It’s the nature of the beast to want to do…something.
But we’ve been told the most important thing we can do is stay home, and wait. It’s taken a week or so, but most people have gotten the message. The streets are almost empty, and #socialdistancing has replaced #Renegade on TikTok (the Renegade’s a dance and TikTok’s a social media platform featuring short videos).
But there are things you can do.
Donate to any one of the relief efforts. There are religious charities, the United Way, country musicians, dancers, bar and restaurant employees, you name it. Honestly, whatever your interest or concern, there is probably a fund.
I know, Gentle Reader, that I don’t have to remind you, but please urge others to make sure the cause to which they’re donating is legit. Just like the turkey vultures that show up at every roadkill, scammers are working overtime to separate people of goodwill from their money.
Donate blood. The Red Cross is suffering from a severe shortage of blood. There are many area blood drives, just google “blood drives near me”. Or visit redcrossblood.org to schedule an appointment at your local Red Cross facility.
Last Thursday I donated blood for the first time. I made an appointment, went in, and in an hour I was done. Honestly, the registration took more time than the actual donation. And you get snacks and juice boxes. But, get a ride, especially if it’s your first time. For the rest of the day, I was swooning around like a Southern belle at a topless beach.
I am absolutely not recommending blood donation as a diet aid, but a whole blood donation is 470 ml, which weighs exactly one pound—just saying.
Cook for others. Whether it’s for neighbors, friends, and family who don’t or can’t cook, or health care workers.
Send a friend in the hospitality business an email of support. Tell them you’re thinking of them and you will be there for them when this is all over. Check on someone who’s been furloughed. Get some take out or delivery.
Before the stay at home orders came, I thought they might be. So I bought a pack of blank note cards. I’ll mail some to friends and family. But I mainly bought them for my neighbors. And at night, when I take my dog out for one last walk, I’ll slip them in mailboxes. When things feel scary and it seems like we’ll be locked up ‘til the end of time, they’ll hopefully be a happy little surprise to brighten someone’s day.
And don’t forget to add your phone number so they can contact you if needed.
Be nice. Nobody walking the earth has ever lived through anything like this. People are scared and angry. They want answers and assurances that won’t be coming. The news is changing constantly and everybody is off-kilter.
Showing patience and kindness might be the best thing you can do, and the one thing that people surely need. Smile, wave, offer to pick up a few things if you have to go out to grocery or drugstore.
Do the thing for someone else that if done for you would make your own journey easier.
Even now, there’s still an outlying population who because of ignorance, hubris, or politics are paying no heed to the pleas of the medical community and government. They are eschewing hand washing and social distancing. They are going to the beach, the club, and having parties.
To those people I have one personal plea: please do nothing.
Nothing at all. It’s the least you can do.
Thanks for your time.
Contact debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org.