5 Small Ways to Help Out During COVID-19
We know it's a terrifying time right now, and it's easy to feel helpless with the uncertainty and fear surrounding this public health crisis. Of course, the sheer scope of this problem is definitely overwhelming, and it feels like we can't do anything about it except wait until our institutions solve it for us. But in R2R and Things That Matter, one thing that is deeply embedded in our way of life is doing something, no matter how tiny that contribution is. We believe in the power of small steps.
Aside from the basic rule of washing our hands properly to prevent COVID-19 from spreading, here are some five small ideas that you can do to help out in your own way:
1. Stay home
The best way we can help is to prevent the virus from further spreading in our communities, and this is why social distancing is critical! It's our preventive measure from the outbreak reaching its peak. If the virus spreads to more people, it could overwhelm our health systems. While we still have the chance to mitigate it, let's all do our part, keep our distance from others, and flatten the curve.
We do understand, however, that not everyone has the privilege to practice social distancing. Being extra careful about disinfecting yourself when you come back from outside is one way to prevent the virus from infecting others.
2. Donate to help our frontliners
Currently, there are so many fundraising efforts led by private citizens and NGOs, and our heart is so full from seeing them all over our feed! If you have extra to spare and you're looking for ways to help out our many health workers who are working tirelessly and risking their lives for the nation, you can help out through these drives:
- Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership, with the Office of the Vice President
- WHAT: A fundraising campaign for personal protective equipment (PPE) and care/food packs for health workers and frontliners fighting COVID-19
- HOW: Buy a ticket via Ticket2Me
- Caritas Manila
- WHAT: A drive to provide Caritas LIGTAS COVID kits and Manna bags to 6,000 poor families in Metro Manila
- HOW: Donate cash via BPI, BDO, Metrobank, UnionBank, Lazada, Give2Asia, or GCash via this post
- Rock Ed Philippines, together with private citizens and local food establishments
- WHAT: A drive to buy meals for medical center frontliners
- HOW: Donate cash via GCash, PayMaya, BPI, or BDO via this post
- U.P. Philippine General Hospital
- WHAT: A call for donations of surgical masks, face shields, N95 masks, and surgical gowns
- HOW: Direct donations to Dr. Mia Tabuñar, Coordinator for Resource Generation at UP-PGH. You may contact her via 0919 350 6917
Check this amazing master file that private citizens compiled for more ways to help out: How to Help Out During COVID Crisis
Edit as of March 27, 2020: Help From Home is a local information hub that allows those of us at home to help in supporting those who aren’t: the frontliners and families at risk. This website features a (growing!) directory of COVID-19 initiatives as well as regular updates on which cities and hospitals are most in need of your help. Every effort counts, so check out the website to see the many ways you can #HelpFromHome at http://helpfromhome.ph.
3. Support local businesses
Please be intentional about supporting local and social enterprises. Like we said in our previous post, some businesses that do not have a lot of cash reserves to weather this kind of storm. Each time you buy from and promote a local business, you give them a fighting chance to stay in business and support their people and communities.
While most operations are temporarily closed during the quarantine, there are a couple of ways to help your favorite local brands! An option is to buy from their online stores even though shipping will be delayed. Another way to show support is to shop gift cards from them, which you can eventually use when operations are back.
It's these little things that can help our local businesses and artisans thrive until after this crisis.
4. Choose facts over fear
Always fact check! We all have to be extra careful with sharing fake news and further scaring everyone around us with wrong information. Before you click and share, check if they're from verified sources and publications:
- Health organizations: World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and our Department of Health (DOH)
- Local press: Rappler, CNN Philippines, The Philippine Star, and Philippine Daily Inquirer
- International press: The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Vox
5. Be kind, be compassionate
Practice empathy, especially to those outside your own social circles. Think of those who are still showing up to do their work and serve. Think of our health workers, security guards, grocery workers, riders, helpers, drivers, the people who don't earn when they don't work, and those from poor communities with limited access to health care services and information.
Think of them, and do something to help as they are the most vulnerable of society. Tip more. Give food and other extra resources that you may have. Do your part in your community. It's as simple as being kind and being compassionate.
The next few months are going to be tough, no doubt. But let's not forget that we can come out stronger if we work together as a community. Start small by thinking of others first and helping each other out. As we think about our next steps, we hope this moment is also a wake-up call for our society. It's the time for us to reflect on the systems we have today and if they're really built with compassion and love for people.