Coronavirus: How You Can Help

Coronavirus: How You Can Help

With coronavirus cases continuing to rise, as a nation it’s never been more important to pull together. Whether it’s picking up prescriptions or groceries for quarantined neighbours or friends, or donating to local food and blood banks, there are things you can do to make a difference – safely.


With the government preparing to advise all over-70s remain inside for a prolonged period, elderly members of society risk feeling more isolated and alone than usual. If you have older relatives or friends, be sure to check in via phone or text to ensure their spirits are kept high. Ask them if they need anything you could pick up and leave safely at their door, or try suggesting things they could watch or read while spending time inside. Be sure to tell them your news or updates too, so they feel they’re still in the loop with their friends in the outside world. If they’re up to it, suggest using Skype or FaceTime to alleviate feelings of loneliness – it’s amazing what a simple chat can do. Otherwise, check out organisations such as The Silver Line or Age UK which will pair you with an elderly person to set up regular phone calls via a ‘buddy’ system. 


Aside from maintaining regular contact, anyone who finds themselves required to self-isolate could still need vital access to regular medications or supplies. Be sure to check in with neighbours and friends to see if there’s anything you can pick up for them and leave safely on their doorstep. Bear in mind that friends who are single or living alone might be struggling more than others with family nearby – so let them know you’re there for them. 


Anxiety and depression are just two of the numerous mental health issues triggered and exacerbated by the current circumstances – which means certain support charities are bound to find themselves overwhelmed by high demand. Whether it’s the Samaritans, Mind or Age UK – plenty of UK-based charities need our help to keep going. Volunteering might take a back seat during the age of social-distancing, but as traditional lines of income – such as charity shops or events – are curtailed, anything you can spare money-wise will be appreciated. If you’d like to help the situation in Italy specifically, Italian blogger Chiara Ferragni has set up a Go Fund Me campaign to provide additional equipment and beds for Milan’s San Raffaele hospital – after making a personal €100,000 donation of her own.


To ensure there’s enough to go around, it’s time to stop stockpiling. It’s hard not to be pulled into the panic cycle, but hoarding more supplies than you realistically need or can use isn’t fair. If you look around and think you might have overdone it, ask a neighbour or friend if there’s something they’re missing or running low on. You never know when you might suddenly find yourself in the same situation, hoping someone else is generous enough to share.


On a related note, if you think you might have more than you need, donate the excess to those desperately in need. Just because there’s a pandemic doesn’t mean we should forget about the tireless work done by homeless shelters and food banks all year round. It’s their job to make sure enough basic hygiene products make their way to those living in terrible circumstances – and a sudden shortage in toilet paper, hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes isn’t helping. Give back what you don’t truly need.


With current government advice warning against visiting local cafes, bars or restaurants – not to mention theatres, cinemas and event spaces – plenty of small businesses are facing an enormous challenge to stay afloat. See if your favourite restaurant or bar is offering customers the chance to purchase a gift card which could be redeemed at a future date. Similarly, other venues are asking loyal customers to ‘pledge’ what they can to supplement lost income so they won’t be forced to close their doors. Use social media to stay in contact with your favourite haunts, and see what you can do to help financially.


It’s rare that the NHS has enough under normal circumstances, but enforced quarantine along with a rising number of hospital admissions means a severe blood shortage could soon be a reality. Most people aged between 17 to 65 can donate – assuming they don’t have certain pre-existing medical conditions – which could make all the difference in getting someone the treatment they need. For more information visit

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