Childcare Providers and Preschools Find Innovation Among Strict Regulations

As businesses around the state continue to reopen, parents face the challenge of finding childcare. Governor Baker’s executive order closed all but essential child care programs as of March 22, 2020. Childcare agencies were able to open in late June but face strict regulations as they reopen.

EEE, School Start Times Top BoH Agenda

At their July 20 meeting, the Bedford Board of Health discussed an emergency order regarding reusable bag use, heard updates from community social worker Chris Bang, discussed school start times, and planned for the expected Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) outbreak.

METCO Hosts a Virtual Celebration for the Class of 2020

With 100 students enrolled, Bedford’s program is neither METCO’s largest or smallest partner, but the Town has an important history since the program opened here in the early 1970s. This year’s Bedford High School graduates Cristina Delgado, Sage Hull, Jonathan Pierre, Esmeralda Puello, and Aaliya Valentine joined Class of 2020 graduates from 29 school departments to participate in Saturday afternoon’s virtual METCO graduation gala.

The Bedford Unicorn Causes Grins Around Town, and Raises Funds for the Bedford Food Pantry

Spotting a unicorn tends to be considered nothing but fantasy. Locally, Bedford Unicorn sightings have become a common occurrence thanks to Daisy Girifalco.

Since mid-March, Girifalco has been parading around town in an 8-foot tall inflatable unicorn costume. She initially bought the costume to help a friend create a video for her dance company. Days later she brought the costume back out to sing happy birthday (from a distance) to a neighbor.

Looking Back to National History Day, 2020 ~ A Bedford High School Tradition

For the past 14 years, National History Day has been an important milestone for the Junior Class at Bedford High School. From the winter evening when all the projects are shown to classmates, parents, and friends through the season, typically culminating in some of the BHS projects competing at the University of Maryland in June.

Read on to learn more about this year’s NHD competition, the projects, and their creators.

Some Locally-Owned Businesses Face Grim Prospects

One of the most familiar verses in the Bible begins, “Everything has its season.”

And that appears to be a determining factor in the future of some of the independent businesses in Bedford affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Phase One (1) Board and Committee Meetings May Resume on Zoom

The Town of Bedford greatly values the participation of its residents and their spirit of volunteerism and is thankful for the patience that all our boards and committees have shown during this strange time of Covid-19.  We know how much board and committee volunteers enjoy serving our community, and working hard to make Bedford a better place.

Covid-19 Questions for Seniors? The CoA is here to help

This pandemic has changed everything, it’s very unsettling and also, very confusing.  Masks, isolation, stimulus checks, tele-health, zoom, scams, food pantries, are just some of the new realities.  For seniors in town, a great resource to turn to is our own Council on Aging.  Beyond trips and games the CoA has experts who can help make sense of all this. Specifics:  The CoA produces Bits & Bytes, a bi-monthly newsletter, recently dedicated to disseminating  Covid-19 information.  It’s free and you can sign up here: Click

**Scroll towards bottom of E-Alerts list, select COA Bits and Bytes “Council On Aging” and click on “Subscribe Me”. Latest issue: Bits & Bytes -May 15, 2020

A recent issue has come up that we want to share with you. MONEY:  We have just learned the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)  will start sending out stimulus payments in the form of debit cards.  This is a new way of distributing money for the IRS and is both potentially confusing and susceptible to scams and often gets confused with junk mail.  

Representative Seth Moulton Says:  Economic Impact Payments On Prepaid Debit Cards
Some payments are being sent by prepaid debit card. The debit cards arrive in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services.” 
Those who receive their Economic Impact Payment by prepaid debit card can do the following without any fees.

Memorial Day, 2020 ~ A Different Form, but Sentiments will be the Same

We certainly find ourselves living in extraordinary times. Freedoms which we enjoy and sometimes take for granted such as freedom to assemble, freedom of movement, freedom to worship, all have been temporarily put on hold as a result of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the traditions Bedford has proudly maintained over the decades has been our observance of Memorial Day; a day to honor those brave men and women who fought and died to keep America free. Sadly we have had to temporarily limit some of these freedoms for the greater good of our community as we slowly return to normalcy.

By now you may know that Bedford’s Memorial Day events scheduled for Monday, May 25 have been canceled. These ceremonies and the annual town parade which take place every Memorial Day are possible because of the many dedicated individuals and civic organizations, including the Bedford Historical Society, who have generously given their time and talents to honor our veterans.

The Historical Society’s presence on Memorial Day could be found at the many

Masks Are Not A Substitute For SARS-CoV-2 Testing

It’s important to keep in mind that no “randomized, controlled trials,” the type Dr. Tony Fauci frequently espouses, have demonstrated that wearing fabric face masks inhibits transmission of respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID19.  As quoted in a recent British Medical Journal review of 32 studies “ “The evidence is not sufficiently strong to support widespread use of facemasks as a protective measure against COVID-19.”

The basic problem is that viruses are the “infectious agents” that pass through filters that block bacteria.  There is speculation that fabric face masks may decrease the distance viruses are exhaled, but they do not block viruses from being inhaled.  Wearing face masks is probably benign, however, unless they (a) increase the frequency with which the wearer touches his/her face throughout the day, and  (b) create a false sense of security against virus transmission.

Bedford VA Medical Center COVID Operational Update ~ May 15, 2020

Bedford VA Medical Center continues to focus on recovery operations and initiatives to resume visitation for our residents with updated precautions.

We continue to see residents of our Community Living Centers “recover,” having been designated as “clinically resolved” from their previous COVID-19 positive diagnosis. Recovered patients are transferred to designated recovery care units within the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital here. 

Wednesday, May 6 is Face-covering Mask Day ~ Are the Kids Ready?

The Baker-Polito Administration has ordered that starting tomorrow, Wednesday, May 6, face coverings will be mandatory for everyone over the age of 2.

Stephy Doyle, a Bedford mom and photo editing wizard, has created cool images of 45 masked characters based on the most popular cartoon figures from book characters, to Mickey Mouse and Disney princesses, and the most daring superheroes or superheroines.

Some Good News: BHS Senior Jordan Vinh Appears in SGN ~ John Krasinski’s YouTube Show

Whatever we have given up in the pandemic (and that’s A LOT) there is an abundance of creativity and imagination on the other side of the ledger that can lift us up, reassure us, and make us smile or even laugh on days when “upbeat” may seem a notion from a distant past.

When Gov. Baker officially closed public schools for the remainder of the year, Jordan Vinh felt the pain along with his classmates and decided to use his recently inaugurated podcast as a means of reaching out to them.  His “Dear Class of 2020” podcast was excerpted by John Krasinski for a special graduation episode of his YouTube show, Some Good News (SGN).  SGN began with a Tweet from Krasinski asking followers to send him stories that “made you feel good this week or made you smile”.  Thousands responded.  A collage of heartwarming and funny original videos make up the bulk of the show with Krasinski as emcee.  Episode 6 is earmarked for 2020 graduates of every age and is both light-hearted and inspiring

Bedford VA Medical Center ~ Stakeholders Operational Update ~ Friday, May 1, 2020

Bedford VA Medical Center does not take the deaths of our Veterans lightly. The past few days have been very difficult as we saw more losses, not only due to COVID-19, but to life itself. Our residents become like family and we grieve for each loss. When we can gather together again without social distancing, Bedford VAMC will host a memorial roll call and celebration of life for those we have lost during the pandemic. We hope you’ll join us. 

Letter to the Editor: Coronavirus Testing~Tuesdays on Bedford Common

I appreciate the coverage of Covid19 testing, a collaboration of the Bedford Research Foundation and First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church on Bedford Common, in The Bedford Citizen.  

We want to make this testing more widely known.  The testing is open to everyone, regardless of town of residence, symptomology, affiliation, or ability to pay.

 First Parish is providing a prominent and central location, volunteers, and our communication network to promote universal testing.

Chinese American Neighbors Rally to Support Lahey Hospital

Alerted by the acute shortage of Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) in Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, within a very short period of 17 days, a group of Chinese American residents in the neighboring towns of Bedford and Burlington procured 200 of the most-needed medical coveralls from overseas and donated them to the doctors and nurses caring for the surging number of COVID-19 patients amid this worsening pandemic.

Beating the Odds by Recovering from Covid-19

Rachel Murphy lost the early rounds to the coronavirus Covid-19. She arrived at Lahey Hospital on March 15, and after testing positive for the dangerous virus was clobbered with a haymaker — immediate intubation with a ventilator.

“During the first 24 hours, the doctors told my family they didn’t think I would make it,” she recounted. “My kids told them, ‘My mom does not give in. As long as you fight, she will fight with you.’”

Town Meeting Without Bathrooms? Well, it Depends …

I have lived in Bedford since 1976.  I attended my first town meeting that year.  For more than 40 years every town meeting has been basically the same.  Maybe there is more technology now – and less paper being handed out – but pretty much the same process and structure. 

This year it will definitely be different.  The current pandemic is dictating how we can conduct Town Meeting, and even when we will have it.  Bedford’s Town Meeting, originally scheduled for March 23, postponed to April 6 and then May 4, is now on the brink of being rescheduled to June. We are not sure when we will be able to hold the meeting – and definitely do not know what it will look like when we do.

Girl Scout Troop 85197 Busts Covid-19 Myths During Virtual Meeting

On Sunday, April 19 our 9th Grade Girl Scout troop met virtually for the first time to discuss the coronavirus and some of its myths. Our Girl Scout troop usually meets on Sundays, but our meeting was canceled because of the coronavirus. We have heard many different myths about the coronavirus, and our troop leaders know a lot about it, so we decided to have a virtual meeting to talk about it. Here are some of the myths we busted.

Bedford VAMC Prepares for the VA’s Fourth Mission

The Bedford VA Medical Center has separated those Veterans with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis or COVID-19 symptoms from the main population by means of isolation rooms and negative pressure systems, establishing separate “COVID+ wards” within the Community Living Center units. A separate quarantine ward for those who are Persons Under Investigation has also been created.  

Editor’s Note: According to bit.ly/3apVaEl, Bedford’s Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital reports 95 active Covid-19 cases and 3 inpatient deaths as of Wednesday, April 22, 2020.

Rep. Gordon and Sen. Barrett Provide COVID-19 Update for Monday, April 20 ~ Unemployment Benefits for Self Employed and 1099 Workers, Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures; and Liability Protection for Healthcare Workers

As Massachusetts responds to the current surge in COVID-19 cases on Patriot’s Day, Representative Gordon and Senator Barrett provided the following updates to constituents outlining the State’s recent actions to support residents during the emergency: Unemployment Benefits for Self-Employed, 1099, and Other Workers; Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures; and Liability Protection for Healthcare Workers

Operational Update for Bedford VAMC for Friday, April 17, 2020

We are saddened to report that two of our Veterans died last night due to complications from COVID-19. One Veteran was a guest from the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home.

Both Veterans’ families were anticipating their loss and spoke with their loved ones via telehealth earlier in the day. The families expressed gratitude when our provider made the calls. As always, Bedford VAMC does everything it can to ensure no Veteran dies alone, even during a pandemic. Both cases were previously reported as positive in an earlier case count.