In times like these, we ask ourselves how we can show up for those around us. As I process this, it helps me to think through these 2 categories:
With those categories in mind, let’s take a look at how we might care for those around us during this quarantine.
(NOTE: all of these efforts should come with the caveat of taking appropriate sanitation steps first. Let’s not spread the virus in our efforts to help avoid the virus).
Connect: Look to reach out and establish connection with neighbors you may not have met or may have lost contact with. Consider dropping a note in the mailbox with your contact information in case they need anything. It’s important for people to know who they can reach out to if a concern arises.
Listen: Reach out to those you have contact with to ask if they have any concerns. Ask about food and finances, but also ask if they have any concerns about finding community or staying mentally healthy. Many will be in wait-and-see mode, but some may have some anxieties already present. One neighbor our family connected with is a primary caretaker of two special needs children who just needed the peace of mind of knowing his kids could come to our house if he had a medical emergency.
Multiply your efforts: If you’re planning to head to the store, or out for restaurant carryout, consider letting your neighbors know so that you can potentially grab some extra items and save someone a trip. If you see extra essentials in stock, grab some for your neighbors who may have a harder time getting out.
Plan for emergency care: It’s always good to have at least one grocery store gift card on hand in case a crisis arises for a neighbor. Worst-case scenario, you can use it at a later time. Consider grabbing a gift card next time you’re at the store.
Check in: It can be hard to reach out and ask for help, so let’s be proactive, both with physical items as well as mental & emotional needs. Where possible, consider video chats instead of phone calls as face-to-face connections to provide stronger community connections to people who may feel isolated through this quarantine.
Remember local businesses: Where you can, shop local now more than ever. For a list of local restaurants still employing local residents and providing takeout or delivery, visit this project from Jacob Titus: takeoutcovid19.com
Ask for help in providing care: No one can do it all alone. If you see a neighbor in crisis and cannot carry the need alone, reach out to others who have the means to assist as well. We can do this together!
As we think about how we will come together for our city for broad solutions affecting many of our neighbors, upon the counsel of those with experience in disaster relief, the best thing we can do right now is wait.
We wait not to avoid action, but so that we can properly channel our response where the highest needs are when they arise, in partnership with the local agencies that are experts in these fields. Right now there is much speculation as to where the needs will be, but with local agencies enacting new preparedness plans (such as the SBCSC schools providing lunches), it is good for us to wait to see where the gaps first start to emerge.
In the meantime, we encourage you to evaluate and set aside whatever funding you may be able to contribute so that when we hear the call from local partners, we can act swiftly and meaningfully on behalf of our neighbors.
Hopefully this helps. If you have any questions or thoughts, don’t hesitate to reach out: email@example.com. Or, if you have concerns or needs, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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