Monday, June 17, 2024

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Protecting Vulnerable People During COVID-19

Although the novel coronavirus represents a credible threat to every person on the planet, certain people are liable to be hit harder by COVID-19 than others. For example, people who suffer from compromised immune systems are particularly vulnerable to the virus.

Furthermore, lower-income Americans who don’t have the option of staying home and avoiding potential risks are extremely vulnerable, as well. At this point in time, vulnerable individuals need help more than ever – and you can help give it to them.

Anyone looking for effective ways to do good in the midst of a dark time should consider the following options.

Get Vaccinated – and Encourage Others to Do the Same

The COVID-19 vaccines are free, easily accessible, and highly effective at preventing serious and fatal infections. Unless you’re in the small minority of people who have medical conditions that prohibit vaccination, you’d do well to get your vaccine at your earliest convenience.

In addition to protecting yourself, getting vaccinated helps make the people around you safer – which can prove particularly beneficial to individuals with compromised immune systems. So, if you’re still walking around unvaccinated, you owe it to yourself – and the rest of society – to remedy this mistake posthaste. 

You should also encourage others to do the same. If there are any people in your life who regularly look up to you and trust your judgment, you getting vaccinated may prompt them to do so, too, and potentially even save their lives.   

Educate People on the Benefits of Vaccination

A truly staggering number of Americans are vulnerable to weaponized misinformation. To make matters worse, there’s no shortage of ways to spread and consume misinformation in the digital age.

Throughout the course of this pandemic, misinformation peddled by bad faith pundits, media outlets, and political figures has consistently made a terrible situation even worse.

From the very beginning, millions of Americans were decrying COVID-19 as a “hoax” and claiming that the various dangers it presents were overblown. Unfortunately, the rollout of highly effective vaccines has done little to alter their opinions.

Rather than jump at the chance to provide themselves and their loved ones with enhanced protection against the novel coronavirus, many of these individuals have chosen to remain proudly ignorant and scoff at the idea of vaccination.

If someone you care about has embraced such misinformation, try to educate them on the benefits of vaccination in a calm and reasonable manner. Instead of sound bites from cable news and social media, show them data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Additionally, make it clear that their choices affect people other than themselves. They may view this as a question of personal freedom, but whether one’s personal freedoms extend to actively spreading deadly virus particles is certainly debatable. 

Even if you put your best foot forward when laying out your argument, there’s a chance you’ll still fail to get through to these individuals. If this proves to be the case, you’d do well to limit contact with them – or avoid it altogether – until they’re ready to act responsibly. 

Actively Contribute to Charitable Causes

To help support people who have been hit particularly hard by this pandemic, consider contributing to charitable causes. Food drives, in particular, can prove extremely helpful to people who have lost income or suffered full-on job loss as a result of COVID-19.

Additionally, you can help prevent children impacted by the pandemic from going hungry by taking part in fundraisers for kids.    

Wear Masks in Public

Even if you’re fully vaccinated, wearing masks in public is still strongly advised. With breakthrough infections possible and dangerous new COVID-19 variants emerging, masking up provides you with an additional layer of protection.

Furthermore, since vaccinated people can still spread virus particles, wearing a mask can help prevent you from infecting elderly, immunocompromised, and unvaccinated individuals. 

shopping with mask

Even outside of active pandemics, people with compromised immune systems need to be extremely careful about avoiding viruses and other types of infections. As such, there’s little wonder as to why we need to be extra mindful of their needs amidst a virus as infectious as COVID-19.

Additionally, as is often the case when bad times hit, lower-income Americans have felt the brunt of COVID-19 particularly hard. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of things we can do to help the most vulnerable among us in such a time of great need.

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