Some Ways to Stay Connected and Engaged During the Pandemic
As the coronavirus pandemic continues and the statewide Safer at Home order remains in place, many of us may experience feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and frustration. But unlike other threats to our lives as individuals or as a community, in this crisis the tools we have developed to deal with such feelings aren’t available to us.
We are asked to stay at least six feet away from each other, when we want to embrace one another. We are asked not to touch anything when we want to hold hands because we are scared. We are asked to stay at home instead of visiting those in our community who mourn the loss of a loved one.
It’s difficult to adjust to this new, hopefully very temporary, physically distanced way of being in this world and still feel a sense of togetherness. One of the reasons I’m personally involved in a religious community, and particularly in this community, is that I know my BCC family will support me when I need help.
During this trying time, we need to find different ways to care for each other, to stay connected with each other and the community at large. At BCC, Board member Hannah Theile connects folks who want to lend a hand, or say hi from six feet away, to those who need assistance. Our clergy, Rabbi Alyson and Cantor Juval, are also available to help us make connections.
The following is my own curated sampling of opportunities to learn together, to help one another, and to ask for help.
- The Jewish Federation’s Covid-19 response contains information about the SOVA food banks and how to get a loan, among other helpful tips.
- The LGBT Center’s Senior Services program supports folks 50+ with food and essential hygiene products. You can shop on their behalf next time you place an order at Amazon.
- To access help and information locally, call the community helpline by dialing 211.
- We can check in on our neighbors by joining one of the many mutual aid groups in the greater Los Angeles area.
- ShoppingHelpersLA, founded by a couple of Jewish students, connects volunteer shoppers with homebound community members.
- The Good Deeds Day blog compiled a two-part list of remote (read: virtual) volunteer opportunities.
- This crisis response guide put together by social action group LA Forward addresses a wide range of issues caused by the pandemic.
- Moment Magazine has published a guide to learning, entertainment and connection.
- Through its B’Yachad program, American Jewish University offers free online lectures and events.
If there are other ways you have found to contribute, please share them with me via email. Perhaps we can create a living document of the many ways BCC members practice tikkun olam, repairing the world – before, during and after the current crisis.