As Coronavirus sweeps the country, many of our thoughts and emotions go towards our friends and fellow humans whom we wish we could help. I’ve heard this time and again from clients and friends, “I want to help, but don’t know where to start.”
Our natural instinct is to save ourselves and care for our family first. This is normal and does not imply any moral deficit. However, once this is established, we may also look outward and wish to help others.
I want to share 7 ways that you can help the fight against Coronavirus:
Be vigilant and health-conscience.
Remember the Benjamin Franklin rule of: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is vital here. By making sure to adhere to medical recommendations, you are actually helping put up a virus-wall to prevent others from catching it. Thus, staying inside, using protective items and ensuring that you don’t inadvertently get others sick, is really a great kindness in itself.
Now, I understand that you may be looking for bigger and better, but the truth is that we have to learn from the virus itself. It started small, but its compound effect is where it got so much larger. Thus, I say the same thing to you. Pick one kind action that you can do. This can include calling a neighbor or friend and just asking, “how are you doing? What’s on your mind? How are you feeling?” these questions may seem small, but they are impactful. Some of the greatest fear of this virus is that it has caused many to die alone. The isolation and loneliness is a part of the pandemic. It goes without saying that whatever you do should be safe and not put yourself in danger.
Don’t reinvent the wheel
If you have an idea of how to help, look online and see if anyone else is doing something similar. If you find someone else, call or email them and tell them you want to implement the idea in your area. The outpouring of heart and the generosity at this time of crisis is very powerful and it will allow you to get a headstart.
Start a support group
Many people are looking for emotional support. Start a free WhatsApp chatline for people to join and give support to one another. You are not replacing therapy, you are just giving a social setting. You can also start a daily or weekly Zoom meeting. Pick a title and topic, such as: Coping with kids at home all day or Dealing with COVID-19 Panic or Social Connection During Distancing. Let people know the time and date and share the link. Just show up and together with the participants, write 3-5 rules about who can join and the content that will be discussed.
Protect the vulnerable
We all know elderly and/or immunocompromised individuals as well as people who live alone. Reach out to them via phone or video chat and ask them about their needs. Help them get in touch with the many kind organizations that are working hard to help and support them in their time of crisis.
Share love and affection
Use this time to huddle close to friends and loved ones, despite the physical distancing. Send emails, digital cards, texts and other electronic messages, or voice messages or even a call or face to face chat (if the person lives with you) and share your appreciation or love or what you like about this person. Use this opportunity to be honest and open with people. Let’s face it, none of us know how long we will live. Wouldn’t you want others to know what you really think and appreciate about them?
Finally, as I started, don’t just sit there. If you are inspired and want to make a difference, then leave a comment here as to what you want to do and get out there and help someone. The kindness going around right now is amazing. You can help someone who isn’t as tech-savvy as you, or you can connect someone with the help that they need. Get out there and make a difference.
We are a changed world from this experience. Never have we been so vulnerable and so isolated on such a grand scale. Let us rise to the occasion and learn to make a profound difference to those around us.