As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the world, fear and anxiety are on the rise. With so much unknown, it can feel like everything is out of control and there’s nothing to do about it. However, here are some things you can do that can help both alleviate your fears and bring some hope to the rest of the world.
Look for the Helpers
Mr. Rogers once said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” The COVID-19 pandemic is no different. Convoy of Hope has committed to provide at least 50 truckloads of emergency food and water — approximately 2 million pounds of relief supplies — to people most affected by the coronavirus. This work is being done through local partners helping offset school lunch needs caused by prolonged cancellations within their school districts. Do some research into organizations who are out there working to alleviate the effects of the pandemic.
If you are sick, just not feeling well, or in the high-risk category for COVID-19, please stay home! However, if you are healthy and considered low-risk, there are likely many food banks and groups in your area that could greatly use your help providing supplies and assistance to those in your community. Contact your local chamber of commerce to learn if it is safe to help and how you can do so.
Support Local, Small Businesses
This is a difficult time economically for everyone, but it’s especially difficult for small businesses. Do some research into local small shops that sell things like soap and cleaning supplies. Find local restaurants that may be offering delivery, drive-thru, or curbside services. Stay social, even from a distance. Buy gift cards to stores you like — this gives them a boost now and you have a reason to treat yourself later when it’s once again safe to go out and shop.
Stay Informed, Not Overwhelmed
There is a lot of information and conversation out there about COVID-19. Unfortunately, not all of it is true or helpful. Make sure your information is coming from a trusted source. Convoy of Hope is providing a safe place for information at convoyofhope.org/coronavirus.
Also make sure that you’re not overwhelming yourself with information. You could read updates on the pandemic for days if you wanted to, but that is not mentally or emotionally healthy. So stay informed, but make sure you are not spending all your time focusing on it.
Remember to take a deep breath and hold tightly to hope in this time of heightened fears. You may have to stay home right now, but your kindness does not!