Upplýsingar vegna Covid-19

In order to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, crisis support groups have now been activated in the region directed by the East Iceland District Police Commissioner. These groups include representatives of the police, the Red Cross, municipal Social Services, the Health Directorate of East Iceland, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland, which is often called the National Church. Through this message to East Iceland residents, we want to call everyone's attention to the services offered and to encourage a positive, unifying outlook.

It's no wonder that many of us feel worried and insecure these days. Conditions have been changing fast, and we may be concerned about our own health and well-being, or that of our closest family. Some of us may be plagued by loneliness or even isolation, since most routines have been disrupted and visits by friends are rare. It's important for us as a community to stand together in such times, arming ourselves with optimism as well as affection for those around us so that we can help each other. Here are several things we can do:

  1. Let's think about our relatives, acquaintances and neighbours, especially if they belong to a vulnerable group. Can we phone them, assist with shopping or other needs, or possibly help them in using their computer? A good rule of thumb is generally not to assume that "someone else" is likely to contact them.
  2. Not forgetting ourselves, let's use our days to the utmost for cultivating activities such as education, work, exercise, reading, spiritual pursuits, playing games with the family, phoning, and whatever else nurtures and cheers us. On the other hand, we should not spend too much time on the news media, in particular if the news tends to upset us.
  3. If we feel anxious or depressed or in need of other support, let's not be shy about taking advantage of the resources at hand. Our best tool for fighting off worries or loneliness is often just talking to someone who wants and is able to listen.

Here are some useful contacts concerning the corona epidemic:

The ministers of Iceland's Evangelical Lutheran Church provide pastoral care and personal counselling without regard to religious affiliation or belief. You can contact an area pastor via the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses at www.egilsstadaprestakall.is (for the Egilsstaðir parishes) or the Facebook pages of the Hof parishes (Hofsprestakall) and the East Fjords parishes (Austfjarðaprestakall).

The Red Cross Helpline, Tel. 1717, https://www.facebook.com/raudikrossinn/

The COVID phoneline of the Health Directorate of East Iceland, Tel. 470 3066, where psychological help is also available

The Icelandic Mental Health Alliance, https://gedhjalp.is/radgjof-i-gegnum-netid/

Municipal Social Services, Fljótsdalshérað; Tel. 4 700 700

Municipal Social Services, Fjarðabyggð; Tel. 470 9000 Iceland's COVID website, https://www.covid.is, where you can select English and a number of other languages