Many of you may be wondering what you can to do to help during the response to the coronavirus. With enforced social distancing, many of our local businesses and institutions are hurting.
Here are some things that you can consider, if you are able.
Bloodworks Northwest is an independent, non-profit organization that provides a lifesaving blood supply to more than 90 hospitals in the Northwest. During the coronavirus emergency, donations are critically low. If you are able to donate, please considering doing so. You can find out more about the need, who is able to give during this crisis, and even schedule an appointment.
Support Local Restaurants and Shops
Many businesses have closed their doors and laid off staff. Even though we can’t go out to eat or shop, buying gift cards now provides an immediate cash infusion. And you can use the gift cards later or give them to friends and family for birthdays and holidays. Most businesses have gift cards available online.
Order online from local retailers, or see if they can do orders by phone. Many stores are closed to the public, but could still process orders. Shop at the grocery store when it’s likely to be less busy, such as early evening. If it’s available, do your grocery shopping online to reduce crowding and close contact at stores. Check with your favorite store to see if they have set aside specific hours for senior citizens. Check on your neighbors who may need assistance with getting to the store, or might appreciate having something picked up for them.
If you are purchasing an item that is labeled WIC, if options are available, consider choosing something else. Those who use WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) to feed their families are limited to program-approved products, and when those products are out of stock, they cannot chose different brands, so they may have to go without.
Food banks are in need of volunteers and supplies. If you overstocked on non-perishable goods, consider donating to local food banks like Northwest Harvest. The supply chain for food and necessary products is strong and stores are getting new supplies constantly. If you can share some of what you have now, and restock your own pantry later, please considering doing so.
With the public health order to reduce face-to-face contact in the community, bars and restaurants are closed to sit-down service, but you may still be able to get drive-through or take-out from your favorite local spot. If you are waiting for take-out, be mindful of social distancing and stand at least six-feet apart from others. If possible, limit in-person contact to under 10 minutes. If using delivery, have your order dropped on your doorstep to avoid contact. And don’t forget to tip. Food service workers need extra support right now.
While the weather is nice, it’s important to get outside and stretch your legs and get some fresh air. We’re all trying to adjust to the new reality of working from home and the likelihood that we’re not moving around as much as we normally do. With gyms closed, your workout routine is probably in flux. Look for resources online, or through your streaming service, they often have good, free workout programs available.
Consider Donating to a Favorite Cause
If you are able, consider giving to a local charity or organization. If your cause is children, or animals, or disadvantaged seniors, there are lots of great organizations that make it their mission to help. And right now, they all need a boost. The United Way is also an excellent clearinghouse for providing support and services to our community’s most vulnerable.
Public Health Information
The most up-to-date information on the coronavirus, community response, and resources is available through our local public health agency. Here are two great resources: KingCounty.gov/COVID and the Public Health Insider blog.
This public health emergency will end and we will need all parts of our community to come back if we are going to be able to return to “normal.” Things that we do today could help make it possible for businesses and institutions to survive during this crisis and come back strong.
Take care, stay safe, and do what you can.
Our partners at CHI Franciscan are working diligently to keep our community safe. The hospital is in need of N95 Mask, Standard Medical Masks, and other protective gear. Additionally, they are accepting in-kind donations of hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and more. Outright cash gifts and donation to the CHI Franciscan General Fund or to the Harrison Foundation will make a big difference to ensure that our front line care teams have all the re needed to treat patients. Learn More >>