Social distancing is one of the best tools we have for slowing the spread of COVID-19, but isolating at home can leave you feeling helpless in a time of community need. So how can you help your community during the outbreak? Here are five ways to help your community while practicing social distancing.
- Be conscious while shopping. If you can, visit stores at less crowded hours and be mindful to shop only for your family’s needs. Wash your hands before and after visiting the store and try not to buy “WIC-approved” items if you can as these are the only option for individuals and families who rely on food stamps.
- Find novel ways to support small businesses. Consider purchasing gift cards or certificates from local businesses that are experiencing reduced demand such as boutiques, restaurants, or the gym.
- Make donations where they’re needed. At-risk populations such as homeless or low-income community members will be hit particularly hard by this crisis. Contact your local shelter, or consult the national homeless shelter directory to find one, and inquire about what supplies they need most. The Red Cross is also urging blood donors to donate now, as the virus will limit the number of viable donors in the future.
- Be the neighbor you would want to have. Stay up to date on recommendations from the CDC and local authorities. Reach out to friends, family, and neighbors, particularly those who are at risk, and make sure they have the supplies they need. Something as simple as getting goods from the store for an elderly neighbor could make all the difference.
- Follow credible news sources. Following reliable and accurate news sources is critical for staying up to date on COVID-19 procedures and recommendations. The CDC and verified local news sources are great options for national and regional updates.
Social distancing does not mean losing touch with our community support systems. Stories of Italians singing from their balconies and British stores accommodating elderly shoppers show us that community spirit is alive and well!