Lions would normally be in the forefront of any situation, providing service, relief or applying for funds to provide remediation in a disaster. So, what can Lions do now? What kind of service can they provide? It’s not in their nature to be thinking only of their own well-being. They have communities to defend.
By now, we’re familiar with the terms ‘social distancing’ and ‘isolation’. It’s what is needed at this time and we hope that all of our Lions family are being vigilant and observing the requirements to keep them safe.
There are challenges. For some with pre-existing health issues, isolation provides limited exposure and the ability to keep possible sources of contamination away from them, but, it could also be tremendously lonely. Seniors who still live in their own homes and have to stay away from the very things that bring meaning into their day to day lives are suffering. With just over 2,000 cases in Canada, it may not seem like a lot, but, the potential for disaster is lurking in that little virus. Globally, we’re on our way to containing it and hopefully, over the next month or so, we will be able to see the end of one of the most devastating health issues that has been seen in this country since SARS.
We’ve also seen the mercenary side of living in a crisis situation. It’s something that goes on everyday around the globe, but, is also something we in North America believed we were above. It showed the baser side of humanity – hoarding products, fighting in stores over toilet paper, buying up essential supplies and reselling them online at a profit. That’s not us, that’s not our nature, or so we thought.
There are service opportunities – neighbours who we know need something and can’t get out can have it delivered by one of those who check on them to ensure they are ok and have what they need. Meals provided to seniors, not by Meals on Wheels, which has provided this service for years, but, by organizations with commercial kitchens where all functions have been cancelled. Masks being made by individuals with sewing machines to provide to front-line service workers at hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes and clinics, but, also to service providers in trucking, construction, food service. And those within the homeopathy group providing recipes for the use of essential oils, vinegar, rubbing alcohol and hand-sanitizer.
This too shall pass and then there will be even more to do to assist in re-building the community connections, supporting the most vulnerable and bringing a sense of well-being back. But, for now, stay safe and wash, wash, wash!