If you give a family COVID, they’ll be stuck at home for over two weeks. When they’re stuck at home for two weeks with no end in sight, they’ll probably lose their minds.
I won’t turn this into a witty children’s book sequel – because I’m not witty enough – but I AM here to give you some extremely practical tips on how to serve and encourage your COVID-infected friends.
Our family is coming off of two full weeks being quarantined at home as my husband I have both had COVID. Three months ago I didn’t know anyone who had actually tested positive for this crazy virus. Now, it’s very close to home.
Chances are you know someone who has tested positive for COVID. If you don’t, just wait – you will soon. It’s draining, exhausting, and lingers way longer than any sickness I’ve ever had. On top of actually being sick, the daily responsibilities of keeping the tiny humans alive do not disappear.
When the parents get sick, their job just gets harder. So here are a few ways you can encourage your friends and family members and walk along side them through this challenging process:
1. Drop dinner off at the door.
This is so easy, yet so helpful. The last thing anyone wants to do when they are sick is to plan or cook meals. Throw in the forecast of not having the energy to do so for at least two weeks and the task of dinner prep is absolutely daunting. So, cook an extra pan of frozen lasagna, grab a bag of bread sticks, throw in a package of cookies, and drop it all off on the doorstep. You will be the hero of the day.
2. Send a meal delivery gift card.
Not a big cook? Worried you’ll make something your friends won’t like? No worries. Door Dash and Grub Hub are amazing services that allow meals to be ordered and delivered from all the best restaurants. You can buy a gift card on either of their websites/apps and send them via e-mail to your sick friends. This is a fantastic way to relieve meal-time burdens, serve the family, and keep your distance from germs.
3. Send the kids small gifts through Amazon.
The hardest part of this COVID journey for our family has been having perfectly healthy children who had 100% of their energy while my husband and I did not. While we wanted to be on the couch napping all day, life carried on for our kiddos who wanted to play and run and exercise their very strong lungs.
One of the best days of our quarantine was when we received an Amazon box from grandma full of sticker books and Halloween stories. These sticker books kept our kids occupied for several days and added an exciting element to a not-so-exciting time at home. So remember the little ones in the house and add some sunshine to their days, too.
4. Deliver groceries.
There are some pretty great grocery delivery services around and many stores offer drive-up pick-up, but there’s always that one thing you forget. I’m notorious for this and usually have to wait until the next week because for some reason these grocery delivery services don’t want to drive all the way to my house to deliver an $0.89 packet of taco seasoning.
For this reason, text your friend and let her know that you are headed to the grocery store. Ask what she needs. Not if she needs something, but what she needs. Not going to the store already? Lie and say you are.
5. Bug the crap out of them.
Two weeks at home, not being able to leave, feeling horrible, and raising littles all at the same time is a lot. It’s isolating, discouraging, and makes you feel like it will never end. Your friends need you to text them, ask them all the questions, and keep offering to serve. If they say they don’t need anything, ask again the next day. Eventually, your persistent offers to help will overcome their humility and push them to honestly ask for help. And they will be forever grateful.
These are all sweet ways that our family and friends have cared for us from afar over the last few weeks. I’m so grateful for their kindness and hope to be able to do the same for others as we continue to walk through what is sure to be an interesting next few months.