Because of social distancing, New York City, along with other major cities, has been particularly affected and has become a no man's land.
COVID-19 isn't only drastically affecting major cities like New York and Los Angeles; it's spread through the United States like wildflower. From shortages on toilet paper to medical masks, the outbreak has caused hardship on everyone in the nation. The best ways to help ourselves are to make sure we are informed on the current situation and to be caring towards one another.
More Information & Donations:
Currently, if you simply look up "Corona Virus in [insert city name]", Google will give you a current update of confirmed cases, deaths, and recoveries. It will also show you this information for the United States as a whole, as well as global cases.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
CDC's website provides helpful information on what Coronavirus is, how it's spread, prevention, treatment, and much more.
Food banks across America are reaching out to less fortunate individuals at this time to ensure that people are being fed. For some families, school lunches were the primary source of food during the day, so school shut downs have taken a toll on children across the nation.
Homeless Shelter Directory:
People without homes to social distance in are especially susceptible to contracting Coronavirus. In the link above, you'll find a database for homeless shelters and other organizations to support during this time of need.
Everyone has been affected differently around the nation, so I'll be sharing stories from just a few of the members in my community.
From Rebekah Vasel,
Current Grove City College student Rebekah Vasel says that she "is not looking forward to online classes; I don't think I will learn as well and I will have to work harder to stay focused and motivated" - and she isn't alone in feeling this way. Many students have complained about having to take online classes, whether it be because they can't focus outside of a classroom setting, or they don't have the means to learn from home.
For many students, like Vasel, they attend college across the country and don't have the ability to travel back home to be with family. She states that she is grateful to be staying with friends since the campus dorms have been shut down. However, she also claims that it isn't the worst situation - most college students, especially seniors, are losing some of the last moments with their friends and missing out on campus events that make the college experience so special.
"I'm in a sorority on campus and there were multiple events planned for the rest of the semester and now they are essentially all cancelled. I was excited for all of those events. I don't get to do all of the extra things that I am paying to have within my college experience."
One of the scariest things for students in this situation is the fact that there is not a concrete "end" - students have no idea when or if events have the chance of resuming or if they will see their friends anytime soon. Vasel states that she "[tries] not to think too much or too hard about the virus and become scared but it's a very frustrating thing to have become a part of your college experience, especially if this was your last semester".
From Steffanie Wilson,
Makeup artist Steffanie Wilson has recently moved to Las Vegas to pursue her career further in the makeup industry and states that "getting groceries [was] a nightmare. I just needed groceries for my new apartment. I honestly shed a tear when I turned into aisle after aisle of nothing. We were forced to just buy whatever we could [out of] whatever was left". Wilson's case in particular is quite worrisome because both her and her partner are creatives in the beauty industry. Her partner, who is a hair stylist, also had a hard time with his income.
"It's my primary source of income, but luckily not my only source. I started doing Postmates a couple of months ago and do it in my free time. Luckily, [my partner] does Postmates too, so we're just doing what we can for the time being".
To help herself get through this rough patch, Wilson states that she's "just being positive through this all [and] going to create art as much as possible. I'm actually in the process of starting my own small business to try to bring everyone smiles and also contribute to a cause". She has created a small business called Bath Ish where she makes luxurious CBD bath infusions which are organic, biodegrable, and non-toxic.
For freelance artists, income and bookings are not promised - you have to put in hard work to build clientele and prove to them you know what you're doing. Wilson's primary income relied on bridal makeup in particular; but considering air travel and gatherings over 10 people are not advised, most weddings have been postponed until further notice. "All my bookings from a couple days ago until April 18th have been completely cancelled - all the brides had to cancel their weddings due to the resort/casino closing down. I honestly had probably 6 -- 7 cancellations".
From Kelsey Garner,
Small Business Owner:
For major corporations, profits may just be temporarily minimized, but for smaller businesses like K.S. Garner, the affects may be detrimental. Kelsey Garner, the owner and designer behind K.S. Garner, says: "I've had my spring collection in the works for months now. Patterns made, fabric bought, samples sewn, and shot them on models". However, Garner was worried because "it's hard to release a brand new collection at this time because people are tight with money and many think it's insensitive to release a collection".
Just like in any economy, people face trade-offs, and small businesses are no exception - to release your collection and risk the judgment of others or to not release it and risk your company? Garner stated that "so much planning and money has already gone into it, if I want to keep my brand/business alive, then I have to release it regardless".
"This is a scary time for small business owners, but not just for small business owners, for everyone. I'm scared because I'm releasing a new collection that I put a lot of money and time into during this trying moment".
Garner's advice to you during this time is: "Instead of playing the 'I have it worse' game, let's help each other. Help a friend in need, shop local or small business if you can, babysit a friend's or loved one's kid that is out of school, [or] help the elderly with whatever they need". Hard times call for supporting one another in any way we can - these are the times when having a supportive community matters most.
What the Community Has Been Saying:
"Staying at home doing nothing tends to make me depressed"
"I miss my boyfriend"
"I'm struggling to get outside even though the weather is beautiful"
"Working from home is a privilege, but it's harder to focus at home"
These are just a few examples of what people have been dealing with psychologically due to social distancing - not to mention the financial hardships to those who were already struggling.
During this time, we need to stay supportive of our loved ones and reach out to people in need throughout our community. Donating food, paper goods, and funds to local and global organizations helps expand your reach further than your immediate circle.
If you have any useful information or links you'd like to share, please drop them in the comments section down below!
Until next time,
"We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves"