To say tough times are upon us would be a little bit of an understatement. Even if you’re not directly affected by the virus, you’re most certainly hit by its repercussions. And it’s only natural to feel powerless in confusing times such as these.
The inspiring thing is that we’ve had many people writing to us asking if we can advise them on how they can help during these times of crisis. So we did some research. Here are 12 ways you can do good and help out while in coronavirus isolation:
1. Stay the fuck home!
Yeah, we get it, it’s not always as easy as it sounds, but it is still the most simple and effective way to contain the spread of this damn virus. Should you not belong to the group of people who absolutely have to go out to work, just minimise your outside time and social contact as much as possible. The thing is, the more people stick to this mantra, the sooner everybody can roam the streets again, safely.
And to fight back that feeling of cabin fever, we’ve prepared a little guide for you to make the most out of this (in)voluntary staycation.
2. Help out your neighbours
You might have already seen the #Nachbarschaftschallenge hashtag circulating on social media. It’s a call for neighbourly cooperation and solidarity. Working together to get through this challenging time together.
Give your neighbours a hand, especially those who belong to the high risk group when it comes to the virus. It can be helping your elderly neighbour do the grocery shopping, walk the dog, babysit while they are working, or anything else that is needed. You can simply write up a little note stating you would be available to help (there are a lot of templates online) to put up in the hallway of your apartment building.
3. Do some voluntary work for a charity organisation
There can never be too many volunteers, which is soooo true at the moment. It doesn’t matter how many hours, days or weeks you’re available, it’s the simple act of spending your time for a good cause that counts. Organisations like Caritas and Team Österreich are constantly looking for helping hands.
4. Donate something – everything helps
Whether it’s money, items or blood (yes, you can still do that – if that you’re fit and healthy, that is), donating is an easy way to make a difference. And it doesn’t only have to be donating to the medical sector. There are other types of charities dependant on aid as well that should be thought of during these times of extreme need. On this website, you can find a handy list of organisations that are seeking donations at the moment.
5. Buy vouchers for local restaurants that you can use after the coronavirus has left town
So local restaurants are really doing it tough. In an attempt to make atleast some revenue while in lockdown, many restaurants are urging people to buy vouchers for meals or drinks during the lockdown. Keep an eye out for restaurants doing this. We at Vienna Würstelstand are currently thinking up a way we can help restaurants do this more effectively – feel free to send over any ideas!
6. Sign up for the Zivildienst
This is aimed at all former Zivildiener (translation: those who have done military, or community service in Austria). If you’re one of these people, you now have the possibility to voluntarily sign up for an additional three months of service – paid, of course. You can find more information on the matter, online.
7. Support local shops and businesses by ordering online from them
The local businesses are the ones who have been hit hardest by the shutdown. With their revenue streams strangled, many have been left stranded, still paying their fixed costs of rent and wages. Luckily, in the time of online shopping, many of them still can offer a delivery service of some sort. So if you need something, see whether it’s available in one of the local stores first. A list of regional businesses that all provide delivery/online services can be found, here. We’ll be publishing a guide featuring more local businesses in coming days.
8. Don’t forget to stay social
In times of self-isolation and social-distancing, it’s all the more important to maintain contact to your friends and family. So instead of calling it social distancing, let’s call it physical distancing. Through technology, we can fortunately bridge the physical distance quite easily. So ring up your parents and grandparents from time to time, and hang out with your friends like you usually do in video calls. It will bring a sense of normality to these extraordinary circumstances and help you to stay sane in the brain.
9. Spread some positive vibes with the window flash mobs happening around the city!
In situations like these, you can’t underestimate how powerful and contagious positivity can be. Sounds cheesy, we know, but since everybody’s probably feeling a little depressed, some cheering up can’t hurt, right?! And there are a bunch of things happening at people’s windows already that are aiming to lift everybody’s spirits in an inspiring way.
You may have already witnessed, or participated in, one of the Fensterchor (translation: window choir), or applause flash mobs that have happened in Vienna over the last weeks. It’s a way of coming together, expressing a sign of strength and unity that hasn’t been seen in Vienna for a very long time. If you haven’t been a part of one yet, be sure to join in on the next one to experience this special moment. Keep an eye out on Facebook for when the next flash mob is happening.
And by the way, for all the party animals that miss going out dancing and behaving badly, we’re organising a little quarantine stream party that will be bringing you DJ tunes and the club atmosphere, right into your living rooms. Check out all the details on the event page. No virus is going to stop Vienna from getting its kicks!
10. Create a online community for people that are lonely
There are many people who are currently in self isolation alone, and while we’re not suggesting this is horrible for everybody, we can only imagine that there are some lonely feeling people out there. Online communities are being set up every day since the shutdown and we suggest you do some research and join in on one, or create one yourself.
11. Share your talent with the world…digitally
Hundreds of musicians are live streaming concerts in their living rooms while yoga studios are also running live sessions of classes. And all are doing it for free. It’s an incredible time, which calls for such incredible measures. We call on one and all to share whatever their talent may be – gardening, singing, dancing – with others online. Post daily Instagram Stories where you teach somebody how to make your favourite recipes, teach others how to lick their nose with their tongue – useful things like that. If you tag @viennawurstelstand in your Instagram story posts, we’ll be sure to share it further! This picture above is Vienna-based Blues musician, Somerset Barnard, who is doing a live stream of his Quarantine Blues every night at 6pm. Details are on his Facebook page.
12. Be part of history in the Wien Museum’s collection
Since this situation we’re currently in is quite life changing for everyone and therefore historically significant, the Wien Museum has initiated a collection project to document the present circumstances for later generations. And everyone is invited to contribute to it by showing slices of their life. Simply send your photos via mail together with a brief description of the pictured objects. You can find some more information on the project online.