ways you can help others during covid-19 without leaving your house

a rectangular image with text that reads "ways you can help others without leaving the house" in hot pink sans serif font. the image background is dark blue with lighter blue circles in a pattern over it. in the bottom right corner of the image is an image of a white house with hot pink accents.

flattening the curve of covid-19’s impact by staying home isn’t the only thing you can do to help your communities right now. if you’re like me and looking for more to do in a time when going places is off limits, here are some things you can do to help others without leaving your home!

you do need an internet connection for most of these (and to access this post of course) and i want to acknowledge here that not all folks have internet access and that lack of internet access is an injustice.

sign petitions!

contact elected officials!

we need our politicians to act and to act quickly. call your national, state, and local elected officials and demand the things that will help us all make it through this difficult time.

you can find contact info for your elected officials at this page of usa.gov.

here is a list of potential demands you could make:

  • a rent and mortage freeze — put housing costs on hold indefinitely, not delayed for later.
  • a moratorium on evictions — you can ask your national elected officials to support elizabeth warren and bernie sanders’ letter to the deparment of housing and urban development towards this end.
  • a utilities freeze and a promise not to turn off utilities on anyone during this time — don’t delay the costs to later, when we will all still be hurting financially from this crisis.
  • grants for small business owners — not loans that they have to repay later with interest, but actual bailouts like the big businesses get.
  • reclamation of unoccupied homes for our homeless populations — these folks are vulnerable and cannot self-isolate or quarantine without safe shelter.
  • money — we need and deserve financial stability during this difficult time. ask them to support bernie sanders’ call to give each american $2,000 each month during this crisis.
  • demand free healthcare — we deserve medical attention without the financial burden of it now and always. now’s a great time to push for medicare for all, as we’re seeing just how great the need for it is.
  • demand the release of incarcerated folks — social distancing is impossible within prisons, putting those people at great risk.
  • demand the release of all ICE detainees — this population is a great risk as well.
  • moratorium on homeless sweeps and encampment removals — these folks are already vulnerable and should be let live.
  • make internet free for all — as we’re seeing being especially pressing now, everyone needs and deserves to have internet, now and forever.

if you have monetary resources, share them!

it’s a hard time right now for many of us to make ends meet, but if you have resources to spare, there are very helpful ways you can share them, including:

  • order someone groceries or other food — many grocery stores deliver and restaurants (at the time of writing) are still able to offer take out and delivery. you can support your local businesses while also getting people you love fed. be mindful of whether your loved ones consider getting deliveries safe right now.
  • send them money to pay their bills — venmo, paypal, and cashapp are so useful.
  • donate to mutual aid funds — there are mutual aid networks all across the u.s. that are directly helping folks that need it. you can find ones close to you at itsgoingdown.org. (you can find the puget sound covid-19 mutual aid gofundme here, for my local folks: https://www.gofundme.com/f/covid19-survival-fund-for-the-people.)

connect with folks!

it’s so important that we maintain connections during this time. humans aren’t built to be alone, so when it’s unsafe to be together, we have to get creative in maintaining social connections. here are some ideas of how to do that:

  • host a virtual party — use zoom or skype or facebook video messaging to dance and laugh together.
  • virtually join together to contact your elected officials — i’m going to reach out to friends to see if they’ll letter write with me via one of the above platforms.
  • create a discord or slack for everyone to hang out in — now’s the time to up our group chat game!
  • play rpgs together online — roll20 works great for this!
  • watch movies together using netflix party or one of the apps mentioned in this article.
  • play board games virtually — i’ve had tabletop simulator on steam recommended to me.
  • write a letter to folks who are incarcerated — they are especially vulnerable during this time since prisons are inherently unsafe spaces which don’t allow for social distancing. black and pink has a program you can join.

we are not powerless while stuck at home (as many disable and chronically ill folks can tell you); we can make substantial difference in the lives of others from our living rooms, from our kitchens, from our beds.

if you have other ideas about how we can help each other while staying home, please share them in the comments!

(want to support this project? become a patron at patreon.com/kymagdalene. or toss me money for a thai tea on venmo, @Ky-Magdalene.)

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