#1) Look after yourself, to look after us all – flatten the curve!
Use simple social distancing tactics like replacing hugs and handshakes with alternatives …
If we all do our best to stop the spread, we can flatten the curve! (IMAGES via The Spinoff)
#2) Check in on elderly neighbours
Although necessary, social isolation can be lonely.
Text, phone call, email or, if needed, in person, especially if they live alone.
#3) Reach out to people in self isolation
Send them funny memes or GIFs to cheer them up. Call them. Video chat them. Don’t forget about them. Make sure they feel less alone and have social support. Offer them help. Some communities have started to use these cards to help neighbours who are in self-isolation.
#4) Volunteer your time.
Know someone in self isolation or who needs to limit their public interactions? Offer to pick up and deliver their shopping, treats or other things they might need, while taking precautions to keep yourself safe. Your time and labour could be a big help to someone needing support.
#5) Counter racist fears and xenophobia
Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their origin or ethnicity. Yet because the virus originated in China, people of Chinese descent have faced a wave of racism. Help stop the fear and abuse by educating people and correcting racist comments or behaviour when you hear or see them.
#6) Combat misinformation online
Unfortunately, if not unexpected, misinformation on COVID-19 is floating around online. If you see it, report it to your platform and let anyone posting/sharing it know (e.g., via private message or commenting on the post). Get your information from trusted sources like the World Health Organization, Australian Department of Health, or your doctor/hospital.
#7) A radical idea: rent payment relief for self-isolated people without paid sick leave?
If you’re a landlord and have the extra income, you could consider (as some landlords reportedly have) freezing rent payments and ensuring no evictions occur for any tenants struggling financially due to the pandemic. What do you think?
#7) Fundraise for people financially impacted by quarantine measures
Fundraising platforms like Pozible can help you organise, but word of mouth, email and text are also tried and true ways to do some grassroots fundraising in support of someone affected by things like missing work, paying for childcare because of school closures, or extra medical costs.
#9) Make social distancing fun with video chat
Social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t feel close to our loved ones. Get creative. Have a video chat to get together and celebrate birthdays or other occasions using everyday tools like Skype, Hangouts or Zoom. Or, synchronise watching your favourite TV show or movie together while chatting via text or video.
#10) Share positive news and acts of kindness with your community
There are so many examples out there of people helping one another. Share those. Talk about those. Together we can prevent getting caught in a bad news hopelessness spiral. Spread the word about how you’re making a difference.
#11) And for cripe’s sake stop buying up all the toilet paper!
Prepare for what your household will need if quarantined, but curb the panic-greed reflex. If we want a better world, we have to learn to keep our community’s needs top of mind and share the simple things (seriously, toilet paper?! Soap is shareable and, erm, Indispensable in a time like this!).
And remember, wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. It protects you and everyone around you. It only takes 20 seconds.