Thinking of Others During The Pandemic

Ellie Swain

Senior Contributor

COVID-19 has most of us glued to the news, frightened for loved ones, and adapting our lives to deal with huge changes. Certain groups of people such as the elderly, those suffering from chronic illnesses, workers who can’t call in sick, those experiencing huge financial losses, and people with mental illnesses are much more at risk than most of us, so it's beautiful to see people from all over the world uniting to help and support one another. Here are some ways that you can be a part of that by being kind to people during the coronavirus pandemic.

Pick up the Phone

Social distancing doesn’t mean we have to cut off from our loved ones or the wider community. During these scary times, even small acts of kindness can go a long way. A chat on the phone with someone isolated can make their day, especially if they’re feeling lonely or are worried and anxious about the current situation.

Texts and messages work too, of course, but taking the time to speak over the phone helps us feel more connected. Plus, having a good old natter will do you a world of good too, especially if you live alone, or are tearing your hair out after being cooped up with family for too long.

The isolation or quarantine period is also an ideal time to get creative with communications. Use the power of technology to stay close with loved ones by using apps like Skype, Zoom, or Houseparty for larger groups.

Or, synchronise watching a new film or your favourite TV show while chatting. Netflix has just released a new feature called Netflix Party that allows you to watch movies and TV shows with others, allowing you to chat together at the same time. 

Check in With Neighbours and Elderly Relatives

If you’re in a lower-risk group, reach out to higher-risk neighbours and relatives such as the elderly couple a few doors down. Give them a call or leave a note through their door to ask if they need any help, whether that’s picking up groceries from the supermarket or grabbing prescriptions from the pharmacy.

For all you know, these people may be terrified to leave the house, and may not have anyone local they feel comfortable turning to.

Even if they’re already stocked up, letting them know that you’re around if they need a hand can mean the world to someone. Self-isolation and quarantine time is scary enough for someone healthy, but for those more vulnerable it can be extremely distressing.

Be sure to respect distance too. It may seem easier and more polite to pop round and knock on the door for a chat, but during these strange times, it’s not the best course of action.

Support Local Businesses

During these trying times, it’s the small businesses that are losing out. If you can afford it, supporting your local businesses is a great way to help those suffering from the financial losses introduced by COVID-19.

If your favourite hotel, bar, or restaurant has closed, consider buying a voucher online from them. That way you can give them the money now, and you’ll have something special to look forward to in the future.

Avoid Panic Buying

We can’t stress it enough – avoid panic buying. There’s plenty of food to go around for everyone, and by over-stocking it means that others can’t get hold of what they need when they need it.

Of course, prepare for what your household requires if quarantined, but curb the unnecessary panic-greed.

Think of the community and share so that everyone can stay safe with full stomachs during self-isolation and quarantine time. And don’t worry – there will always be enough toilet paper made to go around.

Donate to Your Local Food Bank

As COVID-19 spreads, food banks are likely to face extra pressures and increased demands due to virus-driven school closings and an influx of workers that are unable to work.

Consider donating to your local food bank to provide extra support. The best way to donate is with your wallet instead of your pantry.

While you’d expect to donate food to a food bank, by giving money you gift food banks flexibility over which supplies to offer to vulnerable people. It also gives them the chance to decide when to refresh their stocks. 

Be Mindful on Social Media

If you’re present on social media, think before posting that controversial coronavirus-related Facebook status, or sharing that ‘hilarious’ meme on Instagram and think about the impact it may have on others.

Social media is a great way to keep in touch with others, especially during these challenging times, but be mindful how you’re using it. We all have a role by using social media to be supportive to one another, so avoid offending others who may have family or friends suffering from the virus or creating more fear during an already frightening time.

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