Healthcare workers have been deeply affected by the coronavirus. Here’s how you can help.
The coronavirus has affected all of us, but there’s no doubt that health workers have received the blunt of the impact. These people have been working grueling hours and have endured terrible amounts of stress. In New York only, more than 900 public hospital employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
Here are some simple ways to help them and offer support during the pandemic:
Follow your state’s rules
The strongest measure we can take to help healthcare workers is to stay home and not overwhelm hospitals and clinics. If you have to leave your home, be sure to follow social distancing guidelines, avoid cluttered spaces (even if they’re outdoors), and follow your state’s guidelines. For example, if you live in New York, be sure to wear masks when outside, even if you’re going for a run.
Donate equipment if you have it
Ever since the coronavirus appeared, hospitals have reported shortages on masks, gowns and all sorts of medical equipment. If you happen to have a surplus, donate it to hospitals in need. You can also donate money to PPE (personal protective equipment) fundraisers through sites like Fundly and GoFundMe.
Help make masks for hospital workers
People who can sew or know their way around a 3D printer have been getting creative with face masks and coverings, donating these to hospitals that need the help. While cloth masks aren’t as effective as N95 masks, they’re better than nothing and have been found to lower the spread of COVID-19. Facebook is a good place to find groups and organizers that are requesting these items and that can connect you with workers in need.
Due to social distancing guidelines the U.S. is in dire needs of blood donations, which is why the FDA has loosened up some of its restrictions, even if for some reason gay men still can’t donate. In order to give blood, give a call to 1-800-RED-CROSS and ask for your nearest center. You can also visit the Red Cross website which provides all the necessary information.
Don’t hoard supplies
One way to help everyone right now is to be mindful with your purchases. Although you should take advantage of delivery services, don’t crowd them. Don’t hoard supplies, medicines or foods, especially those products that are in high demand. Buy a reasonable amount of toilet paper and don’t take hand sanitizers or other cleaning supplies from hospitals or grocery store staff. The reason these items are in short supply is because people see others stockpiling and do the same…and the vicious cycle repeats itself. The country is not going to run out of toilet paper. We’re just not.