guest column teaser for iwk/jsj/isj

guest column teaser for iwk/jsj/isj

Riding out the COVID-19 storm together | Guest column

Submitted by Erin Bernardi

As San Juan County winds down our summer season and moves into fall, what will our new normal be? Organizations such as LIFRC (Lopez Island Family Resource Center), the Lopez Community Hub/ and the San Juan County Department of Health, are working collaboratively to introduce a communications tool to help residents navigate decision making to reduce the risk of viral infection. “COVID CARE: A Model for Moving Forward Opening Up Social Circles” created by Dr. Evelin Dacker of Salem, Oregon, is being made available at no cost to all residents.

Retired School Counselor and Lopez Island resident, Erin Bernardi, came across the COVID CARE communication tool online in “Medium” magazine. “In my opinion, Dr. Dacker’s COVID CARE model has a lot to offer in the WIN-WIN department.” “It can be used to create a common language or visual focus, to help discuss our needs and come to agreements or understandings, as we navigate our new normal during this pandemic.”

The communication model is divided into four quadrants represented by the word CARE:

1) Container – those in our closest social circle; 2) Agreements; 3) Risk Tolerance (self and others) and 4) Etiquette. The scales and suggestions are designed to help us discover the best way we can communicate to partners, family, friends, co-workers and community members, in a way they are most likely to hear us. Essential questions support a point-of-view to help us truly see and care about each other.

Through collaboration between LIFRC, and San Juan County Health Department, residents and organizations can learn more about the COVID CARE model in a variety of ways. A 12 page pdf. of the model is available in English and Spanish, as well as a Google Slides presentation, at On the San Juan County website you can view a “Community Conversations” YouTube video, providing a ten minute introduction to Dr. Dacker’s COVID CARE model

As “COVID CARE: A Model for Moving Forward Opening Up Social Circles” is introduced in our community, the LIFRC will invite a cross section of organizations to consider how this tool might best serve the needs of: families with young children, senior citizens, first responders and essential workers, community members who are Immunocompromised, as well as youth and young adults. Ideally, as we make plans to keep ourselves and others in our primary and extended social circles safe, it is wise to consider the needs of the most vulnerable we come in contact with, as a baseline for decision making.

“ It is my hope that as the efforts of individuals and organizations move forward to improve individual awareness and compassionate communication, our community will benefit as we share our collective challenges & successes. In this way, we can amplify the gift Dr. Evelin Dacker has given us, showing as much consideration and compassion for each other, as possible, as we ride out this viral storm, together.”