It’s about a week into the St. Louis lockdown, and I’m doing fine. I still have my job, and working from home, so far, has actually been less stressful than being at work was for the last few weeks. I’m set for food and supplies, and have been able to restock a few items when I needed them. I’m not sick, and neither are any of my family or friends. Only one person in my circle has been laid off, and at the moment she’s ok financially.
In other words, I’m very lucky and blessed during this crisis. Because I’m focusing on that, I’ve also been staying calm. I hope that all of you are also safe, stable, healthy, and at peace. If you are, it’s possible that you’ve also given some thought to how you can help and support people who aren’t in as great of a position. Here are a couple of things I’ve been doing:
My parents live close to one of the largest food pantries in the metro area. When they got the word that demand was increasing while supplies decreased, we all made online donations, and spread the news to others in our social circles. Wherever you live, there’s a very good chance that there’s a local organization that could use help meeting the needs of your community.
After donating to the pantry, I sat down and calculated all the money I’m not spending because I’m at home for 30 days (gas, Starbucks, lunch at work, social activities, etc.) and then gave it away. I chose two organizations:
- No Kid Hungry, which is taking action to make sure that students have access to good meals while their schools are closed.
- Donor’s Choose, an organization I have supported for a long time, which helps teachers of low income students obtain classroom supplies and materials. Right now, they’re working to get necessary learning materials directly into the hands of students at home.
If your financial position is solid right now, I’d encourage you to investigate ways you can help.
A lot of people in my life are scared and stressed right now. One of my friends is in an essential industry, so he’s going to work every day and has concerns about his health. I have an aunt who is undergoing radiation therapy, and new regulations mean that she has to go to her treatments by herself. A lot of my friends are having trouble working from home while their kids are there. My sister Audrey is having some difficulty coping with worries about the future and how the world is changing.
So right now, I’m doing a lot of listening. In phone calls, text conversations, and video chats, I’ve been giving the people I love the opportunity to voice their fears and frustrations, and offering advice when appropriate. I’ve been reaching out to people I haven’t talked to in a while, checking to see how they’re doing and catching up on life events. Staying in touch is important for staying emotionally healthy, regardless of how well you’re coping on your own.
How are you doing right now? What kind of support are you giving or receiving?