Without a doubt, the world is changing. Day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute there is always something different happening. Social distancing is now the most heard term out there. However, social distancing is the incorrect term of use, physical distancing is the correct term. Monday, April 13th, 2020, I attended a virtual town hall meeting. This year is a first of manys. For many people, this is there first time using zoom, first virtual town hall meeting, and in my case, my first town hall meeting.
I found it very interesting to see how technology and all the bumps in the road would play out. The meeting started at 2:30pm Eastern Standard Time and well it did not start until a few minutes after the projected time. I thought it was quite helpful and easy to register for the meeting through filling out a few boxes. Emails were sent and I found it quite easy to get on the zoom meeting. I had used this platform before, so it was very familiar, but I could see how it could be difficult. I noticed that as I was logging on to the meeting there was a waiting room. I found this very intriguing. With the recent, “zoom bombers” occurring more and more frequently, I found the preparation of Kennedy’s team ready for almost anything. Since there was a decent amount of people, about a hundred and twenty, it took some time to accepted everyone from the waiting room. However, for the most part, there was not many technological problems.
The Congressman holding the Town Hall was Joe Kennedy III. He is a representative for Massachusetts 4th District and also a Candidate for the US Senate. Also, in attendance was Gerly Adrien, Everett City Councilor At-Large, and Dr. Karen Freund, MD,MPH. She is the Vice Chair of Medicine at Tufts Medical Center and a Professor of Medicine and Tufts University. Obviously, the main topic of discussion was COVID-19. Kennedy said that he never thought his job as a Congressman would ever consist of hours of searching for medical grade, N95, masks, ventilators and much more every day, every week. Ms. Adrien spoke about how Everett and herself was helping her community by delivering groceries, putting together care packages, and finding ways to live their lives with health and their community first. Dr. Freund spoke about the highly contagious and deadly virus. Her major advice to all people was to go or call your doctor if feeling any type of sickness. She reiterated that hospitals are prepared to treat patients that do not have COVID-19 and those people should not be afraid. Dr. Freund did say that Massachusetts are projected to reach their peak sometime between now and April 20th. She explained that more minorities such as Hispanics and African Americans were being impacted right now. The reason for this may be due to their unhealthy health background. I liked how the doctor did put an emphasis on how many patients she has seen recover and be sent home versus how many have been put into the Intensive Care Unit. She said that she has seen more patients recover in comparison than people be put into the ICU. I think this is a very key and uplifting thing for people to hear.
Overall, I think, for my first town hall ever, that it was conducted very well and was not overwhelming whatsoever. I learned a lot and it was nice to hear what people were doing for their communities and the work they were putting in on their own time. Just hearing that people who are higher in the “social hierarchy” are doing something for us people is reassuring, and I am so grateful for their outreach and help.