During the time of quarantine and social distancing in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus), many people feel isolated and helpless. However, there are still opportunities to help the people in your community. Here are some recommendations.
Follow the regulations
Staying at home might make you feel impotent, but in fact it’s probably the most important thing people can do to help with the crisis. Limiting contact with others and public spaces lowers the rate of infection, which not only protects people but also slows the spread illness so that the healthcare system is less likely to become overwhelmed.
Donate to nonprofits
If you have the financial resources, donating to charities and nonprofits is a great way to support them in a time when they may be especially strained. The city of Krakow has a list of NGOs which you can filter by category. (Unfortunately it seems to be only in Polish at this time, but the site is simple and easily navigable with a translator.) There are also small initiatives directed specifically toward the crisis, such as a way to order food for medical workers or to buy masks whose profits will go to support animals.
Volunteer your time
There are several online groups where people in need post in search of help. For example:
- Visible Hand Poland (international section)
- Visible Hand Krakow (partly in Polish)
- Widzimy (We See) Online
- Collaborate Krakow
Check in on family, friends, and neighbors
You can maintain social distancing and still support the people around you emotionally, or perhaps with practical needs like shopping if you’re feeling well – especially for people who are in vulnerable groups (like the elderly and immunocompromised) who should avoid going out in public the most.
Hospitals are facing shortages of blood for transfusions as donors stay home, and that’s a big problem. If you’re feeling well and healthy, you can still donate blood at centers where the staff do everything possible to make sure you have a safe experience. You can find out more information here.
Weronika Śmigielska contributed to this article.