In 2003 I was only 9 years old living in Hong Kong, when the SARS coronavirus hit. At first, we all had to wear face masks in public and at school, and eventually, schools closed and we were all sent home. Streets were empty. Stores were empty. Here we are now in 2020, with COVID-19 declared as a global pandemic, I’m going through this again, except now I am a 26-year old with reliable WIFI.
While we are all going through this together, some of us are hit harder by the situation than others. Self-isolation and social distancing can look very different for everyone. As experts in our communities, how can we help others in this time of need? We reached out to some of you for things you have seen or service opportunities you have come across.
What Can You Do?
- Go virtual with your expertise.
- During this time, there are people stuck at home and your expertise could help them in staying active and keeping kids and even pets engaged. Taking your expertise online can help others find an outlet to kindle their passions while still being at home.
- Fitness experts are hosting daily challenges on social media as well as virtual workout sessions. These help those that are stuck at home stay physically and mentally healthy.
- Experts are offering to help Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts progress on their badges from home as they hold workshops online.
- Engage in your online community.
- Find local Facebook groups that are trying to help your local community. Check out this story about groups in Australia.
- You may notice the elderly or others that may be unable to run errands for daily necessities; volunteering to grab a few more things while you run your errands can go a long way.
- See posts asking about food storage? Expert campers can recommend different dehydrated foods from brands you’ve tried.
- Health and wellness experts, you can recommend ways to help others stay healthy and active while being at home everyday.
- Support and champion your local businesses.
- Those that are closed for the time being could still use your support by way of online reviews and public shoutouts on social media. As an expert, your voice goes a long way.
- As suggested by a SNEWS article consider buying gift cards to support your local gear shops and helping out like what this tech company is set up to do.
- If the business is online too, you could always purchase and support without leaving your home.
- Go outside.
- See how this Spanish fitness instructor went outside and led a full workout in-person, without getting too close.
- In small groups, you can head out into the great outdoors. When you’re out, bring a trash bag, fill it out and clean up the environment.
- Just be a good citizen.
- You may not know who in your community is most at risk. Social distancing and staying home helps mitigate the risk for these people.
- Find a way to support and share the love with those that are working on the front line. These may be doctors and nurses in hospitals or other first responders.
Donations & Larger Organizations
While these acts are small, they can be very impactful. But if you’re looking to contribute to a bigger cause, we also compiled a list of organizations you can help out with.
Donations to WHO will provide equipment to frontline health workers and funding for research labs, including those that are looking for a cure.
As more kids are out of school, those that rely on school meals may be at risk. Donating to No Kid Hungry will help feed these children.
Donating to the CDC Foundation will help the non-profit detect and fight the disease all across the U.S.
- Local Food Banks
With high demand for food from grocery stores and potential job loss for many people, there are families in your community that may face hunger. Google your nearest food bank and you could donate non-perishable food to families in need.
Find Your Own Unique Contributions
To end on a fun note, with all the news about toilet paper shortages in grocery stores, Reddit user u/FabioFabiolous made a program to help you calculate how many rolls of toilet paper your household actually needs. According to this calculator, my wife and I will need only eight rolls for 14 days of staying home. Use the tool for yourself and find out how many rolls your family needs here.
These are just a handful of ways you can take care of yourself and those around you. At ExpertVoice, we hope you, your families and your communities stay safe during this time of uncertainty. Please, don’t hesitate to reach out. If you have any more resources, ideas or tips and tricks to share, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.