We’re living in unprecedented times, which as always require unprecedented measures. As the spread of coronavirus threatens an unprecedented test for our global healthcare infrastructure, it also provides an unprecedented opportunity to love others, and that’s an opportunity we shouldn’t let pass us by.
Staying indoors as much as possible is a priority. Lots of stores are shut down and some of the people who need the most help also need to be kept at a literal arm’s length right now. All this makes showing love a challenge, but that’s hardly an excuse. There are still plenty of ways to show love right now, even if that love is going to look a little different than usual.
Loving Your Neighbors
If you don’t know your neighbors (the people on your block or in your apartment complex) well, now might be a good time to reach out and see how they’re managing. If you don’t have their phone number, consider a social media message or even just a note on the door with your contact info. Even if they’re not elderly, there’s a better-than-you-might-think chance that you have neighbors with immune systems compromised by diabetes or heart disease and they may very well be dreading a trip to the grocery store or the pharmacy right now. If you’re healthy, offer to run their errands for them and, of course, take rigorous precautionary measures with your health and hygiene if you do so.
In some cases, you probably don’t even need to wait for permission to help out. If you know some elderly or immunocompromised folks in your area, take the initiative to love boldly by putting together a care package to drop off in a safe, convenient place for them. You can add supplies like soap, food and hand sanitizer (as long as you take aggressive precautions with your own personal hygiene, of course) but also drop in an encouraging letter, some crossword puzzles or a gift card for takeout. Anything to let them know they’re not forgotten during a scary season will go a long way.
Loving Your Friends
Use Your Phone to Actually Make a Phone Call
Doing your part to “flatten the curve” doesn’t mean you have to go full hermit. Most of us are inherently social creatures and for the sake of your friendships (and your own emotional health), you should be trying to stay in touch with people you care about. There’s an old joke about how much this generation hates phone calls, but now is a good time to prove the stereotype wrong.
Try to call one friend a day and see how they’re doing. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation — just make sure they’re holding up and ask after the ways the pandemic is affecting them. This is doubly true for friends who might be healthcare professionals or …
Reach Out to Hourly Workers
Thousands of employees will have their hours slashed or their jobs put on hold altogether, but bills and rent checks don’t stop coming just because the CDC tells everyone to stay inside. If you know any hourly workers, especially those in some sort of service industry, now is a good time to reach out and see if you can help. You probably can’t foot the bill for next month’s rent by yourself, but you might be able to help organize fundraising efforts for people in need.
Have a Skype Session
It’s easier than you think to get a group text together and set up a time for a group hangout online, whether through Skype, Zoom or any other teleconferencing setup. These platforms tend to be thought of as professional websites but there’s no rule against them being used to socialize even as we’re social distancing. It’ll do you and them some good.
Loving Your Church
Your church leaders very likely had to find a creative way to continue to provide a Sunday service to your church community. Whether through a text or on social media, reach out and let them know you appreciate the effort to keep you all safe and connected during this time.
Continue to Tithe
If you tithe to your church, don’t let social distancing get in the way. Your church most likely still has a means of collecting donations and their financial needs (which are often more pressing than many of us in the church pews realize) haven’t gone anywhere. Keep…