Okay, here goes! I’m going to share my take on Coronavirus. First and foremost, my heart goes out to each and every individual on this earth who is fighting for their health during the COVID-19 outbreak. I am with you and your families! I’m also thinking about every person who is facing financial struggles and unknowns during this time (I think this one truly applies to everyone). In addition, I’ll preface by saying that this blog post is geared towards a positive take on the virus which includes ways that you can help and stay safe.
I really disagree with all the content out there that is serving to raise people’s levels of fear so you won’t get that here. In my opinion, the most important things one can do at an unsettling scary time like this are to stay well informed using reliable sources, to listen to the advice of the government (both on the local and national level), to focus on the positives, and to look for opportunities to help in big and small ways. Human beings are so incredibly smart, creative, resourceful, resilient, uplifting, and supportive. Let’s raise each other up, root for each other, put aside our criticisms and biases. Focus on the health of ourselves, loved ones, and communities.
Edwin and I are taking all necessary precautions and listening to the advice of the government to social distance and to stay home (we realize that being able to stay home is a privilege and for that we are grateful). For our sanity, we are going on walks everyday outside. But we are nowhere near interacting with other people on our walks. In my opinion, staying home seems like such a small thing to do in order to help our community, nation, and world that I can’t imagine complaining about it. We feel very prepared in terms of necessities and food thanks to timely grocery store runs and to delivery systems.
We wouldn’t ever consider hoarding a single item or buying excess/in large bulk as we don’t believe in contributing to community shortages when everyone is in need. I’d urge everyone to be mindful of this. In all honesty, I wake up every single day feeling grateful for our beautiful planet. Feeling grateful to live in such an incredible country full of dedicated people, and feeling positive about the future. Do I have fears about health and finances? Sure. However, I am taking everything one day at a time and turning my eyes away from all unnecessary hype/talk/fear spreading. I think it’s helped me greatly during this unsettling time!
I’m planning for this to be my primary blog post on Coronavirus and will update it daily with any new great resources, organizations, and links I discover!
My Take On Coronavirus
Where to Get the Facts on COVID-19
National Facts: I believe this is a time to put political biases aside and to focus on what the federal government is advising for the good of our nation. Focus on the positives that can come from government resources. So, for national facts in regard to COVID-19 in America, I recommend visiting the CDC website. Feel free to read your preferred news outlet too but the CDC is here with clear cut information.
Charleston Facts: If you live in Charleston (like me!), then this pertains to you. The Charleston, SC government website has a lot of general information on the virus in Charleston here. The same site also publishes every live government update for Charleston here (these are loaded with info!). For more general information on COVID-19 in all of South Carolina, head here.
How to Help During COVID-19
Help Children who Rely on School Meals get Access to Food while Schools are Closed + Help the Hungry:
On any given day, about 30 million students are provided with low-cost or free meals at school through the National School Lunch Program. As schools are closed, millions of children across the US are at risk of not having access to food. How can you help? Here are a number of organizations stepping up to help individuals facing hunger (including these students!): Feeding America // Save with Stories x No Kid Hungry // Blessings in a Backpack // Meals on Wheels // United Way // World Central Kitchen. I honestly can’t think of a more worthy cause right now!
Help Children in General (not in a food sense):
BABY2BABY provides children living in poverty, ages 0–12 years, with diapers, clothing and all the basic necessities that every child deserves. Baby2Baby has been working around the clock to provide essential items like diapers, wipes, formula, blankets, hygiene items, school supplies and more to children impacted by COVID-19. It is a wonderful organization everyday and during times of crisis like right now.
The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during the coronavirus outbreak. So many people rely on lifesaving blood donations so it’s imperative that the American Red Cross reverses their shortage. It is safe to give blood right now if you follow the guidelines set out by the American Red Cross.
Support the Travel Industry:
Sea to City Travels penned a great post on what the travel industry is going through in light of Coronavirus. Sea to City shared just how far into local communities tourism dollars go and thus why the travel industry is encouraging travelers to postpone, not cancel their trips. It is a very insightful read on a major industry that is struggling right now. So, you can help by postponing trips instead of cancelling them outright.
Support Small Businesses, Local Businesses, and Businesses Helping during Coronavirus:
Shopping in-person at small business and local businesses is most likely not possible right now as so many have had to close their doors. However you can probably shop them online or buy a gift card to them to use in-person at a later date. Doing this is critical to maintaining the economic stability of our communities! A perfect example would be to buy books to entertain yourself right now from independent bookstores instead of Amazon. I am personally trying to only shop locally at small businesses (with the exception of some groceries. Although I’m doing my best to shop our small local ones too).
The other businesses I’m super pro supporting right now are businesses that are doing their part to help in the midst of COVID-19 despite probably being tight financially as well. Keep an eye out for businesses like Weezie Towels that are donating 10% of their proceeds this week to Feeding America. A few other brands that are donating a portion of their sales are Margaux, Dora Maar, and Sezane. P.S. bloggers are small businesses so I would really encourage y’all to shop through your favorite bloggers (like me!)!
Support the Restaurant Industry:
I spill a bit more below on how to specifically help Charleston restaurants but to help the restaurant industry as a whole, the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, is the place to donate. The restaurant industry is in crisis. So, if you are able, donate to the above foundation, buy restaurant gift cards, and order restaurant takeout/delivery.
Support the Fashion Industry:
With so many industries impacted, it’s hard to grasp how COVID-19 touches each and every industry. The fashion industry is no exception. Vogue has partnered with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) to create the ‘A Common Thread’ Fashion Fund to lend a hand to those in the fashion community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about the fund here and donate to the Fashion Fund here.
Support the Arts:
At this point, most cultural institutions from Broadway to museums have had to close their doors. There are a number of ways to help. For starters, you can make a donation to your most beloved local museum, local arts organization, or local historical site. This helps these establishments sustain their income as they are no longer receiving money from ticket sales. If you are meant to attend an event in the near future, another idea is to consider donating a portion of your refunded ticket price back to the arts institution. One more idea is to buy a piece of art from one of your favorite local artists. In Charleston alone, there are tons of historic homes, museums, tour companies, playhouses, galleries, and more that have closed their doors. If you have a passion for the arts, consider making a donation to one such institution.
Help People in your Neighborhood:
Do you have elderly neighbors? If so, check in with them and offer to drop off food and supplies for them if they aren’t leaving their homes due to their greater risk with COVID-19. Also consider helping friends in your community who have kids home from school but who still have to go into work themselves.
Coronavirus in the Charleston Community
One80 Place works to end and prevent homelessness in Charleston. It is an incredible organization that I love volunteering at. Homeless individuals are vulnerable to COVID-19 so now more than ever is a time to help. One80 Place is looking for donations of as little as $27. Do you have $27 and 1 minute of time to spare? Then consider investing it with One80 Place!
COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund:
Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina launched the COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund to receive charitable donations and to support communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic consequences of this outbreak. The communities supported by the COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund include senior citizens, children, health-compromised, and workers in the hospitality and tourism industry in Charleston and surrounding counties.
Tri-County COVID-19 Response Fund:
Trident United Way and The Post and Courier launched the Tri-County COVID-19 Response Fund to address the emerging needs presented by the impact from COVID-19. Donations are used to aid nonprofits and emergency networks with a surge of assistance requests. Donations will also be used to support loss of work and financial hardships within the Charleston community because of COVID-19.
Support Charleston Restaurants:
There are so many incredible restaurants in Charleston that are adapting to COVID-19 on a daily basis. And are still doing their best to serve our Charleston community! It is imperative to limit how much we go out right now. And since restaurants are closed here other than for takeout or delivery, we can use these services to protect ourselves while also helping the restaurant industry stay afloat. I’m going to share a few restaurants (click the link to read exactly what each restaurant is doing). But I urge you to check with your favorite restaurants because I bet they are trying their best to stay up and running in one way or another! Check out: 167 Raw, Hamby Catering, The Harbinger, Little Miss Ha, Basic Kitchen, Leon’s + Melfi’s + Little Jack’s + Monza.
How to Entertain Yourself at Home
I’ve read a few roundups that I’ve found to be particularly helpful during this time as we’re all spending so much time at home. We’re all looking for ways to entertain ourselves and keep ourselves busy between working from home hours or all day if your work is completely on hold (like it is for Edwin as the film industry has really shut down). So, head to these links for lots of ideas and inspiration!
A roundup of 70 ways to stay busy while social distancing broken down into categories.
Roundup of ways to lean into social distancing.
A roundup of ideas to focus on mental health during Coronavirus.
A roundup of ways to stay productive when working from home.
I’m wishing everyone the best of health and thinking about each and every one of you during these unsettling times! We’re in this together so let’s all help each other out and encourage each other! Stay safe! xx Jillian