COVID-19, or Coronavirus, is causing massive disruption around the world. People are under substantial amounts of financial and personal stress, as governments and corporations engage in slapdash measures to address the crisis. Many of the most vulnerable and precarious people in our society are going to suffer the most. People are angry and scared and they want to do something, and this energy has the potential to do a lot of good. It also has the potential to accidentally cause harm.
For now the SRA recommends that chapters suspend all range day, training, or social events larger than 5 people. We recommend that our members follow all CDC guidelines for hygiene and social distancing: stay 6 feet away from other people, wear a mask if you have them, wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 30 seconds under warm water. Do not participate in large gatherings, and be particularly careful around the elderly and immuno-compromised people
So what should chapters do during this time? We can still participate in mutual aid projects, if we are careful and smart about it. Homeless people in particular are under severe threat due to their exposure and lack of access to resources. Several of our chapters are engaging in mutual aid to help the homeless and other vulnerable groups.
Triad North Carolina is creating sanitation kits to donate to the unhoused in their community.
Southern New England is creating a food drive to deliver food to anyone who requests it.
Dallas-Fort Worth is raising funds to directly support people who are facing loss of income in this moment.
And West Los Angeles is making home-made hand sanitizer to donate to unhoused people in LA.
The organizers of these campaigns are sharing information on how to organize these sorts of actions on our member Slack.
Remember when engaging in mutual aid work to always wash your hands and wear gloves while assembling kits, and while distributing them. Wear masks. Toss your donations to people from at least 6 feet away, or leave them outside their tents. Minimize close contact as much as possible to prevent spreading the virus.
We live in interesting times. Stay safe, help your neighbors if you can.
Remember, We Keep Us Safe.