With the economic and physical impacts of COVID-19 still unfolding nationwide, there is a lot of uncertainty and worry about what the future will look like. Employees are wondering when they’ll get back to work, healthcare workers are struggling to keep up with the number of cases across the U.S., and vulnerable populations are suffering.
While there’s a long road ahead in finding a vaccine that can stop the effects of COVID-19 and many questions about what economic recovery will look like, there are things we can all do to help combat the virus from a safe distance and support those struggling under its weight.
Here are five ways you can help in the fight against COVID-19 from a responsible distance.
Help make face masks at home for Project Protect.
In an effort to provide more medical-grade face masks for health workers, Intermountain Healthcare, Latter-day Saint Charities, University of Utah Health, and non-profits around the state of Utah have partnered together to create Project Protect. Project Protect is a massive community service project aimed at providing 5 million masks to frontline health workers by the end of May, and it’s a great way you can help combat COVID-19 from home.
You can sign up to volunteer on the Project Protect website, which will give you instructions on how to pick up a medical mask kit (all supplies have been provided by project partners), directions on how to sew a mask, and where to take your finished product. All finished masks will be sanitized and given to individuals in need.
To learn more about how you can help and get started on a kit, visit Project Protect.
Donate to organizations helping vulnerable communities
A simple way to help combat COVID-19 is to donate to organizations leading the fight. One organization is the Silicon Slopes Community Response Fund, which is offering resources for you and your community as well as accepting donations to aid in the fight against COVID-19.
Another organization helping those in need is The United Way of Utah. Donations will go to help vulnerable communities dealing with the impact of COVID-19 get rent and mortgage assistance, housing, crisis childcare, healthcare, and more. You can donate on their website.
Because of food and water insecurity as well as high rates of underlying health conditions, Utah’s tribal nations have been hit especially hard by COVID-19. A Utah Tribal COVID-19 Relief fund has been set up for those wishing to donate to help these communities get the resources they need.
To see more organizations accepting donations, visit Utah.gov.
Give blood through the Red Cross or ARUP
The American Red Cross and ARUP are experiencing severe blood shortages due to COVID-19 and are in desperate need of blood donations to help vulnerable individuals in need. Donation centers across the country have implemented thorough safety protocols to make the blood donation process even safer than before.
To set up an appointment to donate blood, visit the Red Cross or the ARUP website.
Small businesses are vulnerable during times such as these, and one way you can help a business you love is by continuing to shop through their website or through curbside pickup/takeout.
To explore local restaurants in your area that need your support, check out Curbside Utah, which gives you a list of Utah restaurants you can currently order takeout, curbside, or delivery from. A little bit goes a long way.
Continue to follow CDC guidelines
The easiest way to fight COVID-19 from home is to follow CDC guidelines to slow the spread and protect you and your loved ones. Wash your hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds, especially after you’ve been to a public place or after you’ve sneezed, coughed, or blown your nose. If soap is not available, using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can also help. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
COVID-19 spreads via droplets, and spread increases in groups, so it’s important that you continue to practice social distancing. Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick and stay at least six feet away from other people outside of your home. Do not gather in groups, stay out of crowded places, and when you do need to go to grocery stores or public places, wear a cloth face covering to protect others in case you are infected.
Another thing you should do is clean and disinfect high touch surfaces like door knobs, light switches, keyboards, phones, toilets, etc.
For more information about COVID-19 and how you can protect yourself and your loved ones, visit the CDC website.