The words of Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer, seem more important than ever -- “Be kind. Be calm. Be safe”. As each of us and our communities struggle in various ways with the many stressful challenges before us, I keep repeating this to myself. These words are grounding and have helped focus my efforts this week. I hope they give you some of the reassurance and focus they have given to me.
Over the past week, we’ve seen historic wildfires across the west coast with smoke blowing as far east as Arkansas. This is yet another unprecedented event in these most unprecedented times, and I first want to express my condolences to those who have had to evacuate from their homes due to the threat of fire or air quality concerns. I also want to express my gratitude to the first responders and volunteers on the frontlines of not just a pandemic, but now a historic fire season as well.
I urge all of us in areas with poor air quality to stay indoors as much as possible. With such high levels of particulate matter in the air, the possible negative impacts on your lung health is dramatic - we will see more asthma and COPD exacerbations, allergy-like responses and COVID infections. Research has shows that inflammation in the lungs makes us more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 and also increases the risk that someone with COVID-19 will transmit infection to others. Please refer to the end of this newsletter for more COVID-19 and wildfire resources.
Stay in Touch!
The best way to stay informed and connect with my legislative work is through my Facebook page (State Representative Maxine Dexter), and my Twitter account (@RepDexterOR), and feel free to reach out to my office at Rep.MaxineDexter@OregonLegislature.gov.
Wishing you all safety,
Maxine Dexter, MD
Oregon State Representative Northwest Portland to Northeast Washington County
- Housing assistance: Community Action helps pay rent and help to get people in need of housing. (https://caowash.org)
- Housing assistance: Salvation Army Female Emergency Shelter serves women in the community who are experiencing homelessness. (https://safes.salvationarmy.org)
- Housing assistance, utility assistance, food assistance: United Way of the Columbia-Willamette provides access to critical services like housing assistance and utility assistance and access to food. (https://www.unitedway-pdx.org)
- Food assistance, water bill assistance, and grants, utility assistance: Care To Share coordinates assistance to families and individuals who seek emergency food and other basic necessities. (http://www.caretosharehelp.org)
- Food assistance, housing assistance, utility assistance, disability assistance: Department of County Human Services ensures that everyone can reach their potential and contribute to communities. (https://multco.us/dchs)
Follow Representative Dexter on social media to stay connected!