6 Ways to help your Community During the Coronavirus Crisis
Social Distancing is the need of the hour. The Coronavirus outbreak has curtailed many social freedoms we have enjoyed without a second thought for most of our lifetime; the social routine of seeing our friends weekly has been one of many sacrifices we’ve made in an effort to fight off the disease. Daily interactions with colleagues at work, familiar faces on the train and fellow citizens at the neighbourhood gym and bar have come to a screeching halt. We’ve limited our regular interactions to the people who share the house we live in and the neighbourhood grocers who provide us with essentials. Coronavirus has come to be the largest shared experience for all of humanity that binds us together in solidarity across the borders while keeping us shackled in our individual homes.
Mankind, however, continues to be hyper-connected through the travails of this episode, because our need for connection is, after all, a basic human need. Staying in touch with people without actually being in the vicinity of the actual ‘touch’ is becoming almost as necessary to the quarantine regime as food, water and air. The video conferencing apps are booming and the internet is bearing the collective brunt of all of humanity being logged in all the time. However, the pandemic calls for a more concentrated effort to be together and stand up for each other in our greatest time of need. No matter how bleak the entire concept of social distancing may seem, it surely doesn’t have to be.
In this blog, we will explore some way for you to build community in your immediate surroundings and if possible, the world at large:
Be a cheerleader
A lot of people are at the forefront of this fight against the pandemic. Hospitals are running at full capacity as the numbers of those affected rise with each passing day. With the doctors, nurses, emergency service providers and general healthcare workers are severely overworked; some of them are working around the clock to save lives. Other people employed in professions that provide essential services such as policemen, grocers and chemists are doing everything they can to ease the lockdown for citizens like us. If you have people in your network that are a part of these services, express gratitude to them and let them know what you can do to make their roles a little easier. A short message or a voice note from time to time to check on them can make a big difference.
Get in touch with your community remotely, even if that means becoming active in your society’s WhatsApp group. Make an extra effort to ask people how they’re doing and if they need any help. Use your resources to help people overcome their personal suffering. Arrange virtual group meetups with your friends and family to recreate the atmosphere on an in-person get-together. You can plan to watch a movie on Netflix at the exact same time with your family members to make it seem like you’re still together. We’re also witnessing many groups of friends taking up collective pictures or video activities to keep themselves entertained and foster positivity. Technology has made it a lot simpler for us to be in reach out to anyone in our immediate or distant surroundings. Use these tools to reach out and share words of encouragement with your community as often as possible.
Skip the blame-game
Due to the rapidly transmitting nature of the Coronavirus, government and health organisations alike have restricted movement for everyone to restrict the spread of the virus. In addition, those infected are taken away for mandatory quarantine in government facilities away from the families and loved ones. The latter can pose some challenges for infected people since the surrounding hysteria only adds to fear of life and nervousness. If you come across similar people in your social circles, address them with sensitivity and give them the time of day to express their concerns. Don’t blame them for contracting the virus or ostracise them for being in this situation. Strive to give them strength remotely and advise them to make the right decisions with a calm frame of mind. Just remember that if the roles were reversed, you’d expect the same.
Extend support to those in need
From the workers who clean the roads in our neighbourhood to the delivery boys who bring us food and medicines, there are a lot of people on the fringe who are facing the worst brunt of the epidemic. These daily wagers live hand-to-mouth and are heavily reliant on their per day income to get through this crisis. If and when you are in contact (at a safe distance, of course) with them during your day to day activities, make sure to extend your compassion to them. Be generous in your exchange and mobilise your immediate network to help them financially if the need so arises. Tell your friends and loved ones about Wysa’s free tool packs in case they are looking for mental health resources.
Build good relationships at home
This is a good time to focus on the home and spend time with the people we share our lives with. Whether you live with elder parents, children, siblings or just your spouse, all these relationships get somewhat neglected in our day-to-day preoccupations. In our normal lives, we are always juggling between work and family; quarantine is a great time to compensate for these previous misses. Plan activities that the whole family can participate in whether it involves cooking adventures in the kitchen or musical charades during meals. Make each moment spent indoors memorable for yourselves and those around you. Social distancing can prove to be a godsend to mend relationships at home and bring everyone closer.
Keep yourself sane amidst Covid-19 anxiety
The most important person to look after in this time of crisis is you. Don’t forget to keep a check on your mental health during these trying times and be in touch with friends and family for help if and when you need it. If at any point, you feel like it’s getting too much to handle, don’t shy away from speaking to a therapist. Having someone hear out your fears and apprehensions can prove to be therapeutic and cathartic in these frustrating times. You can use Wysa and the free tool packs to protect your mental health.