9 things you can do to support your community in fighting the coronavirus pandemic
If you’re feeling helpless in this situation and not doing something with your time and energy is eating you up, here's how you can help your community.
As of today, there are over half a million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus globally and 724 in India. It’s spreading fast and spreading wide - and all you can (and should) do is stay at home. But if you’re feeling incredibly helpless in this situation and not doing something with your time and energy is eating you up, then don’t worry - there are many ways you can help your community in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Donate what you can
If you can afford to, please consider donating a small amount to help fight this pandemic. On an international level, there is WHO’s COVID-19 solidarity response fund which is open to all and will help with research, developing vaccines and patient care. On a country level, many organisations have set up funds to support the ones who are the worst hit by the pandemic, including one by Zomato that helps feed families affected by the lockdown and another by SAFA Society that’s helping provide ration and other supplies to daily wage workers.
If donating isn’t within your means, even just not cutting the pay of your daily help for these 21 days is enough.
2. Help your neighbours
For some families, this crisis is worse than for others. For example, the elderly in your colonies may be scared of going out to grab their daily essentials — with good reason — and may not be tech-savvy enough to order them online. If it’s in your capacity, volunteer to help out wherever you can - by offering to order someone’s groceries with your own and leaving them at their doorstep or by calling a doctor for someone who needs medical advice. Do only what you feel comfortable with and maintain social distance at all times.
3. Feed the strays
Due to the lockdown, most people are staying indoors and not going to their offices. Many stray cats and dogs may be going without their regular supply of food because of this. Even though WHO has said that dogs can’t get the novel coronavirus , you can maintain social distance with them as a precaution. Just leave something out if you notice any strays in your area. You can even just leave out some seeds or grains in your balcony for the birds.
4. Don’t hoard on essential items
Since the lockdown was announced, some stores have seen an overwhelming demand for food and medicines. Many stores have no fresh fruits or vegetables left and seeing this is in the news sometimes can invoke panic even in people who were calm before. Try and stay calm - don’t give in to the urge to panic buy everything you see. Only take what you need and leave the rest for others.
5. Support local businesses
Even though the lockdown is necessary to control the spread of the disease and save lives, many local businesses are suffering greatly because of it. If you can, please support a few that you can. Even just buying an online gift card if you don’t need anything yet will help. If you can’t show your support financially, just help by spreading the word about your favourite local businesses and the services they offer and send in a kind word of encouragement.
6. Spread awareness, debunk myths
Every day there is a new myth about things that can prevent or cure COVID-19 . One day they say drinking tea is the key and the next, they’re saying you’re safe if you put mustard oil in your nostrils. Find out what you can from official sources, and help educate people who may be misinformed. Also, share the sources — like the World Health Organization's website — so they too can check for correct information about preventing the disease.
7. Check-in with family
Our usually busy lifestyles don’t allow us to interact all that much with our extended families. Many of them may be living alone which could be taking a toll on their mental health and others may have underlying diseases or be very old, which puts them at a higher risk during this pandemic. Check-in with these relatives and even friends from time to time - ensure that they’re eating and sleeping well, and are keeping their mind occupied.
8. Offer free services
If you have a skill that can be helpful in these times and you can share online with people, please consider doing so for free. From offering live yoga sessions so people can stay physically and mentally fit to sharing stand-up videos for when people need some cheering up - any little bit can be helpful. If you’re a teacher, you could even offer to tutor kids online and if you’re an artist, maybe you can take on a teaching role for a short while.
9. Stay healthy, stay home
Most important of all - stay at home as much as possible so you and others can stay healthy. You might feel caged but it’s really the easiest role of all - imagine the risk medical professionals are taking at this point. And while you’re at it, be a little forgiving too. Everyone is dealing with a lot and they all have a different coping mechanism. So try not complaining about someone posting too many selfies or your neighbour playing music you don’t like - if it makes them feel better for a short while, just let it go.
For more tips, read our article on How to protect yourself against COVID-19 infection.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.
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