EDITORIAL: Staying home…is there more we can do?

Staying home may be helping. It may be flattening the curve. It may be inching us closer to ending this pandemic.

But staying home may be killing some of us, speaking metaphorically. After all, how much TV can one watch, how many books can one read? It can all feel like we are imprisoned. 

The alternative is undoubtedly worse. Venture out without appropriate social distancing may mean possible exposure to COVID-19. Be safe, be wary and be cautious. Rushing into putting an end to the safeguards which we have been enduring for more than just a few weeks may be premature. Why invest all that we have been doing to safeguard each other and then stop doing these things prematurely?

Cabin fever?
Cabin fever is probably afflicting many of us. There are ways to deal with it. Phone family and friends and share your feelings. Encourage them and hopefully, they will encourage you in return. Video conference so you can see their smiling faces and if they are frowning ones, tell them a joke, make them smile. There are ways to help each other in these depressing times. Find the ones that work for you. Try video conferencing; send an email joke; Facebook a thumbs up; Twitter a positive note. And if you don’t know how to do any of that, get someone to teach you.

Don’t have the devices
Some folks don’t have the necessary equipment to do any of that ‘technology stuff.’ Help them. There are many people out there with equipment that would consider either selling or giving it away so others can benefit. Be part of the ‘can help’ rather than the ‘who cares.’

Support those who need it
Economically, there are far too many people who are sinking into dire straits. Too many people unemployed; too many people without an income; too many people without any financial safety net. Many of us do not have enough extra money to assist them, but we might be able to help in other ways.

Join the petitions that ask landlords, banks, debt holders to cut people some slack. Phone your local restaurant, pizza place and buy something for safe delivery. Ask them how to do that best. You’ll be helping them in these dire times, times when they need help too.

You are part of a community. You’re not alone. Participate even though you have to be socially distanced. Consider how you can be part of the solution, part of flattening the curve. Do you have a bit of cash that can help others? Then, this is the time to tighten the belt. Ask yourself what you can afford to do and then act on it. Consider your family and yourself first, but recognize you are a very important part of far more than that…you are part of a larger community.

We need you. How can you help?

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