With all that’s happening, it’s more important now than ever to invest in our community. While our world has been, up to this point, selfish and isolated–judging people for simply asking for help when they can’t do it all has to change. We have to offer up help any way we can. Here are a few ways you can continue to support your neighbors in this time of social distancing and self-quarantine.
Check-in on neighbors, family members, and friends via phone if you are not comfortable with seeing anyone in person. Get past the niceties and weather chat and have conversations about how that person is truly handling this. Some are okay with social distancing, but others may feel down and isolated. Remind them they are still thought of and important to you. Use this time to reconnect by having old school conversations.
Whether you shop solely at local grocery stores or purchase gift cards directly from local restaurants for use now or a few months down the road, we can support each other and the local economy by changing where we do our shopping and eating. If you are concerned about crowds at the grocery store, shop at less busy times like early morning or late evening. Order in from locally-owned restaurants if you don’t feel comfortable dining in.
Parents with school-aged children may not have alternative childcare. If you have a teenager, discuss the possibility of your teen babysitting neighborhood children free of charge. This gives all involved something to do, takes the pressure off of the parent(s) who still have to work and the teens get some invaluable life experience. If possible, set up group childcare with your neighbors, each of you taking the group of kids for a predetermined amount of time to give each other a break. Check-in on your elderly family members and neighbors, volunteering to pick up prescriptions, groceries, and other necessities during this crisis. You can also find local charities or churches to volunteer with to ensure our most vulnerable population – children and the elderly have regular meals and access to necessary supplies.
Unfortunately, there are families in our community who may be hungry. Take this opportunity to donate to the local food banks and church food pantries. You can also donate your time by assisting elderly neighbors with yard work and running errands for them. If you know of healthcare professionals or someone with a family member who is hospitalized, you can send an e-gift card to them for local eateries so they can purchase food and have one less thing to worry about.