By Neighbors FCU VP of Marketing Brett Reynolds
I vividly remember last Friday when I heard that schools were going to be out for a month. It was pretty evident that even more changes were coming and ‘social distancing’ would become more compulsory than voluntary.
Soon, crowds were being discouraged, work at home contingencies were being discussed and restaurants were scrambling to remain open under new restrictions. As the father of a six-year-old, my first thought was, “So basically I have to turn my home into this kid’s prison for a month?” We’re barely into day three and I’m already confused as to which of us is the warden in this scenario.
Yes, it’s true that COVID-19 is impacting our daily lives and it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better. However, it’s worth remembering there are some positive things going on. In a political climate that is polarized, to say the least, citizens and corporations alike are stepping up in a big way to make the best of a bad situation.
The popular Baton Rouge eatery is pledging that 100% of profit during the pandemic will go to paying their employees. The owners stated on Facebook that they, “feel it is our duty to ensure our employees stay afloat during this time, so even if we lose money, our employees will get paid.”
It was announced Monday that Dollar General is strongly encouraging its stores to dedicate the first hour of operations each day to the shopping needs of its senior customers. Seniors are the most vulnerable to complications from the COVID-19 coronavirus and a large number of low-to-moderate income consumers utilize Dollar General to purchase household necessities.
Sports franchises, particularly in the NBA, have committed to providing financial support for hourly arena employees who lost their source of income due to the cancellation of their season. Mark Cuban, Zion Williamson and more are dipping into their personal wealth to help these workers.
School closures have put a new burden on low and middle-income families with many relying on school cafeteria programs to provide nutritious meals for their children. Public schools in East Baton Rouge Parish have relaunched school meal programs to provide breakfast and lunch to students in need. They currently have 21 locations with plans to open more in the coming weeks.
Which brings us back to the newly home-schooled kids. School closures due to the coronavirus pandemic have affected 391.5 million students worldwide according to UNESCO. 3.5 million of those are in the US and it’s expected that number will increase significantly in the coming months. Both locally and nationally people are stepping up in a big way to help students (and parents) pass the time.
The Cincinnati Zoo has been temporarily closed but in the meantime, they are offering Home Safari Facebook Lives seven days a week which will allow their social media followers to experience the zoo from home.
James Dean / Mo Willems
Popular children’s authors such as James Dean and Mo Willems are offering story reading and drawing content for children stuck at home.
Baton Rouge Moms
Locally, Baton Rouge Moms is offering Baton Rouge Virtual Playdates and is full of ideas for fun activities kids can do at home. Several neighborhoods organized Shamrock Hunts where kids decorated a shamrock to be is placed in a window. Then, other kids can go on walks or drives in the neighborhood to see how many shamrocks they can find.
The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and presents both large and small challenges that we’ll need to approach creatively to overcome. It’s important to remember that there are still good things taking place and that we all have the capacity to create positivity.
For updates on how NFCU is managing this crisis, please visit our readiness page.