We’re all in this together!

40 million jobs have been lost in the United States as a direct result of COVID-19. This is one of the largest waves of job loss in the United States since the Great Depression. But while many of us are experiencing job loss, we also see many of our friends and family needing support. Our communities are also hurting, as tourism, restaurants, the arts, and a number of other sectors are experiencing the effects of lost revenue.

So how can we support our community when we need support ourselves? Read this article to find out how you can care for those around you as you care for yourself and your family.

1. Eat at local restaurants.

Not everyone feels comfortable going out to eat, and that’s fine. You don’t need to sit in a restaurant to enjoy a tasty meal from a local chef.

During COVID, many restaurants that don’t normally have takeaway options have adopted them, giving you the ability to dine out without leaving your couch. You get a tasty meal, and a local restaurant gets some revenue. It’s a win-win situation.

Some restaurants that have a takeaway option include Rocco’s Brick Oven Pizzeria, Nippers Bar & Pizza, and Affamato’s Pizza & Italian Restaurant.

2. Support the arts.

Supporting the arts can be a difficult thing to do right now. By their very nature, arts are often community events, and you may not see how you can help out from your couch.

Firstly, you can tell a friend in the arts about the emergency support options that are available to them via the government. This can help them continue to make awesome art, even during a time when their commissions are low. You may wish to take an online art class. This can include singing, dancing, drawing, sculpting, or any number of mediums. In some cases, they may even be free, and you can support just by showing up.

Local theater groups, like Theatre Horizon and The Centre Theatre, are passing the time by putting together virtual plays you can watch from home. Your attendance helps support them, and if you’re able, donating a few dollars can help too.

If you can donate to artists, you may wish to give them a few dollars or buy a commissioned piece. If that’s too expensive for you, ask them if they have any cheaper, ready-made pieces you can purchase. Having your house adorned with local art is a great way to support the community!

3. Participate in self-care, but make it community-related.

This may not make a lot of sense if your self-care involves you shutting down and tuning the world out, although that’s a totally valid way to care for yourself. But if you’re itching for another solution, another way to participate in self-care and support the community is to treat yourself to beauty treatments. Being mindful of health and safety guidelines, you’ll definitely want to wear a mask when you go, and avoid any local beauty shop that doesn’t require one.

You may wish to get your hair or nails done or get a massage. These are all great ways to support your community while relieving the tension that’s built up from this pandemic. Your self-care can even go deeper than superficial care like beauty treatments.

You may have found you’ve been grinding your teeth as a result of the stress this situation has caused. This can produce a series of problems, like migraines, jaw pain, tooth pain, and grinding down of the teeth. If not addressed in a timely manner, it can produce permanent damage. Additionally, you may have had a toothache you’ve put on the back burner to deal with the more immediate issues in your life, like job stresses or childcare.

Seeing a local dentist is a great way to ensure your mouth is healthy. After all, a healthy mouth is the foundation of a healthy mind and body.

4. Support your local watering hole, either virtually or in person.

Most of us have a favorite spot to unwind, and yours may have just opened back up to the public. If you’re able to dine in and enjoy some bar food and a drink at a local pub, like Colletti Town Tavern or Puddlers Kitchen & Tap, then do so. And if you can buy a few more drinks than you usually do, even if they’re just Cokes, that’ll definitely help them out. You should also be sure to tip handsomely if you’re able to.

Another way to support your favorite bar or pub is to do a virtual support drive for your favorite bartender. You may wish to video chat with them on Zoom and have them make a few of their favorite drinks so you and some friends can follow along at home. Then, you can tip them via Venmo or PayPal just as much (or even a bit more) than you normally would. Or, you can ask a few bartenders for their Venmo or Paypal.

At home, you can have a “bartender night” and pour yourself a few drinks while tipping your favorite bartender.

Community support is everything.

Right now, community support is everything. With hashtags like #wereinthistogether trending, it is evident we need to rely on one another like never before. COVID-19 is among one of the greatest hardships Americans have faced since the Great Depression and 9/11. We got through those incidents by coming together, and we’ll get through this by relying on one another.

Anywhere you can, choose to support a local shop over a corporation, and keep the money in your local community.