amongst books

amongst books

Monday, April 13, 2020

Constructive Action Rather Than Social Media Shaming and Admonishing During This Crisis

Instead of repeating “everybody stay home,” what are some constructive actions we can take?

Those who are able to stay home and who have a home are at home or they are asses and they’re not going to listen to anyone who tells them to stay home.

Those who can’t stay home because they’re providing you with your medications and your food or are working as health care workers or first responders to keep you safe, can’t stay home. Those who don’t have a home, can’t stay home. I don’t have the statistics for this, but I suspect that a great many of you have someone in your life who cannot stay home and who is not staying home in order to ensure you get what you need to survive. Why not donate funds to help get Personal Protective Equipment supplies made for front line workers, for example?            

Those who have to work are doing everything they can to practice good hygiene, if they can get hold of the necessary supplies. Those who don’t have a home need help in being able to get shelter, food and supplies. How about every time you feel the urge to remind people to stay home, you donate to a food bank or a shelter, if you have the money to do so? The CBC has a huge list of resources to give you ways to help if you can.

[Yes, I understand that this post could also be seen as a form of shaming. When I scold like this on social media, I require myself to make a donation to help the vulnerable. I will do so after I post this because I realize it is scoldy, and I apologize for that.]

And if you don’t have extra money to donate, maybe you can check in with a neighbour or call an isolated senior or vulnerable person you know to see how they are and see if you can help them get what they need. This form can show you how to offer assistance to a neighbour.

Those of us who are able to stay away from large gatherings such as a workplace, who have a home office, who even have a job at all, we’re very fortunate. We have a privilege. I know this situation is stressful. I have the privilege of my health for now. This isn’t something I can take for granted. I absolutely want everyone who is capable of avoiding groups to do so.

A lot of people live paycheque to paycheque or are on some form of social assistance that makes stocking up on large orders of groceries impossible. Perhaps you could help them out by giving a bit of money to them or to a cause that helps them.

For example, you could donate money so that a box of food or a meal can be given to seniors or vulnerable residents?

If you live in a house with a backyard and have the space to avoid going out to get exercise and air, that’s wonderful. But not everyone has backyards. That doesn’t mean they should let their kids use playground equipment, but it does mean they should be able to get outside and walk around, while maintaining the physical distancing requirements we have been advised to maintain. That doesn’t mean that the authorities have the right to fine people who don’t properly understand this necessity and need to be educated, not penalized.

Stay in a space apart from others if you have the financial and physical wherewithal to do so. And have a little empathy and understanding for those are supplying you with what you need, and for those who are without the means to live the way you do. My advice to you, if you’re still reading, is to turn that empathy for others into time and money to help them.

And if you need help yourself, if you’re feeling anxious, reach out to get help either to someone close to you or seek professional help through resources such as The Ottawa Distress Centre Distress: 613-238-3311  |  Crisis: 613-722-6914 or 1-866-996-0991.

We live in a society where we have to rely on each other in order to survive and to ensure the most vulnerable among us survive as well. I care very much about the survival of not only those I hold dear, but also everyone on the planet. I care about you. Even the ones who keep repeating the unconstructive and pointless “everybody stay home.”

Here once again is my Google sheet “advice for the rest of us” which includes a section entitled “how you can help” with a list of charities and organizations which need your help to ensure that the most vulnerable among us are taken care of, including you.

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