COVID-19: Ten Tips to Fight Fear and Hopelessness

Monday, March 30th, 2020     Marie Sontag     Start the Conversation

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the shortages and staggering needs caused by the current pandemic. Fear breeds hopelessness. One of the best ways to stem the tide of fear and hopelessness is to find ways to help others. We can’t do everything, but we can all do at least one thing. Here are ten ideas.

Take Care of Yourself. Stay at home -don’t cheat. If you must go out, see if you can pick up items for those who find it difficult to get out. Take the initiative. If you do go out, take appropriate precautions.

Meet a Frontline Need. One of the greatest front-line needs is for PPE—personal protective equipment, especially health care workers and hospitals. You can donate to Direct Relief or other non-profits that help bring essential medical items and protective equipment to health care workers responding to the virus.

Help with Masks. Sew fabric face masks for health care workers NOT involved with COVID-19 patients to free up compliant masks for those who do.  See We Need Masks. Also, Joann Fabrics has patterns. Joann Fabrics says those making homemade masks can drop them off at their stores to be donated. And, according to an article in MSN/Lifestyle, if you have a surplus of masks or other PPE supplies, they can be dropped off at any hospital, no questions asked!

Reach Out Personally. Text or call any health care workers you know personally. Thank them and offer whatever support you can. If you don’t know anyone, you can find them on Twitter or Instagram and give them a virtual shout out, or send an email (or snail mail) to a local hospital.

Feed Health Care Workers. According to the MSN article, some hospitals have shut down cafeterias or have limited food options. Since many are working overtime, they don’t have time to go home and cook between shifts, or are working so much overtime they don’t have time to meal prep. Check with your local hospital and see if you can prep food for them or go through an organization. Check out Lunches for Clinicians in Colorado, or Meal Delivery for Puget Sound in Washington to see how others are doing it. See if you can work with local restaurants to send workers food. Those in the Dallas area can check out this article in the Dallas News.

Help Those Out of Work. Many businesses and individual workers have been hit hard by the effects of social distancing. Reach out to those who are now out of work. Send a text or call to your hairstylist or barber, if you have their contact information. Go to a drive-thru or order take-out to help restaurants (but eat healthily)! To support their local community, one person posted they will match, up to $1,000 in restaurant gift cards for those who buy food from restaurants in their town and post their receipts online. Be creative!

Sunshine Bears. Especially if you have little ones you take out for neighborhood walks, have them color a picture of a bear and tape the picture on a neighbor’s door or leave under a mat or rock in front of the doors of people on your block (sample neighbor lettersimple bear outline – bear with a bow outline). Leave a note to encourage neighbors to either post the picture inside the house on the front door or window and/or display a teddy bear in the front window. Then, when neighbors go out for a walk, they see all those in the vicinity who are supporting each other emotionally during this difficult time. For other neighborhood ideas (while maintaining social distance) to bolster your community and help little ones to participate, see the  March 29, 2020 article by U.S. News.

Build a Sense of Neighborhood Community. Create a neighborhood Facebook or Twitter page for your neighborhood. Post ideas and neighborhood needs and updates regarding your local situation. Leave a note for neighbors, even ones you don’t know, with information. on how they can find the page and participate.

Pray. Pray for hospital workers in your car outside their facilities and for those whose livelihood has been affected. See how neighbors in a city in Georgia did this for their local hospital.

Other Ideas. If you have other ideas of at least one thing people can do, please add to the comments below. Let’s all do at least ONE thing!

Other links:
Random Acts of Kindness
Ten Other Ideas
Other Way to Help Care Workers

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