COVID-19 is all over the news. It is impacting people all over the world. Businesses are shutting down. Schools and universities are moving to virtual course delivery. Events are canceling or moving online. Bars and restaurants have closed dining and moved to takeout only. Medical facilities are filling up. Stores are selling out of staples. And many people are in a panic. This is all very difficult news and likely has impacted you personally, it has my family.
But, please take a moment to calm down and think about others around you. Those with medical challenges, older individuals, and accessibility challenged people are really being impacted by the response to this pandemic. Traveling around, staying six feet away from everyone, and acquiring necessities can be quite the challenge to almost impossible when so many are panic shopping, rushing to the doctors without symptoms, and so focused on the self. We can marginalize, even more than usual, those that cannot get around as easily, aren’t as vocal, and really need assistance with everyday things.
Caregivers are even more challenged than normal. Not only do they have their regular responsibilities and stresses, but now they have to determine when self-isolation may be necessary to protect those in their care. Caregivers do not have the option to be sick, and especially risk bringing the illness to those in their care. They have to be extra-vigilant with contact and cleaning.
Positive thing are starting to occur. Some groceries and stores are offering special hours for the elderly and accessibility challenged to shop without the crowds. Churches and not-for-profits organizations are reaching out to the shut-ins, medically challenged, and elderly, offering assistance with shopping.
I encourage you to reach out to any friends or family you know who have extra challenges or are a caregiver. Offer to shop for them. Offer to grab their packages. Offer to run some errands. Offer to order them takeout and have it delivered to their door. Even just calling or messaging to say hello can be such an encouragement during this time of social distancing and self-isolation.