The COVID-19 pandemic has ravished our country unlike any viral outbreak during our lifetimes. Hundreds of thousands across the country have tested positive for the coronavirus, and thousands have died from it. In South Carolina alone, more than 2,000 people have contracted the virus, and there have been dozens of deaths. South Carolinians are now under a “stay-at-home” order, with only essential workers being allowed to keep working outside their homes.
Whether you have contracted the coronavirus or not, no one has been immune from the impact of this crisis. Restaurants, bars, sports and entertainment, and other businesses where large crowds tend to gather have all been closed, and most non-essential workers are stuck at home. This has impacted everyone in one way or the other, and there are many in our local communities who are struggling with the effects of this pandemic.
On the bright side, South Carolinians are coming together as we have always done when we have faced a crisis. Neighbors are helping neighbors (albeit from a distance), and people are pitching in wherever they can to help their communities get through this.
Here are some of the things people are doing to help others in need as we all try to get through the COVID-19 crisis:
Donating or Volunteering at Food Shelters: The local food shelters are having a lot of trouble with the coronavirus situation. Many of the volunteers cannot come in because they are seniors or others in high risk categories. At the same time, donations have dropped because finances are a lot tighter for many households, especially if they have just lost a job because of COVID-19. To fill these needs, some who suddenly find themselves at home are volunteering at the local food shelters to replace those who can’t be there right now. Others who are still working are stepping up their monetary and food donations to try to close the financial gap that has been created by this crisis.
Donating Blood Safely: Blood supply has dropped significantly as a lot of people are afraid to donate blood with the risk of catching the virus. To address this issue, the Red Cross has taken several steps to make blood donations as safe as possible. They take everyone’s temperature before they come through the door, and they keep donors at least six feet away from each other. All Red Cross workers are wearing gloves, and they are also sanitizing all of the surfaces between donations. This has allowed those who are able to donate to do so at minimal risk of viral exposure.
Encouraging and Helping Seniors and Other Shut-Ins: Many of the elderly and others who are immune compromised are afraid to leave their homes for fear of catching the virus. The isolation causes a lot of loneliness and depression, and the inability to go out makes them unable to obtain groceries and other essentials. Those in their neighborhoods have found creative ways to help with this. Some are utilizing the extra time they have on their hands to call or text elderly neighbors, check in on how they are doing, and encourage them. Others are sending letters and greeting cards to help lift their spirits, and still others are going out and picking up groceries for the shut ins so they can stay safe at home.
Sending Food and Facemasks to Front-Line Workers: Truck drivers, those who work in grocery stores, and hospital workers are among those on the front lines who are considered “essential” and must go to work. Though they risk exposure to the coronavirus, they are still going out to work to treat those who are sick, and to keep our society functioning. Others in the community are helping front-line workers by ordering them pizzas and other types of meals or coffee to help them get through their long shifts. And some who have the skills are sewing homemade masks that they can send to workers to help protect them from being exposed to the virus.
Supporting Local Restaurants: With restaurants being forced to shut their doors or limit their service to takeout and delivery, those who are stuck at home are doing their part to try to keep them solvent. Some are going out of their way to patronize local restaurants however they can, while others are purchasing gift cards that they can use when the restaurant reopens.
Together, we Will all Get Through This
These are just a few examples of the many ways South Carolinians and all Americans are stepping up to help everyone get through this unprecedented crisis. This will be over soon, and because we rose to the challenge, we will all come out stronger because of this experience.
At Peake & Fowler, we are doing what we can to help our community during this difficult time. We also want you to know that we are still here to serve your legal needs. Like most everyone else, we are doing the majority of our tasks remotely as we follow all of the social distancing guidelines. The wheels of justice will be turning more slowly for a while, but our firm is still fully functional, and we have the technology and resources to effectively represent our clients as we always have.
To speak with a member of our legal team, message us online or call our office today at 803-788-4370. We look forward to serving you!