Jason and I are lucky. His job is in no danger, and he can easily work from home. His employer is staying on the conservative side and not bringing employees into the office immediately even if the Texas governor announces open-up orders for the state. Our kids can school-from-home, and we have all the resources they need to do that. As far as all that goes, we are really lucky during this time where so many other individuals and businesses are suffering.
I don’t believe the best plan is to open everything up to get the economy restarted. That’s going to lead to catastrophic infection numbers and more crashing medical systems. What we really need is more community and governmental help in terms of finances, both at state and federal levels, but let’s leave that aside for political debates. As individuals, Jason and I can’t do much in the wider scope, but as people who are on the luckier side of the current situation, we’re trying to do what we can to support as many people and businesses as we’re able.
This morning, Ambrose and I are donating urgently-needed blood. (Jason would donate, too, but he’s not allowed to because he lived in Europe as a kid.) If we order out, we try to patronize local restaurants like Salsalitos or Mildfire that are open for curbside pickup. I’ve been making orders from local or small businesses like Fleet Feet and Alamo Drafthouse. We’ve avoided getting things via Amazon whenever possible. Since Ambrose is a senior this year and had about $30 left in his lunch account at school, we had the option to request a refund or donate the remainder to families with negative lunch balances. We chose the latter, as we know so many families have reduced or no income right now. We’ve also tried to give to a few GoFundMe accounts of families struggling with medical expenses.
It’s not a lot. It doesn’t feel like a lot. And it’s a frustrating to be in a system/country where people are struggling to get unemployment or health coverage or small business support. But we’re doing what we can, when we can, and I know others are too. I’ve known folks making masks to send to people across the country or to donate to homeless shelters. I’ve watched friends and family grab groceries for those who can’t get their own, or volunteer with Meals on Wheels, or join car parades to celebrate birthdays at a distance. I appreciate businesses stepping up to make connection services free, or who change their production lines to make much-needed equipment/medication, or lift paywalls on important news about COVID19.
There are all sorts of articles out there right now on what we want the world to look like post-virus, and it’s this that we’re trying to keep in mind as we navigate each new day under quarantine. I don’t know where things go from here and I’m scared of what’s going to happen under incompetent leadership in the US, but on an individual level, Jason and I are doing whatever we can to support those people/businesses who need it. It may not be enough, but if everyone capable does the same, maybe it will be.