The coronavirus has taken the world by storm. It’s a sneaky virus, working its way through communities, cities, and countries in a short amount of time. Everything from major sports events to St. Patrick’s Day parades has been canceled to keep people from spreading the virus.
On Friday, March 13, a state of emergency was declared in the US. While this might sound scary, it’s important to note that measures taken now will cut down on the virus from spreading further. The symptoms of coronavirus share many similarities to the flu, which can make it difficult to know when you should call the doctor. Considering we're still in cold and flu season, this makes matters even more confusing.
With this being said, what do all of these school, restaurant, and event closures mean to business owners, faculty, and staff. While telecommuting is an option for some, it doesn't help the bus drivers, waiters and waitresses, nurses, police officers, and cashiers that get up and go to work amid a panicked public.
Here’s how you can still support your community during these uncertain times.
1. Order delivery or takeout.
Businesses large and small have been asked to close their doors to the public. This includes restaurants. However, for many local restaurants, losing daily customers for even a week or two can leave permanent damage. While you might not be able to walk into your favorite deli, you can order your lunch for pickup or see if they deliver. Furthermore, check delivery services like Grubhub or Uber Eats to see if they will deliver to your area.
2. Offer to grab groceries or swing by the pharmacy.
If you’re feeling healthy but have elderly family members or neighbors, give them a call or reach out via text to see if they need anything. People over 60 and those with existing health conditions like diabetes and heart disease have been advised to stay in from the beginning. Grabbing some necessities can go a long way for those who are not able to leave the house at this time.
3. Take turns watching the kids.
Schools and childcare centers are closed for at least two weeks. Whether you have a 1-year-old, 7-year-old, or both, coordinating care can be a challenge. If you and your partner are both working from home, take turns interacting with the kids. This way, each of you has time focus on getting your work done and keeping boredom at bay.
4. Remember, there’s still plenty to do.
While it may seem like you’re stuck in the house, social distancing does not preclude you from taking a walk, throwing a dance party in your living room, setting up an obstacle course in your back yard, or taking that online class you’ve been wanting to check out. Being at home more often than you're used to can be a good thing– as long as you keep a good attitude about it.
5. Say thank you.
During this time, you can show others how you appreciate them with a gift of thanks. Whether it’s handmade card, a Skype call with loved ones, or an eGift, take a moment to thank those for their help.
For example, you received a text from a neighbor that lives next door to your elderly parents. The text was asking if there was anything your parents needed (no matter how trivial), as she was making a quick trip to the store. You can send a small token of your appreciation in the form of an eGift to a local business with GiftYa.
Tonight, dinner is on you when you text a $25 eGift to her family's favorite pizza place down the street. When she accepts your gift, all she has to do is connect her Visa or Mastercard to it and then use that payment card to pay for the pizza. She can order delivery or use the gift at a later date when the restaurant is in full swing. You get to say thank you in a fun way and she gets to support one of her local establishments.
To say this is going to be a challenge for all is an understatement. But the important thing to remember is that we’re all in this together.