Connecting Across Six Feet of Separation

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Thanks, Voni!

Even keeping six feet of separation, people find ways to reach out and help others during the coronavirus crisis. This morning’s email brought news from the Union Park District Council, our St. Paul neighborhood organization.

“If you or someone you know is immunocompromised, elderly, sick, or otherwise concerned for any reason and needs help during this outbreak of the coronavirus–your neighbors want to help you!”

The district council will connect people who want to help and people who need help.

Later in the morning, I talked to one of my sisters, who told me about making masks—for home use, for neighbors, for nurses and medical personnel. The Blue Cross blog has information and links to super-simple patterns and directions. (Yes, N-95 masks are the most needed, but there are not enough for doctors and nurses who need them—and a simple mask is better than no mask at all.)

Earlier this week, I got lucky: a friend said she would pick up cookies from my front porch and deliver them to a homeless shelter. I made a double batch of oatmeal-raisin cookies, and felt so good to be able to send something sweet to someone who needed a lift!

Money always helps. The Washington Post has a list of national organizations that need help. Whatever local or national organizations you usually support probably need more help right now, especially food shelves and homeless shelters and health-care organizations.

Many immigrants don’t qualify for any state or federal support AND because of COVID19 are pushed deeper into the shadows with little or few resources available to meet their immediate needs. You can help them through the Minnesota Immigrant Families COVID-19 Fund.

Wash your hands. Stay at home. Keep six feet of separation between you and the next person.

The experts call that six feet of separation by a discouraging name: “social distancing.” We need physical distancing, but that does not have to mean social distancing. We need social connection, and we are finding it, in ways that range from phone calls to family to virtual meetings with work teams to making masks and delivering groceries. In the darkest times, human kindness still shines a light of hope for us all.

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