People Helping People in the Midst of the Coronavirus Crisis
The last six weeks or so have been like nothing any of us have ever experienced. In fact, most of us could never have imagined a real-world scenario in which our city, state, and country would need to be shut down almost entirely. Illinois has been under a shelter-in-place order since March 21, and many other states have similar orders in place.
Unfortunately, the stress and uncertainty of the situation have caused many people to behave in ways that are uncharacteristic. Social media, for example, is full of emotionally-charged political rants and name-calling. Similarly, some people simply refuse to turn on the news because they know that the vast majority of the stories will be negative. With this in mind, I wanted to recognize some of the more positive things that have come out of this unprecedented national crisis. Specifically, I think that the men and women who are going out of their way—often at great personal risk—to help others are owed sincere a debt of gratitude.
While most of the country has been shut down, those who work in essential industries have continued to go to work every day. Doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals, obviously, are at the top of this list, and we are extremely grateful for their dedication and hard work. Other essential industries and occupations vary by state, but they generally include food production, distribution, and retail outlets, trucking, automotive repair, and many others. Without their employees, these businesses would not be able to survive, and the rest of us would be suffering even more. If you are an essential worker, thank you for what you do.
Community Organizers and Mask Makers
The COVID-19 crisis has led to a great deal of negativity on social media, but there are a few shining examples of people making a positive difference as well. For example, in most communities, an individual or small group of people has stepped up to create online groups to keep people abreast of useful information. Some such groups keep track of local restaurants offering home delivery or takeout specials. Others are connecting people to community resources such as food banks and other charitable organizations.
There are also now thousands of people across the country who are putting their craftiness and sewing skills to work in making cloth masks for the people in their communities. Many of these mask-makers are offering masks for a nominal donation, if anything, and are donating dozens—if not hundreds—of masks to local homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and others in need.
Be the Friend Who Calls or Texts First
If you are looking for a way to make a positive difference during this difficult time, you don’t need special skills. You don’t even need to leave your home. You could simply reach out to people in your contact list or address book. A significant number of people are struggling with feeling isolated without their usual social interaction, and a simple text message or phone call from you could make a friend’s day just a little better.
You might not be the person who usually reaches out first, but these are not usual times. The good news is that we have more ways to stay in touch than we have ever had in human history. Send that quick text or schedule a virtual happy hour with a few friends via video chat. Your family and friends will be happy that you did.
We Will Get Through This Together
Despite the challenges, we as Americans are strong and resilient. We have been through difficult times before, and we will get through this also. From the entire family at the Gierach Law Firm, we hope you and yours stay safe, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who have suffered losses. If we can help you or your family in any way, please do not hesitate to call us at 630-756-1160.