Amidst the barrage of bad news, misinformation, and panic, we were inspired by our writer Michelle to start sharing our focused efforts to give to those suffering during the pandemic and give back to those who are serving on the front lines of the pandemic (healthcare workers, of course, but also hospital janitors, restaurant staff, grocery store workers, and more).
Ellen: I, along with four talented artists from all over the US, created an art auction group on Facebook in 2018, called, ‘The Creative Kind’. We create artwork for our monthly auction events and donate a portion of our proceeds to charity. To date, we have nearly 2000 members and have donated over $14,000 to 20 different charities. During the month of April we will be donating to DirectRelief.org – a wonderful organization that works with public health authorities, nonprofits and businesses here in the US and globally to deliver medication, protective masks, exam gloves, gowns, and other protective gear to healthcare organizations, free clinics and workers responding to COVID-19.
As for my update, I always do better when I am focused on a project and this month’s charity has my full attention. Aside from some challenges trying to secure fresh produce and staple groceries, my overall frustration level is on the decline.
Rose: I’ve gotten to a weird point in Corona-land. I’m a little done with being the one checking on everyone. But I appreciate the people still checking on me so I’ll probably keep doing it. And every time I get cranky like this, I come back to the practice in a few days anyway. I also might be developing agoraphobia. I’m starting to think re-entry might be difficult for me. Some people are going to be ready for physical contact sooner than I am. I tried running on a trail that isn’t generally crowded, but the dozen people I saw felt like too much because there wasn’t quite sufficient space. Not much else has changed.
Laura: I’ve been thinking about the best ways that I can give back, and aside from purchasing local and from places that are giving back during the pandemic (see the full list of outdoor companies and how they are supporting pandemic relief and workers from Outside Magazine), I have decided that the best way that I can support is by doing what I call my second career: ultrarunning. As such, I am signing up for a series of virtual races, the first being the VIRTUAL Last Runner Standing Race on June 6. To win, I just have to run 4.2 miles every hour until everyone else drops out on a 4.2 mile course of my choosing. I will donate $5 for every hour I stay in the race to the International Rescue Committee’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund. Closer to the race, I’ll announce how others can pledge a certain amount per hour and how folks can join virtually via a yet-to-be-determined videoconferencing software.
For my update, some days are better than others. On Thursday, I couldn’t focus and felt like I needed to get out of the house, so I took myself on a special treat to get a car wash. A car wash. I’ve decided that car washes are the socially-distant appropriate way to live a little, and so I purchased a monthly pass for unlimited car washes. When I think about this, it feels a little sad. But I can’t dwell on that for too long, because I just saw a spot on my bumper, and I simply cannot bear to have dirt on my car.
You’re laughing, but I’m serious. Luckily my car wash recycles the water, or I’d have to deal with environmental guilt on top of everything else.
How are you giving back?