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Coronavirus Care Kits for Cancer Survivors

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Medical staff at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, in Ramat Gan, March 29, 2020.
Medical staff at Sheba Hospital, Tel Hashomer, in Ramat Gan, March 29, 2020.Credit: Ofer Vaknin

MASK-SCROUNGER EXTRAORDINAIRE: While the Mossad has made headlines procuring personal protective equipment, known as PPE, for shorthanded Israeli doctors and nurses on the front lines of the coronavirus epidemic, individuals are also stepping up to donate supplies. Miriam Lottner, a content developer at Microsoft Israel, put together a group of volunteers to source KN95 masks for donation.

“We were having a virtual meeting when a coworker mentioned his wife was a doctor in Kaplan Hospital and had only one surigcal mask to wear for each 8-20 hour shift. Totally against PPE protocol. That’s ridiculous,” she told Haaretz. She soon discovered through Facebook that she knew doctors and nurses from eight hospitals without PPE. Coincidentally, Lottner has a game-manufacturing company in China. Through her contacts, she was able to quickly order 14,000 masks, due to start arriving Friday, and raised 100,000 shekels ($27,000) for 10,000 more.

Lottner, who is originally from Massachusetts, added that she can’t work directly with hospitals as an individual, so she is shipping the masks to medical staff for distribution. To contribute and fund additional masks via Leket Israel, visit emergencyrelief.leket.org, and dedicate your donation to masksforisrael@gmail.com.

CORONA AND CANCER: As we all face the coronavirus pandemic, cancer survivors have a compromised immune system. Pamela Becker, who founded Jeremy’s Circle in memory of her late husband to support families who have been affected by cancer, told Haaretz that “the tension is higher than usual” among “our young families because they have someone at high risk.”

Pamela Becker's Jeremy's CircleCredit: Sara Salamon

Having had to cancel Purim and Passover events due to Health Ministry restrictions, Jeremy’s Circle has found an alternate way to reach out to families. “We’ve put together a kit of old fashioned games like cards, pickup sticks, marbles, dominoes and jump rope that parents probably know how to play and teach,” she said. “They’ve been home three weeks and probably have burned through all the puzzles,” she noted. “The kit gives a reinforcement of things to play together and reminds the family that we’re here for them.” To support the Passover kit project, call Yitz Feigenbaum at (052) 323-7707 or visit jeremyscircle.org/fundraising.

HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY: One of the inspiring outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic is the collective effort to expand a sense of community through online activities. Secret Tel Aviv founder Jonny Stark responded to the crisis by broadcasting live streams through the virtual community’s website, which include kids shows, fitness and cooking classes, community projects, live jamming and tech meetups.

“I wanted to find a way of engaging the community, so all the people bored at home can reach out with their skills and share their knowledge with others,” the Manchester native told Haaretz. “We’ve doubled our numbers of engagements that we usually have in the group and brought a lot of happiness.” He said a daily hit is Savannah Kids with Savannah Zwi-Navon, while 25,000 people viewed a dance class with Nicolle Wolicki. Another hit is Bollywood dancing classes with Revital Moses, a recent immigrant from India. To see the list of live streams or to share your own talents, visit secrettelaviv.com.

Revital MosesCredit: Pragya Gupta

Rank and File was compiled by Steven Klein.

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