Our View: It’s time to make a choice
You can say a lot about the coronavirus, and likely you already have, mostly while shaking your fist.
But, really, the most important thing to say about it is this:
The virus, named COVID-19, has forced attention toward our daily rituals. The little tasks we perform every day, and give little to no thought, now stand out like an empty shelf where you once could find toilet paper.
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Mundane functions have taken center stage. Count to 20 while washing your hands. Avoid touching your face. Remain 6 feet away from everyone.
These thoughts are paramount. You must obey these commands. You have no choice.
It’s different with other actions taken because of the coronavirus. Some people choose to hoard toilet paper and hand sanitizer. They scrounge for choice food items. The stay-at-home order doesn’t necessarily apply to them.
There’s a better choice to be made.
Like the rest of California, our community has been told to shelter in place. We should remain at our homes, only venturing out for essential items and services.
But there are some things we can do that help others.
The option to volunteer in person is limited, but there are still ways to help people in our community.
At http://www.theunion.com you can find volunteer opportunities with Connecting Point, which partners with many local nonprofits that need your help. At the bottom of any story on The Union’s website, you’ll find links for if your organization needs volunteers and if you want to volunteer.
This past Monday FREED put a call out for volunteers to help with its phone reassurance program. Volunteers are needed to call seniors and those with disabilities — people who find themselves socially isolated — and check up on them.
Maybe in these times people on both sides of that conversation might find themselves helping the other person.
In-person volunteer opportunities are still available at the Interfaith Food Ministry.
The food bank has changed its distribution process, making it curbside and limiting people’s interactions, but there are still options for those who want to donate their time.
You can learn more about these opportunities at https://volunteerhub.connectingpoint.org.
Not everyone can donate their time, but they may still be able to donate money to causes they find worthy.
Plenty of nonprofits, too many to list here, need help. Like some businesses, not every good cause will survive these times. Consider whether you have the means to help any of these groups. Together we can provide a bridge to the other side of this pandemic.
And if you can’t volunteer in person, and your finances won’t allow you to donate, there’s still something that might work.
Maybe you can spare a book, some food or even toilet paper for a neighbor who’s going without. Maybe there’s someone who can’t leave their home, and some of your time in conversation would bring solace.
There are two paths we have, two opportunities. We can slide into selfishness and let fear grapple us. We can stalk grocery store aisles for select items, buying as much as we can. We can fold up ourselves and forget about our fellow man until this all blows away.
Or we can seize this terrible moment and turn it into something good. Help the people who need it in whatever way we can. Volunteer, give money or just give our time to those who need it the most.
We just have to make a choice.
The weekly Our View editorial represents the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.
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