While the world grapples to fight the tightening grip of the novel coronavirus around its neck, more and more people are getting under the mandate of stay-at-home. Remember, we are all in this together, ok! And when we emerge from this crisis, we’ll be stronger, united and victorious. The easiest thing that one could do in these times of stress and anxiety is giving into fear and shrinking oneself. We are obviously not the ones to succumb to fear and uncertainty, right! We have heard this so much that it has almost become a cliche, ‘rise to the occasion and shine’, that is what we should be doing right now. Our community needs us and its payback time!
You do not need to scratch your head thinking where should I start? Like, I have always heard that we should come to each other’s rescue, but how could you help when you have been asked to stay put at home? You echo the thought of probably most people now but let me tell you there are many avenues to be productive for the community.
It’s grocery shopping, not grocery hoarding
Please please do not hoard! And I can't harp on this enough, like you and me there are tons of others who would need the pasta boxes or spaghetti or pinto beans or crackers to get through the week. So before you load 20 boxes of Kraft Mac & Cheese into your cart at Traders Joe, think that the mom behind you would need to feed her kids as well and many other parents would too.
Being considerate and sensible is the least that we could do in this hour of emergency. The fact that hand sanitizer shelves are empty and somebody couldn’t even get one bottle of it is because a few people wanted a stockpile of 15 bottles for themselves. Let’s not be that person. We want to be well-fed but other people around us should have a full-tummy too. Think about it!!
How about asking your elderly neighbor if they need your help?
By now it's clear that the elderly or those who are immune-compromised are at greater risk of COVID-19. If you have an elderly neighbor, make sure to give them a call to ask if they would need a hand for doing grocery this weekend or to pick up medications from Walgreens.
Ok, I am sure you already know this, but remember you could only make a call, or ask from the window or do a FaceTime for all this. Social distancing is the new normal, you see!
The Food Banks need you, NOW
Yes with many minimum wage workers going out of employment, more and more of them are turning to the food banks for daily help. When you go out for your weekly grocery trips, try to keep these food banks in mind. I am sure they would take in all non-perishable items but it would be a better idea to call ahead and confirm what they are in dire need of. Sometimes, a few of these banks would also happily accept cash donations. As a matter of fact, it would give them greater flexibility of purchasing and adding to their stock at a later time as the requirement arises. Feeding America, Meals on Wheels are the two names coming to mind right now.
As the crisis starts spanning out, more and more blood donation drives are getting canceled and soon blood shortages at blood banks would start showing up its head. The American Red Cross recently announced that blood shortage is what they are fearing. Donating blood would be a great thing to do now, visit the Red Cross Blood Donation Process to find where to start.
The local businesses have been hard hit, we all know that. But could you do something to do some damage control for your favorite quaint Thai restaurant or the florist round the block? Yes, definitely you could! Try taking a carry-out or delivery from these local restaurants, it would help them, trust me.
Also, you could buy gift cards from the florist or the cozy coffee shop and keep it for future use or even better to give it to somebody to light up their mood. See you win from both sides with this one!
You are helping when you are staying inside
Yes, you are and we are all doing our bit when we are staying put indoors at our homes. It’s pertinent that with a virus with such a high contagion rate, we all keep apart from each other to curb the spread.
Remember you can still stay connected with friends and family through Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, the options on the table are limitless. Also, the more and sooner we start staying inside, the sooner we would be sitting at the BoneFish Grill having dinner together!
Cleaning the neighborhood
Ok, this is kind of a great idea for parents with young kids. Get a Grabber and a trash bag, get your kids along and roam in the neighborhood to pick up leaves.
Utilizing spare time-check, keeping the kids engaged-check, keeping the neighborhood clean-check! Helping the community could be for kids too!
This is the time when the community needs volunteers and LOTS of them! And you could be of help even without stepping out of your home. Really! There are organizations looking out for Grant Writers, Social Media Content Writers, College Virtual Coaches, Mask Sewing, Blood Donation Initiative Volunteers. Some opportunities require you to drive and deliver food to senior homes. Like I mentioned, if you are all for it, then there are many options out there. Choose your liking!
The whole coronavirus pandemic situation is sure to go down into the history books. It would reflect the choices that our generation made and the difference that those choices made. We sure want to remember this episode where we tried to do our bit towards the society that we thrive in. We are surely going to have a lot of stories that we would want to tell our grandkids someday sitting by the fireplace!