National crises are times to come together as a people, even when the nature of the disease demands we remain apart physically. While the coronavirus continues to spread in the US and globally, it’s critical that we work together as a nation to prepare and respond to this public health threat. In this case, protecting yourself can also play an important role in protecting your neighbors, your community, and the nation as a whole.
Crises can test the strength and resolve of any society. They create fear, and in the case of the coronavirus, they forcibly divide us from one another. But crises also present an opportunity for us to remember who we are as a nation, and step up to the immense challenges as we know America can.
The dire need for us to act is due in no small part to a pattern of failure by this administration. The president spent weeks claiming that this virus wouldn’t be a problem, promising we were ready without taking steps to prepare. And now that he’s admitted it actually won’t go away “like a miracle,” he’s lashed out at reporters trying to understand when relief is coming. We are paying the price for this failed leadership, but if we work together – following the guidance of medical experts and distancing ourselves from each other as needed – we can stem the tide of this pandemic and protect ourselves and our communities.
Here are a few important things you can do to help others (and yourself) during the coronavirus pandemic:
- STAY HOME – Trump has started to backtrack on his commitment to social distancing and self quarantine, but we can’t get complacent or overconfident. Listen to medical and public health experts to protect yourself and others by limiting your contact with people to the minimum possible. The more we all stay separated, the easier it will be for hospitals and medical personnel to effectively treat the sick.
- Stay in touch – With fewer daily interactions for those in self-quarantine or working from home, help fill the void of human contact both for yourself and your loved ones. Moments like this are when social networking and information technology prove their power to connect. Pick up the phone, start a video call or crack open your favorite messaging app. Don’t let social distancing become social isolation, depression or loneliness.
- Organize a ‘call-tree’ to check in on vulnerable members of your community – From churches to neighborhoods and social clubs, every organization can help look out for members that might need special assistance or care. By dividing up check-in responsibilities, you can make sure everyone is looked after, and any problems are identified while there’s still time to act.
- Donate to local agencies and organizations working in pandemic response. If you’re healthy enough or have the means, help those who are working to help us all by donating time or resources to relief organizations working in your community.
- Educate yourself, teach others – Sadly, crises are ripe opportunities for bad actors to spread disinformation and conspiracies. Don’t fall victim to tricks. Read authoritative sources like the CDC to keep up to date on all public health guidance and news. And if you see others on social media or elsewhere sharing false information, share a link to the truth.
These are just a few ways you can serve your communities during the coronavirus pandemic. Most of us can’t help fight a virus directly, but all of us can join the national effort to protect and strengthen our communities through these trying times.
It doesn’t sound like a herculean triumph to stay home, call a neighbor or donate to relief efforts, but it really will save lives. And standing together in our communities shows just how strong and united our country can be, even in the hardest times. What’s more heroic than that?