Providing support during COVID-19 pandemic

While many of us are practicing physical distancing and have stocked up on food and protective equipment, frontline workers do not have the same privilege.

The list of essential workers is a long one and it includes grocery store workers, nurses, doctors, janitors, volunteers and many others who are risking their lives to offer essential services during the pandemic.

Being stuck at home can often feel socially isolating, but it does not mean that we have to stop being social. There are so many ways to help your loved ones, friends, neighbours, and your community from the inside of your home. Here is a look at how you can help.

Donate to Markham-Stouffville Hospital. Consider donating unopened personal protective equipment to frontline healthcare workers at MSH. Find the list of the protective equipment you can donate here. You can also donate financially to the frontline staff through MSH Heroes.

Donate to Markham Food Bank. A lot of companies are laying off their employees, which means that members of our community will not be able to afford food for their families and will turn to local non-profit organizations, like the Markham Food Bank, for help. The Markham Food Bank is currently accepting donations of non-perishable foods at the following drop-off locations: Markham Fire Stations, No Frills, Longos, Freshco, Whole Food.

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario has started an initiative to help support health providers and other essential services workers. The initiative is simple. Every evening at 7:30 p.m., RNAO asks that you “Step out onto your porch, balcony, or open a window and make some noise.” Yes, it’s that simple. Find out more about the initiative at https://rnao.ca/news/media-releases.

Most importantly, stay connected. If you can, offer support to at-risk friends, neighbours, family members, and acquaintances. Lending a helping hand can range from dropping off groceries to simply contacting the person and checking on their well-being.

It’s easy to feel powerless while watching the number of people affected by the pandemic grow. But remember, we will overcome this together. Whichever way you choose to help, make sure to do so safely.

 

Story written by Margarita Radzevich, Community Librarian, Markham Public Library.

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