Special Off-Topic Post: Helping Your Community During the Coronavirus Crisis

The world is in a crisis. Our local communities are either in the midst of a crisis or on the cusp of one. The medical system is about to get inundated with the sick and dying. Layoffs and financial difficulties will likely multiply. The coronavirus outbreak is going to impact all of our lives and suffering will be unavoidable.

Many visitors to our blog are contemplating becoming whistleblowers or assisting whistleblowers in some capacity. On a whole, this is a community of people that are concerned with the wider society and more than just themselves. So the question arises: What can we do to help others?

We certainly don’t have all the answers on this, just some thoughts and suggestions to help start a useful conversation.

1) Take all necessary precautions to lower your own personal risk of infection. This sounds obvious, but is not being uniformly practiced. Many of us are in a category (due to age or health) that getting infected would not currently present a high risk for fatality. But that is no reason to be complacent. The virus expands exponentially and your being infected could result in the infection of many others. Staying safe keeps those around you safe. You know the drill.

2) To the extent possible, keep doing what you have been doing. Business as usual (at least as close to it as possible). Your professional contributions and skills were valuable before the outbreak and they will be valuable during the outbreak. To the extent you can perform this role (even imperfectly) in a safe way… carry on.

3) Find a way to be available to the lonely and vulnerable in your community. Make sure your contact info is available to those that may just need to talk. Expect loneliness and depression to spike and be available to talk or maybe just listen. Try to organize group chats in your community, however you define it. Proactively reach out to those you suspect may need attention.

4) If you’re going to a store to buy supplies, try and ask someone from a vulnerable population if you can get them something while you are there. Keeping them home could save their lives.

5) Put your ideology on pause. Now is not the time to focus on what divides us. We need to be able to work together towards a common purpose of surviving this and minimizing its impact. Leave the red team / blue team behind.

6) Government dollars and taxpayer resources are precious, now more than ever. However, there will no doubt be those who will try to take advantage of the current situation, especially as the government tries to shore up the economy with additional spending. If you witness an organization or person gaming the system to enrich themselves, please take action. We are happy to help anyone that wants to blow the whistle. This is a contribution that you and our firm can make to help the common good.

7) Remember the medical providers in your life. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, assistants and everyone else involved in delivering medical care are going through enormous stress and at great personal risk to help the public. Anything we can do to support them or lighten their load will be a great help.

8) Remember, even in a worst case scenario, the vast majority of us will survive this. Life will go on. Jealously guard your ability to be compassionate. Manage fear and panic. When this is over, you want will want to respect yourself. Behave accordingly.

Please feel free to contact us to add anything you think will help start a constructive conversation. Start a discussion in another forum without us. Begin a dialogue with a neighbor you frequently see but rarely talk to. Just find a way to take action and pay it forward. We’ll return to our normally scheduled broadcasting shortly.