Transcript Page for “From the Towns”

4/24 Hopewell Borough

Hi, I’m Paul Anzano, Mayor of Hopewell Borough. I’m talking to you today about sheltering in place. We’ve been doing this now for more than 30 days and we looking at another 30 days. I’d like to take some time and just remind you of the simple protocols that we’ve been adhering to.

Stay at home means stay at home. If you need to go out for essential trips, we strongly recommend that you social distance, you wear a mask, and you wear gloves if at all possible.

While at home, we suggest you wash your hands frequently, stay away from your nose, eyes, and mouth, and wipe down common surfaces.

In addition to that, I’m getting a little concerned that I’m not seeing people wearing masks in the Borough frequently. So, I encourage everyone to try to wear a mask of some sort.

Since we’ve been sheltering in place for 30 days and it looks like we will be doing so further, next to follow is Devangi Patel from the Montgomery Dept of Health, who will talk to us about managing our stress and anxiety and what we can do for better mental health. While we all love each other, 30 days is a lot and 60 days is even more.

So have a good day, listen to Devangi, and good luck, we’ll talk again.

Thank you, Mayor.  Hi everyone, my name is Devangi Patel. I am the Deputy Health Officer for the Montgomery Township Health Department. I just wanted to take a few moments to talk about mental health and coping.

I just want to start out – most of us have been in our homes over a month now and we’re still trying to grapple with our new reality. What is it going to look like in the coming weeks and months? 

We are in an environment where we are constantly reminded about COVID-19. You go to the grocery story and see everyone with masks on, you turn on the tv, you see scary statistics, you receive news notifications on your phone throughout the day. All while dealing with the frustrations of working from home, schooling from home. And add to that not being able to see your family and friends – physically see them. It’s easy for us to feel isolated and sad.

This new normal can stir up all sorts of feelings like fear, anxiety, or stress. A little stress can be helpful as a motivator when it comes to practicing physical distancing, washing your hands regularly. But it is important to prioritize self-care and take care of ourselves and our mental health.

So, I just wanted to share 5 basic tips from the health department:

  1.  Start your day well. Adapt and create a positive routine to help keep you motivated. Do things you love and that bring you joy.  For example, in place of your morning commute or school run, listen to a podcast or go for a walk while practicing physical distancing.
  2. Stay informed, not overloaded. Keeping informed is important but managing your social media intake will make a big difference in how you feel. Turn to one or two reliable sources for news and check just once or twice a day to stay informed. If feelings of anxiety spring up during the day, try a breathing technique like box breathing or belly breathing.
  3. Get a good night’s sleep. Good quality sleep makes a big difference in how you feel. But feeling worried or anxious or stressed can make getting to sleep difficult. So, try setting a coronavirus news curfew. So, you don’t watch or read anything relating to the outbreak after 7 pm for example.  And aim for a regular bedtime.
  4. Be gentle with yourself. You will have good days and bad days. Your emotions are heightened at this time so stay connected with loved ones and communicate how you feel.
  5. Find ways to help others. Do what you can to help others even if it is as simple as lending an ear to listen or making someone smile. Be kind to the people around you, especially the folks who are still out working to ensure we have what we need.
  6. If every day feels like an uphill battle, seek out professional support. There are so many agencies and professionals in our area who are ready to help. And remember you are not alone in how you are feeling. There are things that you can do and resources you can use to cope. And also know there are many professionals out there who are risking their lives working tirelessly behind the scenes to help keep us safe and help us get through these challenging times.

If you would like to know more about mental health and coping, other strategies or resources, please check out our website. Or give us a call at 908-533-9319.

I wish you all well and stay safe and stay healthy. Thank you.

4/24 Hopewell Township

Hi everyone, this is Courtney Peters-Manning, member of the Hopewell Township Committee.  The Hopewell Township Committee in coordination with the Mayors of all three municipalities and the local non-profits in charge of land stewardship and land preserves made the decision to keep our municipal parks and trails open as long as social distancing was able to be maintained.

I’m out here at the Mount Rose Preserve off Carter Road and it looks like everyone is doing a good job – I’ve seen very few other people and those I did see stayed far apart. So, get out and enjoy the trails.  It really helps in difficult times like these.

Thanks to everybody again – first responders, everyone who is an essential employee.  Thank you for your hard work. I’m thinking about everyone who has lost their job because of the difficult circumstances right now.  Again, we’ll get through this and we’ll get through it together. Thank you, Hopewell Township.