The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has a lot of people stuck at home. Now that we’re several weeks into it, there are likely to be many people with cabin fever wondering what they can do to make a positive difference in what is an incredibly difficult time for our communities.
Even in a time of social distancing and shelter-in-place orders, there are still many ways you can help out. Below are some examples:
Support local businesses that are still open
While “non-essential” businesses in our area are closed at this time, you may still be able to order gift cards online to give them some cash flow and help them stay afloat during the pandemic. Local restaurants can still operate with delivery or takeout service only. Ordering from your favorite local establishments from time to time will help them retain steady business.
You can still make appointments to donate blood at clinics, blood centers, and the American Red Cross. Reports indicate the nation faces a severe blood shortage, so anyone who is a healthy candidate to give blood could help save lives by donating blood or platelets. Blood donation is an extremely safe process, and the clinics that remain open for donors take cleanliness and sterilization extremely seriously.
Contribute to nonprofit organizations
Do you have a cause that ignites your passion? If you want to make a direct impact on fighting the coronavirus, there are many different organizations that have been set up to assist those affected most. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy will be able to recommend clinics in your area that could use your help. There are other nonprofit organizations that are constantly in need of donors, especially now, and your money can help make a big difference.
Connect with others
It can be quite difficult to go for an extended period of time without interacting with many other people, particularly friends and family members. Carve out some time each day to connect with someone via the telephone or video chat. This is especially important for your older relatives, who are probably even more homebound than you are.
Humans are naturally social creatures. That little bit of interaction can help people’s mental health during periods that are otherwise full of isolation.
There is a major shortage of N95 masks in hospitals and clinics right now, as well as a big delay in production to meet the demand. If you sew or craft, you might be able to find online patterns for masks that you can then contribute to healthcare facilities. The doctors, nurses and medical staff on the front lines need all the help they can get to protect themselves properly when tending to an ever-increasing number of patients. At this time in La Crosse County, you can drop off any homemade masks to Isle la Plume, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The La Crosse County Public Health Department asks that you place the masks in a sealed plastic container before dropping them off.
We know that the pandemic is causing a lot of worry in our community. We hope you stay safe and healthy. Please continue to practice social distancing and, if you can help it, remain at home as much as possible.