How can we help each other during this pandemic?

How can we help each other during this pandemic?

There is a lot of great information on the interewebs, but this is my distilled list mixed in with some personal experience, thoughts, and tips.

Social distancing – the new way to show aloha during this time of crisis is to keep at least a 6ft space around others and boycott large social gatherings of more than 10 people.  It might seem like a stretch and may feel devastating to feel isolated, but we all need to do our part to ensure the safety of those around us and ourselves. It’s a good thing that in today’s day and age the internet is at our fingertips.  We can make use of meeting apps such as zoom and discord.  In addition, most work can be done online.  This is a great opportunity to build online support communities and try something new.  Recently, I started playing a streaming tabletop game and wow! I was really blown away with how much fun I had.

Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds (sing happy birthday twice).  This is the highest preventative recommendation by the CDC to limit the virus spread.   I have established a habit that when I come home the first thing I do is wash my hands. I also use hand sanitizer before I get into my vehicle if I’m out grocery shopping.  I don’t think there is such a thing as being too much of an OCD germaphobe right now.

Abide by the restrictions by Hawaii’s government to slow down the virus.  These restrictions might seem strict and there has never been a time where we had to do it, but I think that we all need to take this virus seriously and look to other countries that have been actively combating COVID-19.  We can save thousands of lives by slowing this down and not overloading our healthcare system. The questions I always ask myself is what are they doing and how can I use that in my own daily practice?

When grocery shopping don’t hoard items.  It’s really scary to go grocery shopping and see row upon row of empty shelves.  The feeling that this is something out of an apocalyptic zombie movie is all too real.  Naturally, I want to hoard and over buy everything because my primal survival instinct is kicking in and I’m doing everything I can to hold it together and not be a big ball of anxiety.

Right now regular grocery stores cannot keep up with a semi panicked public.  What works for me is shopping at Costco. Believe it or not they have most things!  The fact that they do not have aisles upon aisles of empty shelves is calming and provides me with a sense of relief and normality.

Tips: Make a list of items before getting into the store so you can quickly get the items you need. Remember that every time you go grocery shopping you are putting yourself at risk.  Suit up with a filtering mask (N95 or PM2.5), protective eyewear, and gloves. Shop during non peak hours. Always show kindness and aloha to each other. We are all in this together.

Donate homemade masks to those in need and medical facilities.  There is a mask shortage happening everywhere in the world.  Even when I tried to order N95 medical masks on Amazon the wait time was well over 1 month.  People in need such as the elderly and medical practitioners need these masks as soon as possible.  Washington state sent out a call to action asking for volunteers to donate homemade masks (read the article here).  It’s only a matter of time before Hawaii also runs out of our current supplies.  We can all help to make a positive impact in our community by doing a little sewing.  This is the best and easiest youtube video I found for making a homemade mask.  In a pinch you can hand sew or hot glue them.  PM 2.5 filters can be found on eBay.

Support local businesses. The Hawaii economy has been hit hard!  We are a state entirely based on travel and tourism. Did you know that most people who work in Waikiki and those deemed non essential have been laid off? While lots of businesses have closed their doors, there are a few establishments that are still open.  We can show our support by ordering curbside take out. Through my internet surfing I found an amazing spreadsheet of restaurants that are open and I’m excited to share it with you. Click here to view it.

Stay safe everyone!  We will get through this!

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