COVID-19 has made its sudden entrance into the daily lives of Americans, interrupting normalcy as we know it. As we help watch out for your safety and all that you want to protect, we ask that you in turn reach out to help protect those around you. It is in times of crisis such as these that we truly get the opportunity to become a better neighbor. Even at a distance (preferably at least the recommended 6 feet), we have every opportunity to help those around us get through this unusual, international struggle.
This is not an “every man for himself” situation, it is a “we can get through this together” challenge that we would like to pass on to all of you. In order for us to remain healthy, we need others to stay well too. Here are some easy ways to be a good neighbor through these trying times.
Social distancing doesn’t have to mean solitude. Your friends and loved ones may all have
a support network of their own to comfort them, but a call or message to your elderly neighbor or those that you know live alone could go a long way. We’re all looking for a little support in times like this, even if it’s just a quick conversation about how crazy it all is. If you don’t know how to contact your neighbors, you can post on NextDoor  or Citizen  to let them know you’re available to chat. Quarantining is (by definition) a lonely business but with modern technology, it doesn’t have to be. We encourage you all to pick up a phone, click that video chat button or send a digital message! Virtual communication will be the glue holding us together as a community over the coming weeks.
Share what you can.
If you were one of the lucky few who wasn’t on the brink of running out of toilet paper when this all hit, lend a few rolls to someone in need. If you have extra dry or canned goods, consider reaching out to your local foodbank . You can find resources on your city or town’s website to find other ways to help, like donating extra supplies to the homeless, supporting charities that are helping to feed children without the aid of school lunches, or giving blood . Chances are that local nonprofits are still operating through this and they may need more help. Use the resources you have to help ensure everyone gets the resources they need. And, whether you’re giving or receiving, remember to disinfect!
People in your life are most likely wondering how they can contribute as well. Feel free to share the ways you give and encourage others to follow suit. We can start a train of good deeds stretching across the country!
While the chain retailers figure out how to restock their shelves, small businesses are trying to figure out if they can afford to stay in business. Every sale they make counts. And no foot traffic generally means no profit for them. Take a minute to see how those in Charlotte, NC  are helping local businesses. Then, order a pizza from the local pizza dive!
Help your friends with kids.
Thankfully, children are not as susceptible to this virus as adults. However, they are still impacted greatly by massive school closings, the cancellation of all after-school activities and the general “stuck at home”-ness of it all. If you know some bored kids, help their parents out! Send over a new game  or puzzle, call them with a trivia quiz about their favorite show , or walk them through how to make chocolate chip cookies  via video chat. Their parents will be grateful for a break, they’ll be grateful for a change of pace, and you get to hang out with them instead of watching that show for the 56th time! Everybody wins.
Spread kindness without spreading germs.
There are so many ways to do this; the most important is to follow the guidelines of social distancing . Keeping yourself healthy and distanced is the only way to ensure you don’t pass the virus to others. Additionally, please try to thank those that continue to do what’s necessary to keep society running, even though it puts them at risk: medical professionals, grocery/supermarket employees, mail carriers, even waiters and waitresses at your local restaurants. Acknowledging these selfless strangers with eye contact and a warm smile can help boost camaraderie in these stressful times. Share a “feel good” post on your social channel of choice and tag the people in your life that are giving back during this time. We know that they will appreciate it and may give them the little bit of extra motivation they were desperately needing.
Before you are ready to help others, there are simple steps you can take to help you and your family feel comfortable and prepared.
Stock up Responsibly (on the right things).
We understand that the biggest urge right now is to load up on everything that your family may possibly need for the next six months but try to keep a level head amidst the craziness of the stores. CNet made a detailed list  of what is necessary to stock up on and what is – to put it lightly- excessive. Try to stick to your family’s version of this list and leave what you can on the shelf for others to bring to their families. If you do have extras, please consider sharing what you can.
Worldwide panic makes for a heavy news cycle. Try to limit your daily intake to a few, trusted sources. The CDC , WHO , and this group of first generation immigrants are all keeping updated, non-biased information available for free to the public. Your local news channel can transmit any local emergency messaging through their website, social channels, radio, or even through text, if necessary. If you’re worried, check out your options. And if you do get sucked into a dark hole of bad news, we highly recommend treating yourself to this video of puppies to balance out your intake. Remember that even in these troubled times, good things happen every day.
Make the world come to you.
Without realizing it, we have been preparing for mass self-quarantining for years. Thanks to modern technology and business initiatives, you hardly have to leave your house anymore! You can have your groceries delivered , video chat with friends and family, work out  through your laptop, even visit the San Diego Zoo  virtually. If you believe there is a reason for you to go outside in the next few weeks, it’s always worth a quick search on the internet to see if it’s really necessary.
Use your resources.
Video doorbells  allow you to 2-way chat with any guests (or grocery delivery personnel) that may come by your house. If you’d rather not let them in, you can tell them from inside your home, without being rude. Use your Alexa to keep you informed , entertained , or mentally active . And maybe use all of this newfound free time to finally get around to all of those DIY projects you’ve been putting off.
Self-quarantining and social distancing add up to a lot of time at home. This may affect your daily routine, but we’d like to remind you of these home security best practices. First, even though you’ll be home all day, remember to lock your doors. And, though you may not be coming home from a dinner party or school function, remember to arm your system for the night when you go to bed. In the coming weeks, you may want to reprogram your smart home devices to follow a different schedule or reposition indoor cameras when the kids are playing downstairs and you have to get some work done. If you have any questions or concerns about your equipment, we’re just a phone call away.
As this pandemic writes its own history lesson for the children of the future, we hope we can all contribute stories of generosity and compassion in the face of difficulty. We hope that you and your family are safe, and that we can come out of this as a community, stronger than before.
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