As many of us are sheltering at home during COVID-19, we are wondering how we can help the hospital workers who are fighting to save our loved ones and friends, putting their lives at risk every day. Everyone is struggling with heightened emotions, feeling helpless, and wondering how we can help during COVID-19. Here are a few ways that you can immediately help.
Offer Your Home on Airbnb
If you’re in the position of having a vacant, furnished home, this is a great opportunity to offer your home on Airbnb to first responders and frontline hospital workers who are putting their lives in danger every day. Many of these people are returning home after their shifts, scared that they may have contracted COVID-19, and worried that they may pass it onto their family at home.
Airbnb is partnering with hosts to provide frontline stays for 100,000 COVID-19 responders. If you don’t have a vacant home to offer, but perhaps live alone, there may still be a way you can help during COVID-19. It is very likely that our shelter in place orders will be extended beyond the current guidelines. Residents in California have been sheltering in place since March 19, and residents in Illinois since March 20. For residents who have been abiding by this order, it’s been at least 3 weeks of sheltering at home with minimal contact with the outside world.
Because of this new reality, some of my friends who also live alone are choosing to combine households during the shelter-in-place order, and it makes a lot of sense to me. If you are considering combining households during this time, then you may also consider temporarily offering home on Airbnb to frontline responders, who are looking to self-isolate to protect their family while they are treating COVID-19 patients. Airbnb has even posted cleaning guidelines, to keep everyone safe and able to help during COVID-19.
Another way to help during COVID-19, is to consider donating to an organization like Frontline Foods, which has partnered with World Central Kitchen to deliver meals from local restaurants to frontline hospital workers. When I made a donation today, I was able to choose which city I wanted the funds to go to, so I could support hospital workers in my city, as well as local restaurants who are also struggling for business during the shelter in place.
Another great way to help during COVID-19 is to simply stay home! Well, it’s really not that simple. As it turns out, it’s very hard to stay home, whether it’s staying home alone and isolated, trying to make ends meet when you can’t get to your job, or balancing a full house with working parents and kids being home-schooled. Here’s a map of the cities and states that have stay-at-home orders — so you are far from alone in this. The longer that everyone stays home, the better chance we all have to flatten the curve, and preventing our healthcare system from being pushed beyond capacity. The more we are able to bend the curve down, the better chance we have of saving lives.
Lastly, you may have some N95 masks or other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that you would like to donate to your local hospitals and frontline responders. With the increase in wildfires in California, some residents were able to stock up on N95 masks well before COVID-19 started. If you’re wondering how you can help during COVID-19, consider donating your spare PPE. Many people are also sharing videos on how to make your own PPE, so that we can save the much needed N95 masks for the frontline responders who truly need it.