If there is one common trait among idealists, it’s our deep desire to help and support others, whether it's our family members, members of our community, or fellow humans across the globe.
I understand that for most (or maybe all) of us, the novel coronavirus pandemic makes us feel uncertain about our future and scared. But in spite of those feelings, many of us have still been moved to ask, “How can I help?”
After doing some digging and reflection, here are some of my suggested ways of how you and I can help and support others, even during the pandemic. After all, socially distanced as we may be, we’re all in this together.
#1 CHECK ON YOUR NEIGHBOURS
Call or text your neighbors (especially elderly neighbors or single parents) to make sure they’re doing okay. Ask if there is anything that they need (be it a sack of potatoes or a cup of sugar). If you have what they’re looking for, offer to leave it outside their front door so that they can pick it up without coming in direct contact with you. It sounds extreme, but this is actually a great (and safe) way to make sure that your more vulnerable neighbors have what they need.
If you feel comfortable going out and approaching your neighbor, even if you haven't really spoken to them before, consider knocking on the door of any elderly neighbors and chatting through the screen or storm door just to offer a bit of comfort and reassurance.
#2 EXPLORE WAYS TO GIVE VOLUNTARY HELP VIRTUALLY
Thanks to the internet, helping others doesn't mean you need to be physically next to them. It can also be done virtually.
One such example that predates COVID-19 is the Be My Eyes app. This amazing app pairs the blind and visually impaired with volunteers via a video call in order to assist with everyday tasks (think selecting a shirt from the closet or to choose a tin of food from the supermarket).
Now more than ever, there is a need to maintain a person-to-person connection in any (safe) way that we can.
#3 DONATE BLOOD
According to a recent press release from the American Red Cross, as the novel coronavirus continues to spread, there is a decrease in those willing and eligible to donate blood. Here is a snippet of what they have to say about the current situation:
“Right now, the American Red Cross encourages healthy, eligible individuals to schedule a blood or platelet donation appointment at redcrossblood.org to help maintain a sufficient blood supply and avoid any potential shortages. Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood. The need for blood is constant, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need of transfusions.”
Despite what some may think, donating blood does not make you susceptible to getting infected with Covid-19. There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases worldwide of transmissions for any respiratory virus including COVID-19, according to the American Red Cross.
Blood donation centers can facilitate blood donations safely because they are specially trained in infection prevention. Centers also already take steps to ensure that staff and donors who aren’t feeling well don’t reach the donor area. Many are practicing additional social distancing and enhanced cleaning policies.
"It’s still safe to go out and donate blood,” says Dr. Frank, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and medical director of quality and outcomes at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. “Giving blood right now is one of the safest ways to get involved in helping the nation’s response to COVID-19.”
#4 MAKE A DONATION
While many of us are busy avidly reading over the latest CDC recommendations, millions of nonprofit professionals all over the world are working to continue to deliver services and implement programs, uninterrupted. And thus far, that’s proven to be really, really difficult.
If you have the resources, even if it's $1, consider making a donation to your favorite organization. Whether they’re on the front lines of the fight to quell the coronavirus, or their mission is entirely unrelated to the current crisis, your dollars can help make a big difference.
#5 BE A LEADER
If you’re in a position of professional authority and you have the decision-making power to allow your team to work from home, make it happen.
Even if you don’t consider your employees to be particularly high risk, making the call to work from home sends an important message to your team and to the sector by letting others know that you and your team are ready to do your civic duty by staying off of public transportation, out of hospitals, and just generally out of the way.
On top of that, it also shows your team that you as a boss cares about their well being by allowing them to stay home and reduce the possibility of getting infected.
Apart from helping others, don't forget to take care of yourself!
As they say, secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others. In other words, self-care is incredibly important at a time like this, and ensuring that you’re making safe and smart choices is a civic duty of the utmost importance. So for some, doing your part will simply mean taking care of yourself. And that’s okay!
Once you’ve watched today's episode, I’d love to hear from you.
In what other ways have you been doing your part to help others? Which of the tips shared here resonated the most with you? Do share your thoughts and experience in the comments below.
Share as much detail as you can. Many lovely souls come here for insight and inspiration. Your story may be just what someone else needs to have a major breakthrough.
I really hope the tips shared here today help you to feel empowered by knowing that pandemic or not, you still can make a difference.
The world needs you. You matter.
Thank you so much for watching, sharing, and adding your thoughts.
Live strong, and have the courage to create a life you love because your happiness matters.
Sending you lots of positive vibes🌟,
P.S. Have a question you’d love to ask me? Do give me your Q on my page Ask Trish Anything and I'll personally get back to you with some empowering steps to help guide you through your challenges. I look forward to serve and help you towards a brighter future, a future you've always dreamt of. Do give me your Q here.
Knowing when to ask for help and guidance is not weakness. If anything, it's a strength.