Newsletter 1/14/2022

Newsletter 1/14/2022
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Newsletter Contents:

  • Mask-up for Omicron COVID
  • Intro to Qigong
  • Healthy Living for Your Brain & Body
  • LGBTQIA+ Writers Lab
  • T’ai Chi Chih Class Restarts
  • GenPride at the Movies: Supernova
  • Health Equity Listening Sessions 
  • Yoga & Stretching
  • Strength & Balance

Note these dates:

  • January 14, Friday — Intro to Qigong
  • January 25, Tuesday — LGBTQIA+ Writers Lab
  • January 27, Thursday — T’ai Chi Chih: Joy of Movement
  • January 28, Friday — GenPride at the Movies (Friday)
  • February 15, Tuesday — LGBTQIA+ Community Forum on Alzheimer’s & Dementia

Our ongoing Yoga and Strength & Balance classes will continue throughout the year.

All these programs are FREE and available online with Zoom.


Mask-up for Omicron COVID

The latest news about the Omicron variant of COVID-19 can be worrisome, especially since Omicron can more easily infect fully vaccinated folks, though vaccination does greatly reduce your risk of severe illness.

The next few weeks of January and early February are now forecasted to be the peak of Omicron spread in our region. But limiting your personal risk of Omicron is easy as 1-2-3!

1.   Get your COVID-19 booster shot!

This is especially important for older adults, 65 years or older, but anyone 12 years or older can get a booster shot, and you can get a booster that’s a different brand from your original vaccine.

Check with your doctor or the state’s vaccine locator for where to find a free booster shot near you:

2.   Mask-up in public!

Especially for these next few weeks, wear a mask that filters and covers your nose and mouth whenever you’re in public places.

The most-effective certified masks are: (in this order)

  1. N95 …USA-made, behind-the-head straps
  2. KF94 …Korean-made, over-the-ear straps
  3. KN95 …Chinese-made, over-the-ear straps
  4. Double-up masking: a pleated surgical mask under a snug-fitting cloth mask
  5. A pleated surgical mask alone

You can re-use a disposable mask up to 5 times if you handle it only by the straps and keep it isolated in a dry paper bag for at least 24 hours after each use. Some folks rotate through a set of three or four disposable masks this way, before tossing the mask after its fifth use.

Be sure to immediately wash or sanitize your hands every time you put on or remove your mask.

Cloth face coverings alone are no longer considered effective with regard to the new Omicron and Delta variants.

3.   Test, test, test!

If you’re going to be meeting with someone indoors for an extended period of time with masks off — for example, to watch a movie or share a meal together — everyone should take a COVID rapid antigen test right before getting together. This minimizes the chance that someone is contagious but without symptoms, a situation that is quite possible in the first few days of an Omicron COVID infection. Anyone who tests positive for COVID should return home immediately and isolate themselves, so as to avoid spreading the virus to others.

These at-home rapid tests have been a bit expensive and were in short supply at the beginning of January, but state and local governments have begun buying and distributing free test kits through libraries and other local sites. Also, the federal government just announced it will require health insurance providers to cover up to eight at-home COVID test kits per month per household. So, the cost and availability of these at-home rapid tests will be rapidly getting better.

These three steps: getting a booster, masking-up, and at-home rapid testing are especially important for those of us 65 years and older to practice in these next few weeks while the Omicron variant is peaking in our region.

More resources:

Introduction to Qigong

Introduction to Qigong

We’re restarting our popular Qigong class! Join instructor Kimberly Ivy, founder of Seattle’s Embrace the Moon Tai Chi and Qigong for a free, 10-week Qigong course. Qigong is a contemplative movement system that is one of the main branches of Chinese Medicine. (The others are Nutrition, Massage, Herbs, and Acupuncture.) There are many variations of Qigong and you’ve likely seen several of them being practiced in the parks or online.  

No matter the method variety, all Qigong is a health system that helps us to understand Yin/Yang philosophy, meditation, breath, and movement. All these beautiful flows harmonize the body, mind, and spirit with nature and provide many health benefits. In just a short time of practice, you’ll feel better all-around!  

This course will cover fundamental methods of breathing, movement, and concentration. Between classes, you can practice with a video recording of that week’s session. All ages and fitness levels are welcome!


10:30 – 11:30 am

Jan 14 – Mar 18 

Register at


Healthy Living for Your Brain & Body

In partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association of Washington, GenPride presents a free, one-hour class on Healthy Living for Your Brain & Body.

For centuries, we’ve known that the health of the brain and the body are connected. Now, science is able to provide insights into how to make lifestyle choices that help keep your brain and body healthy as you age.

Learn about research in the areas of diet and nutrition, exercise, cognitive activity and social engagement, and use hands-on tools to help you incorporate these recommendations into your own plan for healthy aging.

Tuesday Jan 18, 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Register at


GenPride is launching a new Writers Lab

If you have completed the GenPride Writers Workshop with Ingrid Ricks, or a comparable formal writing class, this twice a month meetup might be just for you. 

The Writers Lab is a mutual support group for LGBTQIA+ writers who want accountability, structure, and a ‘lab space’ to test out written pieces, refine ideas, and build on your results. 

You’ll be expected to be an active writer: meeting deadlines, reading your written work, and gathering feedback to then incorporate into your writings for the next lab. 

The group will meet online on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm. Writers will also be encouraged to participate in a public reading event in early May.

Register and attend the Writers Lab orientation session on Tuesday, January 25 to learn more about this exciting new program.

Orientation: Tuesday Jan 25, 6:30 pm

Register at

T'ai Chi Chih: Joy Through Movement

Join our Winter 2022 series of free, online T’ai Chi Chih® classes for the LGBTQAI+ and gender nonconforming community and their allies. 

T’ai Chi Chih is a slow-moving, meditative routine of 19 moves and one pose, with a number of benefits, including: reduced stress, increased energy and mental clarity, as well as improved balance, flexibility, stamina, and mood. Learn as you go. No previous experience required and returning students are welcome. The practice can be done standing or seated. 

Join instructor Linda Robinson Thursday mornings for this relaxing 10-week series.

Thursdays 10:00 – 11:15 am

Jan 27 through Mar 31

Register at


Join us for a free showing of Supernova, a heartrending modern love story about a long-term gay couple in present-day England, who are struggling through one’s diagnosis of dementia.

The two men take a road trip to reconnect with friends, family, memories, and places from their past. Secrets are uncovered, private plans unravel, and their deep love for each other is tested like never before. Ultimately, the two must confront the question of what it truly means to love one another in the face of this relentless illness.

Academy Award winner Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man) and Academy Award nominee Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones, Spotlight) give brilliant performances in this intense and intimate 2021 cinematic gem you won’t want to miss. 

Friday Jan 28, 6:00 pm

Register at 

Official Trailer: Supernova

Health Equity Listening Sessions

The Department of Health (DOH) is reaching out to individuals and communities who have experienced health inequities or racism in the health care system. Advocacy groups and health care professional associations are also invited. 

This is an effort to learn how people are harmed due to inequities in the health care system. The Department of Health wants to acknowledge its role in the health system. They want to create positive change in the health care system.  

Information that is gathered from these listening sessions will be used in future rule workshops.  Individuals, communities, and health care workers will work together to create rules for health equity continuing education. 

DOH recognizes that sharing experiences about this subject may be difficult. They recognize and appreciate the emotional labor that will take place. They will make an intentional effort to create a safe space for participants and staff during this process. Sharing your experience is voluntary and it is up to you how you would like to share. If speaking in a group setting does not work for you, there is an option for written comments. No matter how you choose to take part, please know your willingness to engage in this process is greatly appreciated.   


 During these sessions, DOH will ask the following questions: 

  • What does health equity mean to you? 
  • What are your experiences with health inequities and how have they affected you? 
  • How can health care professionals improve so that they are providing fair healthcare? 
  • Is there anything else DOH needs to take into consideration? 

To join, use the link below (Microsoft Teams app) — DOH SB5229 Listening Session Link (MS Teams)  DOH will be holding listening sessions: Each session has the capacity for 250 attendees. If a session fills up, please consider attending another one. We want to hear from you. 

The listening sessions: 

  • Tuesday, February 1, 2022, from 5 to 6 pm
  • Thursday, February 10, 2022, from 10 to 11 am
  • Tuesday, February 15, 2022, from 5 to 6 pm
  • Thursday, February 24, 2022, from 10 to 11 am

 Or call in (audio only) 

+1 564-999-2000,,114577531#  United States, Olympia 

Phone Conference ID: 114 577 531# 

Please write us if you are unable to attend but want to share your experience. Written comments about past and current experiences with health inequities can be submitted via email to

Please, do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, concerns, or comments. 

GenPride Yoga Class

Yoga & Stretching

Experience with yoga or stretching is not required. This class is designed to be approachable by all populations, regardless of fitness level. Moves in class are broken down in a slow and manageable manner.

The intention of the class is to move a little and have a lot of fun – even if you don’t perform each move perfectly.

Mondays, 11 am – 12 pm

[ No class on Monday, Jan 17, M. L. King Day ]

Wednesdays, 3:30 – 4:30 pm

Fridays, 3:30 – 4:30 pm

GenPride Strength & Balance Class

Strength & Balance

Join us for this 40-minute movement-based class that integrates full-body strength, balance, and core-strengthening exercises.

Exercises will focus on strengthening the major muscle groups of the body in vertical and horizontal positions for strength and challenging our static and dynamic balance.

In this virtually taught class, we will use our own body weight using a chair for balance for support and a mat to aid various core strengthening exercises.

Tuesdays, 3:45 – 4:25 pm

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