Coronavirus concerns are on everyone’s mind. One looming questions is how we can help each other? How can each of us make a difference?
Many people have a robust front-line support system they can rely on for help. That could include family, friends, neighbors, clubs, faith groups and community organizations.
But many others have no support network — no one to rely on if they get sick or are caring for sick loved ones.
Here are some ideas on what you can do to help:
- ORGANIZE LOCAL SUPPORT GROUP
Start local. Get a notebook and start taking notes. Create a local neighborhood support circle or network and write down the names of people, their addresses, how many people live in the home, phone numbers, email, social media. They may not want to provide the information but you can still keep tabs on them.
Speed up preparations while people are healthy.
Call on seniors, people who live alone, families with elderly or small children, or people with learning or physical disabilities. Exchange contact information and ask them how they are doing and what they need.
Form small teams and share skills, capabilities and resources that are in short supply with other teams.
- ADOPT A NEIGHBOR
Look for vulnerable people and check with them regularly.
Offer help with everyday tasks, like moving garbage cans to the curb and grabbing the mail, if they do not have a healthy caregiver.
It does not need to be complex care.
Consider cooking extra food and bringing pre-cooked meals for families in which everyone or the main caregivers are sick.
It might be helpful to pair people up and create a buddy system.
Practice doorway and porch delivery to limit exposure.
- VOLUNTEER TO HELP
Local community organizations, businesses and care organizations are heightening their capabilities to serve the public safely.
There are organizations that provide support to the elderly and those with disabilities, to the homeless, to young people, as well as those with anxiety and mental illnesses.
There are businesses and facilities that offer support for sickness, recovery and rehabilitation.
Reach out and link with these organizations. Ask the food banks, retirement homes, living centers for veterans or others what they need.
Many are looking for volunteers, especially students and young people, to help provide additional capabilities over the next four to six months.
If the staff gets sick, many businesses and care companies, in particular, will be actively seeking people to take the place of care workers.
If you are healthy, send them an email, contact then through their websites or social media pages, or call them and offer them help. Let them know what sort of skills you have or capabilities you can provide.
- DONATE TO FOOD BANKS AND SHELTERS
There are several food banks in the area. They will accept canned goods and unopened packaged goods not yet expired. They will also welcome financial donations and put them to good work.
If you have extra supplies at home consider building a care package.
Things in short supply include: hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, soaps, rags, tissues, paper towels, toilet paper, sponges, mops, plastic or latex gloves, buckets, soaps, laundry detergent, disinfectant aspirin, Tylenol, and immune system supplements.
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