How You Can Make A Difference During Social Distancing
Is anyone else feeling totally overwhelmed and finding it hard to know what to do with the current coronavirus epidemic on our doorstep? It can feel quite easy to fall into a trap of isolation, overthinking, panic and anxiety. However, there are so many positive things we can do with the time saved to help support our community.
Many of our elderly population live alone and are isolated. Sometimes a visit to a coffee shop or restaurant is the only social interaction that they will have throughout their day. Or on even more extreme cases some rely on volunteer services to offer a friendly visit potentially once a week.
With social distancing being a key asset into the control of this epidemic we have the risk of loneliness and social isolation. Loneliness and Social Isolation can cause depression and can cause serious physical illness. A small act of kindness could be lifesaving, especially in these very extreme times.
Now that many of us are working from home and have a lot more spare time on our hands we have extra time on our hands saved from our commutes. This extra time could be used to make a life-changing difference.
1. Get to know your neighbours
If you don’t know your neighbours in your block of flats, on your street or in your village. Post a note through their door with your phone details on and offer them a chat over the phone. They may be housebound, need supplies, have a pet that needs to be cared for if they are sick or just need a chat over the phone to keep their spirits up if socially isolated. Letting people know they are not alone is essential. If you are not one for phone chats, write them letters or paint a picture to show that someone cares.
2. Set up a community social networking group on Facebook or Twitter
If telephone calls aren’t your thing and you feel more empowered online. Start a local support/social group online. You again can promote this through notes posted through the door to bring the community together. This could be a social group to share content to give us a bit of relief from the stress of the current situation. This group could be many things such as a book club, local gardening
tips group or a support group.
3. Use an App like Nextdoor to help your neighbours
Nextdoor App is one of many tools to help communicate with your neighbours if they need anything
during the social isolation period.
4. Help clean up your community
Having a bit of extra time on our hands without our commute means we can put that time to good
use. Going for a walk (if safe for you!) before sitting down to do work at home gives us the
opportunity to do some litter picking. We are still living in a climate crisis. So every little bit we can
do to help look after the environment could have a detrimental effect. Plus walking and fresh air ( as
long as we keep our distance from others) can help our mental health.
5. Think before you go panic shopping.
Working positively as a community includes how we shop.
Think! Do you really need 18 toilet rolls, 14 bars of soap and 10kg of pasta?
Stockpiling is causing a lot of challenges for our communities most vulnerable who find the shelves empty when they go to the shop leaving them with nothing. Even taking the step back to say do I really need this means that someone else can purchase their weekly necessities.
We hope this is a start to help inspire how we can follow the advice of the local government on social distancing but limit social isolation and help our community thrive. Being kind is key during this difficult and scary times. Every act of kindness could be life-saving even if it seems incredibly small – you can make a difference. Small actions can have big impacts.
If you have any ideas you want to share please comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please share this article if you think it is helpful.
And most importantly stay safe during this coronavirus outbreak, follow the advice of our leading medics and scientists to help keep ourselves, our friends, our families, our neighbours, our nation and everyone internationally safe as much as we can.
Charlotte and Maria