3 ways to help the health care frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic

by: Amy Blasco

It’s been said in news conferences, through social media posts and numerous other ways: Our health care workers are brave, and seemingly tireless, heroes fighting to “flatten the curve” of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Of course, if the Marvel Universe has taught us anything, even heroes need help sometimes. Here are three ways the public can support hospitals and medical professionals right now:

  1. Stay at home. Isolating yourself from other people might seem like the opposite of helping, but in this case it’s incredibly important. As health care experts have explained through numerous sources, staying home prevents the spread of COVID-19, relieves stress on the overtaxed healthcare system, and ultimately results in fewer COVID-related deaths. This article from The Economist used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to design an infographic showing the positive impacts of social distancing, which inspired the call to “flatten the curve.”
  2. Donate. Hospitals across the world are in dire need of funds to purchase more medical supplies and equipment and pay for additional staff. Locally, the foundations for Dignity Health hospitals on the Central Coast, which are not-for-profit, have created COVID-19 Emergency Support Funds to provide critical resources and care for patients during the pandemic.
  3. Help make masks. Can you sew or cut patterns? The group Service for SLO County, in partnership with SLO MakerSpace, is calling on the public to help make patient masks for local hospitals. Unlike the N-95 masks that health care workers wear, patient masks have fewer technical requirements. Non-sewers can help, too, with delivery or by making a donation.

For more ideas on how to help health care workers, check out this blog post from nurses.org or the CDC’s COVID-19 webpage.

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