The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has upended life as we know it. Kids can’t go to school. Adults can’t go to work. Fears that the economy will crumble are rampant. And people are forced to go without — without toilet paper, yes, but also without items that are much more essential sustaining life, such as food, income and social and familial interactions. If there was ever a time in the history of modern civilization when our values as a society would be put to the test, it is now.
While it would be so easy to fly into a panic over this pandemic and raid the grocery stores, stock up on medical supplies and otherwise act in a completely selfish and self-serving manner, doing so would do absolutely no good. Now is the time for people to band together and take steps to care for others while the world is seemingly falling apart. If you want to be part of the solution and not the problem, start taking care of those around you. Here are five ways to do that without compromising your health or the health of others.
1. Stay Home
The best thing you can do to care for your community is to abide by government requests that you stay home. Your craving for ice cream or desire for a quick beach fix can put hundreds of individuals at risk for catching the virus. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of others, so reschedule that playdate, host bible study online and only go to the grocery store when you need food — not just because you’re craving some cookies.
2. Check In on the Elderly
Nursing homes across the nation have suspended visitation for everyone but essential health care workers, and families have been asked to not visit their elderly parents or grandparents during this time. That doesn’t mean, though, that you can’t check in on the elderly in your life. With your newfound free time, make some phone calls, send a quick text or shoot over an email. If you really want to put a smile on Grandma’s face, write a letter and send it via post. Reaching out in any way can really make an isolated senior’s day.
3. Volunteer Your Time
Some people cannot leave the house at this time, as for them the virus is not just inconvenient — it’s life-threatening. People in this group include the elderly and immunocompromised. If you are young and healthy and have the means to do so, volunteer to pick up and deliver their groceries, bring them treats and grab their prescriptions. Remember to take precautions to protect yourself, though, such as wearing gloves, maintaining a safe distance from others and washing your hands thoroughly after each public outing.
4. Spread Cheer
Even during this dark time, there is still plenty of goodness going on in the world. Babies are still being born, flowers are just starting to bloom and people are still committing acts of kindness. When your news feed is inundated with news about the coronavirus, seek out positive stories and pass them along. With your help, society can avoid getting caught in a bad news cycle.
5. Stop Hoarding the Toilet Paper
For some reason, COVID-19 has prompted the vicious cycle of greed-buying, in which everyone everywhere tries to buy up all the essentials. Toilet paper was the first item to fly off the shelves, but since, grocery stores have limited supplies of most things. If people would go back to buying just what their households need during quarantine, there wouldn’t be a shortage, and many families would not have to go without.
In some ways, COVID-19 has brought out the worst in society, but that can change, and you can help prompt it. By doing one or all of the five things above, you can be the start of a wave of goodness.