With executive orders in place to keep as many people isolated indoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it may seem like there is nothing to do but to sit at home and weather out the storm. However, there are plenty of opportunities out there that individuals can do to help the country get through the crisis. From basic precautions, to some unique ways of helping the fight, take a look at some ways you can make a huge difference from the comfort and safety of your own home.
- Stay home as much as possible. Executive action has been taken for a reason; we must avoid contact with people to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Around 60% of people with Coronavirus show mild or no symptoms; people with no symptoms can still infect others.
- Protect the most vulnerable. Avoid unnecessarily stockpiling food and medical products; take what you need and leave the rest to others who may need it. Also, only go to get tested when you show clear signs of COVID-19. Although many may have it but not show any symptoms, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions are at risk for a worse case scenario. Let doctors focus on the severely affected and help preserve testing kits for those in dire need.
- Support your local businesses. Shop from them online, order takeout, and purchase gift cards. Many businesses are struggling to stay afloat and may not have much time left until they have to close doors. Support them and encourage others to do so as well.
- Donate to local nonprofits. While most establishments have been advised to decrease their workforce by 100%, there are a plethora of nonprofits in our community that are continuing to help the community and fight the Coronavirus pandemic. For instance, Long Island Cares, Inc., a nonprofit food bank, has been providing emergency food to people in need in light of product hoarding. For a list of Long Island charities, click here.
- Help seniors who are at risk. If you or someone you know has an elderly loved one, it is important to avoid unnecessary visitations and contact with them. The CDC reports that older Americans are 31% of cases, but they accounted for 53% of ICU admission and 80% of deaths. Think about that before leaving your home.
- If possible, give blood. Due to heightened hospital capacity and inability to hold blood drives, there is a major blood shortage in hospitals and the American Red Cross. Contact your local hospital and American Red Cross to see if you qualify to donate blood. Remember, you must be healthy and not show any signs of sickness in order to donate.
- Volunteer in your community. There are many volunteer opportunities available that can be done from home or out in the community with safety precautions in place. Visit this Google Doc for a list of local volunteer efforts around the country. Also, Invisible Hands in New York is looking for healthy and low-risk volunteers to help with free grocery deliveries for at-risk community members facing COVID-19.
- Donate your computing power. According to ScienceNews, the Folding@home project is working to use crowdsourced computing power to run simulations of proteins for researchers studying diseases. Proteins are tools that help the virus infect human cells, and researchers have begun looking at proteins found in the Coronavirus. Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus focus, they have already gathered an additional 400,000 volunteers to donate their unused computing power to the effort.
Tania Quigley, CPA
Tania Quigley has been a member of Cerini & Associates’ audit and consulting practice area for ten years where she focuses on serving the firms nonprofit and employee benefit plan clientele. Tania has experience in performing financial statement audits and reviews, tax return preparation, cost report preparation and filing, retirement plan audits, and other consulting. Tania brings her expertise, diversified background, and helpful approach to all of her engagements.