PEDESTRIAN.TV has partnered with CUA to help you give back to your community.

Even with some light beginning to sparkle at the end of the isolation tunnel, it’ll likely be a while until things return to some form of normality. Even eased restrictions will probably be in place the foreseeable future, so settling into the new normal is something we’ll have to remain comfortable with for now.

You’ve probably nailed the basics of iso life, but what about the other things you normally do out there in the world, like contributing to the community?

Unfortunately, a lot of people and businesses are doing it tough during this global pandemic, so here’s how you can continue to support them.

You nurturing your local coffee shop.

Buy local

For businesses to survive this weird, weird time, they’ve had to adapt pretty dramatically or go into a state of hibernation. For those still operating, they’re counting on local communities to help keep the door open, so buying from them is the best thing you can do right now.

The cafe at the end of my street, for example, has converted itself into a little convenience store, selling its normal menu as takeaway options along with essentials like bread, milk, eggs and more. I make an effort to grab a few things from there at least once a week, which is a super-easy way to support them.

Help out local small businesses where you can, whether it’s a bottle-o, a local grocer or even just coffee. With the vast majority of businesses utilising tap-and-go payment facilities these days, you shouldn’t even have to worry about handling cash.

Get ahead of the restrictions

While going out to dinner or on a holiday is impossible right now, it doesn’t mean you can’t start planning for when lockdowns lift and we’re free to do all of the fun stuff we used to do. Seems like a distant memory, right?

Plan some nights out at your favourite restaurants with mates for when they reopen. Trust me, you’ll want to celebrate when it happens, so it helps to be prepared.

It’s hard to know exactly when travel restrictions will be lifted, but you can always start planning post-COVID-19 domestic holidays.

Even consider hitting up some of the communities hit by the bushfires because they’ll need your business the most when this is all over. And this should be obvious, but please don’t travel to these communities until restrictions are lifted. The last thing they need is to be hit even harder by COVID-19.

Help out those who are really locked down

The evidence suggests that most people who catch COVID-19 will recover just fine, but others aren’t so lucky. For the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, this virus can be deadly, which, for them, means staying inside as much as possible.

Getting the basics can be tough for anyone in these categories, so make sure to check-in with your vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours. Do them a solid and offer to pick up some groceries. If you’re feeling extra kind, you could even print out some letters offering your help and do a letter drop around your area.

Donate the money you’d spend elsewhere

If you’re still working, you’re probably also saving money in isolation. Not having to commute and eating at home has shown me how much money I spend on a regular week, and it’s wild how much I underestimated that figure.

If you’re in the same boat, why not consider donating some of that cash you’re saving? There are heaps of great initiatives you can hit up, just make sure they’re legit by searching for them here.

If that’s not possible, you can always go through your wardrobe and gather up anything you haven’t worn in a while to donate. Charities like Vinnies aren’t accepting donations right now, but they’re very keen to take them off your hands as soon as they can. “Just wait until we’re back to normal — we’d be so grateful to receive those donations [then],” National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations chief officer, Omer Soker, told the ABC.

There are plenty of ways to give back to your community, even while restrictions are in force, so pay it forward if you can, mates.

Image: PEDESTRIAN.TV / @mopkins88