These last couple of weeks simultaneously have gone by in a flash and crawled along at a snail’s pace with COVID-19. While we all adjust to rapidly-changing guidelines and updates, we wanted to shine a light on some of the incredible ways our communities have stepped up to care for each other during the Coronavirus pandemic to be our community heroes.
First of all, to the medical and healthcare community: doctors, nurses and other hospital staff, hospice workers, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, first responders and other medical personnel as well as medical researchers: THANK YOU for being real-life superheroes. We are profoundly grateful for the work you are doing to keep our families and communities safe and healthy. That also goes for our government officials, the journalistic community, postal workers and others working diligently to ensure we are able to be informed with the latest guidelines and recommendations.
We have been inspired by the ways that individuals and businesses have been lifting their communities up. Here are just a few that hit our radar – let us know of the stories you’re hearing in the comments!
Education systems and IT workers
While schools in many districts across the country are closed for the indefinite future, teachers are continuing on to make sure their students are receiving the attention they need. We’ve been seeing stories all over social media about how teachers are continuing to read to their students each day, some even doing a bedtime story for their class each night.
School systems and other local organizations are also working to ensure kids continue to get fed while they’re learning at home. The Richmond County school system, and many others, have started sending buses on their routes to deliver lunches to kids in their district.
In an era where most of our work communications happen over email and behind firewalls, IT departments have been burning the midnight oil to allow employees to work remotely, and securely. Not to mention, help teachers, students and families stay connected, monitor networks and infrastructures so they are able to handle the new demands being placed, and defend against cyberattacks taking advantage of the situation.
Restaurants, grocery stores, agricultural workers
Our farmers, truck drivers, chefs, takeout and grocery delivery drivers are all hard at work to ensure we continue to have the food we need. Many grocery stores are holding special hours for elderly patrons and those who are immunocompromised to shop for groceries more comfortably and safely.
Small businesses are also getting creative, some offering basic supplies like toilet paper and groceries in addition to their regular menu items. One pizza restaurant in Staunton, IL, is offering free pizza for children K-12, and even distilleries are using their supplies to create and donate hand sanitizer.
Despite needing to take social distancing precautions, that doesn’t mean we’re all living in isolation. Neighbors across the country are posting signs to offer a helping hand to those who might need it the most – for grocery runs, medication pickup or other errands that might be necessary at this time. Some areas even have “mutual aid networks,” where communities are sharing needs over spreadsheets and other members with the skills or resources to meet the need can reach out to help – whether it’s sharing home goods and supplies, help getting a job, or money to help those who’ve lost work due to the pandemic get by.
What ways are you seeing your community lift one another up at this time? Who are your community heroes? We would love to hear about it.