Most everyone seems to be feeling their last nerve getting raw, are afraid, and angry at whoever seems like an easy scapegoat. The vast majority of people, like 70%, want the stay-at-home orders to continue but everyone also wants people to be able to go back to work and support themselves. I can’t comprehend how frustrating it is, what desperation is felt, to be in line for hours for charity – for food for their kids. I can’t imagine the panic people must feel who are doing things to feed people, like making meals in restaurants or helping in food pantries, when they see the huge number of people who are in need of something as basic as food.
There are some things that I know to be true. First, we have to limit contact, to protect ourselves and to protect others from contracting the disease. Second and just as urgently, we have to make sure that people who are suffering the economic, emotional, and physical hardships as a result of the virus are able to get their needs met, if only at the most basic level for now. Third, this is a crisis and we need to respond quickly – but it is also a problem that will be around for a long time so we need to be aware of and respond to the changing needs of people as the virus makes its way across our very large country and then returns again and probably several times more.
This is a really big problem that is beyond the scope of what any individual or local community can solve – we need to make sure government leaders at all levels know what the needs are and what we expect them to do. But I believe it is important for each of us to do something to help, for the good of our communities and also ourselves. We are leaving for our home community tomorrow after spending the winter in a warmer climate and I am eager to get back into helping that community.
I am really excited about getting to my stash of fabric so I can start making masks again. I know that community well from my years of leading a social work program at the local university and I’m eager to do some calling to see who can use masks.
There was a commentary in the local paper this morning that suggests everyone who has an income commit to tithe some % of their income during this pandemic. The author of this article suggests that money be given to local communities, to agencies or groups that are helping people deal with hunger or health issues or their anxieties. I know that I need to help support those who have lost jobs or are working reduced hours at lower wages. Jim and I have been talking about how we are going to disburse the money we are able to give. Some of the money will go to our Florida church who does a lot of mission with farm workers in a nearby community. We will also give to the food bank in our community in Michigan. This excites me. Do you have ideas of organizations that may need financial help? Would you be willing to join in this commitment to help your local community – either through monetary contributions or safe volunteering? It seems to me that by helping others we experience a closer tie to our communities.
I’m really interested in what you are doing to help others as you help yourself get through these trying times.