Many states have declared emergency as the novel coronavirus breaches virtually every county of the U.S. Yet, it has also bridged communities with unprecedented levels of social care, volunteerism, and sheer kindness.
The outbreak also continues to prompt closures, infrastructural challenges, and economic strains. But rather than focus on the panic, we turn now to what is an unparalleled community response. More people everyday are heroically stepping up in the face of challenge, overwhelmingly with their best foot forward.
We owe a special debt of gratitude to our healthcare workers, and those selfless community members on the frontlines who are fighting to contain the virus. These are the people making a difference EACH day.
Here, we review inspiring cases of kindness, selflessness, and accessible ways to contribute towards the solution. Be sure to see the many different means of community contribution – we also cover the latest details about the virus.
Coronavirus: Kindness for Survival
Examples of simple generosity all the way to outstanding compassion are springing from across America. One popular example is the younger generations, which are widely offering to grocery shop for the elderly and immunocompromised (high risk groups).
These kind services are relieving worries of whether regularly provided means will continue, including those with disabilities who rely on caretaker support for daily needs. In these cases, the simplest of these gestures are making for the backbone of high risk groups’ comforts (even survival) amidst the virus.
We’re seeing California as one leader of innovation and volunteerism during the ongoing pandemic. It’s been one of the hardest hit states, but by pioneering volunteer efforts through digital networking, they’ve been able to increase helpful hands across the board (see volunteer options below).
SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE CALL FOR SUPPORT
Overall, social media has been critical in the call for support nationwide. One specific example is the San Diego Community Volunteers, which has been able to raise volunteer numbers by more than eight-fold during the crisis.
Different industries are taking the lead and leveraging social platforms to gather essential support. Other examples are restaurants which have been shut down to the public, and now are broadcasting free takeout meals, curbside services, or free deliveries.
CROWDSOURCING FOR HOSPITAL EQUIPMENT
Another exceptional example of innovative kindness (and the use of digital communication) has been in the crowdsourcing of hospital equipment. Starting in Italy, hospitals began running out of an essential piece for their respirator equipment.
There was a limited supply for the valve that connects respirators to oxygen masks. Fortunately, they were able to turn to a 3D-printing startup, who printed the replacements (in lieu of the manufacturer) to keep up with the demand.
Since the novel coronavirus is a respiratory infection, to patients, that valve piece may truly be a matter of life and death. Here in the U.S. other hospitals have followed suit, where hobbyists and startup companies alike have taken to compassion, supplementing the medical supply chain.
This type of crowdsourcing is helping ICUs increase their capacity, and relieving certain worries from already overwhelmed healthcare workers. Such kindness is priceless, especially as other medical supplies (gloves, face masks) have become scarce, a situation thought to have taken one Italian doctor’s life.
- Donate to UNICEF to aid preparedness for emergency medical supplies.
SHARING IN SIMPLE PLEASURES
With a great deal of despair around the world, it’s pleasant to see people uplifting each others’ spirits. During Italy’s quarantine lockdown, positive emotions have roused as people continue to sing, play music, and share simple joys as they practice social distancing. Something we all can learn from.
Here in the U.S., a similar experience of school children playing instruments from their front porch has been reported. These simple acts help to entertain neighborhoods across the nation, support positive outlooks, and ultimately give our resilience better odds against hardship.
SCHOOL LUNCH TO THE RESCUE
With millions of U.S. students reliant on school lunches for adequate nutrition, the closures of most public schools has been a big blow to their support. Fortunately, many districts have retained lunch staff to prepare meals.
We owe an incredible debt as these workers work to keep public school children fed; many school districts are now offering pickup options and bus route deliveries as they share available resources.
SUPPORT FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS
In Minnesota, an initiative titled “Covid Sitters” has paired volunteers to healthcare workers. The idea is to help them babysit or run errands as they care for the influx of medical patients. Participating university students are paired to nurses and other healthcare workers to offer one-on-one support.
The hope is that this volunteer effort may provide a semblant piece of mind to those on the frontlines fighting the virus (and saving lives). This is an opportunity we all can recognize to feel inspired, and to search out innovative ways to support our healthcare workers.
From their New York city location, the United Nations reports that acts of kindness are on the rise. One way in particular, communities are sharing the weight of childcare. Neighboring residents in New York city have been seen sharing craft activities and creating educational experiences outside of school.
For those with children, whose work environment hasn’t been shut down (or moved to work-from-home), this is an essential example of human compassion. By sharing the burden, trustworthy neighbors are helping kids out of the house and make something fun of their days. Is that something you can offer your neighborhood?
Coronavirus: List of Ways to Help
From grocery shopping to 3D-printed medical devices, it’s inspiring to see the American people rise to meet the face of challenge. Right now, cases of coronavirus are on the rise, and there is little known how long this will last.
In light of the pandemic, below is a list of non-profit organizations in which you can volunteer, send resources or materials, or make a financial donation. We also encourage everyone to practice mindfulness to manage personal stress levels alongside the needs of others.
Alternatively, if you’re in need of resources to keep your finances, healthcare, or family above water during this time, we recommend www.findhelp.org.
NONPROFITS THAT ARE FIGHTING CORONAVIRUS
- The CDC Foundation
- The WHO’s COVID-19 Response Fund
- The Relief Fund at GlobalGiving
- The Gates Foundation (offers different ways to help out)
- Shopping Angels - Food/Grocery Delivery
- UNICEF Emergency Medical Supplies Fund
If you have an experience, recommendation, or an idea of how you’re helping your local community, please share at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Integrative Medicine for Coronavirus?
There’s a surge of interest in integrative practices to help fight against COVID-19. Although no measures have yet been proven both safe and effective in human trials, there are strategies to consider. Some, which may support a healthy immune response against infection.
The coronavirus family is understood to trigger an inflammatory immune response. The pathology is complex and not yet entirely understood for the COVID-19 strain. Nonetheless, much of the symptoms and infectious risk of the virus stems from the cascade of inflammatory response.
In order to protect against this, sleep is perhaps the most important lifestyle factor. When you miss out on sleep, your body has less time to mediate inflammation. The result is higher baseline levels of inflammation, which can be one of the coronavirus’ keys to infection.
Another general benefit of getting a healthy amount of sleep is balanced cortisol levels (stress hormone). Elevated cortisol is associated with high blood pressure and blood sugar problems, which are two factors which place individuals at higher risks of lethal infection. Here’s other items:
LATEST WAYS TO BOOST IMMUNITY AGAINST CORONAVIRUS
- Wake up at sunrise and meditate - open the doors to sunlight and listen to the birds if possible
- Hydrate (8oz water and mineral salts; e.g. magnesium, zinc)
- Cold Showers / Ice Dips (e.g. your face into ice cold water)
- Sip water every 20-30 minutes
- Movement (walking, biking, hiking, swimming) 45-60 minutes.
- Intermittent Fasting - See full article here
- Supplements: Adaptogens, ginseng, astragalus, vitamin D, and others
- Get some Sunshine!
- Eat the Rainbow, including fermented foods (sauerkraut!)
- Wash hands often, "4 thieves" is an excellent moisturizer
- Drink a Matcha Elixir first thing in the AM
The Bottom Line
If you’re craving inspiration to help your fellow human, or if you need another perspective on current events, check out this poem about COVID-19 quarantine, Lockdown.
Let us not forget the importance of gratitude, kindness, and generosity during times of crisis. By practicing compassion, we feel a wealth of happiness and positive emotions rise within us. And at least one thing that coronavirus has taught us, it’s that there are immensely innovative ways to act on our innate drive to share and provide for one another.
This is a kindness we all share, which in its own right is thought to act as a wellness promoter. So, take advantage of the fact that there’s more ways than ever to make waves with your positivity.
And finally, as we transition to a work-from-home (WFH) routine, it's critical to realize that our healthcare workers don’t have that luxury. We’re incredibly grateful and indebted to those on the frontlines, saving lives and protecting the public during this time. Thank you.
-Team Matcha Kari
P.S. If you are working from home (or even if you’re not), get cozy with a bowl of matcha