The Coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of changes in our lives and daily habits. Movement is restricted, most religious and social gathering are closed and people are now quarantined. There is also the threat of a recession or an economic downturn that might mean loss of jobs and more poverty.

The pandemic is not just a health crisis, it is an economic crisis as well. This calls for people to pull together (not literally) and help the most vulnerable among us. This can be done even though we are in self-isolation.

Here are a few ways you can help people while in isolation:

  1. Help Yourself: The thing about this pandemic is that when you endanger yourself, you endanger people around you like your loved ones, family, friends and especially the elderly. This is a difficult time for everyone but it is pertinent you look after yourself as best as you can. Stay away from crowded places, do not leave the house unless you absolutely have to, avoid handshakes and wash and sanitize your hands at any chance you get. By keeping yourself safe, you are keeping others safe as well.
  2. Check up on Elderly Neighbours: More than ever, the elderly ones need our help, especially those who do not have younger people to look after them. Visit them (but keep a safe distance), say some nice words to them, pray for them if you can and if possible, help them with supplies that they might be lacking. They need you more than ever in this difficult period.
  3. Reach out to those that are quarantined: Those that might have symptoms and those that might be self-quarantined if they have tested positive to the virus need all the love they can get. It is one thing to be sick but when one is sick and alone, the least we can do for them is to show them that we care. Send goodwill messages, funny videos and gifs and call them regularly to give them a sense of belonging.
  4. Volunteer: While those at the frontline are health professionals who possess specialized skills to deal with the sick, there are lots of ways the rest of us can help in this dire time. We can help our neighbours in self-isolation pick up deliveries, we can help educate people in our community on the steps to take and we can appreciate those in the frontline with words of encouragement.
  5. Fundraise for the vulnerable: Old people, people who will lose their jobs and people who cannot afford supplies need all the help they can get. Organizing an online fundraiser to help them cushion the effect of this pandemic is a great way to contribute to the solution of this problem.
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There are a lot more we can do. One of them is countering misinformation online (this means you have to be informed yourself) as getting the wrong information can lead people into unnecessary panic and fear. It can even make them lacklustre and careless, thereby exposing them to the virus. This is the time to reach out to the most vulnerable and make them remember that they belong to a community of people that loves and cares for them.

Samuel Ejedegba