Category Archives: Chicago events

Housing resources. Remain connected!

DURING THIS TIME of the “stay at home” mandate, there is nothing more important than having a roof over your head. Here are a few resources to help you in this time of crisis, and ways to stay in touch with your community.

STAY CONNECTED

Even though we need to practice social distancing restraining our physical contact, we can still be connected through other means, and get support.

Nextdoor is the neighborhood hub for trusted connections and the exchange of helpful information, goods, and services. This app is very useful for giving and receiving local tips and help in the area you live. Click HERE.

City of Chicago 311. With the new CHI 311 website and mobile app, you can create new service requests; check the status of existing requests and the time it will take to resolve; snap a photo and submit it with a request to improve accuracy; map requests to help pinpoint a location; create an account to track service requests and get local, relevant information; provide feedback upon completion; and search and see helpful knowledge articles and search other requests in your neighborhood.

Chicago Department of Family and Support Services. This website offers information on services ranging from rental assistance, emergency shelters, services for Senior Citizens, assistance with SNAP & TANF eligibility completion and many more. To access the website, click HERE.

City of Chicago Emergency Rental Assistance. This program provides financial assistance to Chicago residents to eligible individuals and families who are in danger of eviction in order to stabilize individuals and families in their existing rental unit. To access the website. click HERE.

Illinois Legal Aid Online. This organization offers guidance to resources to help you with your legal problem, including FIGHTING EVICTION (Note: Evictions in Chicago are banned for 30 days.) It provides court forms, legal information, and referrals to free or low-cost legal aid lawyers. To apply online, click HERE.

Howard Brown. This organization is offering services and information for LGBTQ youth who might be experiencing homelessness or need assistance. They can be contacted online, or for medical questions call our Patient Services Team at 773.388.1600. For more information, click HERE.

StreetLight Chicago. This organization provides up-to-date information on Chicago-based food, housing, and health resources for young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 with unstable housing. To connect with an interactive map with book-a-bed reservations click HERE.


FREE SUPPORT & MORATORIA

Comcast offers free internet. Low-income families who live in a Comcast service area can sign up as new customers to receive 60 days of free Internet Essentials service. To qualify for Comcast’s Internet Essentials service, customers must be eligible for public-assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, or SSI. Applicants can visit internetessentials.com to enroll in the program; they may also call (855) 846-8376 for English or 855-765-6995 for Spanish. To read more about this, click HERE.

Charter offers free internet. Cable giant Charter Communications will provide free broadband for two months to households with students, as a number of U.S. schools are shutting down because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. To enroll in Charter’s free-broadband program, eligible consumers must call (844) 488-8395. To read more about this, click HERE.

ComEd moratorium. The electricity company has voluntarily implemented a moratorium on service disconnections for non-payment, effective immediately through May 1st. For more information, click HERE.

People’s Gas moratorium. According to the gas company website, “We are not disconnecting customer’s service for non-payment at this time.” For more information, click HERE.


—> Illustration by Elio Leturia


 

Food resources in Chicago

IN TIMES OF NEED, there is always somewhere to turn. With a record number of people filing for unemployment and rent due, many people are struggling to pay their bills and buy groceries. Here are some ways to stock up if your kitchen is bare and you’re not sure what to do.


FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS

Students, if you are experiencing food insecurity, please look for a pop-up pantry at your university.

Food Security Resources at University of Chicago

Pop-Up Pantry | Wellness Center | University of Illinois at Chicago

Student Food Pantry at DePaul University


FOR EVERYBODY, INCLUDING CPS STUDENTS

Greater Chicago Food Depository. It’s Chicago’s food bank that provides food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community. They have a map application. Enter an address, intersection, or ZIP code to find a food pantry, soup kitchen, mobile food distribution or shelter in Cook County. For the most precise results, use the full address. Use the filters to select specific kinds of programs. To access the map and locations, click HERE.

Chicago Public Schools. Since the temporary closure of the schools due to COVID-19, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has provided millions of grab-and-go meals to families. They are committed to providing meals during spring break and until CPS schools reopen. To find a CPS Go-and-Grab Meal Site click HERE.

Feeding America. The Feeding America nationwide network of food banks secures and distributes 4.3 billion meals each year through 200 food pantries and meal programs throughout the United States. To find a food pantry close to your home, click HERE.

StreetLight Chicago. This organization provides up-to-date information on Chicago-based food, housing, and health resources for young adults between the ages of 16 and 24. To connect with an interactive map with food resources click HERE.


SHOPPING HOURS FOR VULNERABLE POPULATION

Whether you shop at Aldi, Jewel, Mariano’s or Trader Joe’s, they have established shopping hours for senior citizens and other vulnerable populations. To find out about each individual store special schedule, click HERE.

Get help by phone from Greater Chicago Food Depository staff with determining eligibility and applying for Medicaid or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.


FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

In Chicago, public transit remains an essential service. To get information from the CTA about public transportation scheduling, frequency and alerts, click HERE.


—> Information curated by Dr. Edel Marie Jose and Suzanne McBride
—> Illustration by Elio Leturia
Icons by Eucalyp and Nikita Golubev/ flaticon.com


 

In times of distress, supporting local news sources is more important than ever

By Suzanne McBrideTHE HUNGER WE HAVE for news and information at this chaotic and confusing time demonstrates the important role the media plays in helping us navigate our ever-changing world. Now more than ever it’s imperative that each of us look for reliable information that has been confirmed by credible and authoritative sources we trust.

Where did your family member get the information he posted on Facebook? How did your friend get the information she posted on Twitter? Did the that information come from trained journalists reporting on the coronavirus? Or was your relative or friend simply sharing something they heard somewhere?


The “free” information that many of us get when we go online each day is not actually free.

This is the time when the importance of journalism, especially at the local level, is clear, and that’s why I’m asking each of you to make a commitment to support one local media outlet that’s helping you stay informed in this critical time. Whether it’s one of Chicago’s daily newspapers, a radio or television station, or an online site that covers your community, each of these outlets depends on your business to keep going and be able to provide the invaluable information you’ve come to rely on.

Well before the coronavirus crisis hit, hundreds of local newspapers over the last decade had closed, and many more now are in jeopardy. The “free” information that many of us get when we go online each day is not actually free. Journalists have to shift through a great deal of information; interview reluctant or fearful sources; confirm facts that are often complicated and convoluted; verify the veracity of video and photos submitted to them; produce coherent stories on deadline – and then do it all again later sometimes that same day.

At most media organizations, advertising, subscriptions and/or memberships used to cover the costs of reporters, photographers, editors and other journalists, but that’s not the case anymore at many places. Throughout the United States, news outlets have laid off employees, slashed their workers’ pay, furloughed staff members or had to shut down altogether. Your help is needed to prevent that from happening here in Chicago. Your support of even a few dollars a week can make all the difference.

Here are some of the many local news organizations I hope you’ll consider subscribing to or becoming a member. Please know this is not an exhaustive list:

» Block Club Chicago
» Chicago Defender
» Chicago Public Radio/WBEZ
» Chicago Public Television/WTTW
» Chicago Reader
» Chicago Reporter
» Chicago Sun-Times
» Chicago Tribune
» South Side Weekly

In a time of so much uncertainty when many of our budgets are already strained, I appreciate your willingness to support media institutions that help keep us informed about our democracy. Thank you!


Suzanne McBride is Chair of the Communication Department at Columbia College Chicago and an editor at the Chicago Sun-Times. She is also editor and publisher of AustinTalks.org, an online news site that covers Chicago’s West Side. She had her Fulbright in Ireland.

“Trapped” at home? Activities to enjoy our “free” time

By Dr. Tatiana Orlova—THE RECENT STAY-AT-HOME order has brought many changes into our lives. It is very important to be able to do what we enjoy during stressful situations, however, social distancing could make many activities very difficult or even impossible. We should view these new challenges as great opportunities to expand our interests and creativity.

These are some ideas for various activities suitable for our new “stay-at-home” lifestyles. We can learn new skills, enjoy music, exercise, check out that book we have been wanting to read but haven’t had the chance… My hope is that all of us will discover new ways to become happier while staying at home.

Learning

Music

Fitness

Reading
  • For great books about pandemic and solitude see this reading list from TIME magazine 
  • If you find yourself anxiously waiting for the current situation to resolve then reading great books about the fundamentals of time and reality could help put everything in the right perspective.
  • Also, find inspiration by searching and reading biographies of people who’s lives and careers were interrupted by war or other disasters, and learning how they were able to make the most out of their unfortunate circumstances. For example, Pal Turan and Marie Curie.

Art

Dr. Tatiana Orlova grew up in Saratov, Russia. Her Fulbright fellowship allowed her to pursue a MS in Mathematics at the University of South Carolina at Columbia. She later obtained a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Chicago and now works as a Chief Data Scientist at Amper Technologies. She feels honored to be a part of the Fulbright community.

—> Information curated by Dr. Tatiana Orlova
—> Illustration by Elio Leturia


 

Your medical questions answered: Part 2

What are the myths of COVID-19?

THERE IS SO MUCH information being disseminated about the Coronavirus, some true and some… not much. How much do you know about this virus? Test yourself answering the questions below. For all answers click HERE.

  • COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
  • Cold weather and snow CANNOT kill the new coronavirus.
  • Taking a hot bath does not prevent the new coronavirus disease
  • The new coronavirus CANNOT be transmitted through mosquito bites.
  • Are hand dryers effective in killing the new coronavirus?
  • Can an ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill the new coronavirus?
  • How effective are thermal scanners in detecting people infected with the new coronavirus?
  • Can spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body kill the new coronavirus?
  • Do vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new coronavirus?
  • Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
  • Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
  • Does the new coronavirus affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?
  • Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?
  • Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat the new coronavirus?

Why is COVID-19 testing being denied to some individuals?

THE CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL has guidance for who should be tested, but decisions about testing are at the discretion of state and local health departments and/or individual clinicians.

Priorities for Laboratory Testing for COVID-19

The CDC lists 3 priority levels for testing:

PRIORITY 1. Ensure optimal care options for all hospitalized patients, lessen the risk of nosocomial (originating in a hospital) infections, and maintain the integrity of the healthcare system

  • Hospitalized patients
  • Symptomatic healthcare workers

PRIORITY 2. Ensure that those who are at highest risk of complication of infection are rapidly identified and appropriately triaged

  • Patients in long-term care facilities with symptoms
  • Patients 65 years of age and older with symptoms
  • Patients with underlying conditions with symptoms
  • First responders with symptoms

PRIORITY 3 . As resources allow, test individuals in the surrounding community of rapidly increasing hospital cases to decrease community spread, and ensure health of essential workers

  • Critical infrastructure workers with symptoms
  • Individuals who do not meet any of the above categories with symptoms
  • Health care workers and first responders
  • Individuals with mild symptoms in communities experiencing high COVID-19 hospitalizations

Why hoarding Hydroxychloroquine needs to stop

THERE ARE SMALL, anecdotal studies that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine—anti-malaria drugs— relieve the acute respiratory symptoms of covid-19 and clear the virus from infected patients. The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency approval to a Trump administration plan to distribute millions of doses of anti-malarial drugs to hospitals across the country, saying it is worth the risk of trying unproven treatments to slow the progression of the disease.

This has caused that hoarders are buying these drugs. This may include doctors and dentists—who are writing prescriptions for themselves or family members. For the complete Kaiser News Health story click HERE.


—> Information curated by Dr. Edel Marie Jose


 

Your medical questions answered: Part 1

What is Coronavirus?

CORONAVIRUSES (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

Watch this short video to find out more.


How Coronavirus spreads?

AS A NEW DISEASE we are still learning how COVID-19 spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States. To learn what we know now, click HERE.


The name

OFFICIAL NAMES HAVE been announced for the virus responsible for COVID-19 (previously known as “2019 novel coronavirus”) and the disease it causes.  The official names are:

Disease Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Virus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2
(SARS-CoV-2)

To learn more about the virus naming, click HERE.


How long can Coronavirus live on surfaces?

  • In the air: 3 hrs
  • Copper: 4 hrs
  • Cardboard 24 hrs
  • Plastic 2-3 days
  • Stainless Steel 2-3 days

Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1. Read more about surfaces HERE.


What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Flu and cold symptoms
  • Unusual symptoms: Loss of smell, conjunctivitis, digestive problems

For more comprehensive details, click HERE.


What is Pneumoniae?

IT IS A LUNG INFLAMMATION caused by bacterial or viral infection, in which the air sacs fill with pus and may become solid. Inflammation may affect both lungs (double pneumonia), one lung (single pneumonia), or only certain lobes (lobar pneumonia). For a short video explaining more, click HERE.


What to do if you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have it?

Department of Health and Human Services: If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have it, follow these steps. Click HERE.

State Health Departments: What to do if you are concerned you have COVID-19. For information on each US state, click HERE.

Illinois
  • Stay home if you are sick and call your health care provider if you have coronavirus symptoms to discuss whether you should be evaluated in person and considered for testing.
  • Providers determine whether to conduct testing based on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s criteria, which evaluates a combination of symptoms and risk factors.
  • To help relieve symptoms: stay home and rest, take pain and fever medications and drink plenty of liquids. Seek medical attention if symptoms worsen.
  • After a provider sends samples to the public health lab, results should be available approximately 24 hours later.
  • Commercial labs are also conducting tests, which are then sent to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s laboratory for confirmation.
  • General questions about COVID-19 and Illinois’ response can be answered over the phone at 1-800-889-3931 or via email at DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV. More information is available on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s coronavirus website.

“Step by Step guide” to self-isolation

IF YOU ARE NOT sick enough to be hospitalized but are showing symptoms of coronavirus, you need to self-isolate to keep others in your home and your family safe. For a short video, click HERE.

 


are the young susceptible to COVID-19?

A RECENT ANALYSIS of COVID-19 cases in the United States reveals that while older people are at high risk of becoming seriously ill, the disease can hit younger adults hard, too. It shows that 1 in 5 people landing in the hospital are 20 to 44 years old.

The CDC analysis, released March 18, 2020, covers 2,449 reported cases from February 12 to March 16. Among 508 patients who required hospitalization, 20 percent were 20 to 44 years old. And of 121 people who were admitted to an intensive care unit, 12 percent were in that age group. For the complete ScienceNews story, click HERE.


—> Information curated by Dr. Edel Marie Jose


 

Antropoloops, music and data visualization: Open musical collages by Rubén Alonso

 

—By Elio Leturia MUSIC AND VISUALS! Join the Columbia College Chicago Music, Communication, and Design Departments, in collaboration with the Instituto Cervantes and the Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association for a special live interactive music remix and data visualization show/talk with award-winning Spanish artist/architect Rubén Alonso.

The screening will be followed by a Q & A with Rubén Alonso, Associate Professor, School of Architecture, University of Málaga, Spain.

DATE Monday March 9, 2020
TIME 6:30pm – 8:00pm
LOCATION Hokin Lecture Hall, Columbia College Chicago, 623 S. Wabash Ave., first floor, Room 109, Chicago, IL 60605
Please R.S.V.P. clicking HERE.
COST FREE


About the project

Antropoloops is an audiovisual global artistic project that remixes musical pieces from fragments of traditional music from around the world while showing graphically where they come from; all done with the utmost respect to the original sources highlighting their value.

The two basic principles of the project are not modifying the original pitch of the music they use, and visualizing and opening up the remixing process. Since its origin in 2012, the project has been developing a creative approach to ethnomusicology, which has gradually opened towards its educational and historic possibilities, generating new synergies with other artists.


About the artist Rubén Alonso, Barcelona 1973

While studying architecture in Berlin in the late 1990s, Rubén fantasized about the romantic notion of the traveling ethnomusicologist who collects songs around the world, but the journey would begin years later, through the distributed archive of the web and from the music remix culture with the artistic project Antropoloops that he has been developing with Esperanza Moreno since 2012.

Architect Rubén Alonso teaches architecture at the University of Málaga, Spain.

With 4 albums published, the project has been presented in several festivals and spaces, both nationally and internationally (Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, Slovenia, Chile, Argentina), as well as in several TEDx talks. The project has been developing a creative approach to ethnomusicology which has gradually opened towards its educational and historic possibilities, generating new synergies. He is also a member of the folk music group Las Buenas Noches.

As an Architect he is co-founder of the lapanaderia architecture studio (2003-2013) whose work has been recognized in national and international spheres and published in specialized press and magazines. He has co-directed research projects on housing as a process, adaptability in collective housing, low-cost public housing, and has been co-developer of the collective processes platform masqueunacasa.org. He has a PhD in Architecture from the University of Málaga and an Official Master in Social Sciences and Social Intervention from the University Pablo de Olavide in Seville. Since 2010 he is an associate professor at the School of Architecture in Málaga and also shares his centrifugal approach to architecture with Esperanza Moreno at estudiopack.