Coming Together as a Community in the Times of Social Distancing

By Drake Belanger-Polak

Over 300 thousand reported people are infected by the Coronavirus. Cases exponentially increase everyday. Governments have mandated business to close operations and told everyone to stay inside. For a lot of us, we have been focussed on keeping ourselves and our families safe. Rushing into stores, buying everything we can, stocking up on hand sanitizer, and taking shelter in our rooms. 

Even though our communities seem fragmatended in these times, ironically, we must come closer together as a community. This aspiration may seem impossible with the practice of social distancing, but there are many things you can do to “flatten the curve.”

There are two particularly vulnerable actors; small businesses and the elderly. If you are not someone from a high risk group, there are opportunities for you to provide a service to your community and mitigate these extraneous damages.

Small businesses like restaurants have been forced to temporarily close. With already small profit margins, most of these businesses will likely fail. Unfortunately, a lot of these businesses have felt the impact of Coronavirus much earlier than the implementation of Social Distancing. Due to the stigma around China having the Coronavirus, many stores/ services run by Chinese people have been avoided. 

When you are stocking up on products, prioritize buying products at smaller companies and corner stores instead of going to Costco. Secondly, if you do find a small store or a restaurant which you enjoyed, share it on social media and talk to your friends about it. Thirdly, if possible talk to these owners, and if you have the time, offer any skills you can for free.

The eldery as many of you know, are disportionately affected by Coronavirus. Due to their vulnerability, many eldery folks haven’t been able to procure items themselves as they risk infection in areas with lots of people. 

Please make sure your grandparents are taken care of and buy supplies for them. Secondly, for others, you can donate to your local food banks( Thirdly, you can volunteer for delivery services like Meals On Wheels ( whether that’s organizing or delivering food.  Although this virus may seem formidable, if we work together, we can mitigate some of its impacts. Also, it is important to mention that many other services are still operating despite the Coronavirus outbreak like donating blood( In times of crises, our community is our only hope. Contribute today for a better tomorrow.