These are extraordinary times that require us to step forward to support our communities. This situation can only be solved with human kindness and empathy. Each of us can do so much for the development and sustainment of cities and neighbors, but it also depends on our will and capability.
In fact, no one can change the world alone, however one single person can make a huge difference. Even the most obvious and simple things can improve our quality of life and have an impact on communities.
It can seem obvious but we can start by being supportive of our network of friends and family. This period has weighed harshly on parents and families, and simply being understanding can lift a great amount of stress. Remember to check on your faraway relatives as often as you can, especially seniors and those who live alone.
Listen to the people around you and provide them with support, you will find that giving trust can attract trust. This way when you’ll need a helping hand, you won’t be alone, thus creating a virtuous cycle of human connectedness.
Look into options that provide much-needed supplies to communities: get in touch with your local food pantry or other associations in your area. Contact them and see if they have an available program that you can support. You could also contact your local church to see they are providing local help for people and families in need.
Here’s a list of national organizations that are providing help for communities during these times:
Community Economic Development (CED)
Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Rural Community Development Program (RCD)
Social Services Block Grant Program (SSBG)
If you are in Santa Barbara, you can also check specific options on our blog.
First of all, immediately stop that doomscrolling* habit of yours! If you think you are becoming obsessed, take a break from social media. Get away from negativity and work on developing your own safe space, be it online or offline.
If you wish to stay online make sure to bring a positive contribution to the online conversation, it’s safe for each one's mental health not to be the one to bring and share negative thoughts and news now. It’s easy for the online community to feed onto insecurities in order to grow panic and sensationalism. No one needs that now.
Also, no one wants to see the negative kind of posts and attitudes on their online stream.
There is something we can all do easily to help and that is limit our movements as much as we can. Fewer people moving from one place to another, the lower will be the risk of spreading the virus, saving from a potential threat to a lot of fragile individuals and their families.
A suggested way to limit our movements is to rely on local food and errands deliveries which can take care of multiple requests at once, also avoiding seniors and other categories the risk of going out. You can also help by booking the delivery for them if they are incapable of using the technology to do so themselves.
Have you ever thought about volunteering at a local shelter? Well, if you are not ready for the full pet experience, consider fostering. There are hundreds of dogs, cats, and other animals that are put into shelters at this very moment and the number of spots available is not enough to contain them all.
Being a fostering volunteer will lower the pressure inside these places and also help socialize puppies and young animals so that when the time comes, it will be easier to find them a forever home.
If you have a spare room or just a bit of extra time and space, it’d be great to consider this option to support your local shelter.
If you are looking for a meaningful job that can also bring help in this period, you are a good candidate to become a Prontopia assistant: Prontopia is a dynamic system of sustainable networks, working from within local communities to cultivate the labor market growth and global-local economic vitality. It aims at large-scale social change accomplished through face-to-face interactions. Join Prontopia to bring support to local families and communities, helping seniors and other people at risk with grocery, pharmacy shopping, dog-walking and more.
Human connection is the essence of Prontopia's value. Prontopia brings support to local communities and provides fair wage and pricing to workers and customers, who feel listened to and personally involved throughout the whole process.
When COVID was first circulating, there were also rumors circulating that masks didn’t work. Those statements have been corrected, and the CDC clearly states that mask wearing helps prevent the spread of the virus. This is more important than ever in a time when many people have COVID without symptoms and may spread the virus without even knowing it- a mask can help prevent that.
In Italy, we always wear our masks when going out. It is extremely important not only for you, but especially for those around you. It’s a sign of care and respect for your fellow neighbors and friends, but also for the whole community. More on Italy and Venice here.
A famous quote by Gandhi recited:” Be the change you want to see in this world”, so you know, although it might not seem like much, just showing a little care and respect for the health of others might become an example and spark a change among your family, friends and ultimately community.
(*Note: Doomscrolling is the compulsion to consume negative news on social media)
©Photo Credits: United Nations COVID-19 Response
Roman living in Venice. Plant lover, avid reader and seasonal yogi