Five ways to help others while social distancing

The spread of coronavirus and the subsequent social distancing and regulations that have come about as a result have caused many people to be living in a time of uncertainty.  We feel cut off from people we care about, life isn’t what we are used to, and it’s very easy to feel a lack of control over the situation.  Many people want to be helpful in this situation, but it can be difficult to figure out what to do.  However, the following is a list of suggestions for how to help others and still maintain a community.

Donate food or sanitary items

A lot of people are in unstable financial situations due to the stay at home orders, and many people are relying on food banks.  If you have extra nonperishables, food pantries in the area are still accepting donations.  Some examples of places to donate include St. Vincent de Paul, City Gospel Mission, who are accepting food and sanitary products such as bleach, gloves, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizer, and Free Little Pantries, which are small cabinets with food and supplies available to everyone, and located at various churches.  In addition to food, they also take hygiene items as well as some small household items such as toilet paper, paper towels, sponges, diapers, etc.  There is one located on the grounds of Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church and one at the Newtown United Methodist Church.

Sending letters to nursing homes

With nearly everything closed right now, those living in nursing homes are no longer able to have visitors.  Understandably, this can cause a great deal of loneliness, but people can help by sending letters.  UC Health has put forth an effort to “Keep Cincinnati Close,” and are accepting cards and letters and distributing them to residents at various nursing homes in the Cincinnati area.  Mailing addresses and more information can be found here.

Make homemade masks

If you have sewing skills that you’re willing to put to use, Mercy Health Hospitals in the area are currently accepting homemade masks due to low numbers of surgical masks.  They recommend using 100% cotton material.  More information can be found here, and instructions can be found here.

How to Sew a DIY Fabric Face Mask - Free Printable Pattern
Many homemade masks look like the one pictured above. Image can be found here.

Donate blood

Despite many blood drives being cancelled as a result of coronavirus, the Red Cross is encouraging those who are eligible and able to donate blood.  There is some concern about maintaining a stable blood supply due to the pandemic, but the organization has extensive safety measures in order to ensure the protection of all those involved in donating blood.  Anyone who is interested can find more information here.

Call and check on your friends and family

Many people are feeling isolated due to social distancing and being unable to see people they care about.  A really easy way to help others during this coronavirus is to simply call them and talk.  Ask how they are doing, and if they need anything.  We live in an age of technology that makes it very easy for us to stay in contact with people even if we aren’t in person, and we ought to use that to our full advantage.  Staying in touch with others will likely make them feel less alone, and more importantly, it maintains a sense of community and reminds us that we are not alone.

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