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T-shirts printed with the hopeful message “Lowco Strong” were part of a creative campaign that raised $6,000 this month for Lowcountry nonprofit organizations.

Bluffton resident Justin Jarrett, founder of Lowcosports.com, partnered with 19 local charities to raise much-needed funding in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The shirts sold for $20 with $10 from each shirt sold going to the buyer’s favorite charity.

When Paula Traver returned recently from yet another trip to Walmart, the Hilton Head Island resident wasn’t ready to rest. There was so much to be done.

Since last weekend, Traver has spent about 12 hours each day sewing masks to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Using fabric depicting Batman and the solar system, Traver’s designs originally were just for family, friends and her real estate clients. But late last week her husband Jack went to Grayco wearing one of the masks she made. The mask was a hit at the hardware store and management asked Jack if Paula could make some for its employees. Sure, she said —16 masks shouldn’t be a problem.

Dear Gov. McMaster:

We, as members of the local media who have taken part in somber press conferences and have been reporting on grim statistics, implore you to order our state’s residents to stay at home.

South Carolina had 1,554 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of April 2— including 130 in Beaufort County, where our offices for Hilton Head Monthly and Bluffton Monthly magazines are located.  

Nationwide, millions of Americans have been ordered to stay home in at least 38 states to help flatten the curve, to help us get back to our normal lives. California spearheaded the movement in mid-March. Others have followed and, according to the New York Times, 297 million Americans are now under stay-at-home orders.

IT’S IMPORTANT FOR PARENTS TO PUT KIDS AT EASE WHEN IT COMES TO CORONAVIRUS

The best way for parents to combat this anxious time is to enjoy some silly time.

“Playing with your kid is one of the best things you can do right now — for them and for you,” said Melanie Trimble, a Columbia-based drama therapist and former trauma specialist.

NEW FARMERS MARKET IN BLUFFTON GOES CURBSIDE

Bluffton hosted its first drive-thru farmers market on April 8, when local farmers and other vendors set up their wares in the parking lot of The Grind Coffee Roasters.

 

FEELING SICK? CALL AHEAD FIRST, CONSIDER VIRTUAL VISITS

Staying safe during the novel coronavirus outbreak involves making some smart decisions before seeking health care. 

Symptoms of the coronavirus — formally known as COVIID-19 — include fever, cough and shortness of breath, but many health care providers are urging patients to call ahead before making a trip to the doctor if they’re feeling ill. 

Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka has been sending out daily bulletins of useful information to keep the town informed about the coronavirus. Subscribe to the mailing list at townofbluffton.sc.gov. The town also has produced a map of nonprofit agencies that may be able to help local families who are experiencing financial/food challenges. If you know an organization that may be able to help but isn’t listed, please email Ryan Coleman at rcoleman@townofbluffton.com.

On March 21, Hilton Head Island Mayor John McCann closed all public access to Hilton Head beaches for 60 days to prevent people from gathering. Parking lots and restrooms at public beaches also are closed. His order does not affect properties with private beach access.

Town Hall also is closed until further notice to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Town staff will be available by phone or email. The public is also encouraged to access some services online through the town’s website, hiltonheadislandsc.gov, or to “follow” the town on social media. 

The Small Business Administration is offering loans to South Carolina businesses that are adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. For information, go to sba.gov.

We can’t control the national news, but we can manage how we react to the constant barrage of scary headlines. In times of crisis — like the global COVID-19 pandemic — it is critical to manage your stress and mental health. Here, Sarah Eliasoph, executive director of NAMI Lowcountry, the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Health, offers some practical suggestions: