The world has changed. We are collectively experiencing the loss of normalcy. Universities are going online. Individuals are working from home. The N.B.A. suspended its season. The Kentucky Derby is postponed. Music and film festivals around the world have been scrapped. The world’s biggest museums have closed and Broadway is shut down. More importantly, there is fear for economic stability, anticipatory grief surrounding death and safety, and hesitation to self-isolate due to loss of connection, employment or freedom. People are saying that the world is ‘canceled’; however, we believe that advocacy is not. Now more than ever, we need to support our communities, loved ones, and fellow do-gooders worldwide.
For many of us, this is a time of fear and uncertainty but there are many ways you can support your local community while social distancing.
Donate to your local food bank.
Due to the virus, food banks could experience increased demand because of school closings and the loss of jobs. You can donate food but consider donating money as well. Money allows the food bank to decide when and on what to spend that money on, which can keep food fresh and supplies stocked continuously.
Support small businesses!
With the closure of bars and restaurants around the country, small businesses are suffering. Support local businesses by ordering take-out or delivery and make sure to tip generously!
Find out how you can support local service organizations.
Examples of this could be educational outreach, direct donations (money or protective equipment) to free clinics, or serving at a food bank. UberEats has waived delivery fees for over 100,000 independent restaurants nationwide.
Offer assistance to those at risk or those in quarantine.
Individuals with chronic conditions are considered to be at higher risk from the coronavirus. If you are at lower-risk, offer your assistance by picking up groceries/prescriptions.
Simply reach out to family and friends.
Communication will not be canceled. Check on your loved ones to see how you can support them through this time. This can be incredibly beneficial for mental health during isolation, even if it is from afar! Facetime, text, e-mail, etc.
Blood drives across the country have been canceled due to the pandemic. The American Red Cross has announced a severe blood shortage. Eligible and healthy donors are urgently needed.
Practice social distancing and stay informed!
Social distancing is incredibly important and here is why. Those infected may only become mildly ill or show no symptoms at all, this allows the virus to move exponentially throughout our population. That is why it is important for everyone to practice social distancing even if you are not at high risk. Avoid public transportation and skip social gatherings. Reducing the number of contacts you have per day with people will have a significant impact on the ability for the virus to spread. But that does not mean that you can’t leave the house. Go for walks, ride your bike, take a hike and get fresh air.
Additionally, it is incredibly important to stay informed. The New York Times is offering free, up to date access to news on the coronavirus. Read the paper, watch the news, and stay up to date with how the virus is impacting your own community.
Like all things, this too shall pass. While no one knows exactly when, we can lean in to hope and continue to support one another through these unprecedented times.