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8 Ways to Offer Help While Staying at Home During Lockdown
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Adjusting to a new lifestyle on the DL, but aching to help? Staying at home is the most concrete way you can help stop the spread of Coronavirus. But large-scale quarantines, travel restrictions and social distancing don’t have to get in the way of showing up for our communities. It is important we all pull together and help each other as much as possible. We must actively help the most vulnerable and isolated members of our society and make sure they are not left behind during their hour of need. Here are some ideas on how to lend a helping hand to our fellow human beings.

Check On Your Neighbours

Social distancing is the best way to stop the contagion… but make sure you check in on your neighbours, especially if they are elderly or they have underlying health conditions. Or, most importantly, if they’re in quarantine with symptoms. Give them a phone call, chat to them from the door, tell them a joke through the intercom. You could even go grocery shopping for them, leaving the bags somewhere they can easily access. But clearly, avoid physical contact: spread solidarity, not the virus! And if they’re not feeling well and you suspect they might need more hands-on help, call 111 right away.

Donate To Online Foodbanks

Bankuet is a great UK-based, zero-waste food donation platform. Their work is essential right now. Foodbanks are starting to feel the pressure of reduced donation, a likely consequence of the general stockpiling trend. You can find a food bank near you using their location finder. Then pick a donation bundle of your choice, which range from £10 to £100. They even offer a monthly subscription option, in case you were able to support them consistently.

Donate To Blood Banks

The NHS is asking donors to keep donating as usual. Extra safety measures are being put in place to protect donors, but hospital patients are still relying on donations. Unless you’re feeling unwell, you’ve come in contact with people who are positive to COVID-19 or have travelled to a recent hotbed, you can keep donating. Download the NHS Give Blood app if you want to book an appointment. Not able to attend? Make sure to cancel so you can be replaced. Also, check for updates on the latest blood donation advice.

Support Your Unemployed Friends

Many people are losing their jobs due to the current crisis. If you’re one of the lucky ones who’s still in employment, you can do your share to support your friends who’ve been made redundant. Have you always wanted to learn a foreign language? The time has come! Get your mates from abroad to teach you over skype. Alternatively, get your talented guitarist friend to teach you how to become the Bruce Springsteen of our generation. Or just to give you an excuse to get that dusty guitar out of the basement. These are hard times we’re in. Every little helps!

Support Small Businesses

If you can afford to, continue to support small businesses in your community. Many small independent businesses are already suffering from the effects of coronavirus. Small cash reserves, low sales… and the UK hasn’t even been hit properly yet. Most small retailers have websites these days, so you can still buy their products and get them delivered to your door! Businesses are experimenting with contactless-delivery services, leaving items somewhere easily accessible to customers. And avoiding contact. So order that takeaway or call your local grocery shop and ask if they have activated the service. Or check our favourite eco-traders’ websites if you want to support small, UK-based, conscious businesses.

Laptop (Or Phone) Activism!

This global pandemic has uncovered the not-so-pretty side of corporate capitalism. A few days ago, billion-dollar company Whole Foods asked its employees to “donate” holidays to their sick colleagues. In our country, two out of five businesses don’t have a contingency plan to get through the crisis. Hundreds of thousands of people are being made redundant as we speak, with very little or no safety net to fall onto. Contact your local MP to ask the UK Government to stand up for its citizens.

Speak Up Against Racism

Viruses don’t know anything about nationality. And frankly, it’s about time we eradicated racism, and any kind of discrimination, from the face of the Earth. Most of the time, for the sake of quiet living, we gloss over remarks that are discriminatory because we might think it’s pointless to argue with dad, or uncle, or grandma. But speaking the truth has never been more important because xenophobia has never been more rampant than today. For instance, a few days ago, Trump misnamed the virus as the “Wuhan virus”. Which is highly unscientific and deliberately xenophobic. If any of your family, friends and/or work colleagues start blaming this pandemic on people because of their ethnic group… explain why they are wrong. Politely, but firmly.

Stick Together… At A Distance

What better time to keep in touch with our nearest and dearest while we have to stay put for a while? Apart from the usual Skype, Whastapp and Facebook apps (which can be downloaded for free), there’s plenty of other apps you can download to connect with your loved ones. Houseparty is a fun one for having a virtual knees-up with ya besties. Or some fun communal games that will put a smile on your face. Also, the Connection Apps are interesting technology aimed at helping us become more mindful of our connections. Now’s the time for setting “intimacy challenges”… if you’re that way inclined!

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18 / 03 / 2020 // Written by Sylvia Helen Goodrick
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