3 Reasons to Be a Good Neighbor During the Coronavirus OutbreakMarch 24, 2020 - Katie McCallum
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it can be easy to just hunker down and focus on keeping yourself and your loved ones safe. But as we all settle into what will be an unusual few months, it may be time to revisit some age-old adages, like: love thy neighbor, do unto others, sharing is caring and a friend in need is a friend indeed.
Now more than ever, your neighbor may be in need of a helping hand — and you can be a good neighbor while still practicing social distancing. For instance, you can call or text your neighbor to check in. Or, if you don't know your neighbor's number, you can leave a note in his or her mailbox or under the door.
Regardless of how you get in touch, here are three reasons to check in with your neighbor to see if there's anything you can do to help during the coronavirus pandemic:
You may help keep someone at higher risk safe
Anyone can get COVID-19, but some people are at a higher risk of developing severe illness than others, including:
- People over the age of 65
- Those with one or more chronic illnesses
We're all avoiding close contact and crowds right now, but staying home as much as possible is even more important for people who are at higher risk.
Even those who stocked up on food and home essentials are bound to run out eventually. While you may not know if your neighbors are considered high risk or not, you can always check in to ask if there's anything he or she may need.
You may help "lower the curve"
Right now, the fewer people at stores running the errands, the better. Social distancing is all about avoiding crowds and close contact in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It also reduces the number of coronavirus cases occurring at any one time — which is important, since it helps minimize the immediate burden placed on hospitals and our health care workforce.
In the digital age of money transfer apps, curbside pickup and text messaging, it may be time for you and your neighbors to consider crowd-sourcing your shopping. The end goal is simple: doing your part to limit the number of people out and about at any one time.
Before heading to the store to pick up your own supplies, consider asking your neighbors if there are items they need. Once a good partnership is set up, you may also feel comfortable asking your neighbors if they might do the same for you.
Being nice is good for your health
"What's in it for me?"
You've probably thought about that a time or two before. But research shows that being kind to other people — whether they're loved ones or strangers — boosts your happiness and your well-being.
And some science suggests that the benefits of being kind don't stop there. Evidence shows that practicing altruism and showing compassion can elicit the production of oxytocin and dopamine. These are the love and "feel good" hormones often associated with emotional warmth and pleasure, respectively.
This means that, if nothing else, helping your neighbor through a seemingly random act of kindness not only benefits them, it benefits you.