If you’re like me, you’ve been following the news, trying to sort out what to do and how to feel while the Coronavirus spreads, as viruses like to do. I vacillate between panicking and not panicking, and – full-disclosure – feeling disappointed but sometimes grateful for all the cancelations. Throughout all of this, though, it seems like a great time to be mindful of the needs of others.
This is the ultimate Love Neighbor event unfolding before our very eyes: a vulnerable population is put at risk, and the rest of us – whose risk is much lower – need to do some things that we might not want to do for the sake of others.
Love First is prepared for this!
The Sick or Over 70
Precautions are being put in place to protect those most at risk of Covid-19. Even if you are not part of a vulnerable group, please be mindful that your actions can have a devastating impact on someone else. This is not the time to do whatever you want because you’ll be fine.
(I mean – eek! – is it ever really okay to do that?)
Recommendations for social distancing are meant to slow the spread of Coronavirus, which will keep our healthcare system functioning, which – I hope we’re all on the same page about this – is crucial. Basically, the slower the virus spreads, the better equipped we are to care for those who are sick. Slow and steady, which means healthy and low-risk populations need to pitch in. It’s the right thing to do despite any inconvenience that might be put upon us.
Other neighbors at risk
Even though social distancing reduces the risk of a vulnerable population, it also puts others at increased risk. If you know someone whose loneliness and isolation contributes to depression, drug and alcohol abuse, or feelings of hopelessness, please find ways to check in on them. For those who are part of a church community, elderly members who are not attending church are especially prone to loneliness. Technology is our friend, so a call or text can mean a lot to someone whose suffering will increase during this time.
Let’s also be mindful of our neighbors who are living close to the financial edge and can’t afford to miss a paycheck due to missed – or slowed – work. If you are not among this vulnerable population, now is a great time to donate to your local organizations that provide food, shelter, clothing and financial assistance to people in your community.
In truth, it’s never a bad time to be mindful of the needs of others. It’s our hope that the silver lining of this crisis is that we develop habits of looking out for others that remain long after the virus is gone.
From all of us at Love First, we hope and pray you and yours remain healthy and safe during this time!
Colette Potts is a family therapist, an educator, and the creator of the Love First program. She and her husband, Matt, are doing their best to raise three loving children without losing their perspective — or their sanity.