We’re virtually here to help!
To help now or help later, that is the question. Not exactly Shakespeare, but the question is just as profound as any Hamlet may have uttered. While many people are helping in ways that make a direct impact right now, there are a great number of us who want to help but just simply do not currently do work in a direct care capacity. That is 100% okay; there will always be a chance to help later.
The fallout from COVID-19 will not simply be one of “sick today, well tomorrow.” There are likely to be a number of lasting impacts that include chronic stressors such as anxiety, depression, and struggles with finances. While behavioral health has you covered for the first two, struggles with finances can be far reaching and impact a number of areas far too great to mention here. But that also allows us opportunities to help.
There will be chances to donate money, time, or clothes and other possessions. For the time being, money is tight for most of us, and we are certainly limited by things we can do that require us to get new/extra materials. Consider doing things that are available now and/or plan for later. Organize from a distance (social media, email, telephone, etc.) or donate time to safely help others in your community. Mow a lawn for an elderly neighbor, pick weeds, put trash cans out on trash day — things you can do while you use social distancing and safe, clean, medically appropriate practices.
When all this is over, try to remember those altruistic impulses you’ve banked for later, and give time to help those less fortunate. There are people on the front lines exposed to danger right now who we don’t always see and who are not the first ones to enter our thoughts. Like the people who are providing essentials for the homeless population and working to stop infection, people who continue to pick up our trash, people who care for many of our children each day, and so many more. They’ll still be there after this is over, and I am sure would love a hand or at least a thank you.
Of course, you can always check with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov with questions and helpful information during this time. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or text CONNECT to 741741, or online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.