Posted On April 08, 2020
Within the last few weeks, the novel coronavirus or Covid-19 has infected thousands and disrupted the lives of millions across the country. Schools have closed, sporting seasons have been suspended, and Americans are stocking up on quarantine supplies. Although many across the nation are able to self-isolate in their homes as employees shift to a working remotely approach, some segments of the population are facing a tougher time. Older people, immunocompromised individuals, workers who do not have paid sick leave, and those who can’t afford sufficient supplies or quality healthcare are the most at risk.
To protect those most vulnerable to the virus and slow the spread, we all have an obligation to wash our hands (thoroughly, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds) and practice social distancing. Beyond those measures, if you have the means, you can help those in need through the resources below:
Donate Medical Supplies Where They’re Needed
The humanitarian relief group Direct Relief has been delivering PPE (personal protective equipment) to China since January. Now that the United States is in the throes of the coronavirus crisis, the group is supplying PPE such as masks, gloves, and gowns as well as ventilators to US patients. Direct Relief is also committing $2 million to help nonprofit community health centers to combat the pandemic.
To donate to the Direct Relief, click here.
Volunteer with Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels is a non-profit organization that delivers meals to senior citizens who can’t leave their homes. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the organization is anticipating a significant increase in demand, as seniors are highly susceptible to the virus and are urged to stay home.
Several chapters of the Meals on Wheels organization are in search of healthy volunteers who can help with the increased demand during the pandemic. To volunteer with your community Meals on Wheels, find your local chapter here.
Support Your Local Food Bank and Food Pantries
As consumers have cleared the shelves of grocery stores, stocking up on non-perishables, food banks have endured serious decreases in donations, especially from retail grocery stores. Additionally, low income consumers that depend on assistance programs or cannot afford to buy in bulk are struggling to find supplies.
There are several ways to support your local food banks, such as volunteering, making monetary or food donations, or even just raising awareness by sharing on social media. If you’re not in a position to donate or volunteer, sharing food banks’ messages on your social media pages can encourage friends and family members to donate. The best way to find the exact needs of your local food bank is to call one in your area. Locate your local food bank or food pantry here.
If you are in good health, the American Red Cross is urging you to donate blood or platelets. Several hospitals across the nation are experiencing a serious blood shortage and need volunteers to help fill the shelves. Donating blood can save lives, especially during a pandemic.
Find a donation site or a blood drive here.
During the Covid-19 crisis, we are all responders. The daily lives of many have been disrupted, yet the changes in our routines will vary depending on our level of risk. If you are able to support an organization supporting those most at risk, you could save some lives in your community. Again, you can always slow the spread by practicing social distancing and good hygiene.