While we hear of discrimination particularly against healthcare workers and Asians, these are unfortunately and obviously due to the restrictions people are experiencing at this time.
It’s a mental health thing – that even domestic violence has gone up. Still, a pandemic or having a lockdown is no reason to speak ill or do wrong to others – but instead, help each other more.
Let’s see some ways we can get kindness into action.
Organized Donations. This is the most common thing for those who wishes to help would do, solicit financial contributions – in person or online. While this method would certainly help, there should be targeted recipients for this to make it more worthwhile or effective. It can not simply be for the general public, like, this donation is for all poor families. Instead, it should be the proceeds of this effort, for example, would go to all the unemployed of XXX city – or the struggling employees of YYY company. Something like that.
ONE. Simply classifying poor families from not could miss out aid for those who are actually struggling but not classified as poor. This classification could happen because their ‘irregular’ income was overlooked – that they struggled more when the pandemic happened. TWO. Some ‘groups’ or areas could be more favored by organizers, therefore, favored groups could be given more aid instead of those who needs it more. THREE. Those who could actually contribute much more would just dip their conscience in a pool of little donors by giving breadcrumbs. The rich and the elites should have a different ‘donation box’ as in a separate organization receiving their donations to see who ‘really wants to help’ as per their net worth. After a cut off, only then would these contributions be divided among the recipients.
Food Packs. Another common way to help during COVID-19 would be through food packs. Problem with this one though is that you would need a lot of help in packing, carrying and transporting the food. And if these are cooked meals, then you only help in one serving. Now, while canned food and other staples are good, you should watch out for possible dishonest volunteers or officials who could pocket some of the goods which could reduce the allotted pack for donation.
Sheltering the Homeless. We do not really hear many who does this. As even when COVID-19 was still nonexistent, the homeless was generally ignored – even by governments. But we are in the time of a pandemic and leaving the homeless on the streets would only make matters worse.
While there are business owners who took action in using their kiosks to shelter the homeless, terminals could be a better option for the fact that travel is still restricted. Not to mention the cleaning facilities it has and the number of people it could accommodate.
Giving Alms. Just like sheltering the homeless, sadly, beggars are ignored by most – and that some governments even have an anti-mendicancy law. It’s like being poor is a crime!?
Okay, teach a man to fish and you feed him for life – then why not give them livelihood? Give short, practical training then give them jobs. Easier said than done? No. Governments and the rich just find it too much work. Okay, there are already NGOs for this, then again, there’s a pandemic that ‘begging’ only showed that donations and support are still lacking.
Check on your friends, relatives and connections. This is as easy as giving a phone call or sending a text message – or even emailing the people you know. Especially since we are in lockdowns, many could be stressed due to financial problems. Ask how they are holding up. Offer them help – whether money, a remote job or a referral.
Do not worry about a reduction in your own cash flow. Remember, what goes around comes around.
Debt relief or Grace period. Even institutions are offering this, how much more between individuals? In fact, there are even laws to this that governments have at this time, like, extended deadlines on house rentals.
One can not just pressure someone who owes him to pay since everyone is on the same boat. We are on lockdown. You can not just say you need the money because you are also being pressured to pay. That’s insensitive. And if you evict him because he owes you, that’s inhumane.
At this time, the only expenditure most households have is just on food. No tuition fees to even worry of since there are no classes. Besides, not everyone even spends on gas to run errands but many just walks. Meanwhile, for areas who just eased their lockdowns, would workers get paid immediately upon returning? No. So pressuring those who owes you when they are still struggling is inconsiderate.
If you worry about your cash flow, then do not indulge in your food. Cut costs. Do not live on pre-lockdown meals. Learn to adjust. It’s part of life.
Neighborly Help. Even the Holy Scriptures says so, “Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you — better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.”
This is true whatever religious sect one may belong to. Better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away as immediate help could be given. And so, be that good neighbor. Do not hold grudges. Do not even listen to rumors about you, but only when it comes from talking face-to-face with the rumor-mongerer himself. Dislikes and misunderstandings are normally just the result of lack of communication.
At the end of the day, be sincerely helpful and considerate even after this pandemic. Remember, there is a God and there is what we call ‘karma’.