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Ten Ways to Provide Assistance from a Distance: Helping Others During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By now, most of us have heard about COVID-19 and what we need to do in order to avoid contracting or spreading the disease. But I have found that many of us want to DO something, to help out. How can we do that?

I have been gathering some ideas from friends, family, and the media about how we might provide #AssistanceFromADistance, keeping ourselves safe will helping others. Here are some options you might like to consider, in no particular order:

1) Asking neighbors what they might need if you are going out to the supermarket, and leaving the items at their doors. You can text them when the products have been delivered.

2) "Wear patience like a cape." - my mother Mary Dopwell offered this advice. With all of the extra buying people have done recently, shoppers may need extra time to find options to fit their needs. Be patient with store personnel, who have been dealing with anxious shoppers for over a week now, and who might be a bit less patient themselves right now.

3) Actively express gratitude. If you are happy with the service you received from your supermarket personnel, the delivery service, or some other helper you have interacted with, make sure to state it. This is a time when positive energy is not only nice, but necessary.

4) Appreciate each other's personal space. We need to stay about six feet away from each other, so let's be mindful of our physical distance.

5) Pick up the phone, video chat, or otherwise communicate with those you care about. People who may be more susceptible to COVID-19 and who live in relative isolation will be particularly appreciative. I have just discovered the Marco Polo app (available on Apple and Google platforms), and it may become my new addiction!

6) Use your own knowledge and skills to spread love, peace, and calm. My friend, Dr. Deborah Courtney has been using her clinical social work skills to develop and share different ways for people to remain calm and grounded during these times. Here's one of the videos:

7) Give blood. The Red Cross is seeking to make appointments with individuals who are healthy and able to donate blood, as it will be needed. You can go to their website, type in your zip code, and make an appointment near you:

8) JoAnn Fabrics is looking for people who know how to sew to help with making surgical masks for healthcare professionals. Learn more here:

9) Nashville is asking that anyone who has new and unused medical and safety equipment please donate to assist health professionals. I'm sure other areas are asking the same, but the Nashville link is here:

10) The United Way of Greater Nashville is asking for donations to help in the response to COVID-19: For those of you who are not local to the Nashville area, here is the link for the United Way Worldwide:

Over time, there will be further opportunities to provide #AssistanceFromADistance. For now, I hope this helps you to start to feel like you can help. We can all do something for each other. Love and light to all!!!

Thank you to all who contributed their thoughts, especially Kevin Reilly and Mary Dopwell, as well as those who contributed their skills, especially Dr. Deborah Courtney.


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