It has been more than a year since the coronavirus outbreak occurred in different parts of the world. Today, people are living in what we call the “new normal.” To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, countries have been implementing lockdowns and other restrictions based on the latest updates about the virus.
In line with that, everyone is strictly advised to follow social distancing guidelines. This means that they have to stay at least six feet apart from other people as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On top of that, COVID-19 lockdowns have left the majority of the population with no other choice but to stay at home for an indefinite period.
These sudden changes have affected the usual routines and lifestyle that every person has. And the prolonged social isolation is starting to show detrimental effects on them. In fact, studies have shown that socially isolated people often feel lonely, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental and physical health consequences.
It’s needless to say that the pandemic has turned the world upside down. Many people are getting sick, while others are losing their jobs. Each day, more and more individuals are coping with the fear and uncertainty of what will happen next. As the fight against COVID-19 continues, simple acts of kindness like volunteering can go a long way.
Factors to Consider Before You Start Volunteering
Becoming a volunteer is an effective way to make a difference. Volunteering during these uncertain times can change many people’s lives, especially those heavily affected by the pandemic. Of course, since safety is the main priority, there are some factors that you need to consider first before you commit yourself to a specific volunteer activity. Here are some of them:
In-person or remote
Decide whether you prefer to offer your help by going to a specific location personally or by doing things from the comfort of your own home. If you want to be there in person, make sure that you follow health and safety protocols and that the organization you’re going to volunteer for puts everyone’s well-being first. If you want to stay at home, there are many online volunteer opportunities that you can explore.
Doing volunteer work means giving some of your personal time and fitting it into your schedule. It’s important that you carefully determine the amount of time that you’re willing to give. Volunteering should make you feel comfortable, not exhausted.
Skills & Experience
Nothing beats experience, and using the skills you have gained through your experiences is the most effective way to help others. You can teach others how to do certain things that can help them handle situations at present or in the future.
Many people do volunteer activities that are related to what they’re passionate about. Doing something that you love will definitely result in an enjoyable and memorable experience. It will keep you engaged and committed for a long time.
Top 4 Places to Volunteer during COVID-19
Health care workers are on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19, and they need all the help and support they can get more than ever. You can volunteer in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, hospices, and other health facilities.
Older patients are the most vulnerable to the disease, and you can help them by doing simple actions such as getting their groceries and teaching them how to use apps for online communication. You can even provide companionship to patients who are undergoing different types of palliative care.
Local food banks
To support individuals struggling to put food on the table, you can donate healthy meals and non-perishable food items to local food banks. You can even participate in sorting, packing, and distributing them.
Due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases, blood supply is reaching a critical level. Some patients suffer from severe complications, and they require blood transfusions. If you’re planning to donate your blood to save lives, check out the guidelines about COVID-19 vaccines and blood donation eligibility first.
Local animal shelters
If you’re someone who cares a lot about animals, you can volunteer at your local animal shelter to help homeless pets find their forever home. For example, you can raise awareness about animal adoption procedures on social media. You can even try to foster a dog or a cat to provide temporary care until you find its new owner.
Being stuck at home during the pandemic doesn’t mean you can’t do anything but wait until this crisis is over. You can take the initiative to help and support other people. Keep in mind that there are more volunteer opportunities out there to explore.