Well, it certainly appears that we are in this for the long haul. We are playing short ball while playing the long game. We may have jumped quickly into the practice of distancing, shutting down and staying at home. However, it seems we will slowly return to normal…when that is even possible.
Additionally, the new normal may be different in the future.
That being said, I want to use my platform for the sharing of relevant information.
One thing is for certain and that is we are all in this together whether we like it or not.
I’ve heard Mr. Rogers quoted several times this week,
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” – Fred Rogers
Let’s be the helpers.♥♥♥
As we find ourselves in the midst of something we’ve never been through together, we are all struggling. This is hard for everyone…just in different ways. That being said this post is a dedication to all of you (my readers) and anyone else who can benefit from the resources listed below. Let’s keep working together and let’s find the silver linings inside of these trying times.
Resources for all of us during COVID-19 pandemic
I recognize that I have readers from around the world so I am trying to keep that in mind as I share resources; however, by the nature of where I live, most of these are specific to the United States (U.S.) and Ohio. Although, some are global! Please feel free to add any in the comments.
How is this affecting the globe?
Check out this website called COVIDvisulizer.com. In it, you can view a rotating global image of the earth. Furthermore, if you click on a country or territory you will see the number of cases, deaths and recoveries. I’m so glad it includes recoveries! #FindHope
What if I am laid off or out of work?
Firstly, if this is you, I’m so sorry. It seems there are a lot of folks in this boat right now and the silver lining is that the U.S. president has upped the number of unemployment funds available. This resource is state-specific so make sure you go to your state’s unemployment page. However, here is one for Ohio (my state).
Please keep in mind that these workers and websites are being slammed with requests. Practice patience. I know in my state they have hired a bunch more people and are increasing the technology but all of this takes time. As our lieutenant governor mentioned, there is a need to carefully train the new workers so they understand how to best help the people they serve. Lastly, if/when you call and are frustrated over wait times, whether it be to speak to a person or get your check, practice kindness. They are there to help you.
What if I need health insurance?
Many furloughed employees are allowed to stay on their employer’s health plan for a while. Check with your human resource department on that. Your other options are COBRA, which might be expensive, or individual insurance through healthcare.gov. If you’ve lost coverage you have a qualifying event to get individual coverage. You might even qualify for a subsidy or Medicaid if you’ve lost a significant amount of income. I’ve written on such topics here or here.
What if I’m looking for work?
While there are a lot of businesses that are shut down, there are some businesses thriving right now. That being said, there are jobs to be had. Here are a couple of resources:
- Ohio job search
- How soon to be colleague graduates can job hunt during the coronavirus outbreak on Forbes
- 4 industries that are still hiring in the midst of COVID-19 on Forbes
- Here are the companies mass hiring during the coronavirus pandemic on USA today
- List of companies hiring (and tips to land a job) during the coronavirus pandemic by WCCO news talk radio
- Companies are still hiring during COVID-19 – here are 55 that want your application now by The Muse
- Amazon delivers jobs
What if I am running out of homeschooling resources?
One phenomenal idea I heard Ohio’s lieutenant governor, John Husted suggest recently was to remember our veterans now and especially those who are living in Veteran houses. You can have your children research your country’s wars as a history lesson. Then you can have them write actual letters to the veterans in your area as a way to serve those who served us.
Ohio has a couple of Veteran’s homes so check out the Department of Veterans Affairs for more information.
Khan Academy is a nonprofit which has always provided free, world-class education online so check them out too!
What if I want to keep up to date on health and safety?
Here are some key sites for keeping up:
Also, if you are insured your insurance carrier website would be a great source for some valuable information. Here are several of the big ones in the U.S. and links to their pages with resources and responses to COVID-19:
Some points of consideration with insurance in the U.S. to keep in mind:
- COVID-19 Testing and treatment is free in some states by order and also some insurance companies are waiving the costs countrywide
- Most insurance companies allow for virtual visits with your doctor and these are often cheaper episodes of care
- Some insurance companies are allowing for a special enrollment period for employees who formerly waived off the plan
Most of this information can be found on your insurance carrier’s website under Coronavirus Facts And Questions (FAQ).
What if I need recovery meetings?
This one is, no surprise, near and dear to my heart ♥. I’ve been staying connected with my support group during this time via Zoom online meetings. Here are some additional virtual meeting options for folks in recovery:
- In the Rooms– a free online source that offers 130 weekly 12-step online meetings
- We Connect – Offering online recovery support groups will be available daily open to anyone dealing with substance use, mental health concerns, disordered eating, as well as any other quality of life concerns.
Also, if you are already connected to a local support group, you can host your own online meetings with one of these services:
What is the CAREs Act?
On Friday, March 27, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the president signed the bill into law. Um, it was the largest stimulus package to date – $2.2 trillion!!! How the heck we are going to pay that back? That is another story for another day but you should take advantage of it now.
The bill includes expanded unemployment insurance, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for businesses, and a recovery rebate for individual taxpayers.
Most Americans don’t have to take action to obtain the rebate. The excellent CARES Act FAQ I mentioned previously has a calculator for determining your rebate.
If you are a business applying for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan as a result of the CARES Act, know that it might be forgivable. You should go to the SBA for valuable information. These loans are all being run through SBA certified banks. I would recommend reaching out to your corporate bank first and if they are not SBC certified find one who is. Furthermore, your accountant can help you with what expenses qualify specific to your business.
How can you help?
So we are facing a surge of healthcare needs of varying degrees in each state, country, and territory. One thing is for sure that there is a high demand for Personal Protective Equipment for the front line workers.
Mike DeWine, the Ohio governor started a website called, The Repurposing Project. They are asking Ohio manufacturing companies with potential competencies and capacity to fill out a short survey to ascertain if they can help.
Here are more sites which direct you as to how you too can help:
- How you can help during the COVID-19 Crisis on U Chicago Medicine
- Doctors are pleading with people to donate PPE gear – here’s how you can help on Health.com
- How you can donate protective equipment to help hospitals fight coronavirus on WSJ
- One way to help strapped hospitals? Print PPE using 3D printers on NPR. My website host told me he was doing this!
Lastly, a lot of local businesses are suffering so think of ways to support them by ordering take out food and/or buying gift certificates for future use.
I just bought a gift certificate for the studio where I’m getting some tattoos removed. They are not essential so they have temporarily closed but I want them to be there when we surface from this stay at home order so I bought a gift certificate. Furthermore, they had a special deal going this week where you buy a gift certificate for $150 they give you an extra $100.
Check out places you frequent because they might have some deals going on now for gift certificates.
I recently found this great local homemade soap shop ‘cus I prefer natural soaps. Well, I thought of them during this downturn and ordered some soaps that I have arranged to go pick up.
The point is to reach out to your favorite local businesses and see how you can support them. If you are in a position to help, perhaps use your recovery rebate to support small businesses…
Respect your governing authorities.
Obey the law of the land.
Practice safe distancing.
Love your neighbor.