7 Ways to Help During the COVID-19 Pandemic as a Family

There are many ways you can support others dealing with the coronavirus crisis in your neighborhood, from participating in a national COVID-19 memorial to volunteering.

An image of two girls drawing with chalk.
Photo: Getty Images.

Since the pandemic first started in 2020, countless families have been hit with the coronavirus—and many have lost loved ones. The death toll nears one million people, with many others living with lingering, long-term symptoms of the virus. The pandemic, and the effects of it, are still unpredictable. But we can choose to face the challenges of COVID-19 together.

Here are ways your family can help ease the effects of the pandemic and better our future as a nation—today and every day.

1. Honor COVID-19 Victims in Your Community

The day before his inauguration, President Joe Biden participated in a lighting ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. Cities and towns across the nation held COVID-19 memorials, and some may be annual events. Your county or town may have a local memorial to honor COVID-19 victims. Search online or check local news to find out what's going on in your area.

2. Join a National Effort to Remember Victims

You can also check out Marked By COVID, which is a nonprofit that's trying to establish a national memorial day for victims. They're also hoping to build a memorial monument. Check out various ways to get involved.

3. Fight Food Insecurity and Donate Meals

Many families are experiencing food insecurity across the country. Programs that emerged during the pandemic may have, or may soon, be eliminated. So if you are able to financially contribute, you can donate to Feeding America to help feed families in need. Your local food pantry may need help bringing in donations, organizing food, or serving meals. You can even start a local food pantry on your own.

4. Volunteer Together

Make some time during your family's schedule to give back to your community. Some good deeds include picking up trash around your neighborhood and making cards for neighbors who might be lonely. For more ideas, Volunteer Match has a database of pandemic-related opportunities to help give back.

5. Take Precautions to Protect Yourself and Others

Though guidance as changed as the federal government eased restrictions, you can still protect yourself and contribute to the health and wellbeing of others by taking appropriate precautions.

When traveling locally or to another state, check out the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Community Levels data. It monitors virus activity so you know how to stay protected—and safeguard others—no matter where you go. This can tell you when you should be masked indoors, when to quarantine, and when to get tested based on hyper-local data.

The CDC says people over the age of 2 should wear a well-fitting mask indoors in communities that are designated with "high" community spread. Regular hand-washing was always a smart move, even before the pandemic. That's the kind of healthy habit to keep practicing—and to encourage children to continue doing, too.

6. Stay Home When Needed

Even though restrictions have eased, there are still times when it makes sense to stay home. If you are exposed to COVID-19 and supposed to isolate or quarantine, do it. This can help prevent the spread of the virus, whether an adult or child in your household has it.

Not exposed or affected? You may still want to do some activities at home. This way, you can control who you interact with, lowering the chances of transmission.

7. Get the COVID-19 Vaccine When You're Eligible

The good news: Vaccines and boosters are available for adults and most children. Everyone 5 and up can receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and they're proven effective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death. It's important to get vaccinated when eligible to protect yourself and your loved ones.

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