Brad fuhrOur valley is in lockdown and dealing with the short term repercussions of our new normal.  The long term effects are only now starting to become apparent as our travel and tourism livelihood is choked off.

Today will bring more bad news, but we are for the most part finding good in the world and looking for that silver lining.  It will not be easy.  We at Gay Desert Guide have gone from being the source for our happy-go-lucky way of life in the Coachella Valley to that of re-arranging the proverbial deck chairs on the Titanic as event after event cancels or reschedules to a wishful Fall date.

We now turn to helping our local businesses who are able to remain open and being a source of information on how to get help during this crisis.  My team has been working day and night on the website, in our email newsletter, on social media and in the field.  And we’ve found good:

Saturday night’s canceled Red Dress/Dress Red Party almost went unnoticed but for the cheery late night Facebook live from Shann Carr.  Purple Room brought some joy to Mudville with a Facebook live stage show with Micheal Holmes and Darci Daniels.

Dr. Laura Rush has been a soothing voice of reason and local health information with a great bedside manner that put a smile on our faces.  New Facebook groups evolved to help businesses support each other (PS Local Support Locals), restaurants are donating to food banks, an effort to fund and make masks is being spearheaded by Lucie Arnaz, and neighbors are helping neighbors.

So now onto what this week brings including online programs from The Center, a number of new resources for assistance, and a few fun videos including Randy Rainbow and Miss Richfield 1981.

We’ll continue to update our site in the NEWS section, and share on social media throughout the coming days.  We republish the CV Independent’s daily digest and keep our ever-changing events calendar updated.  Thank you for reading and using us as a resource.

The Center Presents: Community Conversations Online

The LGBT Center of the Desert is hosting two new online programs for community members who are sheltering in place of self-isolating and wanting connection. Join in for “Social Caring in the Face of Quarantine” on Monday, March 23 at 11:00 a.m. [join here], and “Managing Emotions During a Pandemic” on Tuesday, March 24 at 1:00 p.m. [join here] These meetings utilize the online meeting platform Zoom.

Palm Springs Police: General Question Line
and Coronavirus FAQ

The Palm Springs Police Department has been inundated with general questions that can be answered by looking through the City’s Coronavirus FAQ webpage – which can be found [here]. For general questions you can call 760-323-8159, from 8:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.

Desert AIDS Project: Testing and Treatment

Desert AIDS Project leapt into action in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in creating a testing/screening as well as treatment site. Learn more about how they are educating, testing and treating (for other respiratory illness that can present in a similar manner) [here]. This is no small undertaking. This new clinic will cost DAP $575,000 to operate over the coming months and they need your help to make this vital service available. Learn more

Michael’s House Open and Providing Outpatient Treatment

Michael’s House Residential Treatment Center is fully operational in this time of crisis, and aware that mental health and addiction treatment options are needed even more during these times of high stress. Starting Monday, March 23, Michael’s House will be offering HIPAA compliant outpatient treatment as well. They are actively monitoring and responding to all recommendations made by the CDC and our local regulatory and health authorities. Read more

Palm Springs Life’s Best of the Best

Now more than ever our local businesses need your support. Palm Springs Life is asking you to take the time to recognize the Best of the Best establishments across multiple categories. Votes will be accepted through March 31. You are eligible to vote once in each of the 88 categories in each of the nine cities. Vote today

Palm Springs Public Library Offers Temporary Digital Card

While it is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19 precautions, the Palm Springs Library is making access to its digital resources more easily available than ever. Residents of the Coachella Valley can sign up for a temporary digital card, valid for 90 days, making it possible to download eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, movies, TV, music, homework help, and online classes. Read more

#ILoveGayPalmSprings Podcast

Don’t miss our special episode of the #ILoveGayPalmSprings Podcast, where Hosts John Taylor, Shann Carr, and Brad Fuhr  speak with Jimmy Boegle of CV Independent (which has been providing excellent coverage throughout this developing crisis) and Dr. Laura Rush, an accomplished physician with a special focus on HIV, gay, lesbian and transgender health care. [Listen here]

And lastly, for a little comic relief, check out “Stay Home Vogue” by Chris Mann, “Social Distance,” a Randy Rainbow song parody,  and “Preparing for the Apocalypse” with Miss Richfield 1981.