Resilience in Pandemic Times
On March 11th 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated the Coronavirus (COVID19) a ‘pandemic.’ As of March 23rd, over 1,038,490 cases have been reported in the United States, with 46,482 of those cases listed in California. Testing in the US has been minimal, leading health officials to estimate that those numbers are much higher. Currently over 6 million (97%) students have been affected across the state of California. As the impact continues to spread, already vulnerable low-income communities in urban environments such as the Bay area will face increased risks as resources will continue to be stretched beyond capacity.
Immediately after a Bay Area shelter-in-place order was announced, Mycelium Youth Network reached out to our connections in the educator, youth, medical and therapist fields to create custom content to support our communities for their overall socio-emotional and mental health. All directly expressed a need for safe spaces that enable them to process the trauma and difficulty they’re currently experiencing, have fun non-academic activities and opportunities for learning, and to connect with either indigenous elders and earth medicine. We launched the program in late March to serve both adults in the community and youth with plans to continue to run it through the end of June.
Resilience in Pandemic Times Series has ended
But our work continues
We had an overwhelmingly positive response to our Resilience in Pandemic Times free youth series. We ran a series of 6 classes each running between two and three months for youth in grades 3rd - 12th. These classes ranged from gardening, herbalism, and environmental science to two to three straight ahead emotional support groups based in indigenous knowledge (specifically from the Pueblo/Apache and Mexicha traditions). For our gardening classes, we supported all needed materials for local youth to participate so that every student starts with the needed materials.
We also ran adult donation-based classes that supported our free online youth programming. We ran Decolonizing Mental Health: Strategies for Support, Healing Songs of the Americas, Ask a Medical Doctor with Dr. Tamara Martinez (adult edition), and a Ask a Medical Doctor (teens edition) with Dr. Luz Felix-Marquez Creating Pandemic Toolkits with Phoenix Armenta, We are Musical: Healing Music and DIY Instrument Creation, Healing Songs of the Americas with Dani and a Community Care Panel with indigenous leaders, medical and mental health professionals, and an educator.