What a time we are having. There is no need to list the details since we are all well aware of them. Our world has changed overnight. Many people are suffering, and it is predicted to only get worse. First, there is the issue of physical challenges, including the coronavirus. We are told to minimize our physical connection with others, and practice social distancing. As a result of this, in many states, restaurants and bars have had to close to dine-in customers and limit their offerings to takeout and drive through.
Then there is the issue of serious financial challenges many people are facing. We have often heard that we are a nation of spenders, not savers and that many families are only one paycheck away from financial disaster. Too many people find themselves at that point. Even among those who are hardworking, many now are unable to work due to the government closing them down due to the fear of the virus spreading.
The situations we are facing bring to mind the importance of interdependence. If we think of ourselves as independent, only focused on what we need and want, at times like this we find ourselves alone, which is a scary place to be. On the other hand, if we behave in an interdependent manner, we may find others are ready and willing to help us, assuming that we will do the same. This is not the time to be selfish. If we can help others, we should, while of course, protecting ourselves and our families from anyone or anything contagious.
One of the best examples of interdependence is the volunteers that are preparing and serving food to those who need it. These people are putting themselves at risk to feed children who might otherwise not have food to eat now that schools are closed.
How can you reach out and touch someone, while maintaining social distance and protecting yourself? One way is to cook a meal for your neighbors while you are cooking your own, making sure to use the best hygiene practices. You can call your neighbor and let them know that you left their meal on their porch. Or if cooking is not your forte, you can pick up a meal for them while picking up your own.
You can also offer to keep children who are unable to go to school or daycare. This should only be done if you are not in the age group that may be more at risk for the disease and are not showing any signs of the illness yourself. Your offer just might be the lifeline for a parent able to go to work or for one working from home.
You most likely have other ideas of how you can reach out and touch someone, all the while maintaining your own safety. It is time to get creative. It is important to meet this crisis from a position of interdependence. Think about it. What can you do to help others?