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Ways Teenagers Can Help During the Coronavirus Crisis

by Esther Sun

Opinion Editor

With the COVID-19 outbreak forcing our lives to take a dramatic turn and school likely not to return for the rest of the year, many of us at LGHS have been mourning the loss of highly-anticipated events like prom and sports seasons, as well as the freedom to live an important time in our youth to the fullest. In light of this, however, it can be important and even inspiring for us to remember that we are in a unique position as young and healthy citizens to help vulnerable members of society, such as the elderly. Here are some ways we can step up to serve our Los Gatos community during this time of crisis.

Buy groceries and/or run errands for the elderly:

Nextdoor, the online platform designed to connect local communities, recently launched a new interactive map feature called the Help Map that allows you to post your availability to assist your neighbors in various capacities that may include shopping for groceries, picking up medication, or simply checking in with phone calls. This feature can be helpful for people of all age groups, but especially for those over 65 years old whose health is especially at risk from exposure to the coronavirus. However, be extra careful to abide by all CDC and WHO health precautions, such as washing your hands often and staying home if you feel even slightly sick, in order to ensure the health and safety of the people you serve as well as yourself.

Tutor younger students in online school:

Some schools may not be assigning homework during this time of school closure, but those that are may be leaving students of all grades lacking adequate support from teachers, peers, and tutors. Quarantutors, a group of high school student tutors, is offering online tutoring for free over the next few months. They ask only for optional parent donations which they will in turn donate to No Kid Hungry, an organization dedicated to providing meals to kids negatively impacted by school closures. Visit http://www.quarantutors.com to apply to be a tutor, or offer your help independently to people you know.

Donate blood:

Red Cross needs blood donations

Red Cross employee Christopher Holder prepares to remove the needle from a blood donor Tiffany Onger on Mar. 18. Blood donation centers across the US are looking for more people to donate blood, even as people are staying in place during the coronavirus recommendations.

Though hospitals cannot use donor blood to treat the coronavirus, the widespread fear surrounding the virus has driven America’s blood supply into a serious shortage as significantly fewer people are choosing to donate blood. The American Red Cross San Jose Center and the Stanford Blood Center in Mountain View are both accepting blood donations, with the American Red Cross announcing a “severe blood shortage” with “donors urgently needed.” COVID-19 cannot be transmitted through blood donations, according to Dr. Claudia Cohn, director of the Blood Bank Laboratory at the University of Minnesota and chief medical officer of AABB.

(Sources: NY Times, The Verge)

 

 

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