If you’re healthy and motivated, there are many ways to get involved in the response to COVID-19. Here are some suggestions:
- Be a Force of Positive Change
This will give you a chance to contribute your share and avoid feeling helpless when the problem of COVID-19 may seem very large. Practice recommended measures and sanitary behaviors to control the spread of COVID-19. Report if you have symptoms, and/or isolate yourself or quarantine if you have a travel history.
In times of COVID-19 pandemic, volunteering to help others in greater need provides you a sense of purpose. Some of the things you may do include online donation for COVID-19 relief, offering to work as a health volunteer, and donating blood. Hospitals are currently in need of blood, as many community drives have been cancelled due to social distancing. Be sure to call ahead and schedule an appointment and be prepared to answer questions about recent health and travel.
- Stay Virtually Connected with Family and Friends
When your face-to-face interactions are limited, you may use phone calls, text messages, video chat and social media to access social support networks. If you’re feeling sad or anxious, use these conversations as an opportunity to discuss your experience and your feelings. Reach out to those you know who are in a similar situation through, for example, Facebook groups. However, social media use is not without problems. Use social media responsibly and mindfully.
Remember to check in on grandparents, older friends, or people who live alone and who may be particularly lonely during this time of social isolation. You may also be able to assist them with tasks such as grocery shopping and picking up medicine prescriptions.
- Caregiving: Talking to children about the impact of COVID-19
Provide children with accurate, age-appropriate information about COVID-19. For example, what it is, how it is spread, what to do in order to avoid infection with it and what to do if infected. But do not give unnecessary frightening information. Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma. Don’t make assumptions about who might have COVID-19. Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online. Consider reducing the amount of screen time focused on COVID-19. Too much information on one topic can lead to anxiety.
- Be kind to others and practice gratitude
Acting with kindness helps you and others! Being kind to others not only makes them happy but increases your happiness as well. Research has shown that acts of kindness towards others increases positive emotions and decreases negative emotions more than acts of kindness towards yourself. Some easy acts of kindness could be writing a friend a letter, sending artwork to a local nursing home or hospital for patient rooms, cooking dinner to drop off at a neighbor’s house, and donating to charity. Spending a few minutes each day thinking or writing a list of what you are grateful for can also help you focus on the positive.
- Be a positive influence on social media
Share websites and news articles from reputable sources, and do not share articles from questionable sources. If a friend shares something that you believe might be false, ask them for the source of the information. This is also a great time to share positive news sources about the good things going on in the world right now!
- Reduce screen time
Reduce the time you spend watching TV or other media. Walk around, talk to someone or read a book. Research has shown that spending time with screens such as watching TV can lead to obesity. Moreover, if you watch less TV, you will less likely be bombarded with news or programs that lead to anxiety and fear.
Other Relevant Resources
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Talking with Children about Coronavirus Disease 2019
- Archana Basu: How can parents talk to children about COVID-19 and its impact? Managing family communications and supporting children in a time of uncertainty
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: Resilience Resources
- NITI Aayog: Call To Doctors To Work As Volunteers For COVID-19 Outbreak
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