The global spread of COVID-19 has changed day-to-day living for most people– non-essential businesses have either moved to remote working or have shuttered and the general public has been urged to avoid travel unless absolutely necessary.
With this public health crisis continuously changing the state of things along with the mandate to stay at home, it’s easy to feel powerless and unable to contribute to a concrete solution for the virus. However, as members of a community and networks, there are a number of things you can do to help fight against this disease and its effects on the people around you.
1. Connect with loved ones
It’s an understandably difficult time for a lot of people. Not only have health and safety become primary concerns, but contact with others and normal social activities have been heavily affected. This means that feelings of loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and sadness have settled into daily life.
By connecting with friends and loved ones through calls, messages, video chats, and the like, you’re able to uplift someone in your community or network. Even the smallest social interactions can make a big impact on how people survive in this crisis. Sharing encouraging and meaningful messages especially to frontliners and essential workers can also provide them the emotional support and motivation they need to go through their jobs.
2. Practice good hygiene
When fighting against a disease, it’s impossible to cut out hygiene from the equation. Experts say that COVID-19 can survive for hours on certain surfaces, and cross-contamination from an unclean surface can easily transport the virus into your home. Good hygiene practices greatly reduce the risk of transmitting the virus.
Make sure you and your household members wash your hands thoroughly and frequently using soap and water. If soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol or other types of disinfectants. Disinfect any and all surfaces you’ve come in contact with, especially if you’ve left the house. Finally, groceries and other store-bought items should be disinfected before handling and consuming them.
3. Maintain a healthy diet
Another way you can help in the fight against COVID-19 is to flatten the curve and lessen the number of cases. Specifically, keeping up your immune system can also help reduce your risk of contracting the virus and adding to the list of the infected. The best way to do this is to get the right amount of exercise and maintain a well-balanced diet.
Making sure you eat healthy at home is possible with the right kind of recipes. Prioritize your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, which give you the necessary nutrients and vitamins that enrich your body and promote healing. If fresh produce is not available, there are healthy dried and canned alternatives you can incorporate into your meals, such as beans, legumes, and oily fish (tuna, mackerel, and salmon).
4. Make donations online
One of the most direct ways you can contribute to the efforts against the spread of COVID-19 is making a donation. Different organizations are giving their support through various means: providing PPEs for frontliners, meals for essential workers, money to defray hospitalization bills, relief goods for communities in need, and so forth.
When considering a donation to an organization, it’s important to do your due diligence and vet these institutions as trustworthy. Make sure to document your transaction with the organization and keep a close eye on updates to ensure that your donation has been put to good use.
5. Opt for stay-at-home alternatives
Reducing your potential exposure to the virus means rethinking your usual run for groceries and supplies. Luckily, more digital solutions are emerging and making it easier to get your essentials without needing to leave the house.
Social media and search engines are good places to start looking for local stores with delivery options and online deals that can be shipped directly to your home. From there, you can even go cashless and opt to pay through digital wallets and e-currency. When receiving your delivery, remember to practice social distancing to minimize the risk of transmission.
6. Learn something new
You may find yourself with a lot of unexpected free time in self-isolation and with no clue what to do with it. Using this time for learning a new skill or topic has a number of benefits: you keep yourself busy and less anxious, you are growing your knowledge and improving yourself, and you may even be learning something that can benefit others during this crisis. Plus, you’re doing all of this from the comforts of your home.
Make a list of things you want to learn, paying close attention to the ones you can learn while in self-isolation. Search the internet for resources for self-study or look into learning opportunities such as webinars, livestreams, and lectures. Incorporate learning time into your daily schedule to help keep up your commitment.
7. Keep up with the news
Like the old saying goes, knowledge is power. It can seem disheartening to follow updates on how the pandemic is progressing both in your community and around the world. However, being aware of this information not only will help you adjust to future changes but also provide you with a valuable perspective of other people’s experiences. More importantly, if you plan to take more direct action (like volunteering or supporting an organization’s pandemic efforts), you can make your decision with certainty and compassion.
With the internet delivering information at break-neck speed, you need to exercise caution when choosing where to get your news. Make sure you’re reading information from reputable news sources. The more sources with the same report, the more believable the news is. Finally, avoid the spread of misinformation or causing undue panic by refraining from sharing unverified information.
In the face of this global pandemic, it’s no surprise that medical professionals, scientists, and service workers are being hailed as heroes. Not everyone can become a frontliner or essential worker, no matter how good your intentions are. What you can do is provide support within your own community and networks and contribute to stopping the spread of COVID-19 in small but significant ways.