The COVID-19 outbreak has shattered any semblance of normal life across the world.
And university students – both local and international – are no different. Many classes have shifted online and depending on where you are, you’re probably stuck at home or in your flat until the lockdown or stay at home order has been lifted.
But while you adjust to this new normal, there may be many others out there who are struggling to cope with the change, as their livelihoods may have been negatively affected by the pandemic.
But you don’t have to have deep pockets or be a celebrity to make an impact on people’s lives. If you’re in a relatively good state of mind and have some resources to help, we say, go for it.
Here are some ways university students can help others during these trying times:
Donate to a food bank or soup kitchen
This report from Pittsburgh shows the miles-long line to get to the local food bank.
Trump’s America, 2020.
— Nick Knudsen 🇺🇸 #DemCast (@DemWrite) April 4, 2020
With numerous businesses disrupted due to the pandemic, organisations may be cutting costs, which affects monetary and food donations to food banks and soup kitchens from these big players.
As such, food banks and soup kitchens will increasingly need to rely on the generosity of their communities to sustain their services to those in need.
Check in on people
Now’s a good time to connect with your friends and neighbours to check on their well-being. Sometimes, a simple phone call or even a text message from someone can bring warmth to someone who may be lonely or struggling in this period.
Support local businesses
Support local businesses that are greatly affected by the quarantine!! Toko Rame, an Indonesian restaurant, is owned by a close friend & it would mean a lot to him if you guys ordered something to support 🥺 📍17155 Bellflower Blvd, Bellflower CA pic.twitter.com/6Isewwh1LG
— Rachna Raman (@Rachna_Raman) April 3, 2020
It’s never been more important to support local businesses.
Typically, the revenues generated from small businesses circulate within the business person’s family for their essentials, instead of filling the coffers of CEOs with already deep pockets.
Even if you can’t buy from them, tell your friends about their business or like or share their posts on social media. These small things can help keep their business afloat.
Volunteer with the health workforce
Are you a final year medical or nursing student?
Join the fight against COVID-19 and get some hands-on training simultaneously when you volunteer to help others at your local hospital.
You can check with your university if there’s an option to get into early service as clinical assistants and engage in support roles in healthcare settings.
This way, you’ll actively be playing a role in reducing the load on other healthcare workers.
Stay at home
As fears over a 2nd wave of #COVID19 infection mount across Asia including #HongKong, the city’s public doctors association initiates campaign to urge citizens to stay at home. “I STAY AT WORK FOR YOU, YOU STAY HOME FOR US.” – a pressing call echoing the rest of the world. pic.twitter.com/xuIhIa228G
— Phoebe Kong 江穎怡 (@phoebe_kongwy) March 22, 2020
Have you seen images of healthcare workers holding a placard that says, “I stay at work for you, you stay at home for us”?
That’s one of the best ways anyone can play a role in staving off COVID-19.
So while it’s frustrating to be holed at home, be thankful that you’re not on the frontlines of the pandemic, and that the best thing you could do for yourself and others is to continue staying at home and keeping yourself healthy.