Justine de Jonge is a Melbourne freelance travel writer and blogger who loves travelling the vegan road. She also loves blogging about her vegan travels at www.fireandtea.com .
Published March 20th 2020
Stay connected, help one another and spread the love
A time of pandemic is a time to rise to the challenge and be of service to others. Not only this is a time of pandemic, it is also a time when our communities are feeling the most disconnected. Yes, you need to keep yourself healthy and at optimum health. Yet, others around us may need our help and support. Here are five ways that you can still be of service to others and help them remain connected to society.
Many of us enjoy catching up with friends for a coffee or beverage of some sort. During these times when we can't travel to our local cafe, set up a live cafe online instead via Skype, Zoom, or a 'live' via social media like Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Set a time and day each week and invite your friends to join in with their beverage of choice in hand. Hosting a live cafe means you give your immediate community an opportunity to connect with one another and check in with each other. You may not be able to physically connect with one another, but we can still connect digitally in real-time.
Send postcards or letters to loved ones and friends
Now is the time to get creative, especially if you're spending more time at home. Because travel movements are restricted, create a postcard from your state or city and send it to your loved ones or friends. Tell them about your journey inside your home, draw pictures of your pets and include lots of well-wishes. Better yet, send postcards to your loved ones or friends who only live a suburb or two away. The novelty of the postcard will bring a bigger smile to their faces as they will be receiving something they didn't expect. Likewise with letters – write a letter to your loved ones or friends and include drawings, paintings, thoughts, feelings and well-wishes. Make and send virtual ones using an online program like Canva if you can't get to a post office. If you don't feel compelled to write, then pick up the phone and make a call to your family members. They will appreciate you checking in on them.
Your neighbours may be feeling alone right now, especially those who are elderly or immobile. Visit them while still keeping a comfortable distance from the front door. Check in with them and ask if they are going ok. Offer your phone number and encourage them to call you if they need help unexpectedly. Do they need help with grocery shopping? Do they need help cooking meals? Do they need medication? If you want to keep more of a distance, drop a hand-written note into their letterbox with your offer of help and contact phone number. Leave shopping on the doorstep or make a meal and leave it there, too. Be sure to message them when you do this so they can then bring your contributions indoors!
Local businesses are now finding new ways to deliver their classes and courses, and they're embracing the online space. Find your local yoga studio and join a live class. Engage in meditation and breathing exercise to keep you grounded and centred. Find a means to channel your creativity by taking an online writing or art course. Buy tickets to an online comedy show or music event. Not only will you be keeping yourself well and taking care of your wellbeing, but you will also be supporting those artists and wellbeing businesses who are struggling right now.
The hospitality industry will be feeling the pinch right now. Patrons will be lessening their time spent inside cafes and restaurants. However, you can still support these businesses without staying. Many businesses use home delivery services but are now starting to create takeaway meals and packs. Order a takeaway from your local café or business. You can still give your patronage to the businesses you love, without compromising your health. That way, they can still pay their staff, their bills and rent. Your 'takeaway' patronage can help ensure people stay employed and businesses remain open.