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personal errandsAre you quarantined, feeling sick or afraid to go out? If so, your neighbors would like to help. We have received inquiries from people in Scarsdale who are willing to do errands or make a delivery for those in need.

If you need a favor, go to the site's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Scarsdale10583/

Scroll down to our post about requesting help - and post your name, email address and phone number and a description of what you would like to be done.

If you would like to help by doing errands, you can also post your name and phone number or email address so that others know they can reach out to you.

When a task is completed, please email us at scarsdalecomments@gmail.com so we can remove your post.

Also – if you have comments or questions, feel free to email us at scarsdalecomments@gmail.com.

Check in with the Elderly

Also, Scarsdale Edgemont Family Counseling Service’s Aging in Place Initiative would like to remind all residents to please be mindful of your elderly neighbors and friends during this period of time surrounding COVID-19.

The elderly are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of their age or because of underlying health problems. It is extra important for the elderly to take actions to reduce their risk of contracting the virus and therefore they have been encouraged to avoid public settings.

Please consider simple gestures like calling to check in with your elderly neighbors and possibly assisting with groceries. These acts are particularly meaningful and necessary during this uncertain time.

Guidelines for COVID-19 care and prevention are outlined on reliable sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Westchester County. www.cdc.gov and www.westchestergov.com.

For additional information, the New York State Health Department Hotline 1-888-364-3065 offers experts on hand to answer questions relating to COVID-19.

FrontdoorWhat’s it like to be quarantined inside New Rochelle’s containment area? This week Governor Cuomo made an unprecedented announcement, ordering a circle with a one- mile radius had been designated a “containment area” and that the National Guard would come in to distribute food and clean and sanitize.

Cuomo was following the advice of State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker who recommended this step to stem the spread of the virus after cases jumped up by 10 in just one day. We spoke to a member of Young Israel Synagogue where the original outbreak occurred. She shared news about her congregation of 800 people and explained how members are dealing with the outbreak and the aftermath.

Lisa Bernstein of New Rochelle was surprisingly open as she explained how her community was quickly overtaken by the virus, and what has occurred in the weeks since that time. In a community that is accustomed to praying, eating, celebrating and mourning together, the Coronavirus has struck very hard. Their synagogue was suddenly shuttered and temple members were prohibited from meeting, praying together or gathering in any way.

But putting aside the social isolation, many have tested positive with the virus. Of the over 800 congregants, Bernstein said the majority are quarantined, with many infected and asymptomatic. Of those who have symptoms, she says most have been managing at home. Sadly a few have been hospitalized.

No one know where Lawrence Garbuz, the first to test positive in the synagogue, contracted the virus. He was present in the synagogue during the weekend of February 22 before there was general awareness about the virus. By the following weekend, Garbuz and several others had contracted the virus and unknowingly attended services again. Garbuz remains in the hospital.

Bernstein herself was out of town during the weekend of February 29-March 1. However, when she returned she was exposed to a friend who tested positive. Bernstein has no symptoms and has been unable to obtain a test so she and her husband are self-quarantined for the 14 days.

As it has been difficult to get tested we asked Bernstein how the testing occurred. She explained that the Department of Health has come to the homes of people who met the criteria for testing. They appeared in hazmat suits. However the results have been slow in coming back, with some waiting five days to find out if they have the virus. Bernstein says that the reason the numbers look so dramatic is that unlike other populations, this group is getting tested. She guesses that if other groups were tested, they might find that the infection rate is equally as high.

Are people complying with the quarantine? Bernstein said that yes, absolutely. People are taking the instructions very seriously and following the instructions from the Department of Health. Markets like Seasons and other kosher food purveyors have been very generous and are delivering food for free. Friends are reaching out and the community is very grateful that food has not been a problem.

When will they be able to return to their usual routine? Bernstein says it’s unclear. Will those who are infected need to be cleared to go out? Those directives have not yet been established and she is not aware of the protocol.

Despite this huge disruption in her life, Bernstein was calm and reflective. She said the congregation shared a virtual Purim celebration this past weekend and she is in touch with family and friends online and via text. She is doing some work from home and feels fortunate that she can use the internet and phone to stay connected.

Most of all she is grateful that neither she nor her husband are sick for now. She says, “If you have your health you have everything. I am keeping my eye on the prize …. summer and no virus!”

scarsdalebagThe day has come: On March 1, New York State will enact a plastic ban bag, requiring shoppers to either bring their own reusable bags or pay a five cent fee for each paper bag they use.

To avoid paying the fee -- and to do your part to save the environment -- bring your own environmentally friendly bags to carry your purchases. After you shop, remember to put them back in the car to have them on hand for your next trip to the store.

Find out how to get your own free Scarsdale reusable bag here.

Here’s the official note from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation:

Starting March 1, 2020, a new bag waste reduction law will take effect in New York State - where over 23 billion plastic bags are typically used each year. Plastic bag usage affects both our communities and environment. Plastic bags can be seen stuck in trees, as litter in our neighborhoods, and floating in our waterways. From the significant recycling and disposal issues they pose to the harm they can do to wildlife, the negative impacts of plastic bags are easily seen.

As a consumer, you can help and #BYOBagNY - Bring Your Own Bag. Keep reusable bags in your car, or clip folding reusable bags onto your commuting bag or purse so you always have them handy. If you store them near the door or coat closet, you'll be more likely to remember them on the way out. Remember that every time you use a reusable bag, you are doing your part to prevent litter and waste. Using reusable bags makes sense and is the right thing to do. You can also remind your family, friends, and neighbors to bring their reusable bags whenever they shop.

The Bag Waste Reduction Law applies to more than just grocery stores. Whether you're going to the grocery store, clothes shopping, or to a home improvement store, make sure to bring your reusable bags.

Types of Bags You Can Use
While shoppers can bring any type of bag -- including film plastic -- note that there are many alternatives to choose from which are more environmentally friendly. Ideally, a bag should be washable and designed for multiple uses, such as one made from cloth. If you forget to bring a bag with you, many retailers will have reusable bags for sale. An alternative, such as paper, may also be available. Please note that stores are not required to have bags available for customers. Some stores may choose not to switch to paper and may only have reusable bags for purchase. That is why it is important for consumers to #BYOBagNY - Bring Your Own Bag. If you have a small purchase, such as a magazine, candy or drink, you can help our environment by saying "No thank you" to a single use paper bag and carrying the item instead.

The Bag Waste Reduction Law and Who it Affects
Starting March 1, 2020, all plastic carryout bags (other than an exempt bag) are banned from distribution by anyone required to collect New York State sales tax. For sales that are tax exempt, plastic carry out bags are still not allowed to be distributed by anyone required to collect New York State sales tax (unless it is an exempt bag). The law will affect anyone required to collect New York State sales tax, bag manufacturers and consumers. Cities and counties will also be involved. Under the law:

Cities and counties are authorized to adopt a five-cent paper carry-out bag reduction fee. This means that in these areas, a consumer will be charged 5 cents for each paper carryout bag provided at checkout. In areas that have adopted the five-cent paper carryout bag reduction fee, the fee does not apply to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children -- a nutrition program) recipients, and they are exempt from paying a paper carryout bag reduction fee for paper carryout bags. One way to avoid paper bag fees no matter where you are across New York State is to always bring your own bag.
stores covered under the NYS Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act will still be required to collect plastic bags and other film plastics from consumers for recycling. (Film plastics include items such as bread bags and plastic wraps that come over cases of water, paper towels and other similar items). As a consumer you can help by continuing to recycle these items at participating retailers.

Exempt Bags
Some bags are exempt under the law, so plastic bags may still be distributed to consumers in a few specific circumstances, such as a bag used by a pharmacy to carry prescription drugs, and produce bags for bulk items such as fruits and vegetables. But as a consumer, you can aid in protecting our environment by using reusable bags as much as possible.

sleepAbout 70 million Americans suffer from some type of sleep disorder, but there is hope.

It’s no coincidence that this year’s Sleep Awareness Week runs March 8-14, right at the kickoff of Daylight Saving’s Time (DST), which this year is Sunday, March 8. As we spring ahead to longer days and lighter evenings, many people who struggle with getting adequate slumber bemoan the loss of that one precious hour.

It may sound silly, but that one hour can have a long lasting effect. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recently summarized studies regarding the sleep health effects of DST and found that:

Moving into or out of DST has adverse effects on sleep/wake patterns that last about 5-7 days; and
The effects of changing to DST are probably most notable for those who enter the change with insufficient sleep.WhitePlainsHospitalSponsorBanner

In America, 70% of adults report that they obtain insufficient sleep at least one night a month, and 11% report insufficient sleep every night. Whether because of medical disorders, work schedules, or a 24/7 lifestyle, there is a pervasive restlessness and unfortunately, many people today still measure their productivity by how little sleep they get.

The claim “I only got five hours of sleep last night” has almost become a measure of an individual’s dedication to their profession. However, the cost in health, absenteeism, and safety is creating a national crisis. A Harvard study found that insomnia leads to the loss of 11.3 days’ worth, or $2,280, in productivity per person every year. Nationally, that adds up to an estimated loss of over $63 billion.

The lack of adequate, restful sleep can impact a person’s ability to form memories, think and react quickly, and solve relationship problems. It can also impact blood pressure, blood sugar levels and one’s overall health. And driving while sleep deprived can be as dangerous as driving under the influence!

So how can you improve your sleep habits?

The first thing most sleep specialists recommend is following the same sleep schedule, even on weekends. This allows the body to find its rhythm.

Pre-bedtime rituals can also be helpful, like darkening the environment for an hour or two before going to bed, or reading, or bathing before bedtime.

A period of exercise during the day, although not too close to bedtime, can also be helpful.

Creating the right sleep environment is also important. A comfortable bed in a soothing environment, with no light or noise, is helpful for most people. Avoiding a heavy meal in the evening, and avoiding cigarettes and alcohol late in the day can also be beneficial.

And finally, there is probably nothing worse than lying in bed and not being able to fall asleep. Should that happen, get up for a short period of time and do something relaxing until you are tired enough to fall asleep.
The importance of a good night’s sleep cannot be overestimated. If the lack of adequate, restful sleep is disturbing you, speak with your physician or a sleep specialist. Your physical and emotional health may very well depend on it.

Dr.MiliteDr. Fulvia Milite is a board certified sleep medicine specialist and Director of the Sleep Center at White Plains Hospital. To make an appointment for a Sleep Study, call 914-681-2626 or visit the Sleep Center’s Webpage.

accidentYet another pedestrian was hit and injured in Greenburgh, this one in Hartsdale at 7:56 am on Saturday February 15.

The 70 year-old man, who lives on East Hartsdale Avenue, was found lying unconscious in the road, bleeding from the head. He was treated by Greenburgh EMS and taken to Westchester Medical Center in an ambulance where he was admitted.

Video evidence shows that the man was walking south on Central Avenue and then turned onto East Hartsdale Avenue, where he decided to cross the street from the north to south side. At that portion of East Hartsdale Avenue there are two westbound lanes – one for turning left and the other for proceeding straight. The man was in the left lane when he was hit by a car going east on Hartsdale Avenue. The driver did not stop.

Investigation revealed that the 2018 Honda CRV that struck the victim was driven by an 87 year-old Hartsdale man. He was not injured.

This is the ninth pedestrian accident in Greenburgh in recent months.

Anyone who witnessed the accident should call Greenburgh Police at 914-989-1725.

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