I grew up watching Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.
One of my favorite quotes from him talks about the importance of finding helpers in times of crisis…
My mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.
- How you can help.
- How I want to help you.
This is important.
The coronavirus is causing two interrelated disasters
First, it’s killing people.
The fatality rate is around two-percent, which makes it 20 times more deadly than the flu. But in countries that are ill-prepared, that rate can be even higher as hospitals become overrun beyond their capacity to care for people.
Because of this, may parts of the world are taking extreme but important measures: closing schools and businesses, prohibiting gatherings of people, and requiring people to stay home.
The creates the second disaster: the economy.
Bars and restaurant, movie theaters, and many other business are losing tremendous amounts of money as people stop going out. They’re cutting shifts, or firing staff altogether. They may go under completely.
The United States just started implementing shut downs in a few states, and I’ve already started seeing a flurry of “I got laid off today” tweets. It’s going to get worse.
Here’s where you come in.
How you can help
Here are some specific things you can do:
- Stay the fuck home. This is probably the single most important thing you can do. Don’t go to the office. Don’t go to the gym. Don’t go to restaurants or the movies. Just stay home. You can literally save thousands of lives by doing this.
- If you’re lucky enough to be able to work, and you’re financially secure, donate to your local food bank. A lot of people are going to struggle to eat. A lot of kids get their only hot meal of the day at school, and with schools closed, that safety net is gone.
- Pay people who work in your home to not come to work. If you have house cleaners or in-home child care, and you’re able to work from and still get paid, pay them to stay home. It will keep them safer, keep you safer, and ensure they have financial stability in this difficult time.
You may not be able to do everything on this list. That’s OK. Do your best.
How I can help you
If you’re struggling, or know someone who is, I want to help.
- If you find yourself unexpectedly in need of a work, I wrote a career guide for web developers based on my time spent as an HR guy earlier in my career. You can grab a free copy with the code
- If you need to improve your skills to find a new job, or your training and development events were canceled because of the coronavirus, I’ve put together a Vanilla JS Guides Starter Bundle. It includes three guides, with all of the source code and access to my Slack channel, for free.
- If you’re struggling with isolation from practicing social distancing, I’m trying to do some live-coding and just general hanging out/coworking on Zoom when I can. I’ll post a link to the Zoom on Twitter and email my newsletter when I’m jumping on.
We are the helpers
Mr. Rogers talked about the importance of looking for the helpers.
That’s comforting when you’re a child. Now that we’re adults, we are the helpers. We’re the ones who can bring comfort to others.
It won’t be easy, but we’ve got this.