It’s hard to believe that it’s been one year since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States and shut down life as we know it. For most of us, the pandemic has completely changed the way we function on a daily basis, from the way we communicate and gather with others to the way we educate our children and perform our jobs. While the past year has certainly been shrouded in moments of sorrow, hardship and loneliness, we’ve watched as glimmers of hope and healing have crept through – and will continue to do so.
As COVID guidelines relax and the vaccine becomes more readily available, it’s easy to forget about all that we have been through and to focus instead on getting back to our normal routines. But we urge you – please don’t. There are still so many needs to fill and unfortunately, the collateral damage associated with COVID isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.
So what can we do and how can we help?
- Shop local: The small businesses that make your little corner of the world unique NEED U! Order a meal for a family on your block, give a gift card to a friend or neighbor, hire that window washer, cleaning person, handy man that you’ve been putting off. So many people have been out of work this year and it will take a village to help them recover.
- Volunteer: Non-profits and organizations that rely on group volunteers have also struggled this past year. Now that businesses are back up and running, there’s a backlog of work to do and they NEED U! If you’re not in a vulnerable position and you can afford to give back to an organization that you care about, please do so. There are endless opportunities to volunteer, whether it be at your church, picking up litter in your community, stocking food a local food panty or even helping out at a vaccine clinic.
- Seniors NEED U: Imagine spending the past year in a nursing home, completely isolated from the ones you love. While COVID has affected us all in different ways, it hit our elderly friends the hardest. Think about the older folks in your life and reach out to them. In all likelihood, they’ve been vaccinated and would love to visit.
- Practice self-care: If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that community is vital to mental and physical health. Simply put, your friends and family NEED U. It’s hard to give of yourself if you feel empty. Now that spring is upon is, get out and enjoy it. Feel the sun on your face, go for a hike, spend some time in your garden or on a walk around your neighbor. When you learn to appreciate the small, good things in life, you’re better equipped to handle the tough times when they come.
Cheers to a brighter year ahead. May 2021 be the year of gratitude and giving.