With the Coronavirus pandemic taking a toll on businesses, families, and those who are now unemployed, here are the things you can do to help the NYC community right now.
How NYC is dealing with COVID-19
New York City has been seeing an increasing amount of Coronavirus positive cases in the last few weeks with a high infection rate in the City. As a result New York is now seen as the U.S. epicenter of the virus’s spread.
As a response, New York State issued a mandate for everyone to stay home regardless if you’re sick or healthy, only to go out for getting groceries and other essential supplies. The only exceptions to this rule are essential workers and those who need urgent health care. All non-essential businesses are to remain closed and non-essential gatherings, no matter what size, have been banned.
The state has worked to close businesses, increase testing, and reduce street density to combat the virus. There has also been distribution of needed supplies to hospitals in NYC, Long Island, and Westchester. These include N-95 masks, surgical masks, disposable gloves, gowns, and face shields. There have also been more ventilators being sent to NYC by FEMA to help combat the virus.
What can you do to help?
While this virus can seem too much to handle, if everyone does their part, we can all make a positive impact together. It doesn’t have to be something big, but things you can even practice in your daily life. Here are a few simple ways you can do your part in combating COVID-19.
Focus on practicing prevention measures
Practicing recommended prevention measures can help stop and slow down the spread of the virus. This includes washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and stay at home unless you need to buy essentials. Practicing social distancing means not going to crowded places or hanging out with friends for the time being, and stay at home if you’re feeling sick. The NYC real estate community has embraced these measures as well. If you are still in the hunt for an apartment or house, you can attend virtual open houses from the comfort of your own place.
Doing just these few things can help flatten the curve by lowering the amount of people infected, and can also help prevent the overcrowding of hospitals. While it may be difficult to be cooped up inside, it is important to remember that this is temporary. A little bit of temporary discomfort is worth all the lives you could be saving by staying home.
Check up on others
Another simple way you can help is by checking up on your friends, family, and neighbors. This includes texting, calling, or video calling those you care about to make sure they are okay. This is a great way to keep each other company even while you all are staying in your respective homes.
Checking up on your neighbors is also a good way to band together for needed resources or help. Now this doesn’t mean having a neighborhood gathering, but means communicating with your NYC neighbors at a safe distance or through your phones to check in on one another.
Help out those around you in need
There are many people out there who are more vulnerable to the severe consequences of contracting COVID-19. This includes the elderly, those with asthma, others with underlying health conditions, and those who are immunocompromised. If you know someone, whether it be a family, friend, or neighbor, who fits into that category and is unable to leave their homes, take the time to make sure they have everything they need. You can help out by buy their groceries and essential supplies while you’re out on your own grocery run.
Lastly, don’t hoard. Don’t hoard. And don’t hoard. While it’s understandable that you want to be able to buy enough groceries and supplies for you and your family, it is also important to be mindful of other people.
Just like you, others need to eat and stay healthy. For instance, if you need to buy soap to practice prevention measures, so do other people. A household with clean, washed hands are going to be less likely to spread the virus versus a household where only one person has washed hands.
So when you’re doing your shopping, make sure you take only what you need for your family and leave some for others. Additionally, if you find yourself with a lot of extra supplies that you don’t need, consider donating them or giving them to others who need it but aren’t able to get it.
Where can you volunteer?
With many businesses and even soup kitchens closing down and orders to stay inside, some of NYC’s most vulnerable people will be left to fend for themselves. There are a few ways you can help those in need and it includes volunteering. Of course they’re not your usual in-person volunteer jobs, but those you can participate in safely during the Coronavirus outbreak.
1. Delivery volunteering
One way you can volunteer is by participating in programs and organizations that work to deliver food and supplies to those most vulnerable to the virus. These organizations include “Invisible Hands,” a NYC based volunteer delivery service, and “Meals on Wheels,” that delivers meals to older people unable to leave their homes
2. Remote volunteering
If you prefer not to volunteer in person during this time, there are also plenty of opportunities for remote volunteering where you can safely stay in your home. A few organizations that support this include “Alone,” that provides companionship to the elderly over the phone, and “Crisis Text Line,” where you can get trained to be a remote crisis counselor.
Who should you donate to?
Actively volunteering in person right now during the Coronavirus pandemic may not be the best idea especially those who are at higher risk of contracting the virus. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t help out! There are many places and organizations you can donate to as well.
1. Donate money to a reputable nonprofit
A simple way to help support the fight against COVID-19 is by donating to a nonprofit. There are various organizations that support different aspects of the Coronavirus, from research to outbreak prevention to supporting those negatively affected by the disruption of daily life.
A few nonprofits include GlobalGiving with a Coronavirus relief fund, HealthWell Foundation that provides health insurance and prescription co-pays financial assistance, and Citymeals, a NYC food relief organization for the elderly population.
2. Donate blood
Due to fears of Coronavirus and people staying at home, there could be lower blood donor participation, which means less blood availability in hospitals. This is a worry as lower availability of blood could mean cost of lives in the future. If you are healthy and not sick with cold, consider finding a local blood drive to donate to.
3. Support your local food bank
With school and business closures along with increased unemployment, there are more people relying on food banks. Due to this many of them need more support whether it be donated goods, volunteering, or money donations. These include Food Bank For New York City and Feeding America. You can look into those two or other local food banks to see how you can help them.
4. Help those experiencing homelessness
Those without a home have a higher risk from the Coronavirus due to poorer health and weakened immune systems. Check in with your local homeless shelters or service organizations to see how you can help. Many different shelters and organizations could have different needs at the moment so it is important to either go on their website or call to see what you can provide for them.
5. Check in with local hospitals
Hospitals are one place that could use some help and donations! Many are running low on personal protective equipment, N95 masks, hand sanitizer, soap, googles, disposable gloves, and disinfectant wipes. Being on the front lines to help those who have contracted Coronavirus, it is important that they are supplied with these much needed items to keep hospital staff and patients safe. If you have a lot of extra supplies, consider donating them to hospitals in your area. You can either call your local hospital to see if they are accepting donations or go on GetUsPPE to find donation sites near you.
While times are scary, tough, and confusing, we can help each other out and get through this pandemic together. No matter which way you contribute, even a little goes a long way. This is especially true if everyone is doing their part to slow and stop the spread of Coronavirus while supporting those around them.
Stay safe, stay at home, and cure your boredom by searching through your dream NYC apartments and neighborhoods on Localize.