There are lots of ways you can support your local community during COVID-19… all from inside your home!
Never underestimate the power of a good deed and the positive ripple effect that it can have. Someone once said that if you want to get out of your head, go help someone and we all need a bit of that sometimes. You are powerful and truly do have the ability to make a difference, especially during a pandemic. In the spirit of goodwill and human connection, here are some things that you can do to help support your local community during COVID-19.
Write letters to seniors quarantined in care homes
For most demographics, this pandemic is a stressful and annoying crisis, putting many future plans on hold. But for seniors, COVID-19 is a devastating threat, whether they are sick or healthy. For the elderly, going out is no longer a possibility and the same goes for having visitors. Life has gotten really lonely. Luckily, there is something you can do to help and it is as simple as writing a letter or sending a card.
Most of the time, all we get in the mail are bills and junk. The amount of joy a simple postcard can bring is massive. For a senior battling a chronic illness, it could bring the sunshine they need to fight another day.
- Contact a care home in your community to find out who you can connect with.
- Send a thank you card to the staff!
Make masks for people in your community
Regardless of your personal stance, there is a lot more fear than information out there right now. One of the few things we do know is that a homemade mask is better than nothing. At the very least, wearing a mask can make you feel safer; at best, it may prevent the spread of this virus. However, masks are in short supply, and making one isn’t that simple for everyone. Check-in with these people in your network because making a mask is especially hard for:
- Seniors who may not have access to supplies
- People with medical conditions affecting eyesight, hand coordination, arthritis etc
- Those who rarely get into crafts and therefore have no materials
If you find yourself willing and able, make masks for the people in your community during COVID-19. The light material makes for cheap shipping, plus, that mask can go right into the wash as soon as it’s mailed. Reach out to your network on social media and make them for the people you know.
Support friends and families with children
With school and work being cancelled due to COVID-19, parents are dealing with a whole set of new challenges piled on their daily load. If you have friends or family with kids at home, offering support right now might make all the difference. Here are some ways you can help:
Make masks for everyone in the family – Finding masks for kids is especially hard, especially considering how fast they grow. For parents, finding the time and/or supplies to make masks might be impossible. Help out and do it for them.
Babysit – When it comes to socially distant babysitting, you have to think outside the box. Instead of physically being there, you can give a parent an at-home break using social media. Depending on the age and situation, you can use Zoom or FaceTime to interact with a kid while their parent gets some personal time. Keep cell phones handy in case of an emergency
Tutor online – Since March, all kids have been out of school, making homeschool the new reality. Staying focused at school is tough enough for many kids but having a parent as a teacher makes the struggle even worse. For parents, the situation is no better. Many are feeling the pressure, especially when it comes to helping their kid make sense of the material. If you have a decent grasp on a certain subject, a love of history or you speak another language, offer to help with your friend’s kid’s homework. Not only does it help build a community, but it might also ease a lot of tension in that family’s household.
Keep a journal
Right now, we are living through history in the making. Generations will be talking about this pandemic long after we are gone. So, let’s give them all the details we can by keeping good records. Personal journals can often become invaluable because they do so much more than report events, they provide insight into the social atmosphere and emotional impacts of the time. From the daily death toll to the global political circus, there is a lot going on in the world and in the news. If we don’t take the time to record our experiences, they get overshadowed and lost. Besides, they say that history was written by the winners so pull out that pen and paper…you winner, you.
A volunteer is defined as someone who is willing to freely take part in an enterprise or task. Basically, if you’re willing to do something and not get paid for it, you are a volunteer. Right now, volunteers are in high demand for everything, meaning, there is something out there for everyone. Figure out what you enjoy and can do, then offer to help. Here are some ideas to get you started to support the community during COVID-19:
- Driving – For those who rely on public transit, this pandemic has brought life to a standstill. For some, grocery shopping without a car means long walks with heavy bags. If you have a friend that isn’t driving, reach out and see if they have any essentials you can pick up. Ask about food, prescriptions, vitamins, and heavy essentials.
- Landscaping and yard work – For most people right now, mowing the lawn is a low priority. Parents don’t have the time or energy and many people have no choice but to stay inside. So, if you have a neighbour with a compromised immune system, go mow their lawn. This is a great way to support the community during COVID-19
- Listen – Crisis lines are in constant need of volunteers, especially right now. However, training can take a while so if you are unable to commit, offer support to those in your social network. You don’t need to post your phone number on Facebook, just reach out to someone and let them know you’re there. Remember, most people don’t need you to fix their problems, just listen to them.
Be a citizen scientist
Proteins work on a molecular level to perform the functions we need to live. They are made up of chains of amino acids and many of them “fold” or compact to a task-specific shape. The way that they arrange themselves determines their function. When it comes to viruses, proteins are used in a negative way. To help scientists fight the Coronavirus, they need to know as much as possible about how those proteins move. The easiest way to do that is to take the information available, enter it into a simulation program, and study the molecular protein movement; doing so may provide the answer to developing treatment options.
According to Folding@home, watching how the atoms in a protein move relative to one another are important because it captures valuable information that is inaccessible by any other means. Taking the experimental structures as starting points, we can simulate how all the atoms in the protein move, effectively filling in the rest of the blanks that experiments miss.
Here is how you can help the community in COVID-19 – donate computing power
The project calls for citizen scientists, willing to run these simulations at home. As each protein cycle is completed, data from the program provides new information to scientists. Helping run simulations is literally helping coronavirus research, empowering scientists to create a vaccine.
Has someone done something to brighten your world during this pandemic? Tell us about your experience below!