With more states issuing Stay Home Orders or statewide lockdowns, many of us are left feeling more helpless than ever before. However, in times of greatest need, we as a people have the capacity to put our differences, or fears and our anxieties aside and to realize our commonalities. We are all simply human.
At this point, I think it’s safe to say that no American can say that COVID-19 doesn’t impact his/her daily life. This virus is quickly changing life as we know it. In a time of little control, most of us are left wanting to grab on to some type of control, something that can do to help or to show solidarity. Here are a few ideas:
Social Distancing Treats
After only 4 days at home, we were ready to get out of the house. We love to bake, so making cookies seemed like a natural way to love the people around us. Homemade chocolate chip cookies are about as comforting as it gets, am I right?!
We boxed them up. Quinn then added a little personal touch (by writing her name and adding some princess stickers). We dropped off the boxes on friends’ doorsteps and gave them a heads up that they had a “social distancing treat” on their doorstep.
A neighbor posted this week in our neighborhood Facebook chat that she and her kids had gone through their puzzles and games and put two whole bins of activities on their porch for neighbors to take. She saw a need and she filled it. Neighbors were considerate and seemed to only take 1-2 items each.
Given the circumstance, we heavily disinfected the tins and the puzzles that we pick-up before diving into our new puzzles. I think we enjoyed them even more knowing that neighborhood kids had willingly given of their own toys in order to bring happiness to other families.
Send a Card
We all know that nursing homes are not only at high risk for COVID-19, but sadly they are also the same demographic that is least likely to utilize technology in order to maintain connection. Most nursing homes are accepting cards.
Make sure to keep them generic. Don’t mention religion, politics, etc. and make sure to leave off any specific names. Know that nearly any assisted living or nursing home that you contact would likely accept cards, but I would encourage you to contact them for details. Here are two Columbus locations that are encouraging community members to participate by sending cards:
- Project Pen Pal
- Oakleaf Village
- 5500 Karl Rd.
- Columbus, OH 44229
- The Inn at Olentangy
- Attn: Any resident
- 36 Corduroy Rd.
- Delaware, OH 43015
One of our neighbors is also collecting cards for patients that are currently receiving care in local hospitals. Writing cards for first responders, doctors, nurses or any other “essential” workers right now would also be an excellent way to encourage those that are in a really tough spot, working and fighting to protect and care for the rest of us.
Leaving a Message
Words are powerful. Now more than ever, people need to be reassured and encouraged. Use sidewalk chalk to write encouraging messages on your driveway or the driveways of neighbors.
Don’t underestimate the power or a text, phone call or video call. I personally am loving using Marco Polo, an app that allows you to send and receive video messages in a really easy, personal way that feels like an ongoing conversation. I find it more personal than texting and less formal than a video call (i.e. Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, etc.).
Despite the fact that many Americans have access to technology, this has the power to be a very isolating time. Reach out, for your own sake and for the sake of your community. Let’s let this be the turning point. Let’s allow this pandemic to be the thing that brought us together, the thing that reminded us to be intentional and the thing that reminded us not to take anything for granted.