Ways To Positively Affect Yourself & Others During COVID-19


Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

While it feels like the whole world has been turned upside down due to the coronavirus, you can still do your best to better yourself and help others during these turbulent times. Through social distancing, diligent hand washing, and adhering to direction given by the CDC and WHO, we can all help to stop the spread of the virus. In addition to distance, hygiene and listening to public health agencies, there are a multitude of things that you can do to positively affect yourself and others during COVID-19.

Ways To Help Yourself

Learn Something New

Take this extra time being spent at home as an opportunity to develop new skills, gain more knowledge and broaden your mind. 

  • Learn another language with a free app like Duolingo! In addition to offering courses in Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew and a myriad of other languages, Duolingo also offers courses in Klingon and High Valyrian for those Star Trek and Game of Thrones fans out there. 
  • Make the most of your screen time! While Kanopy, a streaming platform that all can access with a library card from a participating public or university library, has plenty of movies available to stream, it also has a plethora of interesting documentaries and educational videos from The Great Courses. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about The Roman Empire or how to cook, money management skills or how music affects the brain, what better time than now!
  • Develop new skills! Learn all about web development, programming, data science and design with Codecademy. Then, for instruction not necessarily pertaining to Computer Science, there’s Coursera which offers courses in Business, Math, Health, Social Sciences, Engineering and Arts & Humanities.


Take Care Of Your Health

As stated by the poet, philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The first wealth is health.”

  • Keep up communication! With social distancing, self isolation and regulations on group gatherings in effect, it is easy to feel lonely and cut off from your family, friends and colleagues. Keep communication lines open with phone calls, text messages, FaceTime, Zoom and other apps.
  • Stay active! Gyms are closed, and in-person exercise classes have been cancelled for the time being, but you can still get in a good workout during this pandemic. Search YouTube for at-home workouts, yoga sessions, HIIT and more. One of my favorite channels to workout along with is Yoga with Adriene
  • Don’t be afraid to disconnect! Exposure to the 24 hour news cycle, inundated with updates about COVID-19, can be anxiety flaring and emotionally taxing. While it is important to stay informed, it is also important to protect your mental health. Limit your exposure and take media breaks when you need a respite.


cell-phone-690192_1920Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay


Ways To Help Others

Play To Your Strengths

Put the skills, knowledge, resources and abilities that you have to good use!

  • Sew face masks! Dealing with a shortage of personal protection equipment, health-care workers are in dire need of masks, gowns, face shields, gloves and more. If you are someone who is skilled at sewing, organizations like WeNeedMasks, Masks4Medicine and Masks For Heroes are connecting sewers with healthcare facilities in need of sewn masks.
  • Foster, or adopt, a pet! Pets and foster pets provide wonderful company and comfort, which is especially welcome during this time of social distancing and uncertainty. If you are able to, why not take in a new friend! You’d be easing the burden on local animal shelters, potentially saving a life, and enriching your own.
  • Use your voice! Remind people to keep supporting the charities they care about, to keep thanking those on the frontlines of this crisis, to keep lending a hand to those who need assistance. As you learn about how people are being affected and what their needs are, share that information and guide others about how they can help those impacted. Your voice can inspire, inform and lift up others, don’t be afraid to use it.


dog-1209953_1920Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay



Donations don’t just have to be physical things, you can donate your time, skills, funds, home and more. Everyone has a lot to give, figure out what it is that you have to offer! 

  • Donate blood! According to the City of New York website, “New York City needs approximately 2,000 people to donate blood every day to maintain its supply. Blood reserves are perishable and constantly need to be replenished. Donating blood is a great way to contribute to the emergency preparedness of the City as a whole.” Visit the New York Blood Center & American Red Cross websites to find out where and how to donate blood.
  • Help fund food banks! Food security is extremely important, especially during a crisis. Here are some organizations to consider donating to: Feeding America, No Kid Hungry, Meals on Wheels, City Harvest and Long Island Cares. In addition to giving to food banks, don’t forget to share your extra supplies with family, friends and neighbors who may be in need.
  • Contribute unused CPU! Run by the Baker laboratory at the University of Washington, Rosetta@home is a crowdsourcing initiative that uses volunteers’ idle computer processing resources for disease-related research. This includes helping to accurately model important coronavirus proteins.


Above all, remember that although these times are challenging, we will get through this. There are still many things to be grateful for; don’t forget to take a moment each day to reflect on those things. Difficult as it is, we can always find strength & peace around us.

Do you have ideas of your own to add to these? If so, let us know in the comments!


Contributed by Kelly Tenny, Library Assistant at Bay Shore Campus with input from Philip Papas, Touro Libraries Archivist. 



One thought on “Ways To Positively Affect Yourself & Others During COVID-19

  1. Annette Carr March 30, 2020 / 4:34 pm

    Very upbeat post. Thanks for sharing.

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