If you're feeling a little overwhelmed in the midst of the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic, remember how empowering it can be to reach out and help others. Here are some suggestions of things you can do to help out in your community and beyond:
- Stay connected using social media and other digital platforms. The coming weeks are going to be lonely for many across the country, especially those who live alone and those who are self-isolating or in quarantine. Consider using FaceTime, social media, or other digital platforms to stay in touch with friends and family, or give them a call on the phone to check in.
- Donate to your local food bank. Many food banks struggle to keep items on their shelves at the best of times, so there's no doubt that they could use extra support right now. Generally speaking, food banks can always use more non-perishable food donations, as well as personal hygiene items and monetary donations. Contact your local food bank to find out what kind of support would be most helpful to them right now.
- Help by delivering groceries and other essential items to people who are vulnerable, self-isolating, or in quarantine. Just be sure to wash your hands before and after touching the items you buy, make sure there isn't any in-person contact during drop-off, and don't go into their home.
- Offer to walk someone's dog if they can't do it themselves. There's currently no evidence showing that dogs can contract COVID-19, so this is a safe offer to extend to friends, family, and neighbours. Be sure to wash your hands carefully before and after touching the dog, its leash, or anything else that you take on the walk.
- Donate to relief organizations or other related charities online. If you are uncomfortable volunteering your time or making an in-person donation, consider supporting charities who are responding to COVID-19, like the Canadian Red Cross.
- Buy gift certificates online or by phone to support small businesses in your area (like restaurants and other retailers). You can use the gift cards yourself at a later date or give them as gifts later in the year.
What to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or if you believe you've been exposed to the virus
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or you believe you may have been exposed to the virus, isolate yourself at home and contact your provincial public health authority immediately. More information on COVID-19 can be found through your provincial government or on the Government of Canada's website.
We can all play a role when it comes to helping those who are most vulnerable in our communities during this uncertain time. Stay safe and take care.
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