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Health, Financial and Other Resources for Those Affected by Coronavirus


Athens, like many parts of the country, is beginning to look like a ghost town. As disconcerting as this may sound, it’s an encouraging sign: It shows that people are taking seriously the global effort to stop the transmission of COVID-19 through self-quarantining and social distancing. Such measures are necessary, and they facilitate the physical safety of many Athens residents. However, they also come with a host of economic, logistical and psychological concerns. 

Athens is animated by small businesses and the workers who keep them running. But many workers—particularly those in the service industry, whose livelihood depends on a regular flow of tips—are facing severe financial strain because of the epidemic, which continues to restrict the operations of innumerable Athens restaurants, cafés, and bars. Compounding these financial problems are another set of issues, issues that even employees who are receiving paid leave, have a savings cushion, or are able to work remotely may grapple with: cabin fever, social isolation and feelings of impotence or aimlessness. 

Such problems are not yet soluble, but they can be mitigated. Flagpole thus presents a list of financial, medical and other resources for staying healthy, sane and moralized in the midst of these chaotic times. These resources range from monetary aid for struggling restaurant workers to locally produced yoga podcasts to healthcare information. Moreover, for those with the time and resources to spare, we also present a number of local volunteer and donation opportunities.

GENERAL RESOURCES

GEORGIA AND ATHENS RESOURCES

FINANCIAL RESOURCES

  • Musicians’ resource center Nuçi’s Space has set up the Garrie Vereen Memorial Emergency Relief Fund to assist music industry workers, including musicians, artists, crew, venue and bar employees, and “everyone who makes our world-renowned entertainment industry thrive.”

FOOD ACCESS

UTILITIES AND INTERNET ACCESS

  • Georgia Power: As of Mar. 14, Georgia Power won’t turn off utilities due to late fees for 30 days. 

  • Athens Clarke-County Public Utilities Water: As of Mar. 14, ACC Public Utilities will not terminate water service for customers with past due bills for the next 60 days. As of March 14, residents who have been disconnected for late fees or non-payment should have had service restored. 

  • Network Carriers: AT&T, Charter, CenturyLink, Comcast, Cox, Sonic, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon pledge to waive late fees incurred due to economic effects of the virus, to open access to public WiFi hotspots, and to postpone service termination for residential and small business customers. 

  • Internet Essentials Program: For new low-income customers, Comcast is providing two months of complimentary internet. Call 1-855-846-8376.

  • Spectrum/Charter Internet Assistance: Spectrum is setting up WiFi hotspots across the country and giving 60 days free broadband without installation fees to families with students. Enroll by calling 1-844-488-8395.

DONATION AND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

MORE ONLINE ACTIVITIES