Southern Mom Loves: Ways to Help (from Home) During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Ways to Help (from Home) During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Hey, guys. What a time! With the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak happening all around the world, I know it can be scary right now, but also frustrating to feel like there's nothing you can do about it. I'm feeling it too, so I've put together a list of ways that you can help!

If you're staying at home or social distancing, I've got some tips from the CDC to help keep you and others healthy when you have to go out on that grocery run. I've also got a list of things you can do from home like sewing masks or volunteering money or time remotely. Check that out below and make sure to leave me a comment letting me know you're okay!

Stay Home and/or Social Distance

I know this is just about all you're hearing these days, but it's because it's that important to help flatten the curve and help keep our medical personnel, facilities, and equipment from being overwhelmed. We just don't have enough protective equipment for medical staff and ventilators for the number of people getting sick and needing medical intervention right now. 

If you have to go out, assume you are already infected, even if you don't have symptoms or have tested negative previously. It's the best way to ensure that we aren't spreading it.

If you have to go anywhere, wear a mask. This can be a paper mask that you were given at your Doctor's office, a homemade mask, or even a bandana folded into multiple layers and tied tightly. The main point of the mask is not to protect us from getting the virus, but to keep us from spreading it. The CDC has instructions for both sewn masks and no-sew masks here.

The current CDC recommendation is to stay 6 feet away from other people. We have to be patient during this time and try our best to remember and keep our distance while out in public.

If you've been out in public, use a hand sanitizer if possible before re-entering your car or home. It should contain at least 70% alcohol. If you can't get a store-bought hand sanitizer right now, check out this post with a hand sanitizer recipe from Dr. Rishi Desai, a former epidemic intelligence service officer in the division of viral diseases at the CDC.

Remove all outer clothing and wash immediately on a sanitizing setting (or the hottest possible setting on your machine). Then, wash your hands after touching the clothing. Wash with antibacterial soap for at least 20 seconds before rinsing. 

Wash your hands often, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. This CDC page has mixing ratios for common household cleaners and disinfecting directions for lots of different types of surfaces and objects.

This may seem like a lot, and this may scare some people, but just remember that we're just doing what we can to keep everyone we love healthy. Check out the Centers For Disease Control Website CDC for more information and updates.

Pick up Groceries and Prescriptions for Elderly Neighbors

If you know that you have elderly neighbors, contact them to see if they need someone to go out and pick up their groceries or prescriptions. Use the same precautions to keep from infecting them that you would use to protect your own family. They are most at risk for complications from this virus, so take extra care.

If you don't know your neighbors, you can leave this form from #ViralKindness on their door or in their mailbox.

If you need to print more than one at a time, I've made a sheet with 4 forms per page. You can get those here.

Help Sew Masks

There are a few ways you can help if you know how to sew. These organizations are helping to provide homemade masks to people and organizations in need.

The Masks Now Coalition is a great resource to volunteer to sew, call, distribute, or donate to. They also have a handy page of Mask Patterns to use.

Joann also has a homemade mask program. You can go into any Joann store (or call for curbside pickup) and get a package of precut fabric and supplies to make 6 masks.

I've done this but as of now, they're out of elastic and you'll need to be able to provide it or use bias tape for a tie-on mask-type. You'll also have to supply the fusible interfacing for the masks. They did provide me the precut cotton fabric and a spool of thread.

If you have those extra supplies in your sewing stash, you can use one of their mask sewing patterns to complete them, then drop the finished masks off at your Joann store or donate them directly to an organization in need. Make sure to call first to see if they accept homemade masks.

Donate Extra Supplies to Hospitals

If you stocked up on masks and sanitizers and have more than you needed, please donate them to a local hospital or healthcare facility. They are desperately in need right now to keep healthcare workers safe. Without our healthcare workers, hospitals and doctor's offices will be understaffed and won't be able to handle the influx of sick patients.

Donate Money for Groceries to People in Need

There are a lot of people out of work right now and those stimulus checks will take a while to get here and will not sustain a family for long. People need help and if you can, please help them to put food on the table at this time.

If you know someone who needs help, you can donate instantly via Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, or What's App. You can send money directly from your debit card to theirs and it's free to use with no fees.

If you're looking for a charitable organization, check their credentials through Charity Navigator first. This site has been gathering information about existing charities and has published a Coronavirus Hot Topic featuring organizations that are responding to COVID-19.

Donate Money and Food to Food Banks and Pantries

Because of the flood of people being laid off, food banks and food pantries are running low on supplies. You can help greatly by donating money or food. Contact your local food pantry to find out what they need.

Give Blood

Call 1-800-RED-CROSS to find a location near you or visit their website. They're taking appointments for donations and following safety protocols.

Volunteer Remotely

Crisis Help Lines are busy right now and you can volunteer right from home. Help Lines are usually regional, so Google "Volunteer for a Help Line in [your region, state, or city]" to find an organization to contact.

You can also volunteer for remote companionship for the elderly. Alone Support and Befriending Service connects people to older folks who would like extra social contact through a weekly call.

Donate to a Local Nonprofit

If you have the ability to donate money, here are some nonprofits that are doing good things for people in need and our medical personnel here in America and all around the world during this crisis. 

(Please note that these are not endorsements. If you're not a fan of these organizations, many other charities will welcome your support.)
I hope this helps you if you feel the need to do something right now. If you know of other ways to help that I haven't listed, please leave them in the comments below!

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What are you doing during this quarantine? Are you staying at home right now or are you a "necessary worker"? I love to read your comments and I'm hoping you're all safe right now. ❤️

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