgage. The whole gig economy is down. there has to be a way to cope with the virus without making so many people lose their homes and businesses.
The most positive consequence of the virus: the Man Hug is gone forever.? Seriously — We should work on reasonable ways to open stores, restaurants, etc. People are responding but staying their distance, for example, at the grocery store. There are tradeoffs and we should not wreck the economy. Perspective: 2 years back the U.S. lost 61,000 to the seasonal flu.
My major problem with the current situation is that the government didn’t require business that can provide work-from-home to do so more quickly. I had my engineering team working from home weeks ago in anticipation. My boss finally ordered the rest of the office (which can also work from home) a week later. Time is critical in these situations. The sooner the better.
We need t be able to go outside to exercise. Running and biking should be safe. This is necessary for mental health. Please consider this if going into lock down!
Thanks Will – much needed survey
God bless you and your work for us. I thank God almost every day that I live in Massachusetts and have the very best representation anyone could ask.
School, school, school is our (minor) problem. There is something going on with what they are allowed to do, due to special education mandates. We have one typical high schooler, and one with disabilities and (relatively) mild sped needs, so we see both sides of this issue. Bottom line: there needs to be some fed/ state action to let the teachers/ districts figure this out. Might take leg action.
The measures (like shelter in place) that we need to implement in order to “flatten the curve” will have a devastating economic effect on those already struggling. In order to safely and humanely enact these measures, a shelter in place order must be accompanied by direct economic relief to all MA households, especially those on fixed incomes (SSI, SSDI, TAFDC, EAFDC)—and this economic relief should not be means tested.
Gov Baker needs to issue a shelter-in-place order. With this second death it’s becoming all too clear- the looming significance of widespread death. I’ve seen way too many people reject what should be the new normal of social distancing, which is a slap in the face for social workers and health care workers like myself. I’m a DCF worker investigating emergencies related to child abuse and neglect AND per my part time job, still going into a clinic to ensure patients receive their medication-assisted treatment for substance use d/o. Do I want to go into work and risk exposure? No. But I do for the greater good. Thank goodness the union for DCF workers advocates to ensure core functions remain intact but with our safety in mind. As for the methadone clinic, I’ve been waiting patiently for directives that will benefit the health and safety of both patients and workers….still waiting unfortunately… and in the meantime I’m still waiting for our state gov’t to take charge. What does the governor need as for “facts from the ground” as he so loves for a call to all to STAY INSIDE? I’m not looking for police interventions but perhaps citations and public shaming of those who venture out, risking havoc on the community, and symbolically spit in the faces of those who have to for the greater good. It was nearly a scene out of FLA spring break today in the Lincoln woods near Flint Pond. I went with my husband and preschooler. Yet there were parties for 7-10 crowding around sculptures at the deCordova. There isn’t enough space at the deCordova to accommodate these groups. Small acres of outdoor space have to be shut down. Not all Trustees, DCR, or Mass Audubon lands have to remain open. Walden Pond limits people in the summer- so why not now? Social distancing requires sacrifice. I’m more than happy to take my walk in the woods alone, or none at all for that matter. This is the ultimate litmus test for democracy. I will save the experiences of prejudice and discrimination as an Asian-American living the pandemic for another survey…. as I should bear the burden of isolation for how I look. How about we put humanity first and we all sit inside for a while.
I would like guidance on Food Deliveries to the home (groceries). Who is doing it reliably? Wait time (x days/ hrs). Knowing what I can count on wld make me avoid panicking. Also, down the road, what is the best way to get pill refills from CVS? A week ago I went into both CVS and Stop Shop. Will it still be safe to go in in a week? I am 71, in good health. You are a great repr. Thank you so much!!!
This is far from over and we’ll probably need more stringent measures in the immediate future. NY is a harbinger of things to come.
Since I am in the higher risk category (mostly due to some medical issues), I am rigorously adhering to sheltering in place. We could use help with the options for delivery. Any attention to improving the delivery options would be greatly appreciated. It appears that the increased demand for delivery is overwhelming the companies that sub- contract this service with supermarkets. Bottom line, as we might expect this to go on for a while, any help with insisting that stores open, perhaps an hour earlier for people at risk- or help with delivery opportunities would be much appreciated. For some of us, that is one of our biggest challenges: how to safely get our groceries. It is a tad disturbing with just the few little errands I must do (off hours) such as ATM banking or going for a walk to a mailbox- that some Belmont residents seem oblivious to the 6 foot distancing caution. One couple practically walked into me as they passed me on the sidewalk (as they continued walking abreast-even though I was standing there) at the mailbox. If you can help get information to people who are apparently oblivious it would help. Thank you for asking.
physical distancing, not social distancing. combine isolation with making use of the outdoors for recreation and excercise.
Families (especially those with young children) should be able to go outside together, even under shelter in place.
Husband lost job. Fearful of losing my job. Feel healthy but staying home as much as possible to prevent the spread. Praying that all of this is making a difference. Not sure which is worse- the virus or the stress of the virus.
These measures are very draconian for the level of risk for the vast majority of Americans and likely to cause more damage to people’s livelihoods in the long run. Most Americans don’t have cushy white collar jobs that allow them to “work from home” and tens of thousands are already losing their jobs and businesses after just one week of closures. Even if they get loans or assistance from the government their lives are completely and irrevocably changed after this. It’s no longer a public health crisis but quickly spiraling into a financial crisis putting more than half of American jobs at risk. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do anything but I strongly disagree with this course of action on a federal and state policy level.
I’m very worried for homeless people
Gov Baker doing a good job balancing challenging ends of the sprectrum.
Thank you for doing a great job handling this challenging situation. I hope that you and are family are staying safe.
I don’t feel that an enforced stay at home order is necessary, but very strongly feel that there needs to be more educational information aimed at those under the age of about 40. In order for older people to go out and feel safe, they have to know that the 6 foot distancing will be respected. I’ve seen numerous younger adults and teenagers walk directly into people’s paths, and it’s happened to me as well. We all feel invincible when we’re a certain age, but it’s clear that none of us are.
The impact of Covid 19 is hitting those in the lower economic quartiles the hardest. And particularly those who work in certain service industries as well as small business owners who depend on foot traffic. There must be a federal response followed by appropriate state and local responses. But with little to no guidance from the feds, everyone is looking for leadership. Cuomo is very much stepping up; Massachusetts should lead too.
Many of the proposed economic relief packages seem to overlook self-employed people like me. I’m a consultant working mostly with state governments. Right now my contracts have not been canceled, but I don’t know what the future will bring. A day-to-day concern is shopping for food and essentials given all the empty store shelves and online delivery delays. It’s hard to plan.
I think overall MA has done a great job. I just wish everyone was taking this as seriously as us.
It’s a fragile time. Although we are okay, as are our kids, we’re conscious that many are under considerable stress because of economic uncertainty and/or health problems. Very painful.
I am very much against a shelter in place. This should not even be something we say in a democratic society. This is government control at it’s worst. I am a peaceful and kind person, but would do everything I could to not adhere to such an order.
Testing at this point is the key. The state and fed. govt should do more, and much more quickly. This proved the best route from experience in So Korea – most else is window dressing until we get a better idea of how this spreads, etc
I think a modified shelter in place can work with stores able to remain open if they want. People still need paper,Ink,gasoline, computer equipment, and other products to do their work. Right now people are very cognizant of social distancing and wiping down shopping carts. I would like to keep restaurants and businesses from failure so think that takeout/delivery should continue plus keeping stores open that want to remain open. Most people are already limiting shopping and unnecessary travel and shopping it some really need some items to do their jobs.
There needs to be broader definition of “essential business.” For example, takeout-only has already gone too far, closing small businesses completely will destroy communities permanently. Current approach gives way too much leverage to big monopolies such as Amazon.
Feeling very fortunate–not least to have you as our senator!–but horrified at the likely aftermath of the pandemic for so many of our neighbors. Please do all you can at the state level to mitigate their suffering.
The state planning effort and the response of the local life science/medical community have been an enormous disappointment. The alarm sounded for Mayo at the same time it did for Partners. Today Mayo is operating 8 drive through testing sites, is screening 4000 + potential patients per day and has developed its own test that provides results in 24 hours. MGH thinks of its self as a peer competitor and has done none of the above. Re state public health: that planning wasn’t done better at the national level does not excuse the state’s lapses. This is a federal system after all. And the shortages are beyond frustrating, particularly the great toilet paper shortage. That it’s hard to come up with 100.000 ventilators quickly is understandable; tp not so much.
We need to be testing!
My spouse is also able to work mostly from home indefinitely with occasional forays to work. So far our employers have said they will continue salaries as is. I am paying our house cleaners the same as usual (via mail) but not having them come. I have a contact whose family member was in the midst of pain treatment and their scheduled pain shot has been delayed so they are now suffering pain.
I don’t think the state is going far enough. Testing has been spotty at best and I believe there are far more cases than we know exist. The time for public health interventions is before the feel necessary, not once they feel necessary. When it feels right, it’s too late.
Governors seem to work hard. No real leadership from the White House. Private sector business and citizens in general are doing their share
My wife is a nurse practitioner working with elderly, but working without access to protective gear. She needs protective gear. My brother works for UPS. We need plans for folks who produce and deliver essential supplies. The NY Times had an article on shipping folks going to work while sick, and working shoulder to shoulder with co-works. It talked of one shipping person who was penalized for taking a sick day despite having sick time. Not all shippers provide sick leave. Folks working without an employer need supplemental income. Folks such as my cousin who works as masseuse. My barber takes most of what I give him for himself, but gives some portion to the owner of the shop. My dance instructor gets paid per lesson. These folks are working without unemployment insurance, and need assistance now.
I have appreciated a measured, thoughtful approach. However, I have also seen quite a lot risky behavior from nearby neighbors and townspeople.
Being home w 3 kids is a challenge but as long as my husband and I stay employed (in book publishing and Pharma) we are ok.
I get y2k vibes off this situation. If the response is measured and responsible will people say it was all unnecessary especially with the mixed messages coming out from everywhere including the White House.
Having robust enough testing and medical confidence to reopen childcare would make a dramatic difference in long-term mental stability – having two parents working from home with a toddler is at best a temporary situation.
I and my wife are in a relatively comfortable situation, but have close relatives in Massachusetts and elsewhere who face potentially dire economic and/or health challenges. My main concern at the moment is what we can and must do to assist and protect health care workers to the maximum extent possible. I have been appalled to learn of the frustration of Governor Baker’s efforts to procure more protective equipment for these workers reportedly because the federal government offered a higher price. Really! Are States supposed to compete not cooperate with the federal government and the outcome is to be settled by the price mechanism (ie “market forces”) on a life and death issue which we are told we are all in together? The Defense Production Act must be enforced (as automobile companies were told to stop manufacturing cars and switch to weapons production in WW2) and vital supplies and products distributed to those who need them most and can use them to the greatest effect, based on a formula devised by medical experts and applied ethically and fairly according to demographic and other criteria. The challenge seems to be that neither expertise nor ethical considerations are playing decisive roles in some of the decisions that are taken nor are they evident in the statements that are forthcoming from this country’s leadership. How can we as citizens working with our elected local, State and federal officials change the direction and pace of policies to help and protect the health care workers who are our most precious human resource at this time?
My employer had to cut everyone’s salary in half due to the lack of business. They did that so that health insurance would be available. I fear that shelter in place would cause all businesses to stop, even though we are working remotely, and I would be unemployed. Would more marketing on how important it is to self-quarantine help this situation?
Self quarantined after travel to Europe but blessed with economic means to weather this. Want to help those who will be hurt by this- so widespread.
I think Gov Baker has done a good job at the state level. I’m more concerned about the availability of. Protective equipment, hospital sis e , illness hitting healthcare workers at this time than my own shelter in place. I’m lucky to have a home and food to eat, but I do wish there were more (visible) efforts to secure Boston hospitals the tools they need.
The collateral damage due to prolonged shelter in place and/or social distancing does not make sense since the fundamental strategy is flawed: the pandemic is going to spread until we achieve herd immunity. A better strategy is to EFFECTIVELY sequester/support ONLY the high risk people and let the pandemic run its course through the population. The faster we achieve herd immunity the better we will be able to protect the high risk ones. HOWEVER, the trick is to really figure out HOW to protect the elderly/high risk who live with other people. (I’m a public-health trained doc and former municipal health officer.)
Thank you, Senator Brownsberger. You are doing exactly the sort of outreach we need. I remain employed, though if I stop getting paid I will only have four months of liquid funds. I hope you are doing all right.
Let Italy be our lesson. Please act soon!
I just finished with 3.5-months of maternity leave and started back to work part-time, taking a large paycut. My fiance is still working as a sales manager at VW in Watertown and we rely on his paycheck to cover most of our bills. Being stuck at home with a 4- month old alone is very isolating and mentally taxing, and I worry about the risk of my fiance bringing in germs everyday. On the otherhand, if he can’t work, we cannot afford to stay here. My parents have been helping with rent because I had to take months of unpaid time off – I went into labor a month early with complications and my company is small, so I was able to receive 6 weeks of paid time and the rest was unpaid. But they can’t afford to pay all of our bills- our rent plus utilities is about $3,000 a month plus other bills. We stayed in the area because its convenient to work and I needed some extra support from my family with the new baby. But I am afraid we will have to leave in the middle of this if we can’t pay our rent… and our landlady is a woman in her 70s who lives downstairs and we don’t want to cause her financial strain either. This whole situation is difficult because we are in limbo. I want everyone to be safe and stop the spread of the virus, but we need to pay bills too…and on paper, it would look like we make too much I think, so we would not qualify for assistance…it’s a tough spot for so many people….
We should still be allowed outside to walk and drive and exercise, but other than that all businesses should be forced to close for two weeks.
I worry about delivery persons spreading the infection. They are critical for sustained sheltering & must be kept healthy by imposed rules about handcleaning between contacts. Probably restaurant rules and hospital rules for drivers would make sense. I have found the following charts to be informative: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/covid-confirmed-cases-since-100th-case? https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/covid-confirmed-cases-since-100th-case?country=CAN+USA
Some food shops are limiting numbers of customers which is a good idea. Whole Foods at Fresh Pond was really packed the other day and impossible to keep 6 feet distance.
Not quite sure why you ask for opinions as to whether current measures are sufficient; clearly they are not, and should not be driven by popular will. Measures should be driven by public health experts. But thanks for the questionnaire.
The answer for the first question is based on absolutely no signage posted at playgrounds, basketball courts and parks/bikepath.
I would prefer to have a complete, monitored, shelter in place instituted pronto rather than the current iterative approach that Italy has taken with dire consequences. My view is that if we continue on our casual approach, things will become way worse as they have in Italy and we will have to shelter in place for a much longer period of time and people will become even more restive and upset. I worry about civil unrest. Rip the bandaid off and do it now!
I think a stay home policy is needed. Still too many people out.
I’d rather the Governor enact measures which may seem too “severe” in the interest of public health than small baby steps.
I live with my (working) wife in a seventh floor condo and have groceries delivered. My wife is also at home while WPI is shut down.
I selected “I do not work outside the home — retired, partner works, other.” because I am an independent consultant and so mostly worked from home before all this started. Now I am just 100% working from home.
Mass rmv poses a problem. I need to tranfer a registration and cant get to one of the few that are open. I am high risk due to being immunosupressed. Will they extend the 7 day grace period for registrations that are active but are on a replacement vehicle? I need to be able to travel and while doing so am very limited in contact with others. Many other states have extend registration dates for properly insured vehicles as well as other dedlines but mass hasnt gone as far.
I think that employers should be required to answer how they are keeping those employees who cannot work from home safe from the virus. I am 69 years of age and use public transportation to and from work at a local hospital. They are not exactly keeping up safe at the moment, double jeopardy for me, have to go in and use public transportation.
(not in your district anymore, but I still appreciate your emails)
Thanks, Will for checking in. Saw you running the other day while on my almost daily walk. My college senior is unhappily home from Yale. My other daughter lives in CA and feels very far away. Part of me feels like everyone should be tested now so we know who to isolate.
I am impressed with how many people are taking this seriously but I am alarmed at how many teenagers and 20 somethings are congregating in groups and not practicing social distancing
Thanks for helping.
Thanks for doing this!
Thanks for collecting our thoughts and concerns. I feel like we’ve been sheltering in place but not everyone else seems to be taking it seriously. ?
I am a healthcare worker and very worried about the lack of testing and PPE and my safety at work, but working anyways
I think we should hear from the Governor very soon so that definitive behavioral actions will be in place.
Gov. Baker is much too slow in taking action. If the Biogen attendees had been tested when they first asked, there would be much less spread. The Gov. should close salons, etc. Hasn’t he seen the projections in the N. Y. Times???
Thanks for asking!
Our primary home is in Belmont, but we are hunkered down at our second home in Princeton, MA.
We need to buy a little more time to get hospitals restocked on PPE & balance caseloads. Some pain now will pay off in long run BUT we need state and/or federal aid to the many people who are struggling.
A short term 2-3 week shut down of the economy to “flatten the curve” is now definitely necessary but beyond that the economic destruction is worse than the effects of the disease. (See N.Friedman in NY Times today.) Can’t throw the baby out with the bath water!
Thank you for asking these questions. I feel communication and public dialog is so crucial right now.
Thank you for working hard on this.
I’m a Licensed Family Childcare Provider who was closed due to the pandemic. I’m the sole earner and won’t be eligible for Unemployment Assistance. Something needs to be done to help us. A tax credit next year won’t pay the bills now.
there’s no way to control everyone’s activities so in question 1, some people will continue to do unsafe things. Otherwise I think the balance is right. I just wish there were a way to use the library for books on cd or Playaway…can’t seem to manage downloading digital audio books on line and REALLY miss them! So far we are all right. Who knows what lies ahead. What about foreign students, are all dorms closed, what about students who need lab access for research….can’t do that on line. So many problems!
We have been staying in San Francisco since before shelter-in-place began and it has been a good thing for us. The number of people “out and about” has reduced greatly so we feel able to walk around and still keep a safe distance from others. We are supposed to return to Boston next week but our children are discouraging us, afraid that we might be exposed to the virus during the “flying back” experience, airport, plane, taxi. We cook most of our meals at home (a rental apartment that we use when visiting our kids on the west coast) and walk the neighborhood to get air. We walk to a local butcher/grocery at low volume times when we can keep a distance from others and a convenience store for half-and-half, etc. Our son has also done shopping runs for us. Yesterday was the first time since the lock-down that we saw a number of the local restaurants begin carry-out and that felt good. It was a small but significant step to life returning to normalcy.
I am 33 years old and immunosuppressed. I am terrified of what might happen to me if I were to get sick. The more people go out to party, the more terrified I am to walk five minutes to the supermarket.
it will take a while to see the impact of the shutdown of bars restaurants and all gatherings of 25 or more. it may take 2 weeks before the impact of those actions show up in the public health data. rather than shut down the entire economy , keeping a small business with few employees able to operate and keep paying people might be a better way to address this crisis.
I’m extremely concerned about restaurant and service industry workers who have no income due to the shutdown of bars, restaurants, and catering services and hope to hear about state-wide relief efforts that are not dependent on the philanthropic sector.
I live alone. Practically, I’ve been most anxious about maintaining computer and telephone connections. My password was about to expire and I was afraid to try to change it by myself (usually I go to the University Library when the help desk is open in case of problems). I don’t have a cell phone; when my Verizon FIOS goes out the landline usually does too. I did manage to change the password without disaster, but the next day my laptop battery failed. I’m thinking of ordering a simple flip phone. Mostly I’m managing anxiety by playing the piano, taking long (solitary) walks, and working on my book. I have seen no one since 4 March, except an optometrist on 11 March (but who knows when the glasses will be available), people in the grocery store on one trip to it, and people I see walking on mostly empty streets or in the woods. Talk of “shelter in place” frightens me with the prospect of house arrest under solitary confinement. Since I don’t have an ATM card, I see that I will have to make an appointment to cash a check at the bank.
It is possible to conquer this pandemic without indiscriminate and widespread shutdowns as we’re doing now. See South Korea. We need widely available testing to see who is infected, and focus on isolating or social-distancing them, and isolating all high-risk groups – the elderly in some categories have 100x or 1000x the risk that most adults do! Focus on isolating the high-risk people and the hospitals won’t get overwhelmed. Indiscriminately forcing everyone to stay at home is devastating the economy, we can’t work, we can’t make things, we can’t provide services to one another. It may seem hard-hearted, but consider how many lives are realistically at risk among the low-risk category of people if they’re not staying at home, and weight that against the complete collapse of our economy. We don’t shut down the state or country over deaths from alcoholism or car crashes!
I will still need to work if we shelter in place because my business is integral to the healthcare supply chain. Thanks!
Thank you for checking in Will, and for all your diligence and communication with the T. Stay well yourself and keep up the good work!
We are concerned about town budgets for next fiscal year and the ability of residents to afford to pay taxes, both at state and local levels. What emergency state funding will be available to help towns achieve at least level funding for services, including first responders and education in the aftermath of this crisis? Thank you for all the work you do for us!
Gyms and salons should not be open.
Thank you for all you are doing during this difficult time. You’ve shown real leadership and given great resources that help your constituents understand essential information about this situation.
Hi Will, Would love your advice on how to get more basic equipment for medical personnel– we’ll need major manufacturing as well as ventilators. The Federal government seems to have ceded all procurement to individual states. Ideas? Thanks so much
Will, The economic ramifications of this epidemic are profound and far reaching.
I appreciate your proactive messaging and transparency during this crisis
We bought a house and we’re slated to close on April 2nd. We’re planning to do some necessary work, like removing asbestos, and moving at the end of april. If we can’t move by the end of April because of a stay in place order, that would bring financial difficulties. We can’t afford both rent and a mortgage.
I’m in Maine right now, but a Belmont resident.
I would want to know the end game before submitting to more stringent restrictions. If we are all going to get it eventually, what are the pos and neg of destroying people’s means of making a living in the process?
I am concerned about people who are out of work and small businesses that are closed
Thanks for asking. Please keep reality (the realities of transmission) in mind. There is a cost to inappropriate actions.
Unemployment does not factor in my industry. When work stops, I’m out of luck. There are no safety precautions for us. My other income, is rent. But my tenants are having trouble paying. Due to them having been able to pay rent last year, I do not qualify for any assistance, such as emergency food stamps. As a result, we don’t expect to be able to eat healthy meals for the foreseeable future. We are not alone in this situation… Basically, there are tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents who are in situations that are not covered under the “standard” methods in place. The job market has changed in ways that too many people fall through the cracks (Contract workers, temp full time workers, etc.). I do appreciate your efforts, and wish you the best of luck in figuring out the many issues that face us all.
If people are wise and adhere to the directions in place it will hasten the return to normality
I’m glad I voted for a caring and responsible leader
I am very worried about getting state and federal aid to the people who need it the most. Thank you for all you can do in that regard. I am also worried about the elections in November and we must not let the Covid-19 virus stop the elections – this has to be a high priority. Thank you again.
The grocery store and pharmacy are the dangerous places for me. Wish something clever could be done.
I am concerned about the small businesses around us. I hope there’s something put in place to care for their employees, and debt forgiveness for the duration of the crisis.
While my spouse and I can live off of my salary alone, he is a career restaurant server and is laid off more or less indefinitely. I’m extremely worried about how the service industry has been hit, and what’s going to be done to help them both NOW and when they are allowed to re-open for guests.
I am already “sheltering in place,” with the exception of a daily walk with one other person. It would feel like a blow to have to give up that one bit of personal (at a distance of 6 ft) connection.
Thank you, Senator, for all that you do.
Working contract security for the state(McCormack Building) I have to go to work. But, with very few people taking the T, the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus is lessened.
I hope we are doing enough. A heads up about a true “shelter in place” would help grab the last few items not available in a grocery store. Thank you Will!
Loving the MET OPERA broadcasts!!!!
I live in a 2 family. My mother lives in the first floor. She is 73 years old. My biggest concern is keeping socially isolated so we don’t infect her. My husband’s parents (both senior citizens) live in Arlington. His concern is their health. His father has MANY pre existing conditions. We worry about their ability to stay healthy. If either of them becomes ill, he will have to move into their house and care for them, separating him from me and his children for an indefinite period of time. The federal government is an embarrassment right now.
Thanks for asking these questions. I would note that it might be relevant to understand whether a respondents has an underlying health condition.
I live at 1940 Comm Ave next to the Chestnut Hill reservoir. Residents of all of these multi-unit apt buildings park our cars on Chestnut Hill Driveway, a DCR road. Street cleaning is scheduled to begin in April both there and also on Comm Ave by the City. Now that most people are staying home from work, all the parking spaces are full night and day. Would you please contact DCR to request that street cleaning be suspended for the continuation of the state of emergency?
While I commend a mandatory lockdown for as long as necessary, I am concerned for the well being of others under such dire conditions — physically, mentally & financially.
I’d like to know what MA is going to do about the tax deadline.
Thanks for asking!
People I’m talking to want to do the right thing but a shelter in place order with clear instructions like other states have done would make a big difference. It needs to be paired with economic assistance for those who are affected. And a July 15 state tax date to match the new federal deadline.
Let’s learn from Italy. If a lengthy shelter in place will be a quicker and better opportunity to control the spread of the coronavirus, then that’s what we have to do.
Heading over the precipice onto a slippery slopes tends to be ill-advised. That said, heavily restricting group activities or commercial enterprise not deemed “critical,” seems to be an immediate step MA should take at the present time to reduce the odds of overwhelming the medical system — which is really the unique human work force. If our healthcare, emergency and security people get sick (in part b/c they had to interact with people not practicing safe-health practices), the repercussions affect us all. Restricting heavily some personal freedom to be out and about is well worth it, at least for the 2-3 week “hump” expected in contagion/emergency health volumes. Finally, penalties should be discussed/created/enforced for any person or businesses operating in a ‘reckless’ manner and not following basic Commonwealth dictates, or CDC measures, and which have a negative impact on others.
I work for the public schools, and am ok because I am still getting my regular paycheck and benefits. I realize that is not the situation for everyone and some people are experiencing real economic hardship
What are people to do who were denied unemployment because their employer and pay/tax information was not located in the UI system?
It seems like Massachusetts has been in a favorable situation, and we may be squandering that by not just biting the bullet and sheltering in place like CA, NYC, and now other states. The longer we wait for shelter-in-place, the higher the death toll will be, and the longer the shelter-in-place will need to last. Also, it seems like travel between states should be limited as much as possible – for example, people from New York were probably spreading it to MA before NYC locked down, and people from MA may be spending time in NH/ME/VT, and may be spreading it there. This piece is excellent and explains a good path forward that mostly gets things back to normal in a few months – but aggressive lockdown for maybe a month is the first step: https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-the-hammer-and-the-dance-be9337092b56
Thank you for your leadership. The most disturbing aspect of this is not knowing what is going to happen. It is reassuring to hear from you and other elected officials.
Due to severe asthma, I’m in a high-risk group. I’m still healthy, having left the building I live in only once, for groceries, in the past two weeks. I can work from home without difficulty, but I’m concerned about being able to obtain groceries without risking my life.
Thank you for doing a survey. I support all extreme measures that need to be taken.
I think that the current situation, while harsh, is enough to get us through this current situation — I worry that more stringent lockdowns will apply financial, social, and mental stresses to the population that could be far more difficult to recover from, while I *also* worry that loosening restrictions before we have a handle on the situation would be devastating health-wise.
The question about how long one could “handle” shelter-in-place — I think that we all would HAVE TO “handle” it for as long as is necessary, assuming we all had a home to stay in (for those of us who are not already homeless) and access to heat, water, food, and medicine. Not sure if you meant *economically*, that is, if it would mean losing income, a job, etc. Not sure what you meant by ”handle”or perhaps the ambiguity was intentional.
Wide range of responses and risk-taking/risk-aversion
I work in higher ed, just started with my new employer in January. Just diagnosed with cancer, biopsy was Friday. Like so many others, I’d like to see a moratorium put in place on things like debt repayment, layoffs, etc so we can all catch our collective breath. Immediate, short term assistance to small and nonprofit employers and access to health care benefit continuation would help with stress.
I am and essential worker. I work at a homeless shelter and I’m frustrated with the lack of support from our government.
I’m unclear the extent of what is required when sheltering in place. Can I drive to the grocery store to shop? Can I walk my dog in the neighborhood? Can I walk on nearby trails? Can I travel to my vacation house on the cape? None of this is clear to me.
Will be interested in the results of this survey.
Making masks, helping neighbors who are out of work get hooked up with the food pantry, doing the little we can do.
Thank you for this. I wish the town was giving more regular guidance, even if just check ins. People seem to want to do what’s right but don’t have all the info. (Like some still saying parks are opened when they are closed.)
I am in a very lucky situation. Most are not so lucky
It is upsetting to see some people ignoring the restrictions that have been put in place to keep us safe.
Hoarding of groceries, e.g. toilet paper, is causing a problem. Stores should be strongly encouraged to limit quantities per customer.
See Governor Steve Bullocks email to Montana citizens…such a model of clear info all one place and really calm and supportive and about us all being in this together. Wish we had that sort of clear emails and leadership!
I think this is going to get harder as time goes on. Asking people to stay in place is easy for a few weeks, but hard for months or more.
I hope sufficient resources are given to DUA for UI. If establishments don’t make it through, workers will remain unemployed for some time to come.
Massachusetts is not doing enough! Not enough of a shut down, not enough leadership by the Govenor or Mayor of Boston. No local testing places for covid. Right now, suspected victims of this virus go into the regular ER or Dr. office. My primary care is seeing all patients. Govenor Cuomo is publicaly advocating and giving good info. to NYC residents. Why aren’t we getting that? I saw a Dr. from Mass. General on Good Morning ABC this a.m. out of NYC talking about a huge spike of patients the past 24 hours. I have been watching a Dr. from a hospital on the South Shore for a few weeks talking about an uptick of patients and no tests. Where is our leadership and advocacy first and foremost for our medical community????? The Brigham has reportedly not had proper PPE for a week now for all staff. Are you watching the news Will?? The response from all officials in Mass. is really disappointing to me. Took Marty too long to cancel school and he finally sent the residents a paper flyer just yesterday telling people to wash their hands and not to call Emergency Responsers for testing, but gives no options for testing!! Can you please speak to our Mayor???? Why isn’t he talking to us and offering us real solutions? Why is there a new bill I just heard about from SPOA to halt all evictions?? How do you expect small property owners like me to go without rent??? How will I get help as a small landlord and a sole proprietor?????? I wholesale to gift shops and customers aren’t buying right now. As much as I loath Trump and his administration, he’s at least holding daily press conferences, confusing and unhelpful as they can be, at least he shows his face!! What are our Mass. officials doing? I can not go indefinitely without work and neither can my tenants, and not all of us will significantly benefit by the bill the US Congress and President are working on. Local small businesses, small landlords, 1099 contractors, wait staff, bar tenders, hotel staff, sole proprietors like me who can’t do our business online, WE NEED HELP. NO ONE IN GOVERNMENT IS SPEAKING FOR US. Except for Bernie, who I also don’t care for very much. But he’s right about what he just said, a $1,000 payment one time in the next 10 weeks isn’t going to help people like me and so many others in your very high priced district very much. Massachusetts leadership needs to get into gear and you all need to work together and start offering all of us solutions – now! And for GOD’S SAKE, finish shutting us down! WE ARE GOING TO LOOK LIKE ITALY!! They keep their supermarkets and pharmacies open and they are DYING! We need all residents to be able to ORDER what we need. Either online or the PHONE. TO be delivered, or picked up OUTSIDE the store. The last thing I want to do right now is walk into a STORE. And by the way, WHERE IS THE HAND SANITIZER THE GOVENOR SAID THE COMPOUNDING PHRMACIES WERE GOING TO MAKE? TO SAY THAT I AM DISAPPOINTED AND UPSET IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT!!!
we would feel fine confined to the house as long as we could take walks. We are concerned about people who do not adhere to social distance. Shopping remotely (delivery services) work best for us at this time but may be hardships for the workers at stores. Thank you for all you do to keep us safe.
The updates and structure has been working. Shelter in place panics people, not a great idea. Teens and college ages are not particularly paying attention to social distancing. Perhaps more emphasis on these groups?
Thank you for all the information you have been sending on the crisis. You are the best!
OK for now, Will…everyone in my neighborhood seems to be heeding the Governor’s call to try to stay home. Thank you for everything you do to help keep us safe!
This crisis has highlighted a clear lack of leadership on the federal level. Moving forward, I think the states will need to have their own contingency plans and stockpiles of PPE and equipment.
This article does a very good job explaining why we need massive suppression now. https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-the-hammer-and-the-dance-be9337092b56
thanks for asking!
Very concerned about conditions in hospitals – serious risk for seniors who get sick!’
I am fine with a shelter in place for 2-4 weeks. Beyond that, it really becomes overkill and not economically worth it. I also believe we need more support for small businesses and their workers forced to shut down by the government.
“Our” government must help US by sending some of our money to US, regularly, until we can all get back to work, and then some. A one time or two time payment of $1k or so is useless. And it shouldn’t be taxed. Nor should it be considered a loan. We didn’t do this. Maybe, all elected reps, state and federal, should forgo paychecks. We are.
Health wise, fine. But economically, my IRA, which was my 401K has lost over 10K. This served as supplementary income to a relatively low SS check, while I have experienced additional costs to health insurance and dental problems. At 76 this is of concern.
We go to the CVS, supermarket during senior hours; take walks outdoors; essential medical appointments only. We buy things online. We Skype. We have done ZOOM with our children and grandchildren. We will be doing our online classes via ZOOM, starting next week. We are surviving! We live on the edge of the South End, technically Back Bay.
I am extremely grateful for those of you that are steering this unprecedented time!
Thank you for handling this crises with the attention and seriousness that a pandemic deserves. I appreciate your hard work and the way you keep people informed
I would really like it if we could end the limitation on gatherings before Maundy Thursday (April 9), but am willing to accept that it may be necessary to extend it beyond that point. However, I think that the Governor needs to make public when or under what circumstances the ban is going to end.
I fear that people will stop taking precautions in a couple of weeks and many will die unnecessarily.
I am very concerned that we don’t have a shelter in place order. We are in crisis and it’s going to get worse. Do we have to drive off a cliff before we’re told to shelter in place? The lack of an order is putting me – and many others – at risk.
We have an opportunity to match our effort to New York’s and create a more continuous quarantined area. Our current path brings us to a place that’s worse than Italy according to all professionals. Even if most people voluntarily distance, the remaining scofflaws spread enough disease to override our efforts. The models on the Washington Post site demonstrate this idea well.
Thank you for doing this survey. I believe it is important that Belmont go into a lockdown immediately. I have personally seen so very many people violating the social distance requests in this town and fear for the effect it will have on all.
I watch constructions workers still working long hours and interacting with all kinds of vendors, trying to finish a billionaire’s gut-renovated house next door to our condo building. And it just seems wrong.
I am old (80) and had radioactive cancer treatment so I am staying home. I’ll probably have to go out food shopping next week, early when seniors will go. So far I don’t have any particular problem that I can’t handle. I am aware others do.
Please publicize how to donate, especially if people don’t need their stimulus checks.
The doctors and hospitals, as well as experts at higher level knew we were not really prepared with equipment (preventive garments for staff, enough ventilators for critically ill patients,etc.) and ignored it. They also did not warn us properly in early February when they knew it was very contagious and spreading outside China. Suddenly, there is now a crisis here, and in the rest of the world.
From what I’ve read, it seems that we really need to move to shelter in place, with the usual exceptions, including going outside for exercise, but it seems that’s the only way for some employers not in critical sectors to “get it” that they need to send their employees home.
We need to keep testing, but currently the extremely low (less than 1/10 of 1% of MA pop) diagnosed suggests that a shelter in place would be overkill. Obviously more tests are needed, but logic suggests the sickest are finding their way to the hospital. The initial spike in MA cases (we were once #3 in cases) was probably due to MA leadership in testing. I believe the Brigham ambulance bay test tent (and others) was up and running before 3/11.
It’s all terrifying, but concern about dying is much more basic than concern about the economic impact. I am essentially already sheltering in place, since I’m over 70. I really wish everyone would take the situation seriously.
I’d actually be OK sheltered through September but might go stir crazy beyond six months.
One other essential store for me and others, is a pet food store. I hope that is considered like a grocery store. Also, I work at a university. Right now I go in for about an hour or so once a week to water the plants in my office and bring home books and other things I need. I do not have a car, so I have to do it a bit at a time and I get there and back by the T. That is the one other thing that would be difficult, but not impossible to deal with (except I hate to kill my plants by neglect!)
Crack down on the college kids
We should have gone to shelter in place a week ago (3/15) with support people and businesses. The more we wait, the more cases and death we’ll have due to the exponential spread.
Gov Baker’s tepid and snail-like response has and continues to greatly endanger everyone’s health. The longer he waits to implement shelter in place, the more people, especially healthcare workers, he’s consigning to die. He knows we have grossly inadequate resources to treat and test COVID19, yet he continues to drag his heels. Previously I disliked him and was angry about his bullshit MBTA and RMV policies and responses, but now I will work hard to get him out of office from now until election day 2022.
I am freaked out about how our health care system can make it through this without being overwhelmed. I believe the Governor needs to be hugely more proactive. They really dropped the ball after the Biogen conference.
As I said we have to control the youth
I have the resources for my family to stay home. However I am exceptionally worried about people not following recommendations. I do think a shelter in place order will be necessary. As a neighborhood, we came together during the manhunt. We can do the same now to save the grandparents.
What a good idea!
Please shut down Mass. My friend by Riverway stop says college kids are not staying inside. I am afraid if I need routine or emergency medical care I won’t be able to get it over the next year. I’m afraid of having to watch people die outside the hospital (like in the parking lot). When I was little, I went to India with my dad and he told me about the Indian hospitals, and now I’m afraid I will see that here. I have my own consulting business and normally I’m broke, but I just got some payments from customers before this, so luckily, I have some money to get me through.
I work at a company where they said they were doing deep cleaning regularly and they were missing a lot of regular cleaning. The said they prefer non essential people work from home and still way too many people came to work for my comfort, so I decided to work at home. Different companies have different definitions of essential pushing some people to take risks or exposing people to each other.
Availability and accessibility to accurate testing is the key element!
Very tough call to “shelter in place” but the downside of not doing it is too great.
There are no easy answers but it seems we need to act now. People seem to be following fairly well but a 3-4 week shut down would give us time. My concern is without the federal govt taking this more serious, what’s the point?
I’m concerned about my mental health the longer this outbreak goes on especially with the strong limits on the social interactions I rely on and the difficulty accessing mental health care at this time. I would prefer any approach that gets this over faster, but I’m not sure how best to do that.
Having weakened many civil agencies, do Trump and his appointees have us separated at home from each other so that they can manipulate us on largely controlled media to be sheep for their corporatist interests?
The pain of social distancing and staying home for the most part is better than overwhelming our hospital system and city with a spike in the virus (And I fear this is where we will be in a week to ten days). We need to bite the bullet now as we will likely overwhelm our dedicated health care workers. We know social distancing slows transmission.
We’re not complaining–we’re better off than many people. We are blessed with a rich web of relationships. There is much to do to look out for others, and many thanks to give for the presence of those who love us and keep in touch with us–even if a lot of it is “remote.” Our best hope as a community is to look out for each other.
My job is secure; my husband’s probably less so. We have enough food for at least two weeks maybe longer. Would shelter in place mean kids couldn’t play outside or families couldn’t go for walks or bike rides? That would be really hard on everyone!
Any ideas floating for cutting heath insurance premiums during the social distancing/shelter in place? After mortgage payment that is our largest expense- over $2000/mo as self employed family. Or decreasing the deductibles for people who have high deductible policies? Also, any ideas for letting people below retirement age, with no other income, draw from retirement plans without penalties? That would seem better to me than taking loans (if we could even get loans) even after the retirement accounts have lost so much value.
Too many people still in groups, more social distancing needed!
These are very uncertain times, and we feel very unsecure that if food and other supplies will be available for everyone in MA in 3 to 4 weeks. The prices will go up and seniors and others won’t be able to afford to buy food and other necessities, that are not easily accessible to all.
The MBTA must continue to run. I don’t drive and rely on buses to get groceries that are not available online and on the rare occasions I need to go to my office. Stores and online sellers should be required to limit quantities of essentials — we should not have this stupid crisis around toilet paper, or have to wait more than a week for an online grocery order. And shelter in place MUST allow for essential errands like grocery shopping and medical appts. Thank you for asking!
Thank you for all your efforts!
I work for a biomedical company. Research operations are essential.
I think the approach is a go balance. I see many people walking which is very good for their mind and health. The approach must consider mental health and recognize a balance approach is the present best approach.
I am one of the few lucky people in which I am being paid while I am home, but I don’t know how long that will last.
I am fortunate to be working from home full time already and my job should be secure. As a single mother, the biggest challenge right now is keeping my three school aged boys busy, And finding ways to support those who are not fairing as well as we are.
We are 60. Prepared to shelter in place indefinitely, as long as we get food delivery every 2-3 weeks and can walk outside for exercise daily.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, I have moved from Boston to live with my parents who are over 65 and have underlying conditions, making them immunocompromised. I am lucky that I can work from home indefinitely. I think we need a more drastic response from the state and federal government to flatten the curve. Based on the exponential nature of transmission, any delays in acting will lead to significantly worse outcomes as hospitals become overcrowded and medical care becomes effectively unavailable to those in need. An effective response can make the difference between best and worse case scenarios, as exemplified by South Korea and Italy, respectively.
I just returned from Puerto Rico, where the Governor enacted an Island-wide shutdown and an 8pm to 5am curfew. Not fun, but the result is far fewer cases of coronavirus on the whole island than in the town of Belmont.
Although I believe people need to be more careful about limiting social interactions right now, I am very concerned about what will happen with the economy and specifically small businesses, which employ so many people in greater Boston and make this area such a desirable place to live. I am also very concerned about access to testing and how our healthcare system will handle the influx of patients once this pandemic gets worse in Massachusetts.
We appreciate your attention in getting information regarding COVID 19 to us. We hope that we will all get through this difficult time and continue to receive guidance from you and your staff.
Small business, especially restaurants, bars and retail stores seem to be hit the hardest. Our local community is not set up for walk-by ordering and delivery. Other countries like Singapore have managed to continue with businesses open, but have vastly more simple sickness monitoring. As a society we have to change the way employers expect employees to show up when sick, or don’t get paid. This pandemic has brought out the unfairness of this style of doing business for the employees, and everyone else. As a child, my mother kept me home if I was sick, period. I have never seen any other family use this policy. We need to change that NOW. The ramifications of not changing it are all around us, every day. Once this pandemic is over, if we don’t fix our policies, we will be easily effected by other pandemics too.
Thank you for asking. I hope you are all well.
People need to cover their mouths when coughing and sneezing. Stop coughing up crap and spitting it on the sidewalks. Stop tossing their latex and rubber gloves all over the place. Stop tossing cups they been drinking out on the sidewalks, shrubs and streets. The sidewalks and streets are covered with their trash. There’s the potential of them being carriers or infected and it’s on their trash. It can live hours and days, dependent upon what it is. No one wants to pick up or clean up. The city was a garbage can and ashtray before and it’s worse now.
have confidence in you
There is too little information in support of social distancing. We don’t know when a store has been disinfected, how crowded it is, what’s out of stock, etc… This can all be crowdsourced at the community level.
1. Close the non essential businesses rather than issue shelter in place order. 2. When we can, work on creating an institutional structure ( like social security) that can provide basic support options – access to health care and unemployment – for low wage workers and workers in the gig economy. 3. Prepare for next by pushing ahead with universal internet access.
A shutdown will kill small business. Small business would need the government to step in and pay employees unemployment. Or else businesses will close. A business owner should not have to take a loan to pay employees that they are not preventing from working.
I think that the Governor (or at least Mayor Walsh for Boston, along with Cambridge Mayor Siddiqui) should institute a shelter in place-type order (along the lines of the your second question) asap
As a nurse my concern is for the protection of the health care workers. Please help us get what we need to keep safe so we can care for our patients.
Thank you for working hard on this and so many other things. We also need to deal with jails and prisons and poor people who would be out simply if they could pay bail. Incarceration shouldn’t mean a death sentence.
I am more worried for others. We will make it through.
Many of us are gig workers, or what I use to call, freelancers. We have numerous clients. My way of making a living has come to a complete halt. I am a TV director of photographer. I do not see any way that I can apply for unemployment even though I do some w2 work, as most of my clients consider me an independent contractor. I have not seen any of the federal or state plans on helping people financially include people like me. My work requires me to be on site, and all of that kind of work is now gone. I realize that we need to do what we are doing to stop the spread of this virus, I am just going to have to figure out how to survive financially as well. Staying home and trying to stay well. Please let the legislators know that there are those of us who seem to fall through the aid cracks. Thanks
More needs to be done NOW. We desperately need to flatten the curve before the health system does become overloaded. We also need to get rid of the liar-in-chef in the White House who is a danger, liar and totally incapable of dealing with the situation. More now will mean a shorter duration, fewer deaths and fewer ill. This is literally a matte of life and death.
Thanks for doing this senator; we are entering unknown area for most of us. Short term it seems social isolations, testing kits and ventilators are the big needs. Later? Let’s see what’s left of our economy and social glue.
Thank you for you care and concern. Praying that the precautions we are taking will be blessing in the long run.
We need to do more to protect the vulnerable population.
I work paycheck to paycheck and STILL beyond in my bills. I do my best but it is hard.
I started to order supplies early so I am well supplied. I am waiting for masks to be delivered. We got a cold at the beginning of the scare but it went away —
I am concerned with the people hoarding essentials, and how my friends in the service industry will survive. We need a rent and utility freeze. restaurant / bar workers are often paycheck to paycheck, and rent in the city is high. Also, is this a death knell to small businesses that operate on tight margins? When this ends, will people even have a job to go back to?
I think we might feel more confident (and better) if we could hear more about what coordinated efforts are being made such as increasing production or PPE and ventilators, deliveries of such materials to hospitals in need and more (faster) testing kits.
So far we are well.
I believe that stricter orders on social gathering and shelter in place now, before numbers raise will pay off quite soon.
Thank you very much, Will, for sending out this questionnaire. I filed for unemployment insurance on 3-2-2020 due to a layoff unrelated to the pandemic. My application is still pending. Will I be eligible for the increased pandemic-related unemployment benefits (e.g. waiting week waiver) since finding work in this environment is much more difficult due to the pandemic? Also, I am concerned that payment of my unemployment benefits will be very delayed due to the huge increase in unemployment applications related to the coronavirus. There is no mechanism for me to communicate with the DUA since they are no longer accepting phone calls. Is there a way for me to check on the status of my application if I have not received payment within the next few weeks? Also, do you know if banks are reducing mortgage rates and waiving refinance fees in view of the pandemic? I will reach out to my bank (Santander) but thought you might know. Thank you for all you do!
I am a union stage hand with The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 11. Our biggest employer, LiveNation, said the soonest to expect work is September. Even then, they feel that they will see a drop in ticket sales since people for live concerts and theater, which could impact us months after we’re able to put thousands of people in one place together.
we need rental forgiveness asap!!!
I am unable to work NOW. I am an independent contractor, as is my wife (who is also unable to work now). I work as a corporate trainer. We have only enough money saved to cover the next 4 weeks of expenses for our family. Then we’ll be in severe financial distress.
If the state can measure % the infected population from the total, with virus tests, it can then act as needed. WE NEED TESTS.
I think both Charlie Baker and Marty Walsh are doing a fantastic job. They keep us updated, have put many services into place, and have made me feel better by seeing them on their daily press conferences.
I believe the government should act to further reduce social interactions but without locking everybody inside their homes. For example, I would welcome the following measures – banning all gatherings, parties, etc. beyond members of a single household, as well as all visits to other people’s homes except to care for the sick and elderly. – increased protection for supermarket workers, e.g., physical barriers that would keep customers at a distance, or transparent screens such as those used at pharmacies. – closing all nonessential businesses that involve close contact (such as barber shops) or large concentration of people indoors. – traveling by car should be only permitted for members of the same household unless for an essential purpose (such as bringing a sick person to a hospital). – rideshare services such as Uber should erect barriers separating drivers from passengers. On the other hand, it is important to preserve outdoor recreation opportunities (e.g., walking, biking, hiking, including driving to these activities) provided it’s not done in groups exceeding a single household and social distance to other people is maintained. Some nonessential businesses not contributing significantly to social interaction may be allowed to operate, for example: – takeout and delivery restaurants (closing them will increase the concentration of people at supermarkets) – businesses involving little close contact, such as outdoor construction. – nonessential stores may remain open providing they let customers in one person at a time and people are asked to maintain a minimum distance if waiting outside the store. – same for car rental agencies – one customer inside at a time.
I feel the biggest problems are not around me, as I live in a not-crowded neighborhood, can walk, driving is super-easy now. Folks in apartments, cramped housing, antsy kids – totally different story. Biggest worry (besides the federal govt “ruler”) is people not taking precautions seriously. If they wait til someone they know gets sick, that’s way too late.
“Two to four weeks” versus “indefinitely” is a less than ideal way to phrase the choice. My answer, for example, would be “two to three months” or more, but very much dependent on when / if the food supply chain shuts down. Also: As an example of “still doing unsafe things”, on my last trip to a supermarket on Thursday, I was the only person wearing a face mask and latex gloves. Of course there’s no way for most people to get these things so there’s kind of a Catch-22 when I say that people who don’t have enough food are not doing enough when they shop without protection. Meanwhile just yesterday I received a report from western Pennsylvania of someone who made light of his college age daughter having been in contact with one of the first people to test positive in one of the mountain states out west: no hint of self quarantine or even a concern. Just a gee whiz whaddayaknow bit of news. Meanwhile, the incident rate in New York state (mostly metropolitan areas around New York City it appears) is exploding: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html March 22: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/22/nyregion/coronavirus-new-york-update.html#link-56ccc24 (15,168 cases)
Testing needs to be increased; protective devices for healthcare workers must be supplied; food workers must wear gloves; economic relief for workers who have lost their jobs because of the crisis; free medical care for Covid-19 patients not covered by health insurance; ban all gatherings of 10 or more persons; prevent hoarding
I am nurse ha e to go to work daily
I work in health care and rent a small apartment. I am sharing childcare arrangements with my child’s father who can work mostly from home.
Thank you. These are extraordinary times, and we appreciate your commitment to keeping us informed.
Thanks for your involvement with this, and for the info sent earlier. We also got a great email from our congresswoman. I think that it is so important to stop the spread of COVID. This week I was at home or work, no stops in between except once for self serve gas.
Thank you for asking!
Support those struggling. Support Democratic presidential/vice presidential/Senate candidates. Including getting young people registered and voting.
My income has been cut by at least 80% since the shut down began. I am concerned that my resources will only get me through another month. After that I will have to use credit cards.
Transmission is primarily airborne yet people are mingling with various friends and shopping. They don’t see this as widespread yet or seriously affecting them. I am very concerned about going to a grocery store as the workers without masks and gloves are in close proximity to hundreds of strangers a day. It would be good to allow small businesses to remain open if they can put safety measures in place.
In light of the trajectory of the virus as evidenced in Italy and Spain, I worry that we should be more aggressive in ordering a shelter in place for Boston. However, I am privileged and know that the hardship imposed would not affect me as much as others. Can you get feedback from other younger people?
Governors should band together and aggressively lay out for the Federal Government what they need. Fifteen to twenty governors are needed. Try to get a few Republicans – Baker, the guy from Maryland, Romney (former gov.). Really push.
Thank you for asking. Stay healthy!
Thank you for reaching out. I am upset to see groups of teens at the basketball court near me. Please shut them down!
Social isolation/distancing for more than a month will be doable but hard on older people who live alone
I’m very concerned about small businesses. What will happen if they can’t pay rent due to loss of income? I believe we need immediate legislation that will protect small business owners and allow a moratorium on rent, interest payments, loan payments, etc. without penalty during the crisis and a reasonable plan for payment once the pandemic ends.
I need healthcare now that I don’t have a job.
My retirement account has taken quite a hit. We’ll see where all this leads, I guess.
It is concerning that people are not practicing social distancing. The closed parks are crowded with groups of people playing basketball, tennis and walking the track.
MA, like the balance of U.S., has been at the mercy of our gov. INEXCUSABLE leadership in this critical matter. Our Governor has weakly followed. Our preparation and information continues at abominable levels, strapping the medical expertise our state is known for. Independence of manufacturers and medical institutions need to rally over and above any legislative bodies to get hold of propitious need. Truth of the numbers AND solutions at hand need to be heard so that citizens can react correctly and plan ahead calmly. Thank you for your efforts to assist. You are a continued beacon in this effort, as well as correctional justice. Both are in such need currently.
I believe the State should utilize all available health care workers and resources, including pharmacists who have the expertise to provide both hands on care, drug counseling, patient assessments and expert knowledge on viral life cycles, antiviral drugs, and immunization.
Before a lockdown we need some notice to organize ourselves. Lockdown + testing + separation is the only way to stop this. Thank you
Working very part time, will be retired by summer with small pension. Our country desperately needs a new leader!!
I am 72 and have serious asthma. My wife and I are only interacting in person with each other-. Not even with my son who lives nearby because his wife is an OT seeing people in their homes. We all talk on FaceTime. I am very afraid that without a strict stay at home policy from the state (better from the feds) except for necessary trips and solitary (or with your partner or housemates— this should be explicit) exercise , the virus will explode and I and many others will be in more and more danger. Social distancing is an act of love…..
We recently closed on a 55+ one-floor condo and have planned a move on April 16th. We also have Verizon appointment April 8th to start phones, internet, and tv…..phones being the key b/c husband is a LifeLine subscriber. Not sure how a shelter in place will affect us….just another hurdle in life!
I appreciate this survey. I wish our governor would step up more. I’m assuming no leadership from the White House and more likely misinformation.
Trump doing a fantastic job
Local home delivery by grocery stores is pretty terrible.
I returned this form without comment, before I read you comments. I agree with them.
Thanks, Will–I will be interested in your results/comments.
This is a very serious health crisis, and the impact of overwhelming our healthcare system are real. If our leaders feel additional measures such as shelter in place are necessary to get compliance and stop spread, go for it.
Doing the best we can. At home with spouse and 1 adult daughter.
we may have to consider the trade-off between quarantine and economic collapse at some point.
I suppose if we are stressing out the healthcare system we should strengthen our response, but I hope that ppl will still be able to go to the grocery store or take a walk
I would prefer to refer to what we do as self quarantine and physical distancing. Social distancing is an inaccurate name, and “shelter in place” should be saved for things like live shooter episodes and natural disasters like hurricanes. (Not that COVID-19 isn’t a disaster, natural or otherwise; shelter in place doesn’t seem appropriate.)
We need more testing! Current measures are not as helpful without testing and immediate response to all cases
While I’m not sure shelter in place is needed, I do question why barber shops, nail salons, massage places, tattoo parlors and similar, where people have close, prolonged contact, have not been shut. (Many have indeed closed voluntarily.) Also need more support for parents who can work from home, but not while taking care of kids also stuck at home–the situation of many of my colleagues who are burning out fast.
Wegmans employee scared to bring it home to family.cant afgord not to work though
I’m 1099 and work from home, but have gone from about 35-40 down to 10 hours per week. My wife (W2) can do her job from home, but may be laid off if the crisis lasts into June.
We need to take this more seriously and enact requirements similar to NYC or California, but with enforcement. Still too many people out and about using public spaces (particularly on nice days). Concerned about the well-being of small businesses and hourly/low-wage workers. We need to focus on getting $ to those people quickly. Concerned about the lack of coordination (definitely federal response has been criminally negligent) to get sufficient PPE to health workers. The states are on their own, so we need to be ahead of the game. Thank you for your hard work on these efforts.
There is a huge problem going forward making sure that people of all ages have enough to eat.
Our current recommended “social distancing” practice, with a large majority of people working from home, seems a reasonable compromise approach for now. People that I know are very conscious of maintaining distance and understand the rationale to help contain virus transmission. However, this introduces inefficiencies in business operations, which mandatory confinement would exacerbate. Some flexibility, within reasonable management, should be viable while not reducing the virus containment benefit. I worry that under mandatory containment more business operations would suffer and potentially have to close, and more employees would end up being let go and landing in unemployment.
Not clear what difference shelter in place would make. I am teleworking but going out for walks and to buy food. Would shelter in place change that?
Why are not all the bio tech labs not sending their goves and masks to hospital workers?Grocery stores remain unsafe even with “senior” hours as no one is monitoring spacing of people.
Check 0ut Thomas Friedman’s article in the NYT today: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/22/opinion/coronavirus-economy.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage We need to start getting people back to work, or we many people are going to start dying from economic conditions rather than COVID-19 itself. Example: If you depend on insulin (Type 1 diabetes) and you can’t afford to buy insulin because you are an unemployed restaurant worker, there is a real chance you could die soon. A small check of $1,000 to all Americans isn’t going to actually cover rent, prescriptions, etc. What people need is to get back to work. Let’s accept the fact that some people will die from COVID-19 and move on.
Am essential personnel but rotating with colleagues to drive to work so only have to be in 1-2x a week
I’m glad you are asking the public these questions. I hope it helps you make decisions about how we should go forward.
I work in a grocery store. A shelter in place order would not affect me
How about putting of filing Massachusetts income taxes until July 15th like the IRS did?
In my opinion, the prevention is far worse than the disease. The prevention measures are the only unprecedented part of this pandemic.
I think more aggressive action needs to happen. The government needs to step up so the hospitals have enough support and supplies. I still see too many people wearing surgical masks and N95 masks who do not need them and are probably hoarding them. They are either panicking and buying supplies thinking it will help ( issue of misinformation and lack of knowledge about medical supplies and how it works) or they are being selfish. Our hospital staff need as much support behind them right now. More stores should limit the amount each household can buy of staples as well. I’ve seen a few do so but the community collaboration should be more stressed. Too many people, especially millennials, don’t realize how their actions are negatively impacting efforts to slow down the strain on our hospitals. I say this as a young millennial myself who works on a hospital campus and has seen the stress the hospital was feeling only one week ago. We are at the center of healthcare and if it takes a shelter in place order for people to stay in their homes that’s what needs to be done. For those who have uncertain financial situations, the government should provide immediate relief to individuals and incentives for business to support their staff. This could be cash, food provisions or rent holds. Whatever would help those who don’t have a secure job or family to support them.
Being in hospitality business I am direly affected by this situation, cancelled reservations & no new guests coming.
Thanks for your leadership, Will. We are so grateful to have sane local leaders.
My work services restaurants, so with them closed it hurts us. My job security, which is normally unshakable, is very up in the air because of this.
This is a difficult time for,so many. What is most difficult for me is that my son was just released from hospital in FLA. He is now on Hospice Care, with compromised lungs and heart. In light of the Corona Virus, this freighters me. I pray every day that pandemic ceases for him and for everyone affected by this Plague. Stay safe. <3
I am the sole employee of my company. Going to work will not effect other people. I can lock my doors and service my clients by phone and internet, and ship stuff to them. I need the cash flow to pay the bills. A shelter in place order will cause my company and me to go bankrupt in 3-4 weeks if not sooner unless the commonwealth some how causes contractual expenses for individuals and businesses be deferred (and prevent late penalties). Which is an idea if there is a shelter in place order.
I’m trying to strike a balance between supporting local businesses that are struggling and isolating myself as much as possible.
Where will the results of this survey be posted?
If told to shelter in place, be sure people know they can walk outside but they need leave the 6 foot distance between strangers and them. Belmont’s facebook page already has people yelling at people who are walking outside. Household ages: 63 & 66
I am hoping our federal government can do more to support states with tests that don’t take 4-8 days for results, ventilators, and PPE for healthcare workers and others. Everyone who thinks they have covid-19 should be able to quickly and easily get tested so we know better how to behave. Countries who have done well containing this virus have had wide scale testing. Unconscionable that in this country, our government response has been as if we live in the backwaters of Bangladesh. I know our local officials and hospitals are strapped. Keep up the good work.
Most of the problems are due to Washington’s abysmal and counterproductive responses. Mass can step up by starting to enforce some of the recommendations, starting with the 6′ away distancing. (Germany just announced a 25,000 Euro fine for NOT obeying that ONE directive.) Grocery stores should immediately start putting limits to stop the ridiculous hoarding and panic buying. And CVS needs a BIG slapdown: We’ve been told repeatedly to keep at least a month’s worth of maintenance medications on hand. I’m on such a medication, and EVEN THOUGH the doctor OK’d an early refill, AND the insurance company will pay for it, AND all this info was relayed to CVS, every time I go to pick it up, some pharmacist says “the computer won’t let me do it.” WHY??? Who’s running the store? The computer or the humans?
I am extremely concerned about the unpreparedness in regards of limited tests and the shortage of supplies for medical personal.
As far as people doing unsafe things – I am mostly referring to college students/spring break – who may be coming back to Boston, infecting neighbors (I live in an apartment which is why that is a particular concern- shared lobby, laundry). I haven’t heard of unsafe practices in Boston, but I’m trying to give myself a news blackout.
We should have started sheltering sooner. I believe things are about to get much worse.
Senator, Thank you for sending this survey. I think it’s important information to gather.
We should do whatever we have to to get through this as quickly as possible.
Shutting down places of business that can not work from home will ruin the middle class. If you loose your home and business no tax cut is going to help you. I would need money now not in a few months.
Senator, this is from one of the few Republicans in the city of Boston! My gut tells me the hospitals are going to get slammed. And it seems reasonable to do a shelter in place for a couple of weeks, to “flatten the curve.” Eventually, we’ll have to go back to work because that’s what has to happen. People got to go back to work at some point. My instinct is that people will start rebelling if we don’t give them a pretty definite end to the time they have to stay inside. Early to mid-May seems to be the outer limit of what people can stand. But that’s only if the supply chains stay intact. If they don’t, I’m driving to New Hampshire. Also, I suspect we got off easy this time. The fact that most of the people who die from this are in their 70s or over will diminish the “felt” impact of this crisis. The overall death rate might not increase that much on an annual rate, but the blip of a significant number of deaths over the course of a few weeks might be a source of trauma for folks going forward. The problem is the images we might see from the hospitals. If people are denied care as they are being denied care in Italy, that’s going to be a huge problem psychologically. But it might provide an impetus for a reform movement for state government. It might also remind people about the fragility of human existence and life in general, which is a good thing. Responsible leaders should be thinking about what the next pandemic might bring — more mortality of young people, a higher death rate. My hope is that the Democratic party will start thinking in more concrete terms about the material interests of the people they govern and abandon the “virtue signaling” that we seen on the part of so many young people. An FDR/Truman approach of “we’re all in this together” and less of an emphasis on identity politics, white privilege and divisiveness. I don’t want to sound like a crank, but when the power went out on Friday, my response was, “I don’t give a damn about diversity. I want to know if they can keep the lights on.” Material interests are going to be more important than symbolism and identity politics going forward. Just my gut. If leaders want to tell me how privileged I am these days I’ll shut them out. If they want to talk to me about my rights and responsibilities as a U.S. citizen and the need to respect everyone’s equality before the law, I’m all ears. That’s the way forward, I think. One last thing. Responsible leaders should be telling the general populace that they should have enough household supplies to shelter in place for another crisis like this one. The folks who speak reasonably about the future in hopeful terms and in a manner that affirms their agency, their ability to take care of themselves, while at the same time assuring them that the people in charge are learning will serve the commonwealth in great ways over the next decade or so. Sorry for the pontificating, but it’s what I’m good at.
I understand that right now a lot of places, including here, are encouraging people to get out for exercise. But I am not seeing this done responsibly here. I’ve seen packs of people running together, shoulder-to-shoulder and taking up entire sidewalks forcing people trying to practice social distancing to either violate that practice or have to move out into the street with cars.
the worst suffering and impact of this crisis will be caused by greed of those who already hold too much.
having had to stay in quarantine following a stem cell transplant. I’m used to it and would rather be safe than sorry.
I would rather the authorities take the most severe/extreme precautions now and then back-off as we learn more instead of doing too little, too late.
For people who need support they must get it. The national democrats so far are weak. Party presumptive nominee must be napping. Bostons mayor is always a bit behind playing it too safe politically. Baker not sure about. President beyond belief incompetence.
Thanks for doing this.
Flattening the infection curve is an urgent and understandable public obligation. In my view, self-inflicted economic disaster would be going too far and we should look for ways to safely mitigate the crisis without expecting to completely eliminate it. We must keep an eye out for opportunism and economic unjustice with respect to economic bailout plans. We must preserve the 2020 elections on time. We must continue to observe and fight the Trump agenda which will use this as a screen to hide their dismantling of environmental and legal protections and the professional function of our bureaucracies.
Both of my kids are home from school and my wife has been told to work from home for 30 days. I am a Realtor so I need to be out meeting people and showing homes. I am doing as much as I can from home but this pandemic is significantly going to hurt my business. My wife is afraid let me leave the house and I am worried about having no closings in 1-3 months from now since that’s my living. If this is a real threat, make people stay home so passes sooner. If it’s not, let us all get back to work and school.
I *suspect* we are overreacting but that is all it is — a suspicion. I don’t think the actions taken so far are irrational given how little is known. The incentives are of course all in the direction of making the most pessimistic forecast, and one has to bear that in mind.
I like the approach outlined in the NYT in Friedman’s piece on Sunday. Most important is that rather than a “horizontal interdiction” strategy, we should be using a “vertical” one, protecting those of us who are most vulnerable, and letting the rest of us who are relatively healthy risk getting the virus and then getting back to normal life. Otherwise this could go on for a long time and hurt so many of us economically.
I need paid sick leave. My employer offers only a few days/year, has not increased as a result of the pandemic and is exempt under the bill passed in Congress recently (over 500 employees). Please help us get access to more paid sick leave!
I could work at home but am driving to an empty office to avoid the distractions from 3 kids home from college/school. Would love to hear about opportunities for them to volunteer or work to help those in need.
Thank you. I’m providing child care to healthcare workers — anything you can do to get more protective equipment (real supplies, not homemade items) to healthcare workers should be a top priority.
I reduced the amount of work load, and working alone and taking precautions as recommended by the government and WHO
The federal government response is totally inadequate (and untruthful) and I’m enraged, upset and frustrated on a daily basis with the president, VP and Congress.
I own a small business a shut down of more than 3 months might put me under forever I am in bar business and like thousands of others a 3 month closure might be the end for many of us we need help now thanks
Keep up the good work.
Voluntary local distancing seems to be effective in Arlington, but I wouldn’t oppose a stricter lock-down if needed across the state.
I work in a health care profession that is helping to keep patients out of Emergency rooms and Governor Baker’s office has asked us to continue to be available to our patients so long as all protocols are followed, which they are. If I stop working I am afraid that my patients will go to emergency rooms when they have acute spinal issues. I am a Doctor of Chiropractic. My first worry is this. Second, if I stop working I have no source of income and not much savings, so this will hit me quickly. It is all very stressful and the fact that people have horded gloves and hand sanitizer makes me question how long I will enough supplies to keep seeing patients.
I believe we’re close to doing everything we can but it feels like it was too late. We also need constant positive reminders about the right things to do
I believe that many Americans have died because of the poor response of the Administration.
I’m scared for the future of my job and income security going forward, but even more scared of the intensified spread of the disease. It will devastate our society if we don’t take drastic action.
My husband works in an ICU. The state needs to do more to support front line health care workers and their families.
I’ve listed my home zip code but am actually staying with family at the moment.
Again, I’m on one of Sal’s constituents, so I hope it’s not wrong to answer. I’m troubled that Cambridge and Boston have chosen to single out the construction industry to stop work. It seem like, for instance, an excellent time for restaurants to engage in much-needed renovations, when they cannot be catering to sit-down customers. I’m not sure where the balance should lie, and I’m not strongly opposed to closing down businesses, but I’m troubled at the focus on one industry. I’m also reasonably unsure that the negative economic impacts are being understood. It feels like rich people making decisions who don’t understand what it’s like to live paycheck-to-paycheck. (On the other hand, I don’t know what that’s like either.)
Thank you for asking our opinions.
Thank you for checking in
It is hard to know which way this is turning right now. Self care, awareness, sound practices and patience, I feel is most needed. I know that as Rep Ciccolo stressed, reaching out more to family, friends and neighbors and co workers is very productive too. Govt web sites are helpful and reassuring. Hope your survey brings you to where you would like. Fondly, LAP
It is ESSENTIAL that physicians, nurses and other healthcare givers are provided with the personal protective equipment they need in order to treat patients without getting sick themselves. The death rate of healthcare workers is 3 times that of the general population, maybe even more. The Boston area is the site of the best hospitals in the world, and even they are unable to protect their doctors and nurses. And more ventilators are needed or patients with respiratory failure will unnecessarily die. In the absence of meaningful national leadership, it is essential that we do whatever can be done and the local and state level. We are grateful to you, Senator Brownsberger and colleagues, for your engagement and leadership in this time of crisis.
I’m afraid for the small businesses and for employees who have lost their jobs. I fear that we will see a Great Recession and I am terrified that Donald Trump will be re-elected. Stay safe
I have more money than many (and few needs), so my situation different than those whose livelihood is gone with the virus. Most people would need help!
I believe there should be a consistent policy on sheltering in place throughout the state because people move around and take their illness with them. Having different policies from city to city is not as effective, I believe. Of course it would be best, I believe, if the policy were consistent throughout the country. I also feel the police should be able to remind people about staying 6 feet or more apart when they see people not respecting that “rule”.
Based on what I see and hear in my daily life, this virus is going to spread like wildfire because a large portion of people are not taking it seriously and are taking unnecessary risks. Our hospitals are going to be overwhelmed like Italy’s are in the very near term, and by the time we take the measures needed to slow the spread, it will be too late, and our recovery will be much much longer.
I think many people are not raking this seriously. Start more stringent shutdown now.
Will- The Habitat in Belmont as well as Rock Meadow, Lone Tree Hill, etc. are being overwhelmed by people looking to escape into nature for a few hours. It’s mayhem and no one is embracing social distancing. It’s utter chaos. To complicate this, Mass Audubon is actively encouraging people via email and social media to go and use the trails while they have suspended all of their staffing and operations. This is reckless and irresponsible. They are enabling the transmission of coronavirus and refusing to take any responsibility for their trail systems and property. Single track trails have no space for safe passage of parties traveling in opposing direction. The parking lots are overflowing every weekend and people are double parked on area roads. These trails need to be limited to those who can walk, run or bike ride there from their respective homes, not from those who are not from here who are overcrowding our neighborhoods with their vehicles. Can we please do something about this unsafe behavior?
I’m very concerned that (a) we are not taking into account the costs of the measures we’re taking, and (b) that some measures don’t make sense at all. For (a) consider: kids not being educated, people out of work, small businesses likely to fail, families kept apart, and religious services cancelled–all to buy a little time. Some measures seem prudent, but it seems excessive. It would be better to focus on protecting our most vulnerable citizens, the older and less healthy, while accepting a higher rate of infection for the rest. For (b) consider that the town cemetery was closed. Just bizarre–I’ve never seen more than small family groups there.
Please do not shut down more places. We are suffering economically
the Governor needs to do a shut down and then small businesses will need grants to reopen
The only way we can get rid of this spread fast is by a shelter in place. The longer we go not doing it the longer we will be in this
Great idea to issue this anonymous poll.
I work for a Pubic School in the business office an may need to go in periodically to process bills for vendors.
Hi I’m a dentist and cannot work until the curve flattens and there are enough masks for everyone. About to be devastated.
Like Korea and Singapore, Gov. Baker should issue a somewhat draconian shelter-in-place order to stop the spread of the Corona Virus. T O D A Y.
We could have started sooner but overall, I think the governor has done good things as far as communication goes and taking ever more drastic measures incrementally. Time to take it to the next level though.
If people had reassurance they would be able to get food and medicine and toiletries they would potentially stay indoors. People shouldn’t be going for runs or to the park. For at least two weeks we need a complete lockdown enforced with police. If this is left to continue, this will affect voting and that is a very scary future. We need the govt to make sure hospitals are not going bankrupt and that vendors aren’t asking for money upfront. We need biotech to provide drive thru testing facilities. We need serology tests to assess immunity after people recover. We need other companies to make supplies immediately. Walmart should not have stores open. All groceries etc should be delivered.
Baker’s order is close to a shelter in place and most people in Watertown and Belmont are complying with it. I am concerned that in the more urban areas, people are still doing quite a bit of socializing. A shelter in place order should allow people to leave their houses to walk, run, bike etc.
Still seeing way too many groups of teenagers and 20-somethings congregating and playing “contact” basketball, football, etc. in playgrounds. Clearly they are all not part of the same family unit practicing social distancing.
If the actual situation is to be believed (and I do!) then folks are still behaving in ways that may not be helpful (or possibly) harmful to self or others. Italy serves as a caution and a warning and an example of citizens who did not take seriously enough early warnings.
If we shelter in place, my biggest concern is exercise/ fresh air for my kids. We are strictly isolating from everyone else but regularly getting out with the kids for hikes and bike rides. We would lose our minds without nature/ fresh air.
I am in a house with two medically fragile children, my self with asthma, a son with asthma and autism, my 79 year old mother and my husband. We are considered high risk and are concerned about how to get relievers of essential in the upcoming weeks.
I will be fine financially as long as my husband and I keep our jobs; they are both somewhat recession proof, but not indefinitely.
In terms of “economic situation”: while i think it is good you are doing this, i think the person more likely to answer may well be in a slightly better economic situation. You can probably say this about all the questions – but i suspect this will undersell the impact.
It seems to me that we should bite the bullet and work on the disease prevention and treatment as fast and hard as we can. Hoping that this will minimize economic hardship in the long run.If, after strong appeals, the feds aren’t going to help with supplies and tests and social supports, then our state government/industries etc. better mobilize all resources to take care of things here. Support for our poor and working poor is desperately needed.
I have mixed opinions. For a while I thought Baker wasn’t acting swiftly enough. For instance, there’s no uniformity about k-12 public schools across the state. I was of the mind that we need to learn from Italy and act swiftly and definitively. I just read Thomas Friedman’s essay in the NY Times which offers, I thought, a useful perspective based on the research of Yale Public Health researcher David Katz — that we should do an immediate 2 week shut down for everyone, and then maintain that shutdown for the elderly and the otherwise vulnerable, while allowing the younger and the healthier to go back to work. This sounded persuasive from a health perspective and an economic perspective. As a psychologist, I worry about the mental health impact of an indefinite shut-down, and the “middle ground” of Katz’ s proposal seemed wise. Please read if you have not. And thank you for your leadership.
Overall, it seems as if Mass. has done a decent job, but I am very concerned about shortage of hospital supplies already, workers in the gig economy (lots), and young people (ages 18-20’s) who I see walking around and sitting together in groups, and young children who are not in a family playing together.
Thank you Will for the good survey – good questions
I think we’re doing as well as could be expected here, for now. Hopefully we’ll see some signs that the spread of the virus is responding. Then we’ll need to make a plan to gradually get more people back to work.
I am able to do a shelter in place no problem because I was granted unemployment during this time. I prefer a shelter in place so we can stop the spread of the Corona Virus. We should be doing a shelter in place for at least a month if we want it to work.
Re: shelter in place. Assumes pharmacy, grocery stores, medical offices remain open. And would be allowed outside for exercise. Would want to see clear guidelines on how this would be implemented so people can’t just be “going to grocery store” all the time.
I am essential personnel. If not, I would gladly work from home if it would help.
We are fortunate to be in a more rural environment in South Carolina away from our home in Boston and still be able to work remotely. For the time being this the best option even though we are away from family and friends, knowing that back home we would still not be in direct contact with them. Thank goodness for FaceTime etc. Thank you for all the work you are doing and constant communication.
Please don’t close any more businesses.
Both my adult holders have been furloughed from their jobs. Attempts for them to file online for unemployment or receive help to file have been very difficult – can’t even get in to receive a call back from the site.
Right after social distancing, the next priority is sufficient testing.
The approach taken has been measured and has worked, but we need to take drastic measures. Perhaps we are too late, but late is better than never.
I was furloughed recently. Depending on how long this crisis lasts, I’m not sure I’ll have a job to go back to. Let alone the implications of having no source of income to pay bills, rent, debt, car insurance, I’m afraid of what will happen when I lose that expensive health coverage I’ve been wasting money on & not using. This crisis is the giant mirror our society needed to see how truly broken most of our institutions are. Our for-profit economy is based on the extraction of wealth from the working class, and unless that fundamentally changes, I have little hope for the what the world will look like on the other side of this crisis.
If we go to shelter in place, I think the rules should allow members of each household to exercise outdoors together. I realize there are enforcement issues here, but from a mental health perspective I think it is important for families and couples to be able to go for a walk together.
Thanks for all you’re doing to keep us healthy and safe! Be well.
In my part of Cambridge people are taking this very seriously. A lot of a academics and scientists live here. Since the federal government has failed to provide needed medical resources I’d encourage the governor to move aggressively. Trump’s comment about not being a shipping clerk shows how inadequate he is in every respect. Things will get worse
Will, I am a true supporter, and I, along with others, appreciate your efforts in keeping us informed, healthy, calm, and confident in making decisions that are in the public’s best interest ! My voting rights are in Watertown, however, I live in South Boston. I think people are not seriously taking the necessary precautions to help curb the spread of this pandemic . Unfortunately, it starts from the Government level, and currently, our President has failed us ! Thankfully YOU haven’t !! You are not just a friend, you have my vote and support !
Thank you for all that you are doing at this time! Please help our healthcare providers get the PPE they need.
I tested positive for influenza but they refused to test for Covid. Fever four days, dry then wet cough. I’m home on day ten, still unable to talk long without coughing fits.
Caregiver for a cancer patient now. Hoping that treatments are not put off.
Hard to tell if Mass is doing enough. Husband and I are 82 – let’s be clear – could turn ugly if choices have to be made on treatment and supplies. A big big concern is having grocery shoppong available.
Perhaps it is time to reevaluate what are considered “essential” workers. We spoke to an employee this weekend at a NAPA auto parts store and they all have letters from corporate saying they are essential if greater measures are taken. This is not a snow storm.
I am vulnerable to the coronavirus due to autoimmune disease and being in recovery from surgery. I am concerned many in my age range (20-30) are not aware enough of the risks.
I am concerned about overwhelming our health care system and thus support widespread testing and identification and quarantining of those who are ill or who have had close contact with those who are ill. I believe we should be ramping up manufacture of protective gear and ventilators and creating new hospitals for those with COVID-19 a.s.a.p. Although we should have been doing that weeks ago, doing it now may still save lives. We should be actively seeking new health care workers and other essential workers in order to support and relieve those we already have. Financial support should be given to those who have been laid off. Thank you for reaching out.
My main concern is the protection of healthcare professionals. I know second hand BMC for instance do not have the n95 masks needed. That we don’t have the back of folks on the front line makes no sense to me.
I am concerned about the availability of support for medical personnel and their patients regarding the expanded use of telemedicine, including in rural areas. I would like to see the AMA, NIH, and state chapters of professional organizations develop protocols to help patients, including pregnant women and patients with chronic conditions, access necessary healthcare during these stressful times.
I think we would be ok for about 4-6 months, but I am worried about layoffs. I hope we do everything we can to stop the spread of Covid-19, and that the government steps in to help the most vulnerable. Especially including part time workers and those in the gig economy.
will we see the results?
I cannot do most of my work from home, so 2/3 of my income is gone. With luck, it will recover. We’re relying on SS and pension to get us through. Staying healthy is the number one priority, though. Some people are very conscious of how they’re acting when they’re around others, others not so much. Getting out for exercise is a must!
If and when appropriate allow for some recreational activities to open that donot present any significant risk ( e.g. tennis courts, etc)
I just want a consistent message. It seems confusing that some are working and some are not and that we do not have clear messages about the virus in our communities.
I feel the government’s response has been almost good enough, but clearly many individual citizens, especially young people, are still not sufficiently careful and many will suffer and die as a result, which is tragic but to be expected.
I am no longer in your district – redistricting! But I love being on your list and getting your informative emails.
We need to learn from this and be better prepared for similar events in the future. Not just disease but any event that affects well being and normal life.
Not having any online/remote school learning is impacting my ability to work from home. Especially at the high school level where all kids have iPads. It doesn’t make sense.
Thanks for doing this survey!
Not sure if we are doing enough and very worried about people who are just getting by week to week financially. I can last for a while, but my heart goes out to people who will not be able to pay basic bills with a $1,000 check from the jackass in the Oval Office. I think your concern and excellent communication with the community is great.
Interesting questionnaire. I’ll be interested in the results and geographical areas included.
Thank you for reaching out. I feel my family and I are already very close to sheltering in place. We have not physically seen anyone or left the house this past week except for the grocery store, one restaurant pick up, one solitary bike ride and a trip to Iggy’s. We did go to Crane Beach on Saturday 3/21 but I felt that was ok to be in such a big outside place. It would be very emotionally hard not to be able to do the very few things we have done this past week if “shelter in place” were to happen. I also feel for the restaurants and businesses who are already struggling and what a “shelter in place” would mean for them.
I am ok, but the rest of my family may lose their job or not find first employment. We’ll manage though more shelter in place and tests are absolutely necessary. Thank you for your timely information and efforts.
I feel that I am sheltering in place right now.
Spouse and I have essentially already been sheltering in place for last 2.5 weeks because I’m an immunosuppressed transplant recipient. Relying on grocery delivery services and pharmacy delivery remaining available. If making everyone shelter in place short term can lessen the long term blow, I’m for it.
Use Amendment 25 to dump Trump and Pense. The new president could dump Miller, Devos, Pompeo, Jared, …
This situation is hugely serious. In order for MA not to become NY or California or worse, I think we have to take on some additional protective measures. But we also desperately need many more ventilators, masks, Purell, etc. Thanks for asking!
I think more government-mandated orders need to be instituted to ensure everyone is doing their part in slowing the spread of the virus and flattening the curve. However, I have a second job that is seasonal that, because of this virus, I can not work right now and it will eventually affect me financially.
I am not one of Sen. Brownsberger’s constituents, but I follow him and really like his diligent review/writing on issues. We have not gone far enough: we really need to slow the transmission rate as much as possible, yet people are still gathering in large groups to party + are also doing a lot of unnecessary in-person shopping.
I feel very lucky in my situation and as long as I don’t get the virus, I will be fine. Others have more complex lives and I hope everything that can be done for them will be done quickly so their situation improves. Thanks for your ongoing support of us.
The story in the Boston Globe today talking about alternating 2 months “stay in place” and 1 month break is the most realistic thing, I’ve seen.
Thank you for asking. Please no more waiting for shelter in place.
I’ll lose my house if my tenants are laid off.
Thanks, Will. I work as a tour guide at Fenway, so that’s closed, of course, and had to stop doing childcare as I had pneumonia last year and shouldn’t be near children now. Hope you’re ok.
health care worker
thanks for doing this, Senator
HC folks will need PPEs for the surge. We must do everything available to us to minimize the surge. That would include EVERYTHING. Knowing where the spread is, where the quarantined areas are, will help folks to better understand and respond to the threats. Yesterday’s testing in Waltham has revealed a gravely troubling statistic; 8 of 10 symptomatic people tested negative for the flu. And we must wait a week to know what percentage of them are spreading Covid-19. Slow, slow, slow. Playing catch up and throwing pounds upon pounds of cure at this problem is what’s called ‘leading from behind’. Our ounce of prevention was to shut down that Biogen Debacle before it happened.
We need to shut everything down/shelter in place…this is absolutely necessary to have any chance of getting through this without thousands of deaths in our community. Economics will come back at some point but lives don’t!
Please don’t close the liquor stores.
Need medical equipment for first line health providers now!
Something else to consider is children at home. We are doing okay and working from home while still getting paid, but we are also juggling two kids who are now home (BPS closure through at least 4/27 and daycare closure). If a shelter in place can get this pandemic under control faster, I would be 100% in support!
I am very concerned about people who are not taking this seriously because they assume it will not impact them personally. They seem unconcerned about other people in their community.
It would be a good idea for the state/town governments to look for space to house the unhoused, with appropriate regard for social distancing, during this crisis. Most of the unhoused used to spend at least some time during the day staying warm in public libraries and coffee shops. Not possible now. Those who did use shelters in the evening probably find it more difficult, since some shelters are run by volunteers and cannot operate during the emergency period. By the same token, those who stayed warm in places that remained open until late in the evening no longer have that resource.
Please re-open fields, but not playgrounds.
I think that our governor has done a god job to date and that local leaders seem to be doing what they can. All is well so far but the next 30 days will be crucial.
I would support swift shelter in place protocols for several weeks to get the situation under control–give hospitals some time, give testing some time to ramp up. Having an elementary age child at home complicates the situation but we understand this is an extraordinary time.
I think that our governor has done a god job to date and that local leaders seem to be doing what they can. All is well so far but the next 30 days will be crucial.
President Trump and his traitorous GOP are responsible for losing the crucial 12 weeks. They will use the chaos caused by their delays and lies for profit and power. Don’t let them.
Shelter in place still needs to allow grocery stores and their deliveries etc. suburbs, inner and outer, have space for folks to move around a bit. Much tougher in cities with their greater density. We may need to do more.
Support for the newly & soon to be laid off working people must receive significant Federal support, including cash payments & full medical coverage from testing to treatment. No one should lose medical insurance because s/he is laid off. NO bailouts for airlines, banks, etc. who’ve been sucking the public dry for far too long.
As someone who has a high risk of serious problems if I contract Covid-19, I am being very careful. As recently as Friday (when I last went out for a walk), there were two times when others came within a foot or two of me or my wife, which tells me that some people still had a troublingly glib view of the situation. I would rather not to have to take more drastic measures, but this makes me think it may be required.
Just wanted to say “thanks for asking.” Your polls and blog are much appreciated!
I would like the governor to talk to us more about what is going on. We need the truth and we need more of it. We need to know we can count in him to give us the facts and all of the facts. There are too many rumors going around. I also wonder if after the initial effort to flatten the curve that we should consider balancing economic damage with preventing virus deaths. The economic damage plus the psychological and mental health effects of social distancing will have life and death consequences too.
Follow guidance from Harvard School of Public Health.
I live in Quincy but work in your district.
Thank you for seeking our feedback. That is good governance. But state officials should be handling this situation, focusing more on the epidemiology, i.e., testing, healthcare readiness, treatment and education, than on social control.
We need to help people that have been affected by this disease but should not force people out of work by closing businesses – Education is the key as well as masks, Purcell and all reasonable measures that we take every flu season. Thank you for asking.
I was going to contact you–elected officials at all levels should make emergency contact lists available on their websites indicating where people can get food, transportation, childcare support, emotional/psychological support, shelters from domestic violence, etc. Our state’s elected national officials are useless on this score. It’s up to the local level to take control of this.
the governor needs to shut down the state now. it may already be too late. Trump and republicans have blood on their hands. We don’t need to compound these issues here in MASS. we’re smarter than that. Impeach Baker Now
While I do not want to shelter in place “indefinitely” and do not want to see the negative impact it would have on the economy and small businesses, I want us to avoid this pandemic lasting for an extended period and know that the best way to avoid it is to shelter in place.
I’m really fearful for people who live paycheck to paycheck, for those who are suddenly unemployed, for those who rely on public transportation, and for small business owners and their employees. All these people (and their children and seniors) are in a really desperate situation. I am also fearful for the health and safety of those who don’t have the option to work from home (doctors, nurses, police, firefighters as well as people who are working in the stores and restaurants/take out, delivery, etc). Please do what you can to advocate for those most at risk. Thank you for everything that you do.
I am hoping that for myself and all in my position, that you, Mayor Walsh, Senator Warren, Senator Markey, and Governor Baker institute a freeze on collections of rent, mortgages, and utilities. With so many people out of work with no ability to work from home and unemployment barely able to cover necessities like food and medicine, it’s the only humane course of action. Living in Boston and Cambridge is outrageously expensive as it is, and to not institute a freeze of this sort would be to doom thousands, perhaps millions, to unthinkable debt or even homelessness.
While much better than the federal government, the state, particularly Gov. Baker, has not been as proactive and clear as he should be, and as others like Govs. Newsom and Cuomo have been. With such false, ambiguous, and belated signals from Washington, it falls to the Governors to lead, and Baker has been disappointing.
I recognize that my family and I are very lucky with my/our responses to this survey, and there are others who are suffering. Thank you for reaching out.
These are tough times. There is no one solution that pleases everyone. If there is a shelter in place, what would be the consequences for violating it? Maybe it’s worth the benefit if a few more people will stay in because of it. There will always be careless and selfish people who will ignore any directives and do whatever they want.
What can I say in MA we are luckier than most but we all are suffering from the lack of and incompetence that our leadership in WA show
At some point we have to return to normal. A few compromised immune systems is not worth the long term impact to millions of people and their well being. There has been a massive overreaction to this virus.
Used to live in your district but continue to enjoy and value your regular updates. I’m thankful for the work you continue to do!
I have an extremely sick/hospitalized at risk family member who has COVID-19 and understand that I should be limiting travel at this time and not visiting people who are ill. However, I am concerned about state-mandated travel restrictions ultimately not being able to travel to them to say goodbye.
I am lucky to have a salaried job in tech where I can mostly work from home. The biggest hardship is the education for our 6th grade kids. The schools are making everything “optional” (which means most kids won’t do it) and they are not trying to teach any new material remotely. I understand that they are trying to provide equal access, but I think that turns into no one gets educated at all. I am concerned that our middle school education system is just not set up for this situation. And then it’s also hard to try to work when kids are around with nothing to do.
The big question is how long will this go on. If it continues into the summer, it will be miserable.
We must map out the clusters of infection and isolate /quarantine them so we can re-open more regular life for rest of us.
I am a physician at BIDMC. I’m blessed to have my job and have the means and knowledge to stockpile for an emergency, both money and food. My concerns are that we have not seen a flood of cases beyond what we see during a busy flu season and most people tested are negative. I think we can handle one more week of economic standstill, at which point if a discernable difference in infections isn’t seen, the benefit won’t be worth it. The economic damage is likely to far outweigh the medical carnage, I believe.
I have the ability to work from home, but I am concerned about layoffs. I am also concerned about some of my family members who are employed in the restaurant industry with little to no savings who are not out of work.
I’m working but my husband is a self employed contractor and all work has stopped- so we are down one whole paycheck
Please mandate community colleges to close!!!
Honestly I have savings but worried about what future will hold. I want to get through this as quickly as possible. We should do what it takes but be smart like still all deliveries etc.
Issue with people coming to mass from states that have not been vigilant enough, like florida
I am a pharmacist, but I’m able to work from home since I’m management. We are taking turns to help promote social distancing. Many of our staff does not have that ability.
I have seen every day occurrences of people not observing the social distancing advice. As I drive my car, I see young adults and teenagers engaging socially and much to close together. I don’t think people understand that they could be asymptomatic and could be spreading it to many people
Seriously about the open spaces (Clay Pit is open) the kids do need to be able to ride their bikes good social distancing, throw a frisbee on soccer field or toss some pitches on baseball fields. Poor critical thinking skills at Town Hall who made the decision out of misinformation or paranoia. Even The republic of CambRidge kept their fields and open spaces OPEN!
I am grateful for all that the state is doing to prevent further community spread and to support the health system under current conditions.
I think good communication is necessary from Local, State and Fed. levels. Especially around what to do if you have symptoms(landing page with all the locations to get tested and steps to do so), locally this should be on Town’s websites, proactive work to seniors through means other than internet(not sure if this is occurring in towns), or those that do not speak English. People will be better at shelter in place if they a) have frequent communication on what they can/can not do b) when they can get supplies. Thx
I left my apartment on Sunday and rented a cottage in Rhode Island on Airbnb. Now looking for long term rental to economize on rent. Expect to give notice to landlord in Watertown by 4/1. Have lived there for 10 years. As a retiree I don’t have time to ride this out.
We have to be very careful and keep people calm , as it is many will be dealing with additional stress from having the kids home to Loss of income to fear instilled by the media, elected officials and the president
Trump is lying and protecting his interests and the interests of his cronies. Not the right person to be at the helm during this unprecedented crisis. Not since 1918, the Spanish Flu which was mis-named; started in Kansas.
Currently in Connecticut with my family/pets, practicing social distancing and WFH
I am concerned about the long-term affect of CV on retirement savings.
We need state leadership to step up. If Baker won’t do it, please can the Senate? We need our own Cuomo and our own Dr. Fauci.
Concerned that I see nail salons open with customers, and people still gatherings. I also see a lot of person use of masks and want to see more donations from consumers and businesses (tattoo parlors, nail salons, etc)
If government is going to order shelter in place requirements or other movement restrictions then there needs to be a clear plan of how they would help businesses and people burdened by the economic impact.
I would amend solitary walks to walks with one or two others while maintaining six feet apart
Our household is basically sheltering in place now, except for the occasional meet up at a distance with no more than one other couple for a walk in the park (6 feet apart).
I am a biology researcher here in Boston (and my lab has been shut down for the foreseeable future) and have friends who are healthcare workers here in MA and out of state (and have been in contact with them in the recent days). I am very concerned about the hospital and associated resource situation (beds, masks, ventilators, etc.). I see lots of people outside in groups (mostly younger – 20s) especially when it’s nice out, which is only going to happen more frequently as spring arrives. Without mandatory rules in place, many people will continue to not practice social distancing, which will jeopardize our healthcare system (patients and healthcare workers!). With MA being a hotspot and other larger states already taking shelter in place action, we should be following suit. There is a change.org petition that started about a week ago that has over 30,000 signees to ask Governor Baker to shut MA down. Thank you for taking the time to reach out!
Thank you for reaching out.
I will point out that we used to have volunteer, auxiliary, reserve and part-time police, fire, and ambulance units that have mostly been disbanded. They were funded (not very well) mostly by Civil Defense. Now I am fairly liberal, pro-labor, and pro-union, but I believe that political leaders should have resisted all the pressure brought by the police, fire, and ambulance unions to disband the reserve units. Don’t you think such personnel would be useful in the current situation?
I would like to know the counts by town. Say it was ,for example,Waltham.then I would do my best to stay out of Waltham. Also , the Democrats constantly picking on the President helps no one. He didn’t ask for this and this country needs full cooperation with him . There’ll be time for that later. This is so scary and sad , especially not being able to see my grandchildren, having family in Italy and Mexico and Venezuela and the thoughts that life will change forever. I do not need to hear questions and criticisms of the phrase”china virus” ..we’ll have to find a new name for Spanish flu, Lyme disease etc. Such bull at such a sad time. Thank you for asking for the input .
it is a tough decision on whether to go out for groceries or to visit a friend
Current distance guidance is good. Avoid unnecessary stoppage of non-interactive work. (We are mitigating, not preventing)
Thank you for asking us instead of assuming how shelter in place would affect us.
Supermarkets with their senior hours, more frequent cleaning, closing of buffets, and so on are stepping up. Big everyday lack, such cleaning supplies as disinfecting wipes, sprays, and so on are no where to be found.
People are still behaving like this is not real. Not heeding the group and social distancing recommendations. I like gov cuomo’s straight talk.
I think we’re ready for a shelter-in-place order. Maybe with some warning so people can prepare. The economic impact will be devastating. When this is over, many jobs will not be available again because businesses will have closed up.
outside – whether on trails, sidewalks, or parks – people are exhibiting that they don’t understand social distancing. Officials need to emphasize that biggest cause of spread is from people who are asymptomatic and mild symptomatic. You may feel fine, but when you breathe on someone they could end up in the hospital. That can happen at close distance outside or inside.
I’m ok and I am very worried about the many, many people not as fortunate as I am.
Will: It looks from the numbers like MA has reason to hope that measures taken these last few weeks are having some of the desired effect. Thanks for your role in that. We have not gone far enough: protecting health care workers and other essential workers is paramount and we are failing to do this core job. We need a statewide strategy for addressing the needs of the most vulnerable and I know you are involved in that too. I take heart from CommonWealth’s The Upload (https://commonwealthmagazine.org/) with policy recs from Carlene Pavlos, Cheryl Btlett, and Sandro Galea on 3.21.20 and from Joe Finn today 3.22.20. This feels like the quiet before the storm. The crushing losses that we may experience in the coming weeks — all up and down the east coast, because we got so late a start on flattening the curve — may well render this moment remote, and our concerns in it, trivial. Hoping hard that it will turn out otherwise, but feeling pessimism. Thanks for ALL you are doing,
I think we need to as much as we can to ensure we are staying home except for necessities.
I’m not able to pay all my bills, but that’s nothing new for me; covid-19 has not changed my economic situation. I think I qualify as an “essential worker,” so I would continue to receive a paycheck.
I am very disappointed in the federal government’s response; we have have lost precious time in getting a handle on this and means that people have died and suffered unnecessarily.
When I go out for grocery on the weekend, I still see a lot of people out. There needs to be more urgency to stop people from going out to flatten the curve. I’ve been through SARS in hong kong and the most important thing is that everyone have protective gear. I understand that even the hospital is having shortage on masks and gloves but once they are sorted out, I think it’s important to then supply the elders and immunocomprimised with masks and gloves. Then after the rest of the residents of Boston.
I have seen a few shops open on Newbury street like the smoke and cape shop and JP Licks. I think these businesses should be shut down.
Need stronger response from Federal government for masks, ventilators, beds, perhaps moving medical staff from one high illness area to another…, y , beds,
I’m a free lance musician—able to do all my teaching on line, but unable to perform—and will lose a serious amount of my income due to that. My husband, as a partner in a law firm, may well not be getting paid in the next few months, but I think that with savings and a loan that we took out last year, we will be okay. I think that we have to do all we can to slow the pandemic down. I am quite worried about the toll it might take here in the U.S.
Please, let’s stop using the phrase “shelter in place,” which was devised for active-shooter incidents. Using it for this situation risks deadly confusion in the event of a real shooter event.
I would recommend something short of “shelter in place” along the lines of what NY State has done.
People don’t understand the concept of being a carrier without symptoms. I think if this message sunk in people would cooperate more.
Shelter in place is needed NOW!
I am mostly concerned with unnecessary gatherings that I see happening with friends wanting to continue to socialize although they say they are maintaining a “social distance”. I’m not sure any social gathering in a confined space is safe. And I think that at this point, some are feeling like we are in “snow days” without realizing the potential danger they may risk for themselves as well as with others they meet with.
Thanks for doing this. Would be interested in volunteer projects available for 65+.
I believe that overall the guidelines are appropriate. My concerns lie with the younger age group and their lack of understanding of the seriousness of the situation and I think if any more rules are put into place they should be directed at the younger population. And/or there should be more efforts at communicating the facts and needs to them – reaching them by social media or through the schools. It seems to me that the older age groups abide by the guidance more than the younger.
I am worried that resources for persons experiencing homeless are being shut down (several food programs and shelters in Cambridge.) Response is slow from the City of Cambridge, but they are working on it. I have a friend who is experiencing homelessness and is sick and not being treated because her illness is a brain concussion. Any ideas for her? She needs an apartment to convalesce. Why can’t the state make funds available so that trailers could be rented for cases like this. I fear she will perish on the street.
As a healthcare provider I am very concerned about covid 19. I also would like to suggest that MA officials organize a way for nurses not currently working at hospitals to sign up to be back up to hospital RNs. I have the knowledge, experience and training to assist when needed.
Will, I am very concerned about workers in the service industry, particularly those without documentation and their ability to get timely financial help. I hope help to small businesses will also help them help their staffs.
Relative to many states, Massachusetts seems to be on the right track during this pandemic. Too bad we have a federal government run primarily by incompetents … just when we need real national leadership.
Thank you for checking in! These are hard times, we are social animals worried about this epidemic and watching our economy collapse, while trying to be good neighbors and partners. Thank you for your leadership.
I’m in my early forties and live alone in an apartment near Brighton Center. I’m already at risk of being evicted and was supposed to start working this month, but my job (as a Census Field Supervisor) has been postponed indefinitely. I’m from Ohio originally and still have family there, and think that Gov. DeWine is handling this far better than Gov. Baker. People aren’t taking this seriously enough, and a shelter in place order should have already been issued in Massachusetts. There needs to be a moratorium on evictions and rent/mortgage payments, and student loans need to be cancelled. I’m worried that I’m going to end up homeless, and I know others who are already stressed and struggling financially because of this pandemic. (Due to the high cost of living here, many of us were already stressed and struggling prior to this, now it’s a million times worse.) We need the government to step up and do the right thing to halt the spread of this virus and keep people afloat. I want to pay my rent and other expenses, but without work, how can I? Also, even though I’m not elderly, I have asthma and am already voluntarily sheltering in place to avoid catching the virus (or potentially exposing others, as some people can have it and be asymptomatic, and there’s no way to know due to the lack of testing). There need to be more opportunities for people to work at home, and the government and employers need to put people before profit, as some people who would prefer to stay home are being forced by their employers to still come in or risk being fired.
I have been thankful for the direction and instructions the schools have provided. The federal government gave no instruction, the state government and the local governments gave little instruction when the schools shut down. Only after a few days of the schools being shut down did the school send other reminders about children not having play dates, gathering together, etc. This was not said by anyone but the schools for the first several days. I am glad Watertown and Belmont eventually closed the playgrounds because with kids not being in school but getting no instruction otherwise it left it very confusing for parents.
I am already sheltering in place. I go out infrequently for groceries. I have taken precautions since January when I saw data coming across my computer. I have cancelled 6 meetings including my presence at an international meeting in Zimbabwe in June and another international meeting in S. F. in July. Like others, I hope that we will soon have a cure and am happy to see some trials being started. I have been fortunate to be able to do my work from home with the use of online and Zoom conferences. Thank you for checking. Are you thinking we should be more proactive? I am impressed with Gov. Cuomo and the governor of CA. Thank you, again.
Please be upfront with the public that this situation will last months and months, not 3 weeks.
I think the response is over the top. We went from hoax to no contact. Where is the testing? Quarantine those affected. I cannot even visit my husband who is terminally ill with Alzheimer’s and living in a dementia care facility. Dementia care is different from Assisted Living. Family members should be allowed to visit those who are in the last weeks or months of life. Phone calls work for true ALR; they are worthless for most dementia patients. My husband only knows my touch.
All data point to the need for stringent controls of movement and distancing to flatten the curve. One example: https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-the-hammer-and-the-dance-be9337092b56. Meanwhile, young people often seem oblivious to the dangers and continue to congregate. This needs to stop if the curve is to be flattened…
Thank you for the survey. I am dumbfounded by how many people are not taking this seriously, particularly people younger than me (20s) and people my mom’s age (60-70). The sooner we flatten the curve, the sooner we can hope for this to be over and begin to support our local economy again. I fear that people not staying at home or having parties at home will prolong and exponentially hurt our community. I support a temporary shelter in place to try and nip this in the bud.
Thank you for asking! I am aware that I am fortunate to work at home and feel economically secure. In the long run I’ll worry about possible future budget cuts that may affect my work, but for now I am fortunate to be okay. I am following a strict stay-at-home practice, going out only for solo exercise. In a few weeks I’ll have to order or go buy some groceries, but otherwise pretty settled in.
I’m very concerned people are not taking the social distancing needed seriously enough.
I am originally from Spain. The US (and Massachusetts) are behaving worse than they did. And look at their situation. This is just starting. It’s shameful
Worry about those who have to work and we their safety is at risk and therefore we are all at risk. Would like us to find a way to make more people safe. I don’t think everyone that is still working is in an essential job. We need to do more until we reduce the curve, have widespread testing and ensure our hospitals have the supplies they need. If we don’t do more – we could be the next Italy. Do whatever you need to do to get ahead of it. I know that many who are more financially secure would be willing to help others in need. Put processes in place to facilitate people helping people.
I think some options for how people can help, that is official, like where to donate unopened PPE or blood, would be helpful.
I do appreciate clear information and support. Thank You !
As epidemiologists and other scientists have pointed out many times, waiting to see if a given set of measures is strong enough to curb the rise in infections/hospitalizations/deaths is insufficient. Without the levels of testing that some other countries have been able to implement, these indications of spread come days to weeks after an individual has been infected and likely already spread the virus to others. This wait-til-we-see-what-happens approach seems to me to be root of the failure at the federal level to curb the spread of COVID-19. If we can do better than that, we should, for the sake of the lives of our neighbors and the recovery of our local economies. After all, the longer emergency regulations remain in effect, the more businesses will fail.
Further shutdowns will damage our family’s economic prosperity for years to come, effecting our ability to send our kids to college or retirement
The entire country should be sheltering in place immediately. The cowardice of the president and of many governors including ours is going to kill a lot of people.
I feel fortunate, but feel for all those who are suffering under these current, but necessary restrictions.
Massachusetts for now is taking appropriate measures; but conditions most probably will worsen. We have no idea how long the pandemic will last; therefore, I am okay with a shelter in place order following other states (California, Illinois, etc.). On thing I do strongly recommend to combat the “crowd mentality” that exists here: there is enough food/groceries to go around. There might be some delivery difficulties but there is enough food in the warehouses. Couldn’t there be a ‘limit per customer” on some things, e.g. Toilet Paper, Meats, bread, dairy, etc.? People are hoarding and will continue to do so unless something is done at store level, such as a manager asking a customer if he/she really needs an entire shopping cart of meat. I’ve seen this happen and it is disheartening, if not disgusting, to see one shopper almost empty out a supermarket meat department totally unaware of the other shoppers. This only creates further frenzy.
Shut everything down for thirty days. Including the markets. Be as draconian as you need to be. This is unprecedented.
We don’t need additional regulations. We need to enforce the rules already in place.
Own a business in 02135 Still paying our 20 people to do almost nothing, not sure how long we can do that. Lost millions of dollars in cancelled jobs in one day. But staying healthy trumps all.
We live across the street from a park and as I look out my window I see too many people, too close to one another, but by far the most concerning are the parents in the tot lot with their young children.
I haven’t seen conversations about how we are going to address undocumented resident’s needs – these workers will be laid off with restaurant and other labor services closing and they don’t have the same avenues to file for relief, food, and health services.
Yes, I know all the caveats, but still – the regular flu kills many more people per year, at least so far. So why the panic? No one can answer this, and contrary views are being silenced.
Concerned about the busy rental market season that’s beginning now. I know Mayor Walsh has asked landlords/brokers not to do in person showing on occupied apartments which is important, but the city is full of slumlords and shady brokers that will certainly misrepresent apartments in video showings. Additionally, this is the time of year when property managers start renewing leases for the busy 9/1 season. My landlord just asked me about that and it’s absurd that they ask for a decision within 2 weeks, and that they are still raising rent at the end of the term. We need more protections for tenants right now, even those that aren’t going to be facing eviction.
This is a serious situation and I understand all the closings
My husband works in an industry severely affected by the pandemic (sports) and I work in a public school (so hopefully will be fine unless there are workforce reductions).
Humanity first. There is no economy without humanity.
We appreciate the efforts the Governor and his administration are making despite the national government thwarting efforts. We do feel many in MA are not taking the recommendations seriously. Lack of food in grocery stores is discerning for all.
My job compensates me with university credit, not pay, so I currently have no income; however, I can’t find a second job because no one is hiring (if anything, they are laying people off). We need relief checks to all adults immediately.
Please do more as many residents still seem oblivious to the seriousness of this pandemic
People are not maintaining 6′. Hard to do in a store but even walking outside people are oblivious sometimes. Would like clearinghouse website on requested donations for hospitals…
I think – while I am fortunate to be in a secure situation – younger folks and folks who live paycheck to paycheck are really being hit hard. I think we should prepare for the reality of families expanding – in the sense that older and younger generations may be economically forced to live together again – and as such – places with parking bans – like Belmont – should allow for on street parking since so many adult children, possibly with families of their own, may be moving in with their parents… Or parents may be moving in with children. These are difficult times.
“Indefinite” confinement indoors without any access to outside for periodic local walks or outside air would lead to definite physical and mental deterioration. I have gone out for a few brisk walks and have done my best to remain more than 6 feet away from anyone else. (Being on the alert for others means the walks do not offer relief from anxieties.) Also, living in an apartment building means need to take garbage to common collection area and access to a building laundry room for which there need to be service people to clean areas.
President Trump needs to grow a few and declare all business that can make masks, gowns, ventilators and respirators, MUST START NOW!
A shelter in place will be difficult. We just moved, are working from home, and have a small child. Not being able to get stuff from say Target when we need it would be challenging
In Massachusetts, and particularly nationally, we need stronger mandatory action for the sake of public health above all.
I wish we had a leader for President that handled things as professionally as our Governor does!
Thanks a always.
Anyone that the state wants to keep working in order to keep the economy going through this needs to get regular testing – people in healthcare, food service, gas stations, etc – even if they do not have symptoms. I still cannot get my head around the lack of testing that is available. I worry about our educational system and the stress this has put everyone under who are trying to keep working through this and keep their kids learning. Then there are the kids who do not have the resources to be learning as easily from home – that will be an issue when this crisis fades. What is the state planning to do to isolate and provide shelter for the homeless and healthcare workers who shouldn’t potentially bring it home to their families? I’ve heard dorm at colleges and universities are being reviewed. That is great. I haven’t heard about any kind of triage plan. This needs to be coordinated across all hospitals and not just have them all doing their own thing. Should there be dedicated critical care hospitals for Covid-19 patients?
I have a child at home with no distance learning assigned.
The grocery stores are really scary but I have no suggestion for a plan.
I have worked in the hospitality industry for the past 27 years and have never seen the industry so decimated. I am one of the fortunate few that is still working full time (Though I expect that to change) while I watch my friends and colleagues being furloughed, having hours cut back, or closing their businesses altogether. The hospitality industry is not only one of the largest industries in Boston and Massachusetts, but it employs workers of all skill and education levels and brings in a good amount of tax revenue for the City and Commonwealth. Many of our hotels have closed their doors through June 1st. Let’s get this situation under control in our destination NOW so that they can re-open and bring back their staff quickly, therefore having to rely less on state and local assistance.
Most business should open after the 15 day period. Unless it is dire to keep closed!!
We should start allocating scarce resources to those most in need. Things like staples (groceries, toilet paper, Purell and HH cleaners) should be limited and prioritized. Maybe specific times at the grocers depending on first initial of last name. Need a wartime effort for masks and other gear to protect healthcare workers and temp hospitals for overflow. Thanks for reaching out.
I’m noticing that older residents are having a lot of trouble complying with this, it’s not their fault – they lack the cognitive flexibility to allow them to modify their daily habits. We need more ways to educate and help them understand the seriousness of the situation.
We need a full shutdown for at least 30 days immediately!!!
The response at the Federal level has been woefully inadequate and delayed. Anything the Commonwealth could do to stimulate action from the feds would be most appreciated. We are incredibly grateful to those who are serving the rest of us, putting themselves in harm’s way to ensure our safety!
It’s shocking to me that we don’t have a shelter in place order right. And when I go out for exercise solo (or with family), I see tons of people being very cavalier about social distancing. I think the Governor’s Task Force has this one very, very wrong, and I think we’ll pay for it down the road. Thanks for doing the survey. If folks agree with me, I hope you’ll be able to use some political leverage to talk sense into Baker et al.
Please support low income college students.
We are mostly sheltering in place now — going out only for exercise and groceries. My company supports the restaurant industry; as long as take-out is still possible, we may get through it – but I may get laid off in the next few months if this goes on a long time. My husband is in tourism; his business is completely canceled until things are safe again. For shelter in place – I worry about farmers. I actually worry about that for farmers in California now – how will food get planted if farm workers are not allowed to work? It’s already sad that farmers’ markets are closed – I understand why that’s necessary – but this is income for our local farmers, and we need the food. I’d like to see more help with them being able to sell through delivery.
Do more! Get more gear for medical personnel! People are scared and need leadership. Help restaurant industry survive this. And ask other state governors to do same ahead of time.
How is Watertown doing or is there no testing so there is no way to know?
I worry about how people will handle the confinement over time. How will problems be handled without becoming a police state. As of now things are under control, it will be important to prepare for things if they begin to get out of control. I think Trump is exacerbating the insecurity we all feel.
My major concern is lack of testing. I have a disabled sister who depends on my visits to help her out, and if she gets Covid she will very likely not survive. I currently have to worry every time I go to help her that I may be an asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic carrier. Having access to a test to answer that could mean the difference between life and death for her.
The most effective preventive measure would be to force landlords to forgo collecting rent/to collect nominal (10%) rent for at least April and May, allowing financial security for affected workers and increased spending across the board to support local businesses. In the long term, we need to start thinking creatively about what work can be done from home and how workers affected by a shelter in place order could be employed elsewhere.
I understand the only way to beat this is to take the measures we have taken. To shelter in place. I feel those in grocery/ hospitals are our true heros. I lost my job in the restaurant industry and even with unemployment i cant afford to live in this zip code much longer. We have no savings and don’t have anywhere else to go.
I am high risk and I think the devil is in the details. In addition to being able to get groceries etc. there are people like me who must use cleaning people and that could be a problem. there are stories such as Zia’s in Cushing Square which are doing virtual shopping even tho they are brick and mortar shops. It’s catching on slowly but since it can be done with noone going to the store, that’s something that should be encouraged. And it’s good for morale. Morale is an issue with isolation … and it’s worse for seniors.
Saw people playing soccer last night on Clemente field. Have had to ask people to observe social distancing in line once at the hardware store and once at the grocery store. Sheltering in place is dependent on what services I could receive. I am worried about people in my building.
The only way to stop/lower transmission is to keep people apart as much as possible. We are between a rock and a hard place. It is important all residents have food and shelter, but beyond that everything else is a want not a need. Keeping as many of our Massachusetts residents alive is what matters most now. We may not get a 2nd chance to flatten the curve.
Will, At least my late husband was spared this “holocaust.”
The few times I’ve ventured out I feel people are out to exercise, fresh air or essentials. My neighbors etc. have not had social gatherings etc. so I feel people are “sheltering in place”. I don’t know if this is norm on other blocks. I am trying to support my local mom/pop stores for supplies.
I am fortunate enough to be a software engineer and work remotely and am mostly unaffected. However I’m concerned for friends and the community of hourly restaurant and retail workers, and our homeless and elderly
I feel for small local businesses, and I’m trying to support them. But we should learn from other countries – get and keep people inside now or it will be worse later. Surprised Gov. Baker hasn’t made same calls as NY and CA.
My son was told not to come in by staples. His a full time employee Very ambiguous as to what that means for unemployment eligibility. Hopefully they will be able to provide more information in the weeks to come A new environment for everyone. Stay safe
thank you for the opportunity to be part of something during this time. i think my biggest fear is the current administration turning to martial law and giving him the power to be the dictator he dreams of being. and people would be unable to get together to protest…i remember not being afraid of government. wonder how long people will be able to continue saying that?
My wife and I are in our 80s and in good health. We miss the theater, music and arts – all of which have shut down. I worry about all the people, white and blue collar, who cannot work now because many businesses have shut down and all the others who will not be able to work if there is a shelter in place order. If shelter in place is extended, the economic failures will skyrocket. As it is, there will be great damage done to the economy.
Thanks for doing this survey. Concerned about increasing resources, safety, and access for health provisions
Spouse has moderate Alzheimer’s and I am his sole caretaker 24/7. His condition seems to be deteriorating and it’s difficult to keep him calm.
If Covid-19 has no serious long term health effects from insertional genetics then this is doing more economic harm than health harm. If you know that there is a cause for long term concerns like a lab-made mutation that causes long term harm or death to most who contract it (contagious HIV for instance), then “shelter in place” is prudent, with government checks for people most at risk. I am a single mother of an adult daughter with autism. My income is from my roommates who are low-wage workers who now cannot pay their rent, and I cannot pay the mortgage or utilities without their financial assistance.
Travel, air, train bus should be restricted to just necessary travel with proof that you are going home or to help some one. Not going on vacation to say Florida because tickets are so cheap as is hotel!!! Also hotels should close. I know people who have done this even this week 20/3! If it is available then many will take advantage. They don’t care about the greater good, health care professionals, the elderly and at risk. Only if they can’t do it will they stop.
Folks need to use more Common Sense.
I am very concerned for our healthcare workers and the lack of ppe. We also continue to get parking tickets when there is nowhere to park which seems unnecessary.
Thanks for doing this!
Thank you for all you’re doing but we need extreme measures to safeguard all. Please try to get a unified response from the national government and tell the truth.
We have all been too slow to respond to this disease. We should have been on it by February. Easy to say now of course.
Local leadership really needs to step up and clarify the confusing messages from the federal government so the public knows how to respond.
Thank you for asking. It is important that we are thoughtful about our responses to these crisis.
Thanks for reaching out. These are difficult times, but it’s essential that we flatten the curve – mainly because it’s the ability of the doctors, nurses, and other medical staff to meet the needs of those who are sick that’s critical. If too many of them are sidelined, many more will die.
I support a pediatric dental practice of 35 employees and we’re doing everything we can to keep all employees employees. We’re paying their health insurance premiums and advancing their paid time off, to keep them functioning during this hardship. Our practice has suffered extreme losses having to close down our operation completely for at minimum three weeks and likely more. The biggest issue we’re facing right now is getting insurance companies to cover losses under our business loss policy. Typical policies are for physical structure, but the lack of availability of masks makes it impossible for us to work regardless of the current health care risks to dentists. We are providing emergency coverage for children in our community. Some type of bailout or insurance coverage will be needed to allow us to avoid collapsing as an industry consisting of mainly small businesses. Thank you for your time.
I’m an RN and my husband is able to work remotely for a thriving software company; so financially we’re okay. However; we were in the market to buy our first home in the Fenway area but we have postponed that because of the uncharted economic situation that will follow the quarantines. Additionally, neither of our families are close to us (20+ hours by car) so a shelter in place would be very upsetting for that reason.
I see guys working construction/demo and younger people who are not doing the safe distancing. more education is needed.
Have temples been shut down? Our neighborhood has many orthodox Jews, I hope they’re not going to temple!
I can’t not work from home and don’t have savings due to buying a house
In order to get control over this we need shelter in place
I work on anti-viral immunity (so far, mostly influenza) and on virus structure, at Harvard Medical School. A carefully restricted subgroup of my research team is now diverting to COVID-19 related research. Although my age puts me at relatively higher risk than many, I am fortunate in having a directly applicable expertise, although I am not a physician.
I applied for unemployment insurance today. I became eligible today, I woke up this morning, and it was the first thing I did. We need to stop the spread as quickly as we can, and need as much time as possible to accomplish that. I need to get back to work!
I have been self quarantined for 17 days because I had either the flu or covid 19. The medical practitioners told me they could not test me because I wasn’t old enough and my lungs were clear. I find the lack of testing quite alarming because it leaves a huge hole in our ability to track and preempt the spread of covid 19. It also does not allow us proper follow up with anyone who has been sick. At this point in time I’m waiting for clearance to go back to work part-time.
Please advocate for more aggressive measures!! Thank you!!
We aren’t getting enough local information – how can we keep up to date about needs, total counts, etc. in our immediate area? Senator, you have always been a great source of information about the goings on of the community, where else can you plug in to keep your constituents informed?
I was recently laid off from my job at a hotel in downtown Boston and have a family of 4 to support. My wife is a realtor and this will no doubt have a major impact on her income as well, and she cannot simply file for unemployment. People all over the are in this same situation so I’m hoping the state will assist by allowing people to be late on paying bills (taxes, rent, mortgage, utilities, loans, credit cards, etc.). Thank you.
The survey was poorly designed. It doesn’t question whether the current approach is the best solution or whether the money should be spent in more testing and focused intervention, or other alternative intervention policies. In addition, whether we are financially fine or not, won’t affect public policy. If the numbers of sick people increase, there will be more hardship, independently of this survey.
One of the lucky ones……income secure for 3 years, can work from home. Can social distance for as long as it takes. No solitary walks would be a huge blow. Feels so bad for families with kids, older folk, people with health issues.
I’m extremely concerned about rent and urge you to advocate for a rent freeze in MA immediately.
I expect we received this because the nonprofit I work for, Improbable Players, is headquartered in Watertown. We had to lay off half of our staff and cut pay rates across the board drastically to have a chance at surviving. We may be driven out of business.
Mr. Brownsberger: Whatever your can do to stop the bashing and criticism of the reporting and journalism profession from the White House would go a long way giving us Americans the hope that our leadership in control. The lies are endless from Washington. The people in the task force look like sheep watching the president lie to us. Very little praise has been provided to the responders and care givers during this crisis. Trump is worried about his businesses while people are dying and suffering. Shameful.
Rent is key, if there are no rent penalties during this crisis, maybe I survive it. But catching back up isn’t an option either. My child support remains what it was prior my loss of job. I’ll lose everything, what little I have.
We need to support hospital workers
Also I have sent a email to my college with the following statement:
“The BHCC should really be considering on finish the semester At this point, because this now isn’t just about school anymore, But people lives, People will be sick, People will have to take care of someone sick, People will loose jobs, People will have no money, People will be hungry, People will have to readapt, And unfortunately People will lose Loved Ones.” We the people, should be focusing on helping each other’s and the community During this uncertainty time.
The economic situation question doesn’t necessarily give the complete information needed for policy making. I have the resources to get through the next year, but the foregone income could have huge implications for the future of many families (insufficient resources in 24 months, WHEN NO ONE CARES, for college; insufficient savings for retirement WHEN NO ONE CARES, etc.
Thank you for your service as our representative. I think things are going well, but there are too many people who think they can still do as they wish (e.g., go out regularly, as opposed to seldomly as needed). You and government and Boston mayor and the governor have shown real leadership — I very much appreciate!!! Please, continue — we need your help, leadership, coordination for our collective safety. Thank You!!!
Hi Will, I lived in Back Bay for 22 years before recently moving to East Boston. I feel strongly we need a full shelter in place. We know it was effective in China. Much needs to be done to control/limit crowds at grocery stores. If you want to keep anything else open, like take out restaurants, it should be curbside pickup only. I’m concerned about service workers and college kids returning from spring break who will further spread. My work contract was canceled, now unemployed. The longer the curve the worse economic impact IMO. Shut everything down now. Then, what are the plans to open everything. Thank you for your tireless service, I wish we had your leadership at the White House.
There has been good messaging about hygiene measures and social distancing, but think it can even go further. Along with the usual reminders, another routine message should be covering mouth when coughing or sneezing as not doing so can put people at risk even if social distancing and practicing proper hygiene. A COVID-positive person can sneeze into the air and people can unknowingly walk into that space and potentially take respiratory particles. Watch public parks as too many people are out and in close contact.
It would be good to have a state health advisory on: 1. Does one develop antibodies once one has COVID-19, so infections are not repeated? 2. If I have no ostensible symptoms, can I get tested to see if I have had a mild, relatively undetectable case and have antibodies? 3. Definitive rules for longevity of COVID-19 on surfaces of items purchased or delivered, such a milk cartons, plastic wrapping and glass bottles?
I have lost income due to job cancellations because of COVID-19, and I anticipate more cancellations in the near future. Unfortunately, I will not qualify for any of the assistance being discussed right now because of the income limit, which I think is too low. I need my current level of income in order to pay my bills, but the federal govenment, by using an arbitrary maximum amoumt, considers me to be someone who does not require assistance. For me, any reduction in my income will make it impossible to pay all my bills without using savings, which I am thankful I have. I will never be able to make this money back.
I am prepared for the long haul, but I fear deeply for the huge majority of people who live hand to mouth.
I am a hairdresser I can not work from home and do not qualify for any unemployment as an owner. I am only doing one client at a time keeping my distance using gloves and washing hands in between clients. A shut down would financially ruin me and my family. I wouldn’t beable to pay my bills and could possibly loose my salon and home. In my opinion my salon is cleaner than any grocery store . Unless people stop going to stores where they are not keeping there distance, me staying home won’t help the situation. There are people walking by multiple people on bike paths and exposing themselves way more than coming into a building or buisness that is actually cleaning every half hr. Please consider not shutting down or making us small business That have under 20 employees suffer because of others. There needs to be a limit of when people can go to the grocery stores to limit the amount of people in line there. All of these people are staying home but then going into lines with effected people so it’s not actually helping and keeping people from making a living ! Thank you
I’m becoming nervous about food shopping, but I intend to continue walking in woods and by ponds.
Thank you for your concern for us!
Most people in our neighborhood are being very proactive about the confinement, but I think it will be very important to roll out antibodies testing (blood tests to determine if someone has already had a COVID-19 infection) as soon as they are developed so that increasing numbers of the population can return to moving about and helping to prop up the economy and society until everyone is safe to resume life as (new) usual.
We all need to sacrifice now to flatten the curve.
Strongly feel Boston should have shelter in place order for at least a couple of weeks, as I strongly suspect there are simply too many people who aren’t taking the danger seriously enough and who will put others at risk
Thank you for asking! be well.
Was no planning and see no planning for if this lasts 18 months (1918 lasted 24) or if it happens again—and it will.
I am concerned that we will have insufficient PPE’s and ventilators to support our medical personnel and patients. I am also worried that there will be insufficient economic assistance to marginal workers and the “self-employed” such as myself. I an worried about how the undocumented immigrants in our midst are going to survive. Also, who will care for my cat if I become sick enough for the hospital (I live alone). And finally–is there any way we can all pull together and help (besides staying home) and social distancing. Thank you. Stay well.
I’ve done all the things you’re supposed to do. I’ve put aside savings as much as I was able, I’ve worked hard, I’ve skipped vacations so I could earn more. Now I’ve lost my job because of this. I can use that savings for a while, that’s what it’s for, but if this goes on for months I don’t know how I’m going to survive it.
I am not seeing an adequate, systems-based response from leadership beyond telling people to stay home.
Most concerned about those less able to care for themselves, those unable to handle the loss of income & increase in stress, and our first responders.
we need testing!!!! this is insane!
I know our family is lucky because we can all work, study, and do leisure activities online.
Trump spreads lies whenever he preens at his narcissistic daily briefings. He uses them solely to promote himself and his reelection. The media should stop carrying it live. People need the facts and the truth. Many people are going to die, and this will last longer than a month. Trump was briefed on this in January, and ignored it, then denied it, then called it a hoax. History will list him as a mass murderer.
I am very worried about the lack of testing and medical equipment
As a pharmacist, I am still going to work every day – it’s been my experience that people are falling into one of two camps. Camp 1 are taking the social distancing very seriously but Camp 2 seem to be ignoring the ‘suggestions‘ from the governor and their lack of foresight I worry, is putting the most vulnerable at risk (I put the entire healthcare workbase now in the ‘most vulnerable’ category). Most people who understand the risk here are already practicing shelter in place – we need to get everyone on board.
I feel right now that a safety net has been put in place, but I do not think people realize how bad it may get. I am a healthcare worker, being saved for the second rotation of workers as the frontlines get sick, and I fear we may need a shelter in place or more for people to really comply and understand what is happening outside their homes.
I am concerned about the number of people doing unsafe activities. I live near the Fens and there are large groups of people daily playing basketball, baseball, cricket, soccer, etc.
I am a teacher with doing on line learning. As a private school teacher, we have more freedom to grade work and keep follow curriculum. I am also the father of three teenage boys. They understand the need to shelter with family only, but the idea of keeping away from neighborhood friends is sisyphean. Furthermore, keeping them from tasks like playing basketball or other activities with friends that involve a germ vector is a constant battle.
I’m worried about those in prison, as well as immigrants in detention. I think Bernie Sanders’ coronavirus plan (https://berniesanders.com/issues/emergency-response-coronavirus-pandemic/) is the best way to move forward. Thank you for this survey
I am a lucky one since my job is primarily home based Thank you for taking input from your constituents directly about this.
Thanks for the survey. We are holding it together now. I think a shelter in place order from the Governor is the only way to flatten the curve. Stay safe, Senator.
Better to order shelter in place NOW and beat this thing, then look back in two weeks wishing we had.
I work at a liquor store which is somehow considered essential. I have heard the owners commenting on how well the store is doing. They are providing us with gloves and cleaning supplies but I still do not believe they are taking this as seriously as it should be taken.
Going out only for groceries and solitary walks in the wood is what we already do. I hope all the people are doing the same.
My office has only two people and everyone else has left the building so I think I’m good.
I would find it helpful for all towns/cities/neighborhoods to have statistics on confirmed cases/people being monitored easily available on their websites. Belmont is doing a great job at this, and I think it should be mandatory/strongly encouraged. Also, I think there should be clearer guides on best practice for social distancing during outdoor exercise (eg. not going on walks in groups).
Am a student in law school.
Thank you! In spite of the information that’s being shared by numerous sources, I still feel uncertain of what I would do if I developed symptoms of COVID-19, and cynical about whether or not I would be able to access a test.
I think we need decisiveness and clarity. We also need to understand that those who are working at home cannot home school our children. Even if it was a skill-set we have, many of our jobs are requiring very long hours, and we can’t take on the role of educator. There needs to be help for the working parents so our kids can continue to receive an education.
So many businesses are still open and asking their employees to work. We hope they’ll be responsible, but many are not. I am concerned about my immunocompromised mother-in-law who is still being required to report into non-essential work in person. (And because they’re doing that, she’s taking the pandemic much less seriously.)
Please pay attention to contract workers and self employed individuals. Things are really going to get dicey in the next few weeks without relief. Unemployment is not an option for us. Thanks.
very concerned about elder care and what to do if parent falls ill. Also the toilet paper supply (it’s a big problem if you don’t already know) Thanks
I am deeply concerned about my kids’ education and mental health if this extends for months on end. Our district is interpreting DESE’s guidelines as saying that they will only provide “enrichment” to students and not actually teach them anything. This could destroy a third of of my kids’ academic year– that makes no sense. Fine, freeze grades, or make them only capable of going up for the rest of this year–but don’t stop teaching! Schools need to get themselves online ASAP. I am also deeply concerned about and the potential for economic carnage, and the potential for essential services to be affected (power, water, waste management), resulting in some kind of post-apocalyptic downward spiral. It is insane that state and federal governments have not been moving heaven and earth to have more masks/PPE made. Where the hell are the tests? Why is this something that always seems to be “tomorrow” or “in a week”? What, exactly, is the holdup? Nobody explains that. And, if things are really as bad as they are, why aren’t we converting empty sports stadiums, school gyms, etc., into places where people could be quarantined/treated? Now! Get all those construction workers that Boston rather stupidly shut down and have them use these spaces to erect temporary care units. If any of these kinds of measures are underway, they sure as hell aren’t being communicated to the public, so from where I’m sitting, our government at every level is doing absolutely nothing but closing down life as we know it. Not exactly reassuring.
Difficult problem, thanks for reaching out and be safe!
I think a two week shut down is warranted, but it must have a definitive end and there must be 48 hours notice to obtain items like prescriptions, diapers, gas, etc.
We will come to view our governments handling of this crisis as disastrous.
I am fully ready and able to shelter in place long-term as long as we can continue to order grocery deliveries. I want to see a plan in place to help those who cannot work during a long-term shelter in place situation, and I would be willing to donate to this.
An excellent idea plse let us have results of survey thank you
I’ll be ok like this for a bit, but chances are I will be unemployed in the next 2 to 3 weeks.
Support for seniors and others stuck home without a support network — where is it!??! The UK is mobilizing nationwide to support such people. We are not even doing it locally!
Thanks for doing this. As usual, you are an exemplar of elected leadership. We are deeply fortunate you have chosen to serve. –Longtime supporter, from back in the day…
I work at a healthcare facility, that is the only reason I am not working from home.
Please keep cycling stores open, this is my critical link and life line right now, it is essential infrastructure, and they should remain open, albeit with appropriate and necessary precautions
I think we need to move fast. See the Johns Hopkins website for who has been able to shut down the epidemic. The sooner you shelter in place, the better.
I have been walking a lot and went past the Cleveland Circle Reservoir yesterday and there were a lot of not obeying social distancing. I went buy a church and the parking lot was full. I have a idea. Ask people what they are doing to keep busy. Anything interesting
Many neighbors and friends are taking this seriously, but some of our friends seem to be taking too many trips to stores, not keeping 6 feet away from others when out walking. They are still not convinced of the necessity of sheltering in place. I am mystified by this behavior, but think it may be that they are in denial and are in need of more social interaction than others.
I only leave home for work because I am an ER doctor. I am only going in for shifts. All other work is remote. My husband is also working completely from home.
Suggest we allow things to reopen and limit size to 25 or less visitors at a time to get some businesses going again. If a restaurant or bar, must have door monitor at entry and not allow waiting. They can call people on a written waitlist or do reservations only. Should have them close at 8 or 9 pm. Allow museums to reopen to Boston residents only with a local ID and also limit numbers of guests to have access. Can be done by reservation. Hold free exercise classes held outdoors only like Tai Chi, etc. Suggest delaying paying May RE tax bills until August. Thanks for asking and be safe!
I am content to sit on the river bank, getting dry, waiting for conditions to change. I have a family memory of losses during the Spanish flu epidemic. My Polish grandfather lost his first family, a wife and three children.
The real question is not me. I have savings that will get us through the next couple of months. The question is whether my firm can last a couple months while paying workers with what appears likely to be greatly reduced workload and revenue. It doesn’t have large reserves, so if revenue drops more than briefly it will have to make tough decisions.
Thank you for doing this.
I’m genuinely not sure what the right answer is here, because the impact to workers will be immense. But it’s also true the most vulnerable are the most exposed.
Spouse had been laid off.
I do occasionally do on-site moving surveys in homes and businesses. I typically do 2-4/day in the fall-spring and 4-6/day in the summer. Currently doing 2-5/week wearing disposable gloves and using antiseptic wipes on my car after each one (handles, knobs, buttons, etc. Worried if moving companies will be included in a lockdown.
Our au pair had to go home early and due to visa restrictions and changes in MA law, we will have a difficult time finding childcare for foreseeable future.
Thanks for all you do!
My family of four (ages 45, 45, 5, and 2) have been mildly ill for the last ten days. We do not need medical attention and are doing fine; obviously we have self-quarantined. But we really, really wish it were possible to test if we have COVID-19, so that we could know 1) whether we need to continue to take more than the standard social distancing measures and 2) whether we are in a position to help care for relatives if they fall ill (assuming recovering from the illness gives immunity, which I know is not yet established). Not to mention the public health value of getting a more accurate count.
I am in favor of shelter in place if people can still access food and medicine.
Like many of the more affluent folks in MA I can handle the situation fairly comfortably. I worry about others. I’m a public health professional and have a clearer understanding of the gravity of the issue. We need to take immediate and drastic steps to get back in front of the spread of the disease. Anything less leads to worse health and economic outcomes. I’m happy to discuss this more or advise if this is beneficial.
I work with community members experiencing homelessness. There needs to be additional resources and significant planning to ensure people who are unhoused, especially those who are unsheltered, have adequate support to “shelter in place” and not be criminalized for being without a safe and stable home. Vacant units, hotels or dorms should be turned into housing -which should remain beyond this crisis, access to healthcare and testing must be increased, voluntary access to MAT, NEP/SSP, detox and recovery for people with substance use disorders or people who use drugs, and voluntary access to alcohol, alcohol cessation, detox and recovery options for people with alcohol use disorder or dependency. In the meantime, daytime shelter reopened and opened with considerations made for social distancing, overnight emergency shelter must be expanded for people to be able to “socially distance”, access showers and public bathrooms that are “overdose proof” (either equipped with Narcan smashboxes and a monitor – not police or in low threshold day spaces) should be rolled out immediately. This could spread like wildfire among people who are unhoused – they are trying their best with the limited means and ability to care for themselves and their community, however we are leaving them behind destined for illness or worse, death.
Banks must arrange for branch offices to stay open on at least a reduced schedule for customers to withdraw money to pay for medicines, groceries, pet food,etc. Many people do NOT have credit cards or other plastic to make necessary purchases. Elderly, minorities, immigrants are particularly affected. I can easily self-isolate and keep myself and my cats in good shape for a year if the banks stay open and supermarkets/pharmacies continue to serve the public. NOTE: if urban gang violence resumes and spreads, and local police can’t suppress it and protect our neighborhoods, then the National Guard must be activated to ensure public safety. Ditto in case of lone wolf crazies or random rampages by drunken youths. This summer will see break-ins, vandalism, violence at unused schools and churches, stores, offices, etc. If it gets out of hand vigilante counter measures might be taken. Not good!
Thank you for your hard work!
I am secure financially, but I preparing for the possibility-to-likelihood that I will need to provide money to family who will be unemployed.
I am in the healthcare field.
We need stronger measures. All business except pharmacies and grocery stores need to close. Can’t save the economy of people keep getting sick because every measure is voluntary.
The state, city, and local governments have done a good job. I wish I could say the same for the federal government.
I myself am ok but I worry about my roommate and others who work in the grocery industry and other service industries. There needs to be MUCH more done to grant unlimited sick leave, INCREASE PAY, enforce companies’ sanitization and safety efforts. Companies (like Amazon, who owns Whole Foods) and others NEED to be held accountable for how they are treating their workers (not just during this time but at all times)…. people talk about health care workers and others being on the front lines, which is true and of course I am grateful, but workers in groceries and restaurants, sanitation workers, and many other “necessary” industries NEED to be prioritized right now!! They are literally allowing us to continue surviving (as they always do) and we need to treat them as dignified human beings. Also EXPAND testing please! I know legislators are doing a lot but I am begging you to do more. Risk your political career, risk your public image, be bold to do what is right for your constituents. Now is the time, people’s lives and livelihoods are literally at risk. PLEASE! I am happy to discuss this further.
My household includes a 5 year old BPS student, and we are extremely concerned about managing child care if our workplaces expect us to return before adequate child care options are available (eg summer camps).
Federal response is a scandal of lethal proportions.
Take daily walks. Shop a local grocery = Golden Goose. They are doing everything to make life easier. Glad things seem to be under control. Feel sorry for folks whose lives have been put on hold. Worried for students who should be graduating this June. Walk down deserted Hanover Street and feel sorry for all those restaurant owners, wait/ers/resseses. Wish I could help. But realize, that at my age, I should keep a low profile & keep smiling. Onward in Peace & Health!!
I am concerned about the precautions being taken or not taken by my neighbors in the building (10 units). As well as whether to allow outside workers in. We’re trying to figure out the answers now.
I am lucky to still be employed. But I have no illusions on how long that can possibly last. Even if this all does end within a month I will be swamped with work thereafter. The answer to question 1 will shift before too long.
Level of dependency on external supplies, from countries themselves at the center of Covid-19, has exacerbated the problem of testing and treating patients and protecting the med-staff. A shocking lack of preparedness for a pandemic!
I place a lot of blame on the Trump Administration for not taking this threat seriously ab initio. When the virus began to ravage Wuhan, the US should have started to prepare for massive testing and assured that medical supplies would be available. Instead, the President understated the risk. To a lesser degree, the baker administration moved slowly in testing — especially after the Biogen conference — and was far from transparent about what was going on. While both have improved, it’s too late to do what should have been done that could have nipped the epidemic in the bud a la Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. Instead, as a result, we risk becoming more like Italy.
The uncertainty about the ending of the virus is hard.
Could folks coordinating delivery of needed supplies get exceptions from the shelter in place? Will folks facing economic hardship be guaranteed shelter and food?
The company I work for is not set up for us to work remotely. As long as they continue to pay us (and that is undetermined right now), I’m fine. My food situation is good; I took advantage of senior hours at Stop and Shop early yesterday.
Thank you for this survey. I am concerned that Governor Baker has not gone far, especially that we are not working in tandem with the group of northeastern states (PA, NY, CT, NJ) that have issued stricter guidelines. I think a “shelter in place” or “stay at home” order should have come a week ago.
As I’m sure you agree, we are appalled by the lack of action (and the unethical action) on the federal level. Baker could be pushing harder and speaking out against Trump (which he should have been doing long ago). Please get supplies to our healthcare workforce – and more testing. thanks –
Whatever public health officials believe is best I will follow!
Work in Brighton normally
I work at Harvard in the Distance Ed group – moving all our classes online. Work is pretty solid for for me for the foreseeable future and WFH (work from home) approved indefinitely. However, this is not true for too many folks. I think Gov. Baker is on track with not issuing a shelter-in-place for now, and allowing restaurants to offer take out, or other shops like barber shops and hair salons to limit numbers rather than be forced to close. I plan to start ordering food to pick up a couple of times a week to help them out. We need to teach and encourage people to be smart rather than forcing the issue if we can. It would be nice to see the state take the initiative to help create or communicate online work opportunities for folks who’ve become jobless – maybe create some free online training programs to teach them how to use software like Zoom, or basic web skills, computer programming, etc., that could lead to different jobs. I think people who have those skills would be willing to help teach such classes – I would volunteer some time for it.
I am mostly concerned about getting sick and having to go to the hospital. I am 60 years old, but am healthy.
The only way to control this, is for the whole USA to lock themselves down for like a month. It has to be an order, not a request. People should only go out to walk their dogs and stay only in their block. Food and meds these days can be delivered to your house. As long as people are allowed out, the number of deaths is going to be scary. Not sure why the government is taking so long to do the inevitable.
Right now, I am impressed by the leadership of Andrew Cuomo. Charlie Baker is mostly invisible and is a follower; not that much of a leader. Trump is terrible and a joke!
I am a teacher at a Boston Public School. I am very grateful that I am a member of a strong union and for the fact that I will be paid through this crisis. I am, however, very worried about my students and their families. Many are undocumented and I am afraid that they will not be able to get financial help. If the legislature could address that, I would be very grateful. Also I’m worried about incarcerated men and women. Please help them. Finally, I appreciate your work!
My biggest concerns are lack of testing, availability of PPE for healthcare workers, and people who have been laid off affording rent.
We (parents + one college kid) are pretty much sheltering in place now. Just walks in parks and fetching takeout, beyond the stricter lockdown definition. I’d like to keep (safely!) supporting local business as much as possible. Yeah, mostly food at this point. In my family’s frequent runs or walks, we see many people out also on foot – all keeping respectful, careful distance, yet being friendly. That all seems to be working well. Belmont closing wide open fields entirely (Grove St, PQ) seems overkill.
Will, Good idea to send this brief survey. Thanks.
It feels as if the criteria for determining whether a COVID-19 test is warranted is constrained by the availability of kits and our rightful concern about a rush of demand for them, not the condition of the potential patient. My wife has several of the symptoms, a suppressed immune system, and is above the age of 65, but since she hasn’t been in touch with someone confirmed to have the disease or traveled internationally, she seems not to be a candidate according to her PCP. But if we wait until her symptoms progress, it’ll probably be too late. So we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. In lieu of more appropriate direction, she’s just staying home, and we’re hoping the symptoms subside. But if the kits come in, we’d like to see the guidance for testing change accordingly.
We need to be cautious about implementing shelter in place as it will further impact lower wage workers who are unable to work from home. This includes people like my daughter who went from doing OK for a recent college grad to $0. We can support her and carry her on our insurance but she has coworkers who are facing dire circumstances.
The only way to avoid infection is blanket testing and then social distancing. blanket testing should be a priority goal in order to get the general population to a point of knowing. Also, the severity of the lung infection and damage to lung tissue, I believe, has not been addressed.
The problem is the significant number of people not practicing social distancing. Not sure how to enforce this, maybe police patrols of areas where it’s known to be a problem.
This is my individual response. Should my partners situation change as a contract employee, my economic security could change if I need to support both of us.
Anything you can do to press to addresss the crisis of lack of tests would be helpful. With such limited testing, we just can’t know what we are facing. I so appreciate your doing this survery. THANK YOU
You’ve always been thoughtful and helpful. Perhaps you might want to reach out to constituents via Zoom occasionally, which would substitute for town-wide meetings.
Anything you can do to press to addresss the crisis of lack of tests would be helpful. With such limited testing, we just can’t know what we are facing. I so appreciate your doing this survery. THANK YOU
Thanks for all you are doing! We really appreciate you.
Thank you for being in touch with constituents during this time. I appreciate the severity of the public health crisis, and know that it must be dealt with. The economic costs are going to be incredible. I work for the Huntington Theatre Company, a local non-profit that employs 120 Massachusetts residents fulltime and supports the work of local, Greater-Boston-area playwrights, actors, designers, and directors. Our revenue-generating productions are almost entirely shut down currently. Leadership is trying to keep employees paid through the end of the fiscal year in June, though there will be revenue losses of over a million dollars or more if we continue to be unable to produce public performances longer than a month. I know all industries are hit hard, but please keep non-profit arts institutions like theatre, dance, museums, and live music in mind as the state thinks about relief. Arts organizations will need help to restart operations through increased funding to the Massachusetts Cultural Council and other similar organizations. We almost all closed public operations proactively ahead of the governor asking for public gatherings to be cancelled.
This thing shows up differently for everyone who has it. I’ve been sick with similar symptoms and the doctors won’t test me because I don’t have a fever, so when I try to warn people who have been around me in recent weeks, they don’t believe that I might have it. We need to take more drastic action because it’s spreading and people don’t know how much because they won’t test everyone.
As a physician I do not believe the public fully understands the potential for a crisis here. On my walk home from work I see many who still are informally gathered outside. We need further restrictions with accompanying public education efforts. The public needs to stay safe so we can avoid overwhelming the health system.
I am retired and live on my retirement account. I lost almost one third of my money in Wall Street panic.
I do not have confidence that the federal government knows how to do the “right” thing or tell the truth or has anyone other than themselves in mind. They have proven over time that they cannot be trusted. I’m following orders and skeptical all at the same time.
We’re in a reasonably good place financially right now, but I am concerned about the development impact — both academic and social — of this extended isolation on our kids. Additionally, while keeping everyone cooped up together is hard enough, a change that would make it more difficult for the kids to have outside time in the nice weather would have a tremendously negative impact on intra-family relationships.
More efforts are needed to stop the spread of this virus. People especially adolescents and young adults are still getting together and hanging out and that will undermine current efforts. He should have already done it but it is absolutely time for Baker to impose more restrictions for the greater good.
I am 86 y.o. and just recovering from a severe GI infection this winter, so I am grateful for protection from any other illness. I can manage food shopping every 2-3 weeks but NOT at the crack of dawn. In-store reminders about social distancing might be helpful.
The biggest issue I see right now is that people are not social distancing when they go outside to get some fresh air and exercise. They are flocking to parks and playgrounds and creating unsafe conditions that are likely to spread the virus.
I work in an exempt industry (investing), so still bike to my office to free up space (physical and internet bandwidth) for my wife, a college professor, and my two sons in college, now home, beginning online learning next week.
I feel secure for a year, if we see broader economic collapse – we could be insecure. We are solid middle class in current conditions.
There should be more information about what you can/should do at home if you get the virus.
I’m worried that as a part time stat home parent, help from unemployment, etc. will not help me, as my business was fledgling. However, I started it because we needed extra income.?? I do educational consulting and advocacy work! However, I understand how lucky we are and that we all need to do this.
Unless the numbers of sick go way up – we should not isolate people to the point of depression
I am most concerned if we shelter in place that I will not be able to go to our summer home in Wellfeet. It is safe for us there and we would bring our own food.
We are lucky to have savings. But will be ok one salary
Too many people are not following the requests that they curtail public excursions. We need a full lockdown to protect our citizens.
Unfortunately I found it necessary to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy. My income is insufficient to cover my living expenses and I am unable to find work at my age.
Thank you, Will.
I hope tennis courts in the playgrounds would be unlocked and available to use when weather is getting warmer. Gym is closed, and some outdoor exercise opportunities with appropriate distance would be necessary.
It’s definitely better to act aggressively sooner to lessen the downstream effects. I haven’t been out much so it’s hard to tell how well others are following the guidelines. At the same time I’m worried about those who can’t work from home or have lost work due to closures.
We must have the entire country, not to mention just Massachusetts, shelter in place starting NOW- otherwise we will be Italy very soon. Italy already proved that their step-by-step approach to closing the country has FAILED. We will similarly fail if we don’t take drastic actions now.
Shelter in place will save lives and help end this pandemic quickly so that Bostonians can get back to life. It will help employers stop putting the safety of employees at risk and stop reckless activity and I support it
The panic buying at the grocery stores is a real problem. Also unable to see my 94 y o mother
I support a shelter in place, but that would cause the company I work for to basically go bankrupt due to a lack of sales. The brewery industry is directly dependant on people being able to visit liquor stores. Unless there’s a blanket delay of payments for loans that are due, every single brewery in Massachusetts faces closure. I know dozens of people that have already lost their jobs in that sector because of the closing of bars.
More needs to be known about C19. for example, for how long can asymptomatic carriers infect others Also I believe the current test is not very good, gives a lot of false positives as well as false negatives – not a very good test
We should do whatever it takes to stop the surging growth of the virus and get it under control as soon as possible.
I’m am an employer. Most of my employees live with less than 2 months savings. I have seasonal business that I believe is essential for the good of the Commonwealth. We help people exercise and social distance. We are also essential for transportation outside of the public transit system.
Closing everything is going way to far
Everyone who is capable of working home should be made too. I have access but I am told I have to be a body in the office when I don’t deal with the public
People are not social distancing enough, the warm weather and lack of public spaces to accommodate distance isn’t helping. Roads need to be closed to cars, we need open streets to give people enough space to walk and bike safely and not choose between being stuck inside or risking exposure when getting fresh air.
I feel fine paying bills for ~3-6months
Shut down ASAP
I am mostly concerned for our heath care providers and their ability to stay healthy.
We may be headed the way of Italy at this rate, G*d forbid. We need strong action to flatten the curve – in part because of the dire shortage of tests, masks, beds, ventilators etc. What good is all this wealth if we are shamefully unprepared as a nation? Lacking Federal leadership, Massachusetts must act strongly on its own.
Until just a few days, Belmont residents were noticing families playing on playgrounds and not exercising social distancing. I think we should keep larger green spaces/ fields open to use, and nature preserves, since people can play while keeping their distance, but should rope off playgrounds, in the interest of keeping families safe. Finally, I’m deeply concerned about the economic security and well-being of restaurant workers, retail workers and those in the gig economy who may not benefit from unemployment benefits, and would urge the state to consider relief measures that protect small businesses, as well as those vulnerable workers who may see little trickle down benefit without direct support.
Please do your part to advocate for a rent freeze in Boston. A huge population of your constituents- especially in Allston, Brighton, and Watertown- are artists, service industry workers, gig-economy workers, and/or students. We are already living paycheck to paycheck due to the lack of affordable rent prices, and now our income is drying up or gone completely. Please help us.
Hope we get government checks soon.
Thank you for the on point and consistent communication from your office!
Most of my employees live paycheck to paycheck. We have a seasonal business that is essential to physical and emotional state of the people of the commonwealth
being able to walk outside while social distancing is something I hope we don’t lose. But if that is what it takes in order to flatten the curve and save lives, we will manage.
mayor walsh and governor baker have done a good job, basing decisions on information from public health authorities in the face of uniformed criticism which appear in part motivated by shameful political self interest. The people who would be hurt by a total lock down would be the most needy in society and those who do not have the financial resources to withstand a shelter in place order. the media to a certain extent is misleading the public in order to draw attention to itself. we need accurate information from sources such as the CDC. For the most vulnerable the economic impact will be harder on them than the virus itself.
I do work for DCF but I also work for Children’s Hospital. I worry that DCF won’t have the necessary technology and protective gear for employees to respond to emergencies. I also worry that the most vulnerable children will be unseen during this time. The lack of daycares for our foster children are a worry. In regards to the hospital and DCF for job stability, I am not worried that I will lose my job. So I do feel safe in this respect.
Strict enforcement of closed spaces will help. Reinforce with parents regarding bringing children to grocery store and pharmacy. Kids need to stay home. Thank you for your support to try to end this.
Thanks for doing this. Hope you and yours are doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. Will look forward to seeing the survey results.
Please do as much as necessary while also providing economic support to low income families! Thank you for your hard work.
1) current isolation is reasonable, but there is a lot of crowding on big city streets and parks. suggest: announce that walkers/joggers should move on the sidewalk on the right side on the road (direction of vehicles on 2-way streets). this will reduce interaction between walkers. 2) MBTA – riders should not enter near driver, use one door to enter, another to exit 3) we see immediate hardship around in Brighton – people selling their cars and bikes. Rescind parking fees, tolls, sales taxes – good for personal finance, hygiene, economy
My opinion is we need to do all or nothing. The in limbo / 50% effort is crushing our economy and just dragging out the virus. Mandatory shelter in place for 2 weeks – allows symptoms to be uncovered or people who are sick and asymptomatic to recover (and not realize it). Have people with symptoms request a test and if symptoms for someone progress and they need the hospital, they go to the hospital. Let’s just identify everyone who is sick and contain everyone who dont even know so we can heal and contain.
There are many inconsistencies out there. Businesses are handling things differently and individuals are having all different (and once again, inconsistent) responses to this threat. It is hard to know what to do and what is the most accurate information. Thanks for asking.
Shelter in place NOW! Front line HC workers are at huge risk.
I work for the City of Newton. We are still required to report to work, though on a rotating shift to keep our distance from one another. We are doing all we can to stay safe, but I wonder why we are out at all. I am in no way a first responder.
We are OK for now but very concerned for the families who have lost their jobs. We do not believe this will be over in a few weeks
I appreciate the senator’s aide and the senator himself calling me back on Friday. I am concerned about the civil liberties implications of shelter in place orders. (I also am a runner and need to exercise, so this would affect me). My biggest concern remains PPE (personal protective equipment) which has a personal dimension as my partner is a doctor now drawing shifts in an ED. Not only will we have fewer healthcare workers to treat others if they are sickened, but we cannot administer desperately needed testing unless those who give the tests are adequately protected.
Thank you for doing this survey!
Let’s do everything we can to support local businesses, particularly restaurants that have been closed or greatly constrained by the pandemic. (I am not a restaurant owner but I love having them in my neighborhood.)
While as far as I can tell the current measures are sufficient, I am inclined to more caution rather than less. I do not want a police state. I hope we will be able to continue to go shopping for food and other necessities. As an independent contractor I do worry about that this will be like if it continues. On the other hand, I have a husband with a history of asthma and heart disease. I prefer his working at home–he works at MGH and I do NOT want him riding the commuter rail until this virus is history. My daughter is in high school. I worry about the impact on her current schoolwork and her applications to college. But getting control over the impact of this virus is first. However the government handles this, it is important that any curtailing of civil rights is temporary!
As far as shelter in place. Are there really enough police to enforce it if people are foolish enough to congregate?
I think there should be stronger measures to stop the spread of the virus. As someone who is awaiting a medical procedure unrelated to the virus I worry that in addition to virus patients, other patients such as myself will have to forego treatment because of lack of resources. All “nonessential” work environments that involve the interaction of groups of people would save lives by temporarily closing. I am all for taking further measures to slow the spread of the virus and avoid overwhelming our health systems, HOWEVER I think there should be exceptions for small businesses to stay open IF they only have one or two people working in isolation who pose no risk to the public by continuing to have access to their workplace. Without exemptions such as this, more small business owners will be hurt financially than is necessary.
Decisions should be based on expert and scientific research and data. People deserve the best of Public Health and Public /Safety.
Thank you for keeping in contact with us. The state and local governments have been amazing.
I’m concerned that the state is not doing enough, and I was actually planning to write you about it today. It seems shelter in place is where we will end up, and delaying that puts more lives at risk. I’m fortunate that I work mostly from home anyway and am not financially threatened by this crisis, and of course we should do as much as possible to support those who are. I’m particularly concerned about my friends and family, and all of their colleagues, who work in hospitals and the fact that they don’t have the equipment they need. Thanks for your work on this.
Thank you for your work to stem the pandemic.
i work at the public library in Watertown. There is talk that staff will be required to come to work even if public is not allowed in. We are concerned that as we are not essential that we are at risk for our health and those we live with.
2-3 week shelter in place will be okay but longer might be hard for me to sustain
Covid-19 needs to be managed proactively and both MA and the US have done an abysmal job to date. Please read the paper below and get to work saving lives and money by not letting the situation get even more out of control. https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-the-hammer-and-the-dance-be9337092b56
Something must be done. People are acting as if work being cancelled is allowing them to go outside their homes and have fun with people. This is seriously increasing the risk of transmission and seems to not be taken seriously.
I am an infectious disease physician and virologist — these are only my personal views. I strongly believe that we need to take immediate and decisive shelter in place action to avoid the catastrophe that is happening in Italy and that I personally believe will happen here if we do not act NOW. Our hospitals were not prepared for this — not enough tests, masks, swabs even. We MUST avoid a surge of patients that will infect our ill-prepared healthcare system and result in many deaths that can (for the moment, but not much longer) be avoided. I also think we must take decisive action to limit travel between NYC and Boston. NYC is now the US epicenter and it will swamp us if we don’t stop it from doing so. I would advocate for closing the border with NY or at least limiting travel to what is absolutely essential and having self-quarantine of anyone coming from NYC.
I live in Newton but teach in Watertown
We need to be far more aggressive in taking action and we need to do it fast. We need to put our desire for civil liberties aside for some time in order to get back to enjoying life again.
Middlesex County seems to be the hardest hit, which makes sense since many residents commute to Boston-Cambridge and travel for work. If MA goes to shelter-in-place, can the authorities be clear about what that means? For example, can I run if I stay on the street and away from crowded paths, or am I supposed to stay in my yard? Everyone needs to get outside to restore their Vitamin D and sense of sanity. I can publish ideas for families with children if there is a central resource hub for that.
Hope this helps
I get flatten the curve but the hysteria is insane we’re gunna go broke- Uber and Lyft should be deemed Essential so we can help get necessary workers to and from work- multiple gov agencies has said rideshare is safer than public transportation-
I fear a shelter in place will increase the suicide and crime rates. Please don’t forget we live in a free country
Please mandate access to designated shopping hours for elderly and vulnerable (and ration some supplies for them)
We are immensely privileged to both have secure jobs we can do from home. I wish the state would take drastic immediate action to flatten the curve and save our hospitals from being overwhelmed and I also recognize that the state must also support those who cannot work and those who will struggle to keep their jobs in those circumstances. I also hope that education can be better addressed if schools stay closed for a significant period of time. I have a child on an IEP for reading, math, speech, and OT. I also have a child who is a typical learner (and in also have a preschooler). Equal education is a problem that will have to be SOLVED through creative solutions, not a problem that is “solved” by saying if it cant be equal then you all get nothing. I would prefer my IEP child gets the best the state and district can give instead of nothing at all. It is these very children who already struggle who will be left further behind and take longer to catch up after a significant lack of school. And it is families who do not have the means to pay for online supports right now whose struggling children will be even FURTHER behind those. The bottom line is that offering nothing means creating an even bigger achievement gap than if the schools could be supported to do the best they can. Companies are also stepping up to support the technology gaps other families face… again I see that as a solvable problem. I hope there are those in the government working on this issue while others are focused on the medical and safety needs that are of course the most urgent issue at hand. Thank you for all you do!
I understand that it would be a hardship for many but an order to shelter in place is important to keep the spread of covid19 from getting worse and also to help our medical personnel get a handle on acquiring beds, equipment for further outbreaks of the virus
Will Good questions!! Worry about economic hardship. Tax the colleges and universities schools non-profits a one time tax. Endowment funds and the wealthy. Have restaurants open for breakfast and lunch close at 3. Once things ease up.. use old colleges for housing the sick!!
seems like what’s being done is “too little too late,” totally reactive instead of pro-active and all cities, towns should be in immediate lockdown for several months, not just according to the edicts of mayors/governors and suggestive please from the feds. TRUMP needs to shut up and leave all info communication to the pros. bailout monies should not be given to large corporations and banks should not demand mortgage payments at this time. government loans to small businesses probably won’t save my 2 restaurants (and thousands others) since we were barely staying alive to begin with and will never be able to catch up, let alone pay off loans. but thanks for asking!
I’m hoping that the city/state is tapping in to the University resources as much as they can, even as a pre-emptive measure. There are dorms and arenas that could be used as improptu hospital space (the mattresses are already plastic, with many having metal frames), there’s food in dining halls that must be going to waste, and of course the endless resource of collective intelligence gathered there…time for these private institutions to step up in tangible ways for our community
Hard to get groceries for seniors… cannot get necessities to fight the virus, eg. rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizers, toilet papers- out of stock. My husband and I are confined to staying at home.
Thanks for all of your excellent, dedicated work, Will. Stay healthy and glad you are in my Senate even if I’ve changed districts!
Testing needs to be made available asap. It’s already very late. Also, the governor and mayor of Boston need to make more public statements and keep our state informed like Cuomo/deBlasio of NY. Thank you for sending a survey.
I like Gov Baker but wish he were more pro active, ala Gav Cuomo. I woudl imagine that the problems NY is facing will be on us soon thank you for doing this survey
Employers should be required to retain employees in order to receive relief funds. Mayor Walsh should tell Boston business leaders to hang tough and not layoff employees.
My daughter lives in California – they are sheltering in place. She is an essential worker and managing. My sister lives in Vancouver and their Prime Minister is following directives from UK: stay in, stay home, spend time with immediate family and only if they’ve been practicing social distancing. I don’t think the US is doing enough to get the message across to the 20-30 age group. They can be asymptomstic carriers, continue to socialize, and spread a virus they’re unknowingly carrying.
Let’s get ahead of this in MA right now! Please!!!
I believe it is past time for MA to declare a shelter in place (or similarly restrictive) mandate. I am deeply concerned about the capacity of our medical facilities and safety of our providers. The more we can do now to prevent the spread the better our community will be able to survive this.
I’d like more clarity on what kinds of outdoor activities are acceptable now. Tennis? Biking? Being at a nature park?
Thank you for this questionnaire. The questions are thoughtfully worded. Do you plan to publish the results?
I am 84+4 months; my wife is 77+9 months; I have had a dental appointment, and sinus surgery postponed to June, but I can function quite well. Closing of the local gym will force me outdoors to circumnavigate around the Charles River for my 4 mile walking routine; bench/weight exercises will have to wait. My wife receives Botox injections in her neck and scalp once every 3 months, next scheduled injection sometime in May, her pain level is constant 24/7 on a scale of 8/10; she had (has had) weekly appointments with her chiropractor which we expect will be postponed for the duration, which is going to create a distinct hardship. Otherwise, ……..
I am grateful to Will and all the other responsible elected officials who are working to help our country while the president lies and blathers.
Please relay to the governor that he needs to issue a statewide shelter-in-place edict (and enforce it) now! Many people are not abiding by the recommendations and the virus is continuing to spread and will overwhelm our healthcare system. Also, if our state government can work with local manufacturers to have them retrofit their facilities and start making the supplies out healthcare workers need we wouldn’t have to compete with other states or wait for the federal government (whose gross incompetence is making this situation so many times worse).
I work remotely for a small startup that has funds to pay me for March, unsure about April. I pay for healthcare out of my own pocket and my rent is 50% of my income (live alone with my dog, studio apartment). I will need financial help sooner than later and can’t risk moving back in with my parents as both have underlying conditions. Please do something NOW.
I worry most about the people who can’t work now- mostly service industry – who have lost the current income they depend on for food, rent, etc. And some landlords depend on that rent also – not all of them are wealthy.
I’m not sure what it would take for people who aren’t taking social distancing seriously to do so. I’ve only seen examples on the news not on my daily walks around here (the only time I’m out) but it’s probably here too. But just how much can you legislate?
Shelter in place = no food, no place to live. You are great at restricting an ability to earn a living, but you still want to collect your taxes. Your still being paid by the state. You do not feel the weight of your actions to this virus.
Choosing to work from home as a non-essential employee (admin) since I can with company laptop. However, employer wants me to go into empty Back-Bay office for normal work week (to collect mail ?). Was asked to use PTO and have refused. City/State need to close down everyone for 2 weeks. May lose job over this insubordination.
All the “curves” show a “Hammer” works best over the long term, not just mitigation.
I was unemployed prior to the pandemic but it is affecting my ability to look for work. I still see families socializing in my neighborhood.
I believe that we need stricter controls to enforce social distance if we are to flatten the curve and manage until there is an effective vaccine.
Thanks for doing this. If you have tips for how those of us who are older (and thus need to be especially careful) and relatively ok in our jobs/income can best help, please pass them on. On line support of others? Cash? Tutoring?
My work should be remote by now, but they still have us coming in. I work in a call center in a hospital, and while my job is necessary for patient care, it feels like this job should have been made remote a long time ago and would function just as well. Requiring employers to make jobs remote if it’s at all possible for both full time and per diem employees would be valuable to a lot of peoples’ safety. I can’t afford to miss work, but I don’t feel safe traveling on public transportaion and going to the hospital that has COVID-19 patients when I’m not essential personnel.
More now! Find us some hope for lack of ventilators, masks and emergency equipment at hospitals. Seems like Doomsday! There is an interesting NY Times article that seems very hopeful…. (below) Focus on good stewardship. Remind everyone that partisanship at this point is just so much BAD NOISE! Give options to other platforms rather than the WH- Can Charlie Baker have a daily open mike about the crisis and what Massachusetts is doing to keep it’s citizens safe? Daily!!!….to mute the idiocy of the response from the WH and put the focus where it should be….on local leadership. Best! https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/keeping-the-coronavirus-from-infecting-health-care-workers?source=EDT_NYR_EDIT_NEWSLETTER_0_imagenewsletter_Daily_ZZ&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Daily_032120&utm_medium=email&bxid=5e72442452ba1e5fbc583072&cndid=&esrc=&mbid=CRMNYR062419&utm_term=TNY_Daily
I think we should all shelter in place across Massachusetts. Our neighboring states are mandating it. Why not us?
I am a psychiatric nurse practitioner without good health insurance. I am effectively sheltering in place but leaving to work in a health center 5 days per week and nervous when I do that. Clarity on how long the shelter in place is or would be necessary would be helpful.
We need a lockdown STAT.
Thanks for checking in. I think taking the pulse of constituents is good.
Still seeing some bars open (Trillium near where I live). Some local construction is still going on.
If shelter in place allowed for having exercise and outside time of some sort with my children (3 and 6 years) we could do longer. I fear that they will not be able to tolerate a strict shelter in place. We will make due however, to protect our neighbors and community.
I think the US needs to take this much more seriously than it is. As for MA, our governor has shown too much hesitation and lack of leadership. The economic consequences of dealing with COVID-19 properly will be extreme, but the kind of hesitation and waffling that Baker has shown will only increase the economic cost as well as the cost in lives. In a letter to state employees recently Baker bragged about how much is in the MA rainy day fund….guess what, it’s raining!
Overall, people don’t seem to be taking social distancing/non-congregating seriously enough. If people WOULD adhere to these guidelines, we’d see better numbers. While I need to leave my house to make a living (painter), I would understand if a shelter-in-place was ordered. Perhaps a consideration for people like plumbers, painters, electricians, etc. But it’s clear, something more serious may need to happen soon. Thank you Senator Brownsberger.
Thanks for asking.
I think the restrictions in place now are effective but should have been implemented earlier
Closing non-essential businesses or requiring that they work from home should be a step that is required before going to the extremes of sheltering in place. There are still too many businesses that have parking lots with way too many cars in them.
Thank you, family of five. Grateful for spending so many more hours with our children. Concerned about the homeless, inmates, refugees
Collecting this type of data should be done state-wide for proper decision-making.
My biggest concern by far is that my daughter is a nurse at a hospital in the area and is not getting adequate protection in terms of PPE. She works on a floor that treats very complex and vulnerable patients and is concerned for her own safety and for potentially spreading the virus to them if she becomes infected. Also I am also concerned about testing. Three concerns – her hospital offers testing for staff but the criteria seem very strict (as of the other day, you could only get tested if you were symptomatic, and not just if you were exposed). I also don’t really understand how the general population would get tested if they need it and what the criteria are.
I run a small business that supports the hotel industry. Between losing business because of COVID-19 and then the potential sales of the Hynes, I might as well turn the lights off and lock the door.
I’m consumed with worry. I have my mom who is older and recovering from major surgery at home and social security is not enough, my sister out of work taking care of our mom and my sisters son out of work, he’s in his twenties but supporting his daughter. I have a 23 month old boy who is amazing and keeping my wife and I going. This is my experience and like me there are so many. Prayer is so needed for a new administration!!! Thank you for all you do!
I am currently helping out at a restaurant for take out or delivery services only. We have taken extra precautions, reviewing hygiene and CDC guidelines with staff, and keeping staff safe but setting up stanchions to limit proximity to the cashier to 6ft. Customers have felt safe coming to the restaurant. However, I do see many people still hanging out in groups outdoors, mostly in the Cambridge area. It tends to be the younger generation , such as those in their teens and 20s , unfortunately placing the older generation at risk. My fear is that these people are going to prolong the flattening of the curve and cause continued new cases…. which will inevitably result in us going to lock down anyway since they don’t seem to listen.
We should shelter in place now. The caseload is already going to overwhelm hospitals and the longer we wait the more people get infected.
I am very much in favor of a short- term shutdown in MA. Many people I know are already self-isolating, but every day, I have seen irresponsible, reckless behaviors from people who are not getting the message about social distancing to stop spreading this virus. An immediate shutdown is essential if we have any hope of preventing a huge, unmanageable outbreak around here.
I work because I am a surgeon.
I urge state government to help small businesses as much as possible with grants or no-interest loans; help those employees whose jobs have disappeared (restaurant workers, child care providers, pet sitters/walkers) with enhanced and extended unemployment benefits; demand that gig economy companies (Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, WeWorks, etc.) pay their employees a living wage and give them health care benefits.
These responses are for me but my husband is not able to work from home so if we were expected to shelter in place, his job and salary would not be assured. He has some PTO but beyond 2 weeks we would face hardship.
Rental payments need to stop and utility bills need to be free during this time.
Essential businesses should only allow employees in to facilities and all deliveries to customers should be non-contact. Operating businesses should regularly test employees and ensure employees keep a safe distance and/or have appropriate PPE.
I’m a physician doing interventional radiology so right now I feel secure although our volume is way down as we cancel elective procedures in anticipation in a surge of COVID patients. I fear for the hospital’s financial health on a longer term basis if this persists for very long (I’m at Tufts which operates on a very thin margin). Although all things considered we are better off than many, many other businesses.
I wish Charlie Baker was our president
Thanks for doing this! Glad you’re taking the pulse of your constituents. Be well.
As a freelance orchestral musician, I have lost all my employment with no payment due to the “force majeure” clauses in my contracts and have no income for the foreseeable future. I genuinely cannot pay my bills beyond April and would potentially be facing eviction. Why are you doing nothing to help those in MA who are suffering financially from this pandemic?
I hope that testing becomes more readily available and that Trump mobilizes the military and private sector more (to make ventilators, masks, temporary hospitals).
WAY too many people are still out and about for non-essential activities—manicures, clothes shopping, groups playing basketball, soccer, etc. in public parks. We need to shut the state down ASAP except for essentials like medical appointments and groceries.
I am immunocompromised and began sheltering in place weeks ago. Teens and some parents need to understand the danger the youth present to many of us despite their apparent health status. This ignorance is incredibly scary.
I really think that a shelter in place right now would be awesome, the sooner we lockdown the sooner it will end so we can go back to normal lives. Thank you so much for this questionary, we feel heard
People aren’t abiding by the social distancing. It’s terrifying to think what those in the medical professions are going to experience soon. We need to keep people away from other people.
Please consider allowing self- employed small businesses to be eligible for unemployment. Yes have a home daycare that I had to close and am raising three children of my own with Woody for my financial future if this lasts longer than the next two weeks.
Shelter in place should be required. People are lackadaisical
I am dissatisfied with Governor Baker’s response so far, which feels too weak. A firm statewide shelter-in-place order (stay at home except to get food, medicine, medical care, or exercise) would not be very different from the restrictions currently in place, but would send a strong message to people who aren’t yet taken this seriously enough. Also, can anyone tell President Trump to shut up?!? He’s saying things that encourage people to not take this crisis seriously (such as announcing that a “cure” has been found).
Medical and public health: get the front line the equipment they need now. Let’s not ever get caught off guard again! Economy: Small businesses need real relief now which will have positive impact on workers and communities now and going forward. All businesses should have assistance and relief available (loans and other assistance) to support the economy. We have invested in this economy and workers, and will need them going forward. Avoid a drastic fallout from lay offs and people will feel more secure. Not an expert, just common sense.
I’m disappointed by the State Department of Education only requiring schools to repeat/enrich current learning. Moreover, based on the experience in other countries and Harvard’s cancelling of commencement in late May, schools will obviously need to be closed a very long time and there is no indication that there is preparations being made for distance learning.
We need a stay home order. People are making unnecessary trips and congregating in public spaces still. Our town is requiring nonessential town employees to come to work at Town Hall still. I hope Governor Baker takes further action soon.
I work in tourism and am very worried that we will have no season this year in Boston. It would be reassuring if there were plans to help tourism/hospitality workers, or at least talk of things like extended UI claims.
Many biopharma are still open and we are being encouraged to continue working in the lab. This results in many opportunities for this to spread – on site and on commutes. Without a governmental order this will continue.
Thank you for the updates and keeping us connected. I appreciate the email updates and the fact that you are asking about our experiences. I am fortunate right now, but I know others have it much worse. Thank you for what you are doing in response to this crisis.
I recognize that as a university professor, I have resources many do not have to cope with shelter in place. The scarcity of some supplies in the stores such as cleaning supplies, and paper goods needs to be better controlled. I noticed that Stop & Shop has restricted purchases to no more than 2 at a time. But the paper goods aisle at 8 am on Saturday was largely bare. Can political leadership devise a way to ration strategic supplies for those in need of them? We have a daughter who moved back home due to the lack of attention to cleaning by her housemates. One of them was running a low grade fever but not isolating herself. Our daughter is now isolated in our basement for 2 weeks in case she was exposed. We have some sanitary wipes and cleaning supplies but if she does get ill or we do, how can we get the supplies that will be needed given there has not been any in the shops for the last 3 weeks when we look for them?
I am in the front lines at the hospital in boston. We need free parking for the healthcare providers. We need people staying at home taking this seriously. People need to be educated on a shelter in place so they understand why this needs to be done.
Thanks for checking in.
I think it might make sense for everyone out in the public to be wearing masks. I see pictures of S. Korea and China where everyone is.
I am a quadriplegic living in brighton and fear a shelter in place bc my helpers and health / life would be severely and adversity affected
If we need to go to Shelter in Place, it need to be a phased roll-out so as not to (A) Defeat the whole idea of Social Distancing by sending everyone to the stores at one time. (B) Stress the supply chain for the same reason. A phase SIP by age, or town, or some other demographic would be a better approach. You need to tell Biff (see back to the future) to stop talking about things he knows nothing about and let the experts set reasonable expectations for the health and economic risks we as individuals need to address. This is not the time to confuse people.
We need to produce masks gowns ventilators here in MA. Do not wait for federal response.
Urgently need both widespread testing, and protocols and a paid workforce to conduct rigorous contact tracing at scale, in order to implement suppression measures that will allow us to return to relative social and economic normality within a reasonable time interval. Contact tracing together with widespread testing is the only strategy demonstrated to date that has successfully suppressed COVID-19 (in Singapore, China, S. Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong).
I have noticed young people still hanging out. My 23 year old son refused to stay home. Hopefully what we re doing is working if not then we need to take it to the next level.
I do depend on food delivery like Ani’s in Belmont and maybe Russo’s Boxes, and family and friends to bring me groceries. My dermatologist/surgeon closed the practice for 2 weeks. It is a sacrifice because of the excision scheduled for basal cell carcinoma.
We do not show on statistics: Contract, 1099, Freelance workers
It would be good to know how we would access essentials during shelter in place. Cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, masks, medicines, food, pet supplies, alcohol (for hand sanitizer), disinfectants, etc. thanks.
Furious at WH for being so mentally unable to even understand the situation
Concerned about finances for long term. OK for next few months, I hope.
I think grocery stores and supermarkets need to practice social distancing. For instance, yesterday TJ’s on Beacon St. was controlling number of customers in store at one time. There was a long line and many folks were not socially distancing from folks in front of them. Also, the TJ rep controlling the entry was standing a couple of feet from the first in line and engaged in animated conversation. And in TJs folks still too close together even bumping neighbor in order to reach a product. Also the long line to pay didn’t seem to observe social distancing. I would like to find out how about purchase of toilet paper. I’m okay for the next couple of weeks but then what? Thanks for conducting this survey, Senator.
I’m fine, and I fully support taking strong measures, but I don’t think we’re doing nearly enough to help the most vulnerable — hourly workers, homeless, undocumented immigrants. It enraged me to learn that ICE is still operating. If they don’t understand how cruel it is to put people in fear of deportation at a time like this, perhaps they can understand that making people afraid to seek help increases the risk for everyone.
Stay safe Senator Will and staff.
Being elected doesn’t make a leader. A leader does what you’re doing here and LEADS. Thank you. Thank you.
My employer is allowing me to telework.
Please consider drafting letter to encourage federal HHS to approve waive of all cost-sharing (or at least deductibles) for covid treatment. We’ve done as much as we can in Mass, but many plans still fall under ERISA jurisdiction or are Medicare derived and thus not regulated by MA laws. See op-ed I wrote about this: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2020/03/17/covid-19-testing-vaccine-treatment-nicole-bustos-alex-pomerantz-aakash-shah
This needs the Commonwealth’s attention and help for every citizen
We need more tests.
I have seen a lot of people not socially distancing at parks and basketball courts, despite signs. Some sidewalks and trails have also been more crowded than usual at peak walking hours (e.g. 6 pm), making it hard to maintain distance.
We already know what will happen if we don’t shelter in place and put in serious parameters. It will be worse than what happened in Italy. Do the right thing. Shut everything down or more people will die.
Stay safe and run strong, Will. -a
My family and I are ready to follow any orders that come from the state to keep everyone safe. We would also be happy to contribute financially some amount to help the community. Thanks for the surveying.
We need more drive thru testing for everyone.
Is there anything we can do from home to help with the lack of PPE or ANYTHING?
How can I volunteer to help others?
We need to limit the spread now and let hospitals, supplies, and treatments catch up. We should at least have CA style shelter at home in place.
Information about the virus, infection rate, transmission, hospitalization rate, etc has been too slow to be provided. Speaking to a friend in Asia, much more information was available in February and should have been communicated clearly and loadly. We need more visual evidence of the challenges and visual confirmation of hospital load to convince skeptical Americans. From what I understand now we are looking at months not weeks of disruption if not more.
Thank you for doing this
I left town to stay with relatives in ME.
I still see people gathering in groups Tried to order Groceries with peopod today. There’s a 2 week wait fora delivery
Thank you for undertaking this survey and for all you do as our Senator.
It is hard for the children and the impact of school closing is not clear — can be detrimental — in both learning and psychological developments.
Thank you Will for all you do and will do in this time of crisis.
If we test everyone, we can beat this more quickly.
I’m shocked and ashamed by the lack of leadership by Baker and Walsh. I wish I lived in NY. I don’t feel MA is taking this seriously and they are placing profit over safety. They also are not communicating with residents in the way that Cuomo is.
Need help. Mortgage relief, credit card payments, utilities. Perhaps food delivery. Who knows?
More transparency on testing availability on Covid please. Ty!
My answers all depend on other things-older parents not needing my help; kids staying healthy; work that I can perform from home not drying up-staying constant. Any of those change and my circumstances change slightly to dramatically.
Thank you so much for the effort you put into seeking your constituents’ comments and perspectives!
I still see people gathering in groups Tried to order Groceries with peopod today. There’s a 2 week wait fora delivery
It’s difficult not knowing what lies ahead and what the timeline is
Most important policy goals now should be limiting the spread of the virus, expanding the capacity of our health care system, and making sure people who are struggling economically as a result are cared for. Also making widespread testing available.
The epidemiology is CLEAR. We cannot afford to slowly, incrementally, increase restrictions. It will cost many lives to do so!!! We need government to be bold and decisive.
Thank you Senator Brownsberger!
My psychological health is the most affected right now.
Thank you, Senator, as always, for trying to get to the heart of the matter. I love it when you do, because then you come out with a sensible, thoughtful plan. We are lucky to have you as our government representative in these scary times.
I am 57 years old and live by myself in a small apartment in Back Bay. I am a first grade teacher in Winchester and have set up distance learning with my class. Technology is a bit challenging for me but I have colleagues who are helping. I like being able to go out for a walk (by myself) because I have a very small garden level condo and need to get out for walks for my sanity:) I am grateful for you reaching out with this survey and I hope my comments are helpful.
It seems to me that we are in the position of a driver of a car on a dirt road with a steep cliff on one side and a steep mountain on the other, approaching a blind curve, going down hill, without the ability to get out of the car and walk around the corner. Wouldn’t we stop and listen—for the noise of an approaching truck, the “data”. Then wouldn’t we drive around the corner at the slowest possible speed? All this suggests an even more aggressive approach now. The announcement of the more aggressive approach is accompanied by the explanation that we can ease up if the predictive data get better. This, from someone who drove such a road into the Yungas, Bolivia—the road still called the “most dangerous” in the world, since partially replaced by another safer route.
State should designate grocery, pharmacy clerks, as first responders, making them eligible for day care, other benefits. Vermont, Minnesota and Michigan have done this.
We are carefully self-isolating. But it has been important to have access to a few retailers beyond food and meds. Hollingsworth, Hillside Gardens, and Belmont Books are lifelines. I hope they will be able to stay open.
What I would love is more information about ways to volunteer in the community during this. I’m helping with ‘Food for Free’ twice a week, but so far they only cover Cambridge and Somerville.
Thanks for collecting this info, Will, and for the all-around-awesome communication you provide to your constituents. It’s appreciated.
I am really concerned about the immigrant families at the Winship where my daughter attends school. Many cannot leave their homes to get food, diapers, basic needs and some dont have internet. Some parents and I are trying to put together a survey of what are the needs but I will need resources to help them.
From my experience thus far, we need stricter control measures and more clear guidance from the government. Plenty of people are doing a terrible job of social distancing, and it seems as though this will continue without stricter guidelines (potentially as far as a shelter in place order).
Thanks for asking. Unemployment taxes don’t help the self employed/small businesses; please keep this in mind
See above. I can survive, financially, but there will need to be serious leadership — more than the state has shown, let alone the national government — in order to address how to maintain food supplies, production of food processing plants, production, acquisition, and distribution of medical supplies, PPE, and other medical accessories, as well as medications. None of this is being addressed adequately by our leaders yet. Thanks for taking this initiative
Please shut down all but essential things. I see people golfing across the street from my house while I have been home for over a week and it is ridiculous.
My work has seriously diminished since working at home.
this is a test.
this is a test.”
As someone who works in a grocery store and an essential worker my one fear is health care for myself and the people I work around. While I get health care from my job the copay and other expensive I might have to out of pocket is something I can not afford. I don’t know what are you are able to do but if there is a way to help the people like us who if we catch the virus and need hospitalization for being a worker in these times the state can help with the cost.
The Division of Insurance has issued a bulletin to carriers regarding coverage related to coronavirus. The Division expects carriers to forego cost sharing for medically necessary coronavirus testing, and forego copays for “medically necessary treatment” at “doctors offices, urgent care centers, or emergency rooms.” You can see a copy of the bulletin here: Bulletin 2020-02; Addressing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Testing and Treatment; Issued 3/6/2020
Everyone should recognize that still leaves a huge category of costs that people could end up bearing — the co-insurance and deductibles for major health care episodes. We are going to have to do more.
An update: Yesterday April 9, 2020 Governor Baker issued an executive order which requires insurers to cover “…all medically necessary emergency department and inpatient services, including all professional, diagnostic and laboratory services, related to COVID-19 at both in-network and out-of-network providers. The GIC and all Carriers shall provide such coverage without any requirement of cost sharing by the insured, whether by co-payments, deductibles, coinsurance, or other similar charges.”
You can see the full text of the Executive Order here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/april-9-2020-inpatient-services-and-billing/download
Being out in nature is one of the few reliefs to the stresses of the current time. If social distancing is practiced, which is what I have seen on trails, in woods, and in cemeteries, etc., why not leave this opportunity open? We need places like Belmont Habitat and other Audubon and Trustee
areas for our sanity–and to allow us to heed stay-at-home orders.
I quote from a comment above:
It’s time for Harvard to step up and spread its obscene endowment to provide and pay for everything needed in
Boston, especially Cambridge, to keep us healthy and safe. Food, shelters, protection for health care workers…you name it. Tap into the Business School and Medical Schools’ wealth of wisdom, professors and alum. PLEASE HELP US COMMON FOLK.
People may not realize that certain industries hire thousands of employees, who are ineligible for unemployment during a crisis like this.
Example (me): I’m an actor. I work on many different productions every year (TV shows, independent films, commercials, & movies). Each different project gives me a different W2. Sometimes, I can have as many as 40 W2’s per year!
BUT… I only know if I’m working roughly 24-48 hours in advance. AND, that only includes that day or sometimes a couple days (If I’m lucky).
Each project pays between ~$200 – $4,000 (With the overwhelming majority being around $300. Also, those who are not SAG, earning considerably less.)
Although we are hired as “employees” of the production, we are hired for the day. Then, we wait for another call to open and try to grab it.
The unemployment system does not accept us when the industry shuts down. No work, no pay. And, oh look, last year we made enough money to pay our bills and, if lucky, put some money away, too. Guess what? We have no money coming in for a month now, and no indication as to when productions will start up again. Can we get food stamps or any assistance? NO! We made too much money last year.
There is NOTHING available for the thousands of people in Massachusetts who fall into this category. These are the folks on both sides of the camera.
We can’t pay our rents/mortgages, credit cards, car payments, utilities, buy food, etc. Fortunately, the utilities have stepped up. Those with Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae mortgages have also received some assistance (Hopefully, the other 50% will get assistance soon). I’ve even heard that some car loans have been giving help. But, I haven’t heard anything about those who have to pay rent (Nor do I know how that could possibly be fair to the landlords, who will still have to pay mortgages, taxes, and insurance. Is it really fair to have them lose their houses to banks, giving the renters *new* owners who will likely evict *them*? Everyone loses in this situation…).
There *has* to be a solution. I just don’t know what it is. I wish you the best of luck figuring it out, Will. Thank you for trying your best.
Got it. The Gig issue is very much recognized.
No answers yet, but work in progress with urgency.
Hepful to the scientific mind/decision making: https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-the-hammer-and-the-dance-be9337092b56
A few questions:
* Is paying its tax ‘early’ (vs. leveraging the delay) an efficient way to help?
* Is ticking the voluntary +1% on tax rate also helpful?
* Will Mass gets the revenue from that taxes prior the July extension?
* Is there enough flexibility with this tax revenue for it to be targeted for the emergency needs, that recently pop-up? All of them? from protection to person at risk (being hospital, grocery store) to economic relief?
As usual thanks much Will for driving and sharing those discussions.
Andrew Yang setup a microgrant service targeted at individuals that need help:
To get help:
To donate: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/covid-ubi-mdm?refcode=HUM20200327.MDM&refcode2=VNOwJN3AFU9wSrRPsK4s
Pueyo’s Hammer and Dance argument is important! We will end up managing this dynamically over time.
Is this true?
Speaker Pelosi’s additions to the Corona virus economic stimulus act
• Nullifies the White House Executive Orders on federal collective bargaining and codifies taxpayer-funded union official time.
• Requires a labor union representative on every airline’s board of directors.
• Multi-employer pension bailout.
• Permanently raises the minimum wage to $15 for any business that receives federal aid for COVID-19.
• Cancels all debt owed by United States Postal Service to the Treasury.
Green New Deal Priorities:
• Requires all airlines that receive assistance to offset carbon emissions for domestic flights by 2025.
• Includes $1 billion “cash for clunkers” airplane program where DOT buys fuel inefficient planes from airlines in exchange for agreeing to buy new ones.
• Includes expansive new tax-credit for solar and wind energy.
Student Loan Forgiveness:
• $10,000 blanket loan forgiveness.
• Mandates how states must run elections, including the nationalization of ballot harvesting, requiring early voting, same day registration, and no-excuse vote by mail.
• Puts states at risk of costly litigation if they are unable to implement these stringent mandates ahead of the 2020 election.
• Requires DHS to automatically extend visas and work authorizations expiring within the next year, including those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status, for an amount of time equal to their prior visa, authorization or status.
• Limits CBPs ability to shutdown processing centers if there is a health crisis on the border and requires CBP to assure the timely adjudication of asylums applications.
• Requires that Byrne JAG funding be distributed based on the FY2016 allocation, which would allow funding to go to sanctuary cities.
Overreaching Mandates on Businesses:
• Permanent changes to who can serve on corporate boards of directors for companies that receive assistance for payroll and operating costs.
• Mandatory disclosure on supply chain management.
• Requires board diversity disclosure for all publicly traded companies.
• Ban on all federal rule-making including non-COVID 19 proposals (extends 30 days after emergency) in an attempt to delay the current Administration from promulgating actions House Democrats disagree with.
New Permanent Mandates:
• Virtually rewrites SNAP policy with no reference to COVID-19 and permanently disallows rule-making pertaining to work requirements and eligibility.
• Permanent expansion of Obamacare entitlement, putting the American taxpayer on the hook for endless and unchecked health insurance spending and would remove all incentives for insurers to reduce the cost of health insurance.’ additions to the economic stimulus act
• Nullifies the White House Executive Orders on federal collective bargaining and codifies taxpayer-funded union official time.
• Requires a labor union representative on every airline’s board of directors.
• Multi-employer pension bailout.
• Permanently raises the minimum wage to $15 for any business that receives federal aid for COVID-19.
• Cancels all debt owed by United States Postal Service to the Treasury.
Green New Deal Priorities:
• Requires all airlines that receive assistance to offset carbon emissions for domestic flights by 2025.
• Includes $1 billion “cash for clunkers” airplane program where DOT buys fuel inefficient planes from airlines in exchange for agreeing to buy new ones.
• Includes expansive new tax-credit for solar and wind energy.
Student Loan Forgiveness:
• $10,000 blanket loan forgiveness.
• Mandates how states must run elections, including the nationalization of ballot harvesting, requiring early voting, same day registration, and no-excuse vote by mail.
• Puts states at risk of costly litigation if they are unable to implement these stringent mandates ahead of the 2020 election.
• Requires DHS to automatically extend visas and work authorizations expiring within the next year, including those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status, for an amount of time equal to their prior visa, authorization or status.
• Limits CBPs ability to shutdown processing centers if there is a health crisis on the border and requires CBP to assure the timely adjudication of asylums applications.
• Requires that Byrne JAG funding be distributed based on the FY2016 allocation, which would allow funding to go to sanctuary cities.
Overreaching Mandates on Businesses:
• Permanent changes to who can serve on corporate boards of directors for companies that receive assistance for payroll and operating costs.
• Mandatory disclosure on supply chain management.
• Requires board diversity disclosure for all publicly traded companies.
• Ban on all federal rule-making including non-COVID 19 proposals (extends 30 days after emergency) in an attempt to delay the current Administration from promulgating actions House Democrats disagree with.
New Permanent Mandates:
• Virtually rewrites SNAP policy with no reference to COVID-19 and permanently disallows rule-making pertaining to work requirements and eligibility.
• Permanent expansion of Obamacare entitlement, putting the American taxpayer on the hook for endless and unchecked health insurance spending and would remove all incentives for insurers to reduce the cost of health insurance.
Enforcement. Some do some don’t. While driving down Lake Street today (April 25, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.) observed people playing frisbee, others just talking, some just walking their dogs and others reading a book at Rogers Park in Brighton. Some wore masks some did not. Approaching my home drove bye the Brown School Playground saw a sign that stated “Park closed indefinitely”.
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