Hecate had a great post yesterday about constructive ways you can respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
I’d like to add a few things.
Check on your elderly neighbors. If, like me, you’re a healthy adult under the age of 50, you are at relatively low risk, even if you contract coronavirus, of getting really sick. The 80 year old lady who lives down the block could die. Phone her to see if she needs any errands run – groceries, prescriptions, etc. Then go get her what she needs, drop it on her porch, and ring her bell to let her know it’s there.
Many local groups are starting Google doc signup sheets for people willing to do this. See if your community has one. No? Start one. Tell your friends and neighbors.
If you’re in a stable employment situation – salaried office worker or other person who is going to be continuing to get paid throughout this – donate to local nonprofits. Your local food bank is going to be hit hard as schools close and families whose kids normally get two meals a day at school suddenly need to be fed at home. They need your help. So do all your local nonprofits that support people who are experiencing homelessness.
Actually, lots of nonprofits need your help right now – many hold spring fundraising events that normally bring in a significant portion of their annual revenue, and those events are being cancelled or at least postponed. Even if you can’t go have a free cocktail, give what you were planning to, or maybe even a little more. Hey, it’s not like you’re spending money on going out.
While you’re at it, call your city council member and ask what the plan is to keep feeding kids even while the schools are closed.
You know who else is hurting? Small, local businesses. Big chains will weather this, although there are likely to be significant layoffs. You know who’s going to have trouble staying afloat at all? The local coffee shop, independent bookstore, small restaurant, boutique, etc. You know how you can support them right now, even if you don’t want to leave the house to buy anything? See if you can buy their stuff online. Yeah, you might have to pay a few bucks for shipping, but get over your Prime- spoiled self. For services, like restaurants, buy a gift card. Those things never expire, and it gives them the money NOW and you can use it later.
While you’re talking to your city council member, ask what they’re planning to do by way of emergency legislation to help small, local business. And ask them to include, in that emergency legislation, suspending evictions and utility shut offs.
Oh – and don’t hoard. Sure, buy an extra pack of toilet paper – but not seven. Buy a few extra cans of soup – but don’t clean out the shelves.
And don’t spread unverified “information.”
Yes, you need to take care of yourself, but we also need to take of each other.
Image found here. (And yes, you read that right – it’s THAT Jerry Springer. Doesn’t make him wrong.)
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