With the Coronavirus outbreak, there's certainly cause for concern. It's important we take a clear-eyed, level-headed assessment of the facts, and take appropriate precautions to protect ourselves, our families, our friends and our neighbors. Continue to monitor factual information (considering the source) and follow guidelines without giving way to - or spreading - unhelpful panic.
So with that said, as local businesses and organizations are temporarily closed, here are some things you can do close to home to pass the downtime sensibly and productively.
1. HELP A NEIGHBOR IN NEED
Identify vulnerable neighbors and people you know, and reach out to offer assistance. Make a grocery run for them. Watch their kids while they go to work without childcare. Just chat on the phone for a few minutes to connect & see how they're doing. Those connections are what community is all about.
To find ways to volunteer year-round, check out United Way of the Wabash Valley's Volunteer Connection app.
2. DO SOME SPRING CLEANING
Gather the kids, grab some trash bags, head outside and take a walk through your neighborhood picking up any litter you may find along the way. The Society of Trash Baggers is remaining active locally keeping our streets, roadways and neighborhoods clean. It's a great way to get exercise and fresh air while doing some good for your hometown.
3. SUPPORT LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS
Continue to find ways to patronize and support locally owned businesses. A few weeks downtime can be critical to the economic survival of a small business. Even if their closed, reach out and find out if you can purchase a gift card for use when they re-open. We want to ensure our business community is on firm footing - and thriving - when life eventually returns to normal.
The Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce has a Local Restaurant Guide During COVID-19 page for Chamber member restaurants offering current to-go or delivery specials while closing their dining rooms.
4. VISIT A LOCAL PARK
"Social distancing" doesn't mean you can't leave the house! And the great outdoors is just the thing to lift spirits, get exercise and fresh air.
Terre Haute Parks & Recreation and Vigo County Parks & Recreation parks are still open! And as extra peace of mind, Wizard Soft Wash is donating services to sanitize playground equipment at our local parks and schools and keep them germ free!
5. BINGE WATCH EPISODES OF THE HAUTE
While a bit depressing, the shutdown due to the outbreak is temporary. There's a lot to look forward to. Sure the Terre Haute Children's Museum, Swope Art Museum, CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center are temporarily closed, and the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra has postponed their next concert (the Beatles-themed Classical Mystery Tour), but you can still enjoy their offerings for a few minutes virtually while waiting to experience them soon. You can check out all the episodes of The Haute video series here.
Have other ideas to enjoy our community during a period of 'social distancing'? Suggest in the comments!