It’s the flu! It’s the plague! Not, it’s the Coronavirus!
The Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has brought out some of humanity’s ugliest traits. Our communities have resulted to hoarding, racist behaviors, and buying in bulk from big box stores instead of supporting local establishments. Hand sanitizer is now liquid gold and toilet paper is eyed like a roll of hundred-dollar bills.
During this Coronavirus pandemic, it’s more important than ever that we stick together to ensure our local businesses do not go under and our neighbors do not go hungry so we can all heal and move forward with our lives. Here are six ways to show kindness to your community, small businesses, and struggling performers during this trying time in history.
Bring Supplies to Those in Need
If you were lucky enough to get your hands on enough food to stay put in your home, consider yourself privileged. Many of our neighbors in our community can’t afford to buy investment items like a long-lasting pair of work pants, let alone buy three weeks worth of food at once. Those who are employed as hourly workers in the service industry are most likely temporarily laid off, which means their already-low salary has been reduced to zero.
Consider sharing your extra supplies with those in your community, or buying extra at your next grocery trip, and dropping them off at a local homeless or animal shelter. If it’s safe to do so, consider saving your food scraps and donating them to your local animal shelters and sanctuaries.
Lastly, make sure to check in on the disabled, elderly, and immunocompromised members of your community. They may not live near family who can help them and these people are most vulnerable to the Coronavirus.
Shop from Small Businesses Online
It’s more efficient to buy all of your necessities in as few locations as possible, but when your local small businesses are struggling, it’s time to forgo efficiency and share the love. Consider buying new beauty products, personal care products, books, board games, toys, coffee beans, and anything else you might need during this down time and beyond from local retailers. Ulta, Target, and Amazon do not need your sales but your local toy store, book store, coffee shop, winery, and your friend who has an Etsy store surely do. If you’re all set with rainy day supplies and groceries for the next couple of weeks, start planning ahead for summer vacation and buy a few things in advance. Are you in need of new beach towels, swimsuits, or pool toys? Do any of your friends have summer birthdays? Buy your gifts now.
If you feel uneasy leaving your home, or are immunocompromised, you can always buy gift cards for your basic needs and services. Buy gift cards for your upcoming manicure, hair appointment, dog grooming session, fitness class packages, or any other service you regularly need in your community.
Book Trips for the Summer or Fall
After weeks of staying indoors, we are all going to be going stir-crazy. Keep fueling your wanderlust by planning your next adventure, especially if you can book your vacation to a place whose economy has been most affected by the Coronavirus. Book tours with a local tour operator, book a shared Airbnb so you can contribute to someone’s income, and buy gift cards for restaurants and museums you know you will visit. This way, when we’re all in the clear, you have an extraordinary way to celebrate! If you have already planned a trip for Spring 2020, consider refusing the refund but asking for a later date instead. This way, the company can keep your money now while they are certainly struggling and you still get your trip later this year.
Order Take-Out From Your Local Restaurants
Restaurants already operate on small margins. When you take foot traffic out of the equation, this could create a dire situation for many restaurants in your area. If it’s safe for you to do so, order take-out and do curbside pick-up. Make sure to check each business’s social media and newsletters as they most likely already have let their customers know how they can help them stay in business. If you are immunocompromised, buy a gift card from your favorite establishments and be prepared to have a fun night out once we’re all in the clear.
Support Local Entertainment
While hundreds of tours are now cancelled or awaiting their fate come late spring and summer, there are many ways you can still help your local performers, and even ones not so local. Musicians, actors, and comedians make most of their money by touring or performing nightly. If you cannot attend one of their shows, you can still buy merchandise and albums, watch their work on YouTube, share their work on your social media pages, and buy tickets in advance for a show later this year. If you had already bought tickets for a show this spring and you are now unable to attend, consider donating the ticket fee to the production instead of asking for a refund.
If we’re all going to get through this pandemic, we all have to work together to heal our community. Even if you aren’t immunocompromised, ill, or elderly, you absolutely know someone who falls into one of those categories. Sometimes the kindest thing is to do nothing. Don’t be selfish and don’t take risks. You might feel like you’re on house arrest, but now’s the time to take up that hobby you said you would do if only you had the time, or read one of the 100 books on your shelf, or binge watch something other than Gilmore Girls.
We’ll get through this together as long as everyone does their part.
If you have any other ideas on how to be kind during the Coronavirus pandemic, leave a comment below. If you want to keep reading articles like this one, sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page.