We’re all a bit freaked right now, and understandably so. It’s not like we’ve ever been through a pandemic that shuts down entire nations before. But those who are at high risk of poor outcomes if they get infected are particularly on edge. And we know that not everyone has people they can ask for help.
Our family has been trying to think of ways we can reach out to our neighbors during the coronavirus pandemic while still keeping our social distance. I have some friends who are setting up neighborhood Facebook groups and whatnot, which is awesome, but some people—especially the elderly—may not be on social media at all.
How to help neighbors during the pandemic
Since our family is young and healthy and able to socially isolate, that’s what we’re doing. But we are occasionally going out to the store (our shelves here have not been cleared out at this point), so we decided one way we can help is to offer to pick things up for our elderly and immunocompromised neighbors for whom any outing is particularly risky.
We made a note to hang on people’s doorknobs** in the blocks around our house, letting people know we’re here to do grocery or medication pickups for them and how to contact us.
** To keep it social-distance safe, one of us will wash our hands thoroughly (of course), go around and deliver the notes on people’s doorknobs, ding-dong-dash so people come to the door, but not stick around to see anyone face-to-face.
For payment exchange, we figure we’ll take it on a case-by-case basis. People who have online pay options like PayPal or Venmo can use that. Otherwise, we’ll take personal checks or cash and make sure we’re extra careful about handling. Not really worried. People are generally awesome about this kind of thing in my experience.
Since we thought other people might want to do something similar, we made the notes generic enough that anyone can print and personalize them. I also went ahead and made two versions—one for families and one for individuals.
You can click directly on the image to get the printable PDF, or click the link included below the image.
We’re all in this thing together, folks.
And it looks like we’re probably just getting going. Let’s do everything we can safely do to love our neighbors and help one another through this strange and uncertain time.
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