Top 6 Things You Can Do During Social Distancing
As many of us start the recommended “WFH,” or work from home, routine that employers around Seattle are implementing due to the coronavirus outbreak, some among us will begin to feel a little stir-crazy and start to sense the walls closing in. Some employees might even be happy at the thought of working in our pj’s with unkempt hair and taking the occasional five-minute break to play with our pets.
However, we shouldn’t forget about the toll this crisis is taking among many people in our community—some in the service industry are already experiencing loss of income due to reduced work hours, and many are being laid off. Many restaurants are closing or suspending operations, leaving their workers without a paycheck. Remember: service industry employees can’t work from home, and if their employers close their doors, those workers have nowhere to go.
There are some things you can do to get used to working from home and, at the same time, lend a hand:
- Show your coworkers some of your home office surroundings during virtual meetings, including that cute pup or kitty that keeps wondering why you’re home all day, every day.
- Get up and go around the block to get some fresh air—but if you see someone, make sure to stay at least six feet away! And while you’re at it, check with your neighbors, especially those who are more vulnerable to the coronavirus and ask them if they need anything. Maybe even offer to go to the grocery store for them!
- Order food from your favorite delivery app—those gig workers still need an income, and the restaurants your order from will be able to keep kitchen staff on the payroll. Just make sure you have the delivery person leave the food by the door! Or keep your regular dog walker on schedule if you can. Many of them are gig workers who depend on that income.
- DONATE to your local food bank—their needs will grow as low-income people see their pay reduced. If you go shopping, get a few extra cans for them. If you’re healthy and feel comfortable doing so, consider volunteering there. Many food banks are short on volunteers because many of them are elderly and have stopped working there, so they could use the extra help.
- When it comes to the coronavirus, stick to the facts, and avoid stigmatizing other cultures and races. Social stigma hurts and can lead to ugly results.
- DONATE today—what you give WILL make a difference in someone’s life, and you will know that you are doing your part during this crisis. United Way of King County is already putting people experiencing homelessness into homes, helping students graduate and assisting families become financially stable. This pandemic will add to the need for more funds to help those who need it most.
This crisis WILL pass, hopefully sooner rather than later. But the needs of our most vulnerable community members, who already face tough challenges, will only get more acute. And the number of those who need assistance will grow as more people lose their pay in the coming weeks and months.