concern over the spread of COVID-19 lingers, most of us have heard many times
over what we can do to avoid contracting the virus. Wash your hands, social
distance, stay home. Cover your cough. And there are endless fundraisers that
one could donate money to in a time like this. The only problem is right now
the biggest concern is allocating our income to pay our bills. But there is a
great deal of good we can do to help others cope with the pandemic that won’t
put us in a pinch.
your stress – The old aphorism that you are not able to help anyone if you
don’t take care of yourself first could not be more relevant right now. This applies to our interaction with co-workers
if we are still at work, our spouses, but especially for those of us with kids.
We all know kids follow our lead, so if we stress out, they will too. Teach
them that it is okay to be afraid, that you can’t have courage without fear. As
for managing your stress when it inevitably comes, exercise, any calming
practice of your choice, and taking time alone however you can get it, will do
Check in on people – Loneliness is the most overlooked “unseen danger” in
situations like this. Check in with your elderly loved ones, and with those who
are home bound by choice or otherwise. Brighten their day with a joke or a
story. Ask if they need anything. There are ways to get them the supplies they
need while maintaining social distance.
Donate blood – While blood drives are shut down in compliance with the
guidelines against large gatherings, one can and should donate blood if they
are healthy and qualified to do so. Especially those with a rare blood type. While
COVID-19 dominates the news cycle, people are still coming to the emergency
room every day with unrelated illnesses and serious injuries, and they need
Donate non-perishable food – Since traditional food drives are pretty much off
limits right now, the local food shelves are struggling to meet the needs of
our communities. That being the case, it is infinitely important right now for
individuals to pitch in even a little at a time when we can. If you are the
type of person who always has stocked up for just such a situation, and if you
find yourself with more than you need, this is good news!
5. Shop local – This was important even before the shelter in place order came in Minnesota. But now, with going out for food and medicine the only real acceptable reasons to visit most places of business, it is crucial that when we do spend, we give our business to local establishments. When the restrictions are lifted, the economy begins to re-stabilize, and the other small businesses re-open, they are going to need us more than ever.
6. Identify scams and minimize misinformation on social media – There is unfortunately a lot of misinformation out there about the virus itself, its spread, the government response to it, etc. Some of it is easy to spot. If your friends and family are sharing things that you know to be misleading or incorrect, show them where they are mistaken, so long as the conversation remains constructive. Misinformation in the age of social media tends to have a domino effect, but so does correct and reputable data.
for individuals, groups and organizations that need help – This is another very
constructive way social media can be used to fight against the spread of the
virus. Maybe you don’t have the money to donate to any of these organizations,
but you can always raise awareness among those who do.
Remember this. You can only do what you can do. People are depending on each other more than ever in many ways right now, but it is important that no one puts too much pressure on themselves. Take care of yourselves. Keep others in mind. The rest will take care of itself.