How to support frontline workers during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives in profound and unprecedented ways. Most if not all of us are worried about someone we love—whether it’s a relative, a friend, or our community as a whole.
In the face of this crisis, it’s important to remember that even the smallest acts of care can make a difference. We’ve compiled the tips and resources below to help you find simple, concrete ways to take action.
Many of us have regained some sense of security and control during this crisis by staying home and following physical distancing guidelines. But self-isolation isn’t a viable option for essential service providers like doctors, nurses, first responders, grocery clerks, gas station attendants, postal workers . . . and the list goes on. These individuals are risking their own health to keep our communities safe and functioning, and they need all the support we can provide right now.
The simplest way to help frontline workers — and the most important — is to take steps to reduce the risk and strain they’re facing. Avoid unnecessary errands (including nonessential home deliveries) and ask your usual medical providers about rescheduling routine visits or moving them to phone or video consultations. When you do need to interact with a frontline worker, wash your hands first, give them as much space as you reasonably can, and let them know how much you appreciate their commitment to serving their community during this time.
If you want to take more direct action, consider sending e-cards or digital gift cards to employees at your local hospital, grocery store, retirement home, or other essential business. You can also donate to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to support efforts to provide frontline workers with essential equipment and supplies. And if you have a friend or family member on the front lines, reach out to let them know you’re available to talk, whether they need a sympathetic ear or a quick distraction.
Here are some additional resources to help you support frontline workers:
- Option B Live with Dr. Adrienne Boissy: Dr. Boissy, Chief Experience Officer for the Cleveland Clinichttps://www.facebook.com/optionbcommunity/videos/2152735604872005, shares insight into what healthcare workers are experiencing right now and advice that can help all of us cope with grief and uncertainty.
- How to Support People in Health Care Working During Coronavirus (HuffPo): Simple steps you can take to ease the burden on health-care workers, including respecting their boundaries, following (and sharing) expert medical advice, and checking in to make them laugh or let them vent.
- 20 Ways to Support Nurses and Healthcare Workers on the Front Lines of COVID-19 (Nurse.org): Suggestions for advocating for health-care workers, donating money and basic supplies, and expressing gratitude to the nurses (and other health professionals) in your community.
- Donate to the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund (World Health Organization): Donations go toward efforts to understand the spread of the virus, develop treatments and vaccines, improve patient care, and provide frontline workers with essential supplies.
- Project Parachute: This organization is matching frontline workers and their families with licensed therapists for pro-bono mental health support.