COVID-19 has created a good deal of stress and uncertainty in our community (and all communities), to be sure. At the same time, it’s also an opportunity to take care of our neighbors—which is perfect in a city that outlined a Community Vision that reads, in part: “The entire community takes responsibility for our collective well-being.”
That responsibility includes taking preventative measures to slow the spread, as well as proactively supporting the San Antonians whose lives might be affected more significantly than yours. Here are some ways we can all pitch in as we deal with a complicated—but solvable—situation.
First things first, do what you can to prevent COVID-19 from spreading in our community. Stop us if you’ve heard these before.
1. Stay home when you can. If you have a scheduled meeting or event, ask yourself if anything is lost by postponing it. If not, consider postponing. If you have the authority at your place of business to grant time to work from home, consider doing that. We know it’s tough, but the more we can do this now, the better off we’ll all be. Read more about what’s called “flattening the curve.”
2. Wash your hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds. It never hurts to sing while you do it. (We like the chorus from “Landslide” and the Jeopardy! theme song.)
3. Avoid touching your face.
4. Disinfect surfaces—like doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, remotes—frequently. See more about disinfecting.
While the response we’re seeing—cancellations, closures, and isolation—is the right move, it also means that many of our neighbors will experience some real consequences. Here are some ways we can help them.
1. Support organizations like San Antonio Food Bank who are helping those who might be out of work for the time being or whose children might not have access to school meals. (While you can donate nonperishables, you can also simply make a monetary donation online.)
2. If you have the ability, donate to your favorite nonprofits. These organizations are providing services to the most vulnerable and will be hit hard as events and programs are postponed. You can practice social distancing and philanthropic giving all at once. Find SA2020 Partners to support here.
3. If you purchased a ticket to an event at a nonprofit theatre or venue, and that event has been postponed or even canceled, rather than ask for a refund, if you’re able, donate the cost of the ticket to the nonprofit.
4. Consider purchasing gift cards online for the local stores and restaurants you might be visiting if it weren’t for COVID-19. You’ll be able to support these local businesses while they’re quiet or closed, and you’ll be able to use the gift card once things return to normal.
5. Ask your neighbors, friends, or family (especially the elderly and immunocompromised) if you can help them—with anything! It could be grocery shopping, prescription pickup, or just setting them up with Netflix or library books.
6. Practice kindness and patience when you do need to go out for essentials. Be kind to the retail workers who are helping ensure we can all get the things we need. Be respectful of your neighbors and buy only what you need. (H-E-B has shared that they planned ahead and will be able to replenish shelves. SAWS has assured us that they’ll continue to provide safe drinking water.)
Lastly: verify, verify, verify. Medical professionals are sharing real ways to help curb the spread of the virus, so utilize their resources for understanding. This is no time to spread false information. Check the CDC for the latest information. In San Antonio, check sanantonio.gov. We’ll continue sharing updates from both across our social media channels.