The COVID-19 pandemic has put the world to a stop for several months now. While many businesses and public activities are slowly returning to their normal pace, the situation in many homes remains challenging and outright difficult, at times. There are people who lost their jobs, some are left alone at home for self-quarantine, while others carry the burden of uncertainty and fear in the face of this unprecedented public health crisis.
Yet hope comes alive when people come together. While the pandemic may have disrupted the lives of millions of people around the planet, it is also an opportunity to come together and do something positive. Would you like to know how you can make a difference in your home and in your community?
Here are four ideas on how to help yourself and the people in your neighborhood in this time of need:
1. Home Sanitation Kit
Every health agency and medical expert in the world has consistently stated that the best way to prevent an infection from the novel coronavirus is to wash our hands. It is something so simple and effective yet many people fail to practice. It is time to reverse that malpractice and build a stronger culture of personal cleanliness and environmental sanitation. Keeping our hands clean does not have to involve fancy or expensive materials or equipment to fight the virus. What is needed for starters is a simple hand sanitation pump at the doorway. Before we leave or enter a room, we simply pump that hand sanitizer and wipe our hands clean.
To expand the positive effect of hand sanitation, consider sponsoring a few hand pumps and an industrial type liquid filling machine or equipment to prepare hand sanitizer containers. These sanitizer containers and hand pumps can be affordably bought at wholesale. Best of all, it is a practical and effective project that can truly benefit the people in your community. Later on, when neighbors appreciate the project and pool in resources, your group can donate to other communities, quarantine centers, hospitals, and other places where people need sanitation kits.
2. Start a Viber Community or Neighborhood Group Chat
Another great idea is to start a Viber group or neighborhood group chat with two or three neighbors. Each one will invite another two or three persons from the same community. There are two main purposes for this project:
First, it will create a venue for everyone in the community to express their concerns and ask for help if needed. It will help relieve stress and anxiety knowing that there are other people who care and are on standby to assist in any way they can.
Second, the online group can become an alternative public address and emergency relay system. Group members can pass on accurate and verified information about COVID-19 such as local public health protocols, city hall or federal aid to those displaced or left unemployed by the pandemic, or any other vital information that can be shared.
3. Community Food Garden
Once friendships are built and old ties are renewed around the community, it is also a good idea to jointly build a community food garden. If there is a vacant lot that is unused, and with a permit secured from local authorities, convert that idle piece of land into a hub for growing potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, and a host of other edible plants. One person may voluntarily procure the initial supplies or a group fund is set up to buy the needed items from the nearby plant supply shop.
This project will surely be a fun, healthy, and productive activity for all. While wearing face masks and maintaining the recommended physical distance, neighbors can come out and enjoy the sun while planting seeds in their own food plot. After some time, everybody can happily take part in the harvest and share the produce equally amongst themselves. This project, in fact, is a growing movement around the world, especially in Canada and Australia.
Some studies have proven that building a community food garden not only provides a supply of fresh, safe, healthy food sources, it also creates an atmosphere that is conducive to building mutually beneficial human relationships. Moreover, it helps people in the community to save money by lessening their food expenses.
4. Virtual Yoga and Group Workout
Since the community already has an online group, why not expand the benefits by having someone volunteer to lead a yoga session or a Zumba routine on Zoom or any other free audio-video streaming app. If the members would like to contribute to paying for a professional fitness instructor, that is also an option. The main goal is to bring everybody together to have a moderate exercise which helps promote cardiovascular health, which is important right now when many people are forced to stay at home due to the lockdown. This is another fun community project that everyone can participate in.
By coming together, people can beat the boredom and uncertainties caused by the pandemic. What better way to fight back against the novel coronavirus than to engage in healthy activities that serve the common good. When we build stronger and healthier communities, people’s lives change for the better.