Change these days has been drastic and swift. None of us were truly prepared for COVID-19 and the effect it would have on our local communities, but in the wake of everything there has been a rallying cry for publicly supporting one another. As a local and global community, we’re practicing social distancing out of compassion for our neighbors, sharing food and health supplies, and helping local business owners where we can. With so much information out there and the statuses changing every day, figuring out how to best help those around us can feel like an overwhelming task. In an effort to make things clearer and easier, here are some simple things you can do to help your community while maintaining a responsible level of social distance:
Order Delivery / Carryout
Many local restaurants are struggling to make money with closed doors. However, many of these restaurants are still doing takeout and carryout, daily specials and curbside service! If you have a restaurant that you love (especially a locally-owned one) or you’ve had your eye on trying somewhere new, now is the perfect time to support them and help keep these small businesses alive.
Tip Your Delivery People
Many delivery services now offer a no-contact delivery option. Many people’s incomes are affected by COVID-19, and tip-based jobs often rely on the quality of the tips they receive. Tipping servers and delivery people is always good form, but if you’re able, consider tipping extra as a thank you for the important service they’re providing.
For those of us fortunate enough to have means to buy food and supplies, it is a responsibility to remember those who are not. COVID-19 has left many shortages of health supplies and staple foods in its wake. With this in mind, we can do our part to make sure everyone has access to these goods. Only buying what we need (instead of heavily stocking up) also helps our neighbors have the same access to goods. When we shop with mindfulness of our peers, everybody wins!
Check in on Your Friends (and Yourself!)
Social distancing can take a toll on a person’s mental health. It’s okay to feel a little stir crazy! Most of us aren’t used to this, especially our extroverted “hugger” friends. While the physical distance is necessary during the height of coronavirus, we can close the emotional distance and be there for our loved ones. Reach out to a friend and ask how they’re holding up. See if your usual Thursday Game Night can be moved to Skype or Zoom. Importantly, check in with yourself as well, and make sure you’re hydrating properly, practicing good hygiene, and diversifying your days enough to stay mentally stimulated. Future You will thank yourself.
Look for the Helpers (and Be One!)
To quote one Mr. Rogers (or rather, his mother:) “Look for the helpers. You will always find people that are helping.” This advice is comforting in times of crisis, with our newsfeeds being constantly stressed by stories of quarantine and isolation (on top of the usual stress of an election year!) Turning our attention to the good in the world is an act of self-care, and crucial for keeping our head on our shoulders. As adults, we can go one step further and be a helper ourselves. Doing good for others directly feeds into our own wellbeing, and a community united is always a stronger one. This can be as simple as making sure your neighbors have supplies and checking in on your friends, or donating to relief funds. Lead by example, and together we will thrive!