The impact of the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, is being felt all over the world. With lots of information being rolled out, it’s important to receive and share accurate information, so that you can take the necessary steps to keep yourself and those around you safe. But, in addition to being safe, we also want to stay sane.
While social media memes do their best to make light of a heavy situation, the truth is that sometimes we are using humor to hide the worry and the weariness. So, rather than just joining the online noise, perhaps it is best to find ways to actually help our communities - in a way that honors social distancing, while still bringing unity.
Here, we have compiled a few ways neighborhoods and residents just like yours are using this time to serve their community in clever, creative and contagious-free ways.
Serving with Sanitation in mind.
Clearly, one of the greatest issues we face with this novel virus is the impact it has on the elderly community. Our older relatives and neighbors are struggling the most as their immune systems are often weak or compromised. It is vital that they continue to get nutrients, but in a way that is nourishing. Meaning, contamination-free. We here at Apele would love to see more people start a local business to help the elderly affected near them by serving food while using safe practices that deter contamination.
While practicing home food safety and good personal hygiene are always important, handwashing is especially critical in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and should be done often. Before preparing or eating food, it's important to wash your hands with clean water and soap for a minimum of 20 seconds. Also, disinfecting common surfaces where food is prepared can be helpful before serving and between meals.
Hunt for Hearts
Not every neighborhood is in full lockdown and for those few areas that have the privilege (and even recommendation) to get outside to bike or walk (still honoring groups less than 10 people and minimum distances of 6 feet apart) are taking action with something called “Heart Hunting”.
Take this Facebook page for example in an Arizona neighborhood that is using the temperate weather to get kids out and about searching for hope and treasures in the shape of hearts. The group states their page is a group to post and share about Virtual Scavenger Hunts! We want to help promote social distancing and activity with all of us and our kids while we have to be so careful. Feel free to share about how many hearts you see, colors of hearts or if you want to offer up an idea for changing out shapes in our windows as you walk around.
As you’re making your way to and from essential locations (say, the grocery store and pharmacy) it is only natural that you’ll feel a bit lonely or isolated when there are so few others on the street or in line and even then, everyone is at least 6 feet away. That said, the #chalkyourwalk movement is making gains as a popular activity, spreading hope along the streets and sidewalks mid-errand running. Jana Davis of Florence, AZ shares that “I loved coming home to this! It's been crazy these past few weeks & this really put a smile on our faces!”
Whether it is in nearby driveways or along the once-busy streets of major cities and intersections, little bits of hope are being spread with the use of cheerful chalk art. Grab some sticks of chalk and brighten someone’s day - or driveway - as you make your rounds to and fro. (Essential travel,of course)
Kindness Rocks… literally.
Vancouver Island has a Kindness Rocks Facebook page that celebrates a local community group who is behind the creation and releasing of painted kindness rocks. They write and paint inspiring messages on rocks, then leave them in places where others are likely to find them. Whether in the backyard of those unsuspecting or along the paths of bustling bike trails, people are asked to snap a picture of where they find these generous gems and either keep them there for others or move them to a new undisclosed location for others to find.
Lunch for the Littles
One of the biggest contributions schools make to a child’s life is their education, But beyond that, did you know that many children don’t eat healthy meals unless they get their free or reduced lunches at school? Schools everywhere have invited in opportunities for parents to drive through (limiting exposure) with their kids in the vehicle to get a head count of children and to pass out bags of food to those present. Sadly, 30 million children rely on free school lunch, so schools and volunteers everywhere are packing lunch bags and handing out hope and hotdogs, among other morale-boosting meals each weekday during set hours.
Got any other ideas? Especially those that are done from home?
We would love to hear the ways your family and friends are loving one another in the midst of social distancing and keeping morale up despite so much down time. Feel free to comment below and share links that other readers may follow along to for inspiration!