There’s no denying that the situation we currently find ourselves in is very scary. The spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has created a worldwide pandemic with over 327,000 confirmed deaths thus far. Fearing the spread of the disease, governments across the globe have issued quarantine restrictions that encourage citizens to stay at home and remain socially distant as much as possible.
As a result, many businesses have had no choice but to temporarily shut their doors in order to protect the public and their employees, leaving millions out of work. Others, on the other hand, have been deemed as “essential” to the economy and are forced to remain open, despite the health risk they face on a daily basis.
The good news is that you can find ways to help—and you don’t have to look far, because we’re providing you with several ideas for inspiration.
Step #1: Know Where to Direct Your Efforts
Which businesses are defined as essential depends on where you live and how your government has responded to the COVID-19 crisis, but generally, they include:
- Healthcare workers
- First responders
- Medical supply
- Food production
- Grocery stores
- Gas stations
- Public utilities
- Communication & information technology
- Logistics & supply chain
Ultimately, essential businesses conduct operations that are considered critical to infrastructure and their functions must remain in swing to prevent a full economic collapse. If you want to contribute and help out humanity, these are the best places to start.
Step #2: Donate Personal Protective Equipment
Many countries were caught off guard by the explosive pandemic and lack enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep workers safe. Donating a single face shield to a hardworking employee at a business you’ve frequented during quarantine can go a long way—it might even save their life.
However, if you have access to large quantities of PPE or can set up a charity donation drive, your efforts will make a huge impact. You might even have some of these items laying around the house, such as:
- Medical masks
- Eye protection
You can even make DIY fabric face masks if you can’t find a supplier in stock!
Step #3: Contribute Cooked Meals
Another way you can help businesses during this crisis is by supplying workers with homecooked meals. So long as you abide by food safety standards, a generous meal can warm the hearts (and stomachs!) of essential employees, many of whom are working around the clock to maintain life as you know it. From healthy soups to cold cut sandwiches, it doesn’t take much to whip up a lunch or dinner to feed a group of 5-10 people.
Step #4: Provide Social Support
Even though they continue to report for work, the employees of essential businesses are probably still feeling the lack of community you might be experiencing yourself. At the end of a long day, exhausted by impatient or insensitive consumers that are frustrated by long lines or lack of stock, they return home and remain isolated from friends and family.
Show them that you care with handwritten cards, notes of gratitude, bouquets of balloons, or social media shoutouts. You can also reach out to anyone you know personally affected by the situation with a simple “Thank You” message. Words of kindness will let them know that their efforts are appreciated rather than taken for granted.
Step #5: Stay at Home
Even if you can’t contribute in any of the ways mentioned above, you can do your part by staying at home as much as possible to help stop the spread of coronavirus. The sooner we can collectively end this thing, the sooner we can resume life as we remember it before the pandemic hit.
Only leave your home when absolutely necessary, such as going to the pharmacy for medication, and make your trips to the grocery store as efficient as possible to reduce the time in which you’ll need to return. Avoid large gatherings and public spaces, because there’s a high probability that you may become an asymptomatic, contagious carrier without even knowing you’ve been infected.
When you do need to leave home, wear a face covering, maintain a six-foot distance from others, and wash your hands diligently. If we all do our part to help out, then we can speed up the time it’ll take to carry on as normal.