There seems to be a lot of panic swirling all around us. The Coronavirus is a mysterious, shape-shifting demon which is striking people all over the world. People are expecting the worst and stockpiling has gone out of control. The grocery shelves are bare, particularly the bathroom tissue aisle. We are advised to stay home and shelter in place. No doubt about it, this is good advice. Or is it? The lonely people, the people who feel cut off from others, are going to feel even more isolated. I saw some pretty good ideas for ways we can reach out to others without risk of contracting the virus. First of all, reaching out through the internet is always a good option. You can email, message, or send ecards. It’s easy, it’s fast, you don’t have to risk going out to mail letters or worrying about running out of stamps. If you don’t feel inclined to go online, just give your loved one a call to let them know that you are thinking of them. Getting back to the bathroom tissue situation, if you happen to have a few extra rolls, how about sharing them with a neighbor who may be running low? Also, a local church has set up a blessing box for their neighborhood. If you have some extra food to spare, put it in the blessing box. If you need something to help see you through to payday, just take what you need. This would be useful anywhere.
I keep thinking of a song from 1968 called, “Reach Out In the Darkness”. The best thing we can do during this time is to reach out to each other and say, “Are you okay? I’m thinking of you.” Then maybe people won’t feel so isolated and alone. I saw a good idea on Facebook. This time of quarantine is really going to impact the restaurants. One good idea to help them is to purchase a gift certificate online, particularly for one of your locally owned restaurants. This gives the restaurant access to money, and gives you a nice dinner out to look forward to when things settle down.
There are a number of websites available for you and your children to continue your learning during this time.
Top 10 education websites to teach you for free
Academic Earth: academicearth.org.
Internet Archive: archive.org.
Big Think: bigthink.com.
Futures Channel: thefutureschannel.com.
Khan Academy: khanacademy.org.
And, of course, there is FreeRice https://freerice.com/). This is a terrific site to work on your vocabulary skills, and every correct answer results in a donation of 10 grains of rice to hungry people all over the world. And another great boredom-buster is Freekibble (https://www.freekibble.com/) , provides 10 pieces of kibble to shelter dogs; Freekibble kat (https://www.freekibble.com/kat/) provides 10 pieces of kibble to shelter cats and Freekibble litter (https://www.freekibble.com/litter/) provides litter to shelter cats (a major necessity!).
And today I discovered another interesting site that does good. Free the Ocean https://www.freetheocean.com/) is a marine-based trivia site that removes one piece of plastic from the ocean each day you play the quiz. I know that one piece doesn’t sound like much, but it’s all these good deeds that add up to help our world and the people in it.
I was reminded of the time when my husband and I first moved to this area. We had school debt and were flat broke. Our first paychecks weren’t coming for a few weeks, but we had greater riches. We had dear friends who were in the same situation. So we pooled our meager resources and had the tastiest meal! Friendship is the best seasoning.
If I could close with one request, it would be this. Please pray for all the lonely people; pray for the people who have no one to pray for them; pray for the people who will be adversely impacted by this pandemic; pray for those who will lose their pay or lose their jobs. We all need each other. In the words of Jesus, “Love One Another”. Let’s work to lighten each other’s loads.
Please take care of yourselves,
“Be someone who makes everybody feel like a somebody.” unknown