oof. I mean, big oof. now is a rough time to be working in communications, but it's a rough time for all of us. hopefully, you're holding out okay during the current COVID-19 outbreak. here in canada, more and more things are being shut down, and the situation is evolving rapidly. I'm going to try to update this page with some of the stuff that's helped me. you can always reach me if you need to talk.
let's be scared together,
hello, fellow british columbians! fellow canadians! resources for you:
visit public health sites for information. for good news, read on:
do work. read books. play games. bake bread.
help a stranger – Kindness of Strangers is looking for people to give 30 minutes of their time to remotely help someone who needs it. lend your expertise (tax help, homeschooling, resume writing, anything!) or just help people be a little less lonely. or, if you need help, connect with a Kind Stranger in the network!
tackle a writing project – the NaNoWriMo team has launched #StayHomeWriMo, seven weekdays worth of activities to support your physical, mental, creative, and social well-being. Plus, Camp NaNoWriMo coming up, and they've already got this online community thing down. join a writing group, watch youtube livestreams for real-time prompts, post on the forums and stay connected while you write.
take care of your mental health – this outbreak is likely causing some extra stress. take care of you. *hugs*
read to your friends – some friends from a forum and I are responding to the self-isolation that COVID-19 has imposed on the world by returning to an age-old tradition: oral storytelling. we're reading stuff for each other. both the reading and the listening has been a major comfort. you can listen to me reading here.
cook or bake – restaurants are closed and grocery shopping during a pandemic can be tricky. my tip: check out myfridgefood.com. you can quickly select ingredients you already have at home and it will suggest recipes. these ain't gourmet recipes, but it's a perfect way to quickly generate ideas for your next meal with what you have on hand.
go for a walk – please be responsible and continue to practice social distancing while outdoors, but get outdoors if you can! I know that getting out of the house to go for a walk can be a mood booster for me. I went for a jog early in the morning on saturday and the exercise was a good way to start the day.
practice self-keeping – this pandemic has caused major disruption to our daily routines. you may be struggling a bit to do the basics. I like to think of "self-keeping" as something separate from self-care. to me, it's the practice of being responsible for ourselves and tending to our everyday needs. my self keeping page lists a few of the small things that help me. at a time like this, the little things matter.
support artists - Matthew Burrows has started the #ArtistSupportPledge. here's how it works: if you're an artist, post images of your work you are willing to sell for no more than £200 each (not including shipping.) every time you reach £1000 of sales, you pledge to buy another artist's work for £200. hop on the hashtag and make a pledge or discover new artists who could use your support.
images courtesy of Drawing Change
note: links are mostly local to BC/Canada.
capitalism makes us vulnerable in these situations. there are a lot of people who've lost jobs, had their hours cut back, have to stay home to take care of kids pulled out of school, etc. consider donating to your local food bank. donating money is better than food because food banks are able to buy in bulk and get deals that you as a consumer could never.
I'll be honest—things started to hit home for me when the show I was meant to see on march 13th was cancelled. my local arts club stages, civic theatres, art galleries and other organizations are all closed. it's a tough time to be an artist. now's the time to buy a gift certificate for your arts club. use it later, when we can safely gather again. if you bought a ticket for a show that's been cancelled, consider donating your refund.
the need for blood doesn't stop just because we're self-isolating. if you feel healthy and are comfortable doing so, make an appointment to donate blood. take the usual precautions to keep yourself healthy (wash your hands, don't touch your face, etc.) and you shouldn't be at any extra risk. *note: COVID-19 is not a blood-borne virus and there is no evidence to suggest it can be carried by blood.
go on a supply run for those who can't do it themselves. check in on loved ones who might be struggling with stress or anxiety due to the pandemic and all the panic it's causing. offer to watch other people's kids if they're struggling with childcare. be a helper. and look for the helpers.
"What You Can Actually Do to Help Right Now – Kate Morgan