5 Ways You Can Help Your Community During Coronavirus
From swapping supplies to assisting elderly neighbours, communities across the world are coming together in support of one another as the coronavirus pandemic continues to make daily impacts on our lives.
Taking care of yourself and those around you during this challenging time should be your main priority, as no one is certain when we’ll overcome COVID-19 or its residual effects on our health and the economy.
So, if you’re looking for ways to get involved and show your support, here are 5 ways you can help your community during coronavirus.
1. Social distance
Social distancing only works if everyone participates, and by limiting face-to-face contact with others you can help slow down and prevent the spread of the coronavirus – ultimately saving lives – while medical staff find a vaccine.
Slowing down and preventing the spread of the virus also means that you’re helping to lessen the current stress on healthcare professionals by making room for those who most need medical attention.
It’s true that social distancing is no easy feat and, let’s be honest, it’s rather inconvenient. However, for the sake of your health and the health of your community, it’s crucial – especially since people can spread the virus before they even know they’re sick.
We are all responsible for the wellbeing of our community, so help keep it safe for your family, friends, and neighbours.
2. Support local businesses
To curb the spread of coronavirus and encourage social distancing, there have been world-wide closures of sit-down restaurants, bars, and pubs, while government officials have banned public and private gatherings, big and small.
These restrictions have led to the cancellations and postponement of uncountable events, from birthday parties and weddings to concerts and even the Olympics – meaning businesses everywhere are taking unanticipated financial hits.
This is where you can help.
The need for social distance has resulted in many retailers altering their services to temporarily fit the ‘new normal’, with independent shops supplying goods right to your door and offering contact-free delivery online.
Alternatively, if you’re not displaying COVID-19 symptoms, take a walk to your corner shop for household staples. Typically, they’ll have what larger supermarkets are frequently running out of, and you’ll be supporting your local community by spending there instead.
Buy gift cards
Buying an online gift card from your local salon, theatre, or restaurant is an immediate way to put money directly back into your community.
Making future bookings is also a great way to show business owners how much you appreciate them, offering a gesture of customer loyalty in uncertain times while giving yourself something to look forward to.
If you have an income, consider taking a night off from cooking every week or two to help support local cafes, bars, and restaurants that are currently still offering their services.
Many independently owned food and drink businesses are using platforms like UberEats and Deliveroo, and as an extra precaution, you can pay online by card and request no-contact delivery.
Every little bit helps for these businesses right now, so if you’re craving a Chinese or Indian takeaway, what better excuse do you need?
As a consumer, you typically have the right to ask for a full refund following the cancellation of an event. However, one way to support local businesses during the coronavirus pandemic is to see what options they’re able to offer by replacement.
Many music and theatre venues, for example, are giving customers the option to put their ticket price towards a future event. If this isn’t an option, you could instead gift your ticket purchase as a donation.
Take online classes
Whether you’re interested in an online exercise class or an online professional course, if one of your local businesses offer it – take it!
With many facilities being temporarily closed, some business owners are streaming their services online (if they weren’t already) so that those practising social distancing and self-isolation can show support and join from home.
3. Donate blood
Blood donation is considered essential travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, as donating blood is essential to the health of your community, and the need for blood donations is constant.
Donations can help individuals undergoing a variety of situations, such as surgeries, transplants, chronic illnesses, blood disorders, and so on.
However, seeing as there is no confirmed end-date to the current pandemic, medical facilities need donors now more than ever as donation venues are occasionally being closed, and as a result, appointments are being cancelled.
If you’re under seventy years of age, you can donate blood and platelets during the coronavirus, and while hesitation to donate is understandable under the circumstances, there is zero evidence that the virus is transmitted through blood donation.
In any case, medical authorities have been diligent about putting extra safety measures in place for both donors and staff, and are encouraging appointment reschedules and further donations.
The appointment itself takes about an hour, with the actual blood donation taking up only about five to ten minutes.
You can find out more about lending a hand – or an arm – to your community and becoming a blood donor here.
4. Donate to local organisations
As schools close, employee layoffs increase, and hospitals continue to be overwhelmed because of the coronavirus, people have no choice but to rely more heavily on local non-profit organisations and charities for essentials.
However, the abundance of extra support needed by the community leaves these organisations needing more support of their own as well.
While it is easy to feel helpless in such an unprecedented situation, there are a few ways that you can assist organisations so that they can continue to assist others.
If you have money to spare at this time, invest it where it matters most and donate to a local non-profit organisation or a charity that means something to you.
There are a variety of community organisations to choose from that focus on providing funds to support everything from mental health to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again – a little really does go a long way.
Donate goods and essentials
While the surge of panic buying has finally passed, there are still many shops that are finding themselves in constant low stock of dry goods and essential hygienic items.
In addition, some people unfortunately can’t afford these staple items right now, which is especially distressing to their mental and physical health during a pandemic.
If you’ve been spring cleaning and have found that you have a stockpile of items in your cupboards and pantry that would be of better use to someone in need at this time, donate to your local goods drives and give to those most vulnerable during this time.
Donate your creative skills
Hospitals and clinics are facing a shortage of critical resources to properly combat COVID-19. Essential items like scrubs, for example, are currently lacking.
However, many people are channelling their creative skills and are taking it upon themselves to sew and donate handmade scrubs to their local healthcare organisations to help make up for the shortage.
If you’re handy with a needle and thread, then become one of the many sewing superheroes who are saving the day!
5. Reach out to family and friends
Checking in on loved ones who are most affected by the coronavirus can be a big help during this uncertain time.
For senior citizens and those with chronic illnesses and weakened immune systems, the virus can cause serious and further health issues. This, of course, means that stricter preventative measures should be taken to protect those people and the people around them.
If you have friends or family stuck at home in self-isolation who are unable to leave the house for essential errands, keep in mind that they may need a little extra support.
Try reaching out to see if your gran needs a food delivery, or simply call to see if she’d like to have a chat – emotional support is as important as anything else right now.
It’s only natural that you’re handling the impacts of the current pandemic better some days than others, but keeping in touch with the people you love through the many virtual tools at your disposal will help to get you through this outbreak as unscathed as possible.
The coronavirus has had – and will continue to have – profound effects on our communities, and acting as a means of support for one another during this time couldn’t be more critical.
Amazing things can happen when we come together for the sake of the wellbeing of ourselves and those around us, and while we may not be sure when the coronavirus will be over, one thing is for certain: we’re all in this together.
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