Social Distance Assistance A podcast about looking for the helpers during the pandemic. Taking a cue from Mr. Rogers, host Kelly Jones and her daughter, June, set out to find creative problem solvers who are supporting their communities in the era of social distancing. They explore how people are helping and sit down with experts who can answer our most pressing questions and share advice on how to become helpers ourselves.
Social Distance Assistance

Social Distance Assistance

From VPM

A podcast about looking for the helpers during the pandemic. Taking a cue from Mr. Rogers, host Kelly Jones and her daughter, June, set out to find creative problem solvers who are supporting their communities in the era of social distancing. They explore how people are helping and sit down with experts who can answer our most pressing questions and share advice on how to become helpers ourselves.

Most Recent Episodes

Art...Finds A Way

With most of the focus during the pandemic on finding a cure through science and medicine, it can be easy to question whether art is even necessary right now. But, the truth of the matter is, art - whether visual or performing - has a profound role in helping to tell the human stories that science can't, and introduces hope where it may not have been obvious. We speak with a theater director helping kids continue to have an outlet for their creativity, a Charlottesville photographer taking "porchraits" to reintroduce some conversation and capture life in the moment, an opera singer in Seattle belting out Nessun Dorma over a loudspeaker to his neighborhood, and a digital illustrator from Richmond who is using his medium to highlight the often forgotten people who have recovered from the coronavirus. Links & Resources: DMR Adventures (https://www.dmradventures.com/) C'ville Porch Portraits (cvilleporchportraits@gmail.com / https://www.instagram.com/cvilleporchraits/) A Drawing Table (https://www.instagram.com/adrawingtable/)

Youth in the Time of Coronavirus

There's a lot of information out there about how the coronavirus is impacting adults, from their mental and physical health, to their financial well-being, to their ability to reestablish some sense of normalcy as stay-at-home restrictions begin to be eased around the country. But how is physical distancing affecting kids? How are they coming together to help - whether that's combating loneliness as an only child, facing the confusion with friends, or rebelling against their parents? Who are the helpers that are making a difference in the lives of children and the parents who are raising them? We found a pair of siblings bonding in unexpected ways, a librarian getting creative to reduce screen time, bus drivers delivering meals to underserved communities and even a radio station going way out of their comfort zone to make a high school rite of passage feel a little less bizarre. June also talked with some of her best friends to learn how they're feeling in the midst of all of this, and what they're planning to do when they can all get back together again.

Special Episode: Cultivating Resilience In Our Food System

The coronavirus pandemic has introduced massive disruption in America's food system, and has exposed how "big ag" isn't equipped to quickly pivot to prevent food insecurity issues for much of the population. In this extended episode, we look at the ways people are helping reconnect to community through food at every step in the process. We speak with individuals and organizations protecting and advocating for farm workers and meatpacking employees; independent farmers collaborating to fill gaps in the supply chain and selling directly to consumers; artisan producers finding creative ways to offset the surplus of crops and animal products; a chef shifting the focus of her restaurant to serve hospitals and homeless shelters; and a professor of sustainable food systems answering questions of ethics and equity related to food delivery, grocery shopping and the future of food in our country. Links & Resources Legal Aid Justice Center (justice4all.org) Venceremos (facebook.com/venceremosarkansas) Golden Organic Farm (facebook.com/GoldenOrganicFarmLLC) Rural Advancement Foundation International (rafiusa.org) Lively Run Dairy (livelyrun.com) Cosecha Cafe (facebook.com/cosechacafeoak) East Oakland Collective (eastoaklandcollective.com) The Essential Workers Project (bit.ly/essential-worker-ethics)

The Persistent Installation of Hope

We're all in this together, but not in the way we've been able to with other tragedies. What does it mean to experience collective trauma from a distance, and how can we cope? We spoke with Deb Del Vecchio-Scully about her work as a counselor and trauma specialist working with frontline workers through this crisis, as well as simple, helpful techniques you can employ to improve your brain health. Visit https://www.coronavirusonlinetherapy.org/resources for online therapy sessions and a list of useful coping techniques.

Validate Your Mental State

Isolation can lead to anxiety and depressed thoughts, which means this crisis isn't only wreaking havoc on physical health - it's taking a toll on mental health as well. So, how can you cope? We tracked down helpers from around the world who are encouraging people to acknowledge these feelings and work together in creative ways to overcome them. Resources: crisistextline.org (or text HOME to 741741) validationstation.net soundcloud.com/emily-shaw-creates quarantinechat.com

Being Present Without Being There

It's easy to question your faith or lose hope in times of crisis. So, how can you calm yourself and help others at the same time? Kelly interviews married Buddhist couple Robert Chodo Campbell and Koshin Paley Ellison of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care (zencare.org) to learn how they are training doctors and faith leaders on the front lines to practice active listening and other "contemplative care" techniques anyone can follow to find peace in difficult moments and prepare yourself for the next challenge.

Keeping the Faith

How are people continuing to worship and practice their respective religions without coming into contact with each other? While many faith leaders have taken to the digital realm to connect with their communities, some are finding more unexpected ways of gathering, particularly for major holidays. We listen in on an Easter service at a drive-in theater, head to a cemetery for a self-serve Catholic mass, and hear from a tattooed rabbi about how he got creative to modify the traditional Passover Seder to maintain human connection with his congregation.

Unmasked: Your Questions About Face Coverings

How do you effectively make, wear and take care of a mask? What materials should you use? Should kids be wearing masks? Is it safe to ride a bike or walk your dog without one? How will our society treat mask wearers when we're allowed to be near each other again? We explore these questions and more with Dr. Lindsey Neal, a Charlottesville-based physician. Visit vpm.org/helpers for more information.

Meet the Mask Makers

Why are so many people trying their hands at sewing homemade masks? Making a mask not only helps the wearers feel safe, it helps the maker feel useful and part of a movement. We speak with members of an Atlanta-based volunteer group that's been able to deliver more than 13,000 masks to their local hospital system, hear why a long-time sewist only started making masks in the past week, and even make a couple masks ourselves. Visit vpm.org/helpers for more information. Music by Blue Dot Sessions.

Social Distance Assistance: Official Trailer

Tune in on Tuesdays and Thursdays as we explore the positive ways people are helping during the pandemic and answer your questions about life in the era of social distancing. Coming April 14.

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