Instead of isolating, you can help your neighbors and community this time of crisis. The number of Coronavirus cases in the Philippines is ticking steadily upward, and with it are Filipinos’ collective anxiety levels. But stockpiling massive caches of hand sanitizers and bottle loads of isopropyl alcohol will only lead to more shortages and more stress. Instead, the best way for us all to prepare is by looking out for one another.
Ways to help the community combat Coronavirus
Here are some ways that you can help your community make it through the chaos — and the virus too, if it does hit closer to home.
Donate to your local response fund
As the virus spreads, medical personnel like doctors, nurses, medics, and ER staff taking care of the sick in the hospitals and clinics could face additional pressures. In the spirit of corporate social responsibility, solidarity, and cooperation, everyone should be enjoining our frontliners with the capacity to help in whatever way to join in this case as we protect our community.
The Cebu Chamber of Commerce & Industry, in partnership with the All-Terrain Medical Relief Organization in Cebu, initiated the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. As this outbreak evolves, funding needs are increasing for various interventions. The CCCI is asking for donations in cash or in-kind to support our health workers to prevent, detect, and manage the spread of the novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and as well as secure their safety.
When donating to this response fund, you may deposit to the special account of Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.
Bank Name and Branch: Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation – North Reclamation Area (RCBC – NRA)
Bank Account Name: Cebu Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Inc.
Bank Account No.: 0-448-802116
You may contact the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry on their official Facebook Page.
Offer assistance to at-risk neighbors
The Department of Health considers the elderly and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease to be at higher risk from the coronavirus. If you’re in a lower-risk group, reach out to your higher-risk neighbors and community members and ask them how you can help, whether by picking up prescriptions and groceries or offering other assistance.
Even if they’re already fully stocked, simply sharing your plans with one another can be helpful, particularly as people spend more time at home instead of out. It can be very isolating for individuals if they’re staying away from the places they normally go to. Some assistance is also just a community, being able to talk to someone (without being very close to each other due to the social distancing protocol) and connect to information.
Plan to stay in touch while still social distancing
As COVID-19 spreads, we will continue to see more people asked to work remotely or from home, more school closings, more canceled events, and other measures associated with social distancing. Start putting a plan in place now for how you’ll stay in touch with loved ones, friends, classmates, and co-workers, even when you’re not physically seeing them.
If the idea of a day of back-to-back Google hangouts and phone calls is adding to instead of relieving your anxieties, remember that there are a lot of ways beyond a call or a video chat to keep in contact. Challenge distant friends to virtual matches on a chess app and to share the occasional photo from my day via group chat. Scheduling an hour to game online with a friend or swapping recipes in your group chat are small measures, but they let people know that you’re thinking about them, even when you don’t see them.
Stay up on your local news
Many reliable online sources offer updates regarding the Coronavirus disease outbreak. Start by checking with your community to find out how to get notified for important information like transportation availability, nearby stores and supermarkets opening hours, clinics and hospital contact numbers, and healthy tips on how to boost your immune system from your local health officers. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to get even more local.
Get in touch with your neighborhood groups and local community organizations to find out what efforts are already underway. Plans must be in place in case of service closures like banks, supermarkets, etc., and how best to stay informed of any changes. Sign up for local message boards online so that you’ll be able to share your surpluses, pool your expertise, and call on your neighbors for help when you need it, too.
Stock up, then stop
It’s tempting to respond to footage and photos of panicked shoppers sweeping shelves of hand sanitizers and isopropyl alcohol into their carts posted on social media. But panic buying just contributes to shortages — and more panic. If you already have 30 days’ worth of prescriptions, food, and household supplies at home, stop shopping.
If by any chance you have extra face masks, alcohol, raincoats, and easy-to-serve food, it’s better you extend a hand to the frontliners from Cebu Institute of Medicine. They are calling for donations of N95 masks, face masks, raincoats, and alcohol for the doctors and nurses and other frontline healthcare workers of Cebu to help protect them as they care for the patients with COVID-19.
You may drop off donations from 8 AM to 5 PM at the following locations:
– Cebu Velez General Hospital Information Desk
– Cebu Institute of Medicine Lobby
You may contact McJohn Ybañez, the CIM-SSC President, at this number 0917 355 2568, or Dr. Manuel Donaldo of the Cebu Velez General Hospital (CVGH) at 0917 320 4149 for inquiries.