Throughout history, the human race has come together during times of need. The COVID-19 health crisis is no exception. People around the country are stepping up and asking “how can I help?" There are a couple of different ways to help if you are not on the front lines; you can help patients or you can help healthcare providers who care for the patients.
How to Help Patients
Donate Blood or Plasma
One of the best ways to help patients batting the coronavirus is to donate blood. Not only are some patients needing blood while they fight this virus, but there is concern about future blood supply. Many citizens are sheltering in place, resulting in people not leaving their homes to donate blood. However, the Red Cross still encourages blood donations, but has requested that people make an appointment so social distancing laws can be in place.
Another way to help is donating plasma if you had COVID-19 and recovered. Studies have shown that recovered patients have antibodies that can attack the virus and potentially help save the life of someone currently battling the illness.
Volunteer to Shop
Having a family member who is ill is putting a lot of strain on many families across the country. One of the best ways to help a struggling family is to volunteer to shop for their groceries. If someone has a family member in the hospital, simply shopping for their groceries can alleviate some of their stress, especially if they have young children that cannot stay home alone while they run errands. Of course, when you drop off their groceries make sure to practice social distancing or leave the groceries on the front porch for the family.
How to Help Healthcare Providers
There are numerous reports of hospitals lacking proper PPE for healthcare providers. Many people are starting to make homemade PPE to donate to healthcare providers. Masks, specifically, are in high demand and are relatively simple to make. If you are thinking about creating a mask, make sure it will cover someone's nose and mouth fully. Sanford Health offers instructions for creating a mask using a sewing machine.
Healthcare providers are working around the clock caring for patients and should not have to think about meal prepping or where their next meal is coming from. Donating food is a simple way to show appreciation for all of their work while they risk their lives to care for others.
Say “Thank You"
It is incredible the impact a simple “thank you" can have on someone's day. Now more than ever healthcare providers deserve thanks for sacrificing their safety, time with their families, and more to work on the front lines of a global pandemic. Whether you simply send a “thank you" text to someone you know on the front lines, hold a sign outside of the hospital, or create a “thank you" video, each kind word may mean the world to healthcare providers.