Staying United During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Empty city street with American Flag on BuildingThe coronavirus pandemic has affected every aspect of American life. From the closing of schools and churches to the shutdown of gyms, restaurants and bars, Americans are feeling isolated and anxious. As we all adjust to this new normal – practicing social distancing, working and schooling from home, employing self-quarantines – it becomes increasingly difficult to remember that we are all in this together. Yet now, more than ever, it’s important that we remain united.

Here are a few things that we can do as a community, and a nation, to stay strong, healthy, safe and connected.

Continue to Support Local Business

We heard a story about one gym that suspended all memberships so that its members wouldn’t have to pay their monthly dues until the gym was able to re-open. Following the announcement, several members got together and asked if they could continue paying in order to help save the small business, which relies on these memberships to keep its doors open.

The health crisis has hit small businesses hard, as many have been forced to limit their services, or worse, close their doors and lay off staff. If there’s a local business you love, and you’d like to still have them around in the future, find out if there is a way to continue supporting them. Many restaurants and bars are offering delivery and takeout alternatives to stay afloat, and both the food and retail industries are asking loyal customers to purchase gift cards. These purchases provide businesses with the cash flow they need now, and provides you with something to look forward to in the future.

Ways to Support Local Business

  • Order takeout or delivery from your favorite local restaurant.
  • Purchase gift cards from local retailers and eateries.
  • Sign up for online fitness classes with a local yoga instructor or gym.
  • Pick up craft beer or liquor from a local brewery/distillery. (Many are also making hand sanitizer.)
  • Use Venmo or PayPal to send tips to local musicians livestreaming on Facebook.

Stay Connected

Social media has taken a lot of heat in the past for making people less social and more disconnected, but if social media was a person, we bet he’d be gloating and asking, “How ya like me now?” Church congregations are creating Facebook groups to continue their practices, musicians are livestreaming mini concerts from their couches, and fitness organizations are waiving fees and offering free on-demand workouts.

Speaking of staying connected, there’s a meme going around that reminds introverts to “put down their books and check on their extrovert friends” because “they are not okay”. It’s funny, but it’s also true. With little to no human contact, it’s important that we find new ways to connect with each other and be human.

Rather than texting, maybe it’s time to get back to making voice calls, or even better, video calls. How lucky we are to have access to all this technology – the Echo Show, Portal from Facebook, Apple’s FaceTime and Zoom Meetings, to name a few – which allows us to connect face-to-face with friends, family and co-workers without leaving the safety of our homes. Heck, you can even organize a Netflix watch party, so you don’t have to binge watch alone.

Ways to Stay Connected

  • Pick up the phone and call someone.
  • Host video meetups with friends and family.
  • Play online games.
  • Join a Netflix watch party.
  • Attend virtual church services.

Stand United

While this pandemic has made it difficult to offer support and comfort in many of the ways we’ve grown accustom to, we can still express hope, strength and solidarity as a nation. For one, we need to stop hoarding toilet paper and food! We joke, but there’s a bigger meaning here – we need to take care of each other. Not just our families, but our neighbors, both near and far.

At Gettysburg Flag Works, we’ve been reflecting on other times in our business’s history when the nation came together in a show of strength and solidarity. Of course, the most relevant and recent being the September 11th attacks. One of the ways we stood united in 2001 was by flying the American flag. If you have one of our flags, now is the time to raise it. If you have a flag from someone else, use it. Stuck in your home without a flag? Paint one, draw one, or color one with sidewalk chalk. And, if you need a new flag, we’ll safely deliver it direct to your door. Shop our flag collections below. 

Ways to Stand United

  • Make and donate masks to frontline staff in essential services.
  • Order food from local restaurants and have it delivered to hospital workers.
  • Send cards or homemade artwork to nursing homes.
  • Participate in a local rainbow hunt.
  • Fly your American flags.

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