The shelter-in-place restrictions for Pennsylvania were the best course of action to save lives. Even as we move into the yellow and green phases, we’ll need to be more cautious about how we interact with others – and home will still be the safest place to stay, until we have a vaccine.
It’s important to recognize, however, that this is not the case for everyone. For children who suffer from abuse or neglect, being at home may not be a safe haven or welcome reprieve from the world. The Moore Center at Johns Hopkins University published an article about this issue, including links to national resources. Here in Pennsylvania, Children and Youth Services is still running, even during the pandemic.
There are also resources available for those facing food insecurity. In my hometown of Annville, the school is providing food for families in need, and a number of local houses of worship are also offering food pantries. The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank is another resource that folks can use if they need food.
Finally, we shouldn’t forget about our elderly neighbors during this time. Check in via phone, or make a socially-distanced visit (for example, wear a mask, knock on the door and then wait on the sidewalk to talk to them while they stay on their porch).
We are still a community. While we want to follow the expert guidelines to keep each other healthy, we should also be doing what we can to protect the physical safety and mental health of those who need it.