Anyone else looking around at empty store shelves and panicking comments and remembering those disaster movies where the poor person in the wheelchair gets trampled by the mad crowd?
Now, before I go on I should clarify that, yes, this is a worrying time and we face a dangerous virus and by all means we should be concerned and want to take precautions to protect ourselves and our loved ones, after all, this thing is a killer..
That does NOT mean running around like Chicken Little claiming the sky is falling in; blaming people who look Chinese, ill or dirty; or emptying the supermarkets of items so that everyone else is left empty handed!!
I’ve seen enough white, clean shaven, healthy office types leave toilets without washing their hands to know that you can’t hold to stereotypes of where germs are spread from. In any case, while you’re busy pointing fingers you’re completely ignoring the things you could be doing to help the situation.
There’s more than just social politness in keeping your heads too. If you go round panicking how the heck do you think you’re going to be able to assess what potential hazards to avoid and which are in your head? If you go buying all the hand sanitizer does that mean your neighbour, who has none, is going to get ill and pass it on to you?
So step back a second and think, “Yes, I’m scared but so is everyone else. How can I help make this a less scary time and make sure we all do our best to keep safe?”
That’s not underplaying the fact that there is a danger but lets be honest, we aren’t going to be safer by worrying about every breath of air and doorknob.
So, what can you do? If I’m honest your best first step is to check for saftey suggestions from both the government and your local health authorities.
After all, I’m no expert. All I can do is offer a few extra thoughts..
You could check your neighbours to see if they need any help, particularly if they’re elderly or housebound. For instance, it could be they need some shopping but the usual resources they use have run short because of panic buying.
Is it worth offering items or money to local homeless shelters? These are people who need help to get back on their feet, may have a less robust immune system and could well be in places where they’re in close proximity to hundreds of people ( which is to say that THEY are at more risk of catching and dying from this virus ). If they have access to a shelter they have access to plenty of fresh running water and are in a place where medical treatment can be called more readily which could save their lives and prevent virus spread.
And just to reiterate – These are ordinary people like you and me, NOT some kind of enemy or monster
Speaking of low immune systems, I imagine you’ll probably know at least one person who’s been ill or has a bad immune system. They’re no doubt scared and could feel isolated. Any chance you have time to give them some support, make sure their store cupboards are filled and give them something to smile about?
But those are just a few thoughts that came to mind as I asked myself, “What could other people be going through right now.” So, the best thing I can think of ( after you’ve washed your hands and followed any guidelines which come out ) is to stop and think, not just in this current situation but in any situation where you’re scared, because you never know when you might be able to help just a little by thinking and caring.