Dear TAP-NY Family,

This last week has undoubtedly been a rollercoaster. My inbox has been flooded with coronavirus updates as place by place reduced hours and announced closures, so I hope this letter may be a bright spot in your day. I wanted to update you on what TAP-NY is doing with existing events, but just as importantly, how we are refocusing our efforts to support you and communities most in need through a variety of virtual events and initiatives (scroll down for more information!).

The Not-So-Fun News
While we had a wait and see approach two weeks ago when we first cancelled our ski trip and then moved to cancel our events from this past weekend, we have decided to officially cancel or postpone all in-person events through April 10th. We will continue to monitor the evolving situation and have refunded any paid registrations. We believe this is necessary to protect the safety and health of our board and our members, and we want to do our part to help prevent the spread of the virus.

The Good Stuff
Building community is at the core of what we do, so I immediately began brainstorming ways to come together virtually. I spent last weekend testing different activities, from a virtual yoga workout to meditation session to Love is Blind watch party (yes, I love me some trashy reality TV). I was also pained by all the stories I was hearing about those most impacted by recent changes, from healthcare workers at the frontlines to the isolated elderly community to small business owners and professionals across industries stripped of their primary income source. As such, I have been working with our board to find ways to both build community and support those in need.

While this is still a work in progress, I am excited to share some upcoming initiatives and virtual events we have quickly put together these past few days with help from generous members of our community:

Click on the links to join any of the below.
Wellness (your physical and mental well-being are of utmost importance, especially during this time!)

  • Belly Breath Break (3/19, 1:30pm): As more of you are working from home, take a break from your desk for some mindful movement and breathing with nutritionist yogini, Linda Yung.
  • Mindful Munchies: Meals and Meditation for Immunity (3/23, 8pm): Linda Yung generously joins us again to share tips for immunity boosting via breathing exercises, meditation, and healthy eating.
  • Coronavirus 101 (3/24, 6:30pm): Hear from Dr. David Shih, Chief Medical Officer for RendrCare and Co-Founder of CityMD, about the coronavirus and his experiences dealing with patients.
  • TAPpy Minds: Sign up for the launch of TAP-NY’s first mindfulness chat! This will be a place to share any resources to boost mental health and encourage mindfulness and meditation practices (may include meditations led by yours truly).

Social (social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun!)

  • Classy Music Benefit (3/21, 2pm): Join Yoo-Sun Park, former Juilliard violinist and SLT instructor, for some classy music to benefit those financially impacted by the coronavirus shutdowns.
  • TAPpy Hour: Census Edition (3/26, 7pm): Grab a drink at home and party with us virtually. Complete the census online together—TACL’s Director of Civic Engagement, Christina Hu, will join us to answer any questions.
  • Netflix Party (3/27, 8pm): Cozy up at home for a chill night in with Netflix and TAP-NY to watch the romcom, Sleeping with Other People.
  • Game On: Join our Discord server to game or just to hang out virtually (like this n00b here).

Although we are going virtual with the above, you’ll find that we are still capping capacity on some of the events. I would define two types of events here: those to inform and those to interact. The former are meant to share information, perhaps with some Q&A, so are better suited for broad livestreams, while the latter are meant for smaller settings that allow the attendees to engage with each other more personally. We are also providing all of the above for free, thanks to generous members and friends contributing their time and knowledge. However, some events will have suggested donations to support those most in need during these times.

This is only the beginning, but it has been amazing seeing how people are coming together in different ways to support each other, despite the need for social distancing. I welcome any suggestions, be it virtual event ideas or ways to help those most vulnerable now, and encourage you to use our Facebook group to share resources with our community.

Finally, relish in all the good that we have around us. Go for a walk outside and enjoy nature in peace, soak in some sun, get ample sleep, and call your friends and family. If you can, buy gift cards, shop online, and take virtual music and workout classes with your favorite instructors to support those you normally would in person. Trying times are a test of a community’s strength, and I firmly believe that TAP-NY has an incredibly strong community, especially when we come together. Lean on each other, smile and laugh together (or at least six feet apart), and practice gratitude.

I look forward to seeing you all in person soon, but until then, sending virtual hugs and positive vibes!

TAP-NY President