The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event that is unlike any other that we have experienced in our lifetimes. Hundreds of thousands have been infected by the coronavirus, and thousands have died from it. The “shelter in place” orders that have been issued in response to the outbreak have resulted in countless businesses having to close, and millions of Americans losing their jobs.
The coronavirus outbreak has impacted every area of our society, and although some may be immune to the virus, no one has been immune from the effects of it. This is one of those rare experiences that is shared by everyone, and we can truly say that we are all in this together.
Clearly, we are facing a deadly virus that is killing many of our citizens, and this situation has been hard on a lot of people, particularly those who are grieving the loss of loved ones. But Americans have faced challenges like this before, and we have always pulled together to overcome them.
While many people are hurting out there, those in our communities are stepping up to help each other get through this. For example, here in Pittsburgh, there are countless examples of residents and businesses who are going above and beyond to serve their neighbors during this time of need.
Here are some of the ways the Pittsburgh community is pulling together during the COVID-19 crisis:
Donating and Volunteering to Food Shelves
Pittsburgh’s local food shelves have been hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic. With so many people losing their jobs and/or getting ill because of the virus, the need for donations is greater than it has been in a long time. At the same time, a lot of the regular volunteers are not able to come in because they are elderly or in other high-risk categories and need to avoid public contact for a while.
To answer this need, many who have the financial capacity have stepped up to donate to the food shelves. Others who are healthy and suddenly find themselves with a lot of time on their hands have stepped up to volunteer. In the aftermath of COVID-19, the need at the local food shelves is likely to remain high for the foreseeable future.
Donating Blood Safely
A Lot of people who normally donate blood are not doing so because they are at greater risk of contracting the virus than the general public. The Red Cross has taken many steps to ensure a safe environment for those who donate. They take the temperature of prospective donors before they come through the door, and they keep donors at least a 6-foot distance from each other. All Red Cross personnel wear gloves, and all of the services are sanitized between donations. As more people become aware of the need for blood and the measures the Red Cross is taking to ensure everyone’s safety, citizens are answering the call, and many who have never donated before are doing so for the first time.
Supporting Front-Line Workers
While many of us are staying “safe at home”, there are a lot of essential workers who are on the front lines treating those who have become sick from this virus as well as keeping all of us supplied with our essential goods. These include healthcare workers, truck drivers, and those who work in grocery stores. To show support for those who are putting themselves on the line to keep our society going, some are sending them food, gifts, and appreciation cards. Others who have the skills are making homemade masks that frontline workers can use to minimize their viral exposure. Any gesture of support or encouragement for those who are hard at work every day goes a long way, even if it is just a simple “thank you“.
Supporting those Who are Shut-In
The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially hard on the elderly and others who are immune-compromised and concerned about leaving their homes. To help those who are shut in, many of their neighbors are calling to check up on them and make sure they have everything they need. There have also been stories of Uber drivers who deliver groceries to shut-ins between trips. The isolation and loneliness can be very hard on many people, and sometimes just a phone call to provide virtual companionship is very much appreciated.
Supporting Local Businesses that are Impacted by the Shutdown
With restaurants having closed or limited their offerings, local consumers are doing what they can to support them and help them stay afloat. If a restaurant is still open for pickup or delivery, those in the community are patronizing it as much as possible. If they are closed for the time-being, they are buying gift cards to be used later so the restaurant can get some immediate revenue.
We are Here when You Need Us
At Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, we are doing our best to help our community get through this difficult time. Like everyone else, we are doing most of our tasks remotely, and we are taking all the precautions and following all of the social distancing guidelines. In addition, we are doing what we can to support those in need within the Pittsburgh community.
We also want you to know that we are here for you if you need legal help. Though we are essentially running a virtual practice these days, we are still well-equipped with the technology and resources to successfully represent our clients like we always have. It is true that the wheels of justice are turning more slowly right now, but we are confident that once everything returns to normal, the courts will be functioning at full capacity.