Panic, financial instability and other challenges of self-isolation are upon us. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of people worldwide to the extent that no one imagined. During these hard times, when global connections are barely holding on, local communities are once again defining our lifestyles.
What can we do to support our – literally – closest people in times of uncertainty? Let’s think of the most obvious options.
1. Don’t Spread the Panic
Disregarding the pandemic and underestimating the damage the virus can do is irresponsible. But giving in to panic and spreading this attitude in your neighborhood can do just as much harm.
Remember there are people who are less stable due to their character or because of some personal circumstances. Don’t overwhelm sensitive neighbors with death tolls and the numbers of infected people. Don’t walk around showing pictures from hospitals or post them to your social media.
Instead, try to give relevant, thoroughly checked information updates. Do it in a calm, composed manner. It’s very important to show both sides of the coin so that those who don’t have enough information or don’t know how to filter it can stay mentally well.
2. Engage in a Mutual Aid Network
When global connections tear apart, local communities become more important. You may have enough money and outside help to keep your life the same. But remember that others in your neighborhood can be in a different situation.
Mutual aid networks are being formed in most countries during the hard times. Your local community most likely has one, too. Engage in it and try to do as much as you can.
Some elderly people might need your help with shopping. Young parents could use some assistance with occupying the children or cooking while they work remotely. Students always need help with homework; the list goes on. All of these are of great importance to your community fellows.
3. Shop at Local Stores and Order from Restaurants
Although in some places people are still allowed to visit big malls, you can help the local businesses by buying goods at nearby stores.
Big businesses will probably survive the crisis; but for small ones, it’s vital they keep their clients. If you can afford it, go to smaller stores or order something from your local restaurant.
Don’t treat it as a charity act. Think of it as an investment in your future environment instead.
4. Become a Blood Donor
COVID-19 is not the only disease out there. Others have not disappeared with the onset of this pandemic.
While patients with aggressive forms of SARS-CoV-2 need ICU beds, other patients may need donor blood and hospitals are in desperate need of it. The situation is unprecedented: blood drives and elective surgeries are being canceled. This puts patients at greater risks than the coronavirus.
If you are in good health, you can help save lives by giving blood at your nearest blood donation site. Be sure to study the guidelines before you go.
5. Stay Home as Much as Possible
Though some people continue to question quarantine and self-isolation measures, they’ve proven highly effective in lowering the numbers of infected people and flattening the curve. It’s really important to stay at home.
If you can work remotely, do it. If you have small children, you can always find enough to do. Even if you don’t fit into either of these scenarios, there are still plenty of things you can do at home.
- Clean the house
- Learn something new
- Search for a remote job
- Get in touch with your family and friends remotely
- Help your neighbors who are busier than you
6. Observe Hygiene Rituals
The more responsible you are about your hygiene, the less your risk is of contracting the virus and passing it on to others in your neighborhood.
The rules are well-known:
- Wash your hands!
- Use antiseptics
- If you sneeze or cough, do it into a tissue and throw it away
- Clean surfaces at home
- Wear a mask and gloves when you go outside and dispose of them properly
- Don’t touch your face
These things will do a lot of good for your local community; but you can go even further. In this prolonged period of financial instability, donating money to funds is more important than ever. You can also provide financial assistance directly to those in need.
Above all, remember to stay friendly and compassionate. Even if you can’t help directly, you still can spare a smile and a few kind words. During this turbulent time it can really make a difference!