The COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to an incredible standstill. Even as quarantine restrictions are being lifted in some areas of the globe, COVID has done much damage and left many pressing challenges in its wake. However, being stuck at home does not mean being unable to help. In your own family, neighborhood, and in your larger community,  there are things you can do to alleviate some of the pandemic’s worst negative consequences. Here are 10 simple ways to do so..

Wear a Face Mask

First, one of the best ways you can contribute to your community is by keeping yourself healthy and protecting others’ health as well. Using a face covering when going out (stores, doctor appointments, pharmacy visits, etc.)  is perhaps one of the simplest ways to do this. Wearing antimicrobial masks is a good choice for activities outside the home. They are practical, comfortable, breathable, and more eco-friendly compared to disposable face masks. By using reusable masks, you not only help the environment, but you also help preserve disposable masks for people whose jobs require them to wear such masks. These include health professionals, retail workers, social service workers, and other people on the front line of the fight against the pandemic..

Observe Established Health Protocols

Wearing a mask is most effective when combined with the observance of other health protocols. These include frequent disinfection of hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer, staying at home unless it’s absolutely necessary to go out, and observing social distancing when outside.

Diet and Well-being

Getting some fresh air and sunlight is very important along with a healthy diet.  If able, try some new healthy activities…yoga, stretching, meditation, hikes, biking to name a few.

Support Local Businesses

Many businesses, particularly those that require physical engagement with customers, suffered in the early days of the pandemic. Today, many of them have adapted to the situation by relying on technology and by implementing new and innovative ways of doing businesses. As a result, it has become possible to support local businesses again. By patronizing homegrown businesses, you are not only helping the business owners, you’re also helping the local economy recover from the losses suffered due to the pandemic.

Help Others within Your Means 

If you have extra money and resources to donate, there are many organizations which continuously organize drives for everyday necessities like food for those in need, personal protective equipment (PPEs) for medical workers, and books and gadgets for students doing homeschooling.

If you don’t have the financial resources to donate, volunteering for organizations is a good way to give your time instead. For example, you can help in repacking and distributing goods to those who need them. Coaching kids for free online and assisting service workers who are working from home are other types of volunteer work you may want to get into, depending on what you are good at and what resources are available to you. The best contributions are not always monetary; pouring your energy on something worthwhile can be worth as much as any material donation.

Pre-pandemic, the need for blood has already been high, and it is especially more in demand right now. Consider donating blood regularly if you have no illnesses preventing you from doing so. By sharing your blood to those who need it most, you are making a valuable contribution to the health of your community.

Check on Your Neighbors

Spend time to check on people who may be neglected by society in these times. These include the elderly, orphans, persons with disability, and people who live alone. The world before the pandemic was already difficult for them, and they will likely benefit much from social and emotional support now more than ever.

Your community likewise includes your neighbors, friends, and family. Take the chance to see how they are adjusting to the pandemic. Meeting them does not mean you have to leave the house and see them in person; with the technological tools available today, you can easily send them a message or give them a ring just to see how they are doing and whether you might be of help to them in some way.

Make Time for Yourself, Too 

Part of helping your community is looking after your own wellbeing. You can maximize the service you can provide to your community only if you take care of yourself, too. Set aside some time to do something you love, like the hobbies you may have discovered during the long hours you were stuck at home, or activities you’ve always enjoyed doing like exercising, gardening or watching movies. By keeping yourself healthy and free from illness, you are also helping your community by avoiding the spread of COVID-19, which could otherwise overwhelm your local health system.

Stay Well-Informed

By knowing the latest news and health guidelines, you can effectively share them to others who may not have access to the same resources as you. Knowing the latest recommendations from the government and from your local public health authorities also helps you stay calm and focused on what needs to be done.

Express Gratitude More 

Some places have outlets where one can send messages of gratitude and support to healthcare workers who are bearing the greatest responsibility at this time. Simply thanking medical workers can lift their spirits and yours as well as encourage them to continue helping people.

As events during the pandemic unfolded, most of us watched on quietly from our homes, paralyzed by confusion and many felt fear. However, it is never too late to help. Following the simple tips above will allow you to contribute to your community, which likely still needs all the help it can get today.

We too look forward to getting life back to normal…

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