During such a time of crisis, we need to work as a community in order to come out victorious against this battle against COVID-19. As important as it is to look out for ourselves and protect the health and well being of our loved ones, it is also necessary to be empathetic towards the people that we do not know. For instance, we should be mindful about those who have lost their livelihoods due to this pandemic, the frontline workers that work relentlessly day and night to keep the sick and helpless alive, the people who are stuck in different parts of the state, country and the world, far away from their family and dear ones. When we consider all these aspects, we then truly realise that COVID-19 has affected everyone so similarly but in so many different ways.
Ways that you can help others during this pandemic
- Stay at home - No matter how obvious this may be, it is still essential to remind yourself and the ones around you that the biggest way that you can make an impact and decrease the rate at which this virus is spreading is by just staying at home. We as humans have always been very dynamic creatures however, we often let development get the better of us. As well as staying at home to reduce the risk of contracting the virus ourselves or giving it to others, we should also take this time to take care of ourselves. We must also be able to appreciate the time at home which we are able to get. Once life goes back to normal, we may not be able to get the same peace and quiet.
- Make some deliveries - Some elders may not be able to use the modern delivery apps. In these situations, the communities must come together and help those who cannot help themselves. The younger generation can run errands and pick up groceries from the stores and deliver it to the doorstep of those who are unable to leave their houses for various reasons.
- Share some good news - During dark times, a bit of positivity goes a long way. With social media, the news channels and all our messages being overloaded with information about the COVID-19, it is vital that there is a balance that is struck to avoid the situation from getting overbearing. News like the availability of free essentials for those who cannot afford it, people who have proven the goodness in humanity time and again, the front line workers successfully getting the appreciation that is rightly due to them are all important news to be shared as often as the more negative news is being circulated.
- Make donations - Donations not necessarily imply monetary support, they could also mean support in kind. Financial donations are extremely helpful to organisations, institutions and other COVID-19 support groups. They need the money and the monetary aid especially during these times to sustain the healthcare system. If monetary donations are not an affordable option then it is also a good option to donate staples to those who need it. Due to the uncertainty of a situation like the pandemic, we tend to overestimate how much of a certain supply we would actually need and would intentionally or accidentally end up buying more than necessary. In these situations, it is a good option to donate the excess stock to homeless shelters, orphanages, other households, rural regions and so on. Another way to donate is to sponsor health check-ups and COVID tests.
- Provide mental health support - mental health support has become the need of the hour and with the pandemic, more and more people find themselves in a mental slump due to the imbalance between social and online interactions. As humans are more social beings, isolating ourselves at home is quite uncharacteristic and leaves us feeling depressed and disconnected. In times like these, it is good to offer a listening ear and mental support to help a number of people get through these tough times in unison.
- Give blood and plasma - If you are fully recovered from COVID-19 (which means that it has been 14 days since recovery), the plasma in your blood contains COVID antibodies which can help in attacking the virus and building resistance against it. When you donate plasma (which is 55% of the blood’s constituents), the plasma is separated from the blood through the process of centrifugation and the rest of the blood is transferred back into your body thus, avoiding any blood loss. This is a very significant way for you to help during COVID-19. If you are considering donating blood or plasma, make sure to consult an appropriate doctor to test your eligibility to donate.
While trying to take care of other people, it is also important to take care of yourself. You cannot help others effectively if you need the help yourself. Hence, staying calm, not pressuring yourself to give beyond your ability and thinking about yourself as much as you think about others is the first and last way to help everyone in this time of crisis.