While Americans across the country are practicing social distancing due to the Coronavirus, companies like Cars2Charities are practicing safe measures to meet the concerns of both donors and nonprofits.
At the end of 2019 there was evidence of an epidemic which first showed up in Wuhan, China, but spread to Europe and the Middle East before fanning out to cover the globe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was January 30, 2020 when the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public emergency of international concern.”
A pandemic is defined as an illness occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population.
The CDC says, “There are ongoing investigations to learn more. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.”
Communities in America are at various points in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The beginning of the outbreak is called the investigation phase, then there is recognition and initiation, followed by the acceleration phase. The illness peaks at the end of the acceleration phase and finally decelerates.
In the United States your risk is relatively low, but it continues to rise as cases increase and as more are reported that came from community contact. Of course, individuals who are physically in locations where Covid-19 patients are housed, such as healthcare workers, are at greater risk.
Cases of Covid-19 are reported to the CDC with one of three origins:
• Traveling abroad
• Close contact with someone infected by the coronavirus
• Community-acquired cases from an unknown source
If you have family members with coronavirus you are at a heightened risk of contracting the disease. And travelers from international cities where Covid-19 is widespread have a much greater risk of carrying the disease than domestic travelers.
Contact your state’s health department for more information about the specific status of coronavirus testing in your area.
Best Practices to Protect Yourself from the Novel Coronavirus
Americans have changed a lot of everyday behaviors in an effort to minimize the spread, thanks to coronavirus updates from leaders.
Hand Washing/Social Distancing
We have been advised to increase the practice of handwashing – in frequency and in length of time under the faucet. The CDC has a page with best practices instructing everyone to wash with soap and warm water for 20 seconds or more, especially after coughing, blowing your nose or sneezing. If you use hand sanitizer its contents need to be at least 60% alcohol.
Social distancing has become part of our modern-day lexicon, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Because there’s no vaccine, this is currently the best way possible to avoid exposure to the virus. It’s spread from person-to-person, so having contact with fewer individuals is obviously a method for reducing the chance of spreading coronavirus to others.
Medical experts are telling the public that 6 feet is the ideal distance they should stay apart from one another, as much as possible. Not only do you avoid droplets from potentially infected people who cough or sneeze, you have a lower chance of contracting any condition that’s airborne.
Challenges of Social Distancing
Along with the inconvenience of a new system of communication, social distancing can take a mental/emotional toll on citizens who are biding time with a shelter-in-place policy. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, known as SAMHSA, has an online resource with tips for handling the stress of isolation and quarantine conditions during an infectious disease outbreak.
Certain reactions are more typical than you may expect. You or your loved ones may experience anxiety and fear related to your own health or others you care about who may have been exposed to Covid-19.
Some people struggle with feelings of resentment when members of their social circle, following best practices, go into isolation as a result of someone else’s exposure to the virus. There may be negative reactions to monitoring those who are ill with coronavirus, or of the reverse – being monitored by others.
Communities nationwide are also reeling from loss of wages and job insecurity, as well as the inability to secure necessary household items from toilet paper to hand sanitizer.
The document by SAMHSA suggests that every American stay vigilant about significant behavior changes in ourselves and others around us. Look for signs of dependence on alcohol or other substances, symptoms of depression and behavior that resembles the signs of PTSD. The agency recommends that you contact your healthcare provider if that’s the case.
If you’re struggling with some of those challenging feelings, speak out. Talk to your employer about job-related issues and don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are many unknowns, including how long the societal changes, based on coronavirus updates, will last. By sharing distress and concerns with loved ones, you can more easily diffuse the potential harm to yourself and others.
Cars2Charities Policies Concerning the Coronavirus
As seasoned professionals who have weathered challenges of many kinds through the years, Cars2Charities staff members have the kind of flexibility required to keep operations moving forward in a safe and secure manner.
Social distancing has become de rigueur for our associates who work with the same level of efficiency from their individual offices. By limiting our face-to-face interactions with one another we increase the chance that all of us stay healthy throughout the process of coronavirus protocol.
We use online resources and phone calls to communicate with both our donors and charities, so our clients can shelter in place as instructed by officials citing best practices for weathering the coronavirus outbreak. We can continue our work, even processing coronavirus donations.
If you donate a vehicle through Cars2Charities and you can’t physically be on scene when our associate tows away your donation car, we can arrange an unattended pick-up. Donors can leave their keys and signed title in their unlocked vehicle, as our drivers will collect the keys and the title and tow the vehicle without needing to interact with the donor.
Coronavirus Donations that Sustain Victims
In addition to personal involvement in lowering risk by adhering to the shelter-in-place guidelines, there is more you can do to contribute to battling the ill effects of the coronavirus. You can benefit those who contracted Covid-19 through hospital donations and support for nonprofits offering health services of other kinds.
Health/ Medical and Human Service Donations
You can make coronavirus donations – putting financial help where it’s currently needed. Support health professionals and volunteers who contribute caring for patients by boosting nonprofits with donations and free services. In addition to cash donations, you can donate a car through Cars2Charities and put the value of your vehicle toward a nonprofit that's getting support where it's needed.
Charities of all kinds are responding to the pandemic by assuring their donors and clients that every precaution is being taken to minimize the spread of the virus. Some of them may need elbow grease from the public; but many need hospital donations or financial support to local foundations that benefit those hurting because of the economic impact of coronavirus.
Friends of the Family
Southern California families have programs and services that help them gain stability when challenged by ongoing problems such as community violence and a lack of access to living wage jobs. By supporting Friends of the Family, you provide a safety net for more than 7,000 individuals every year.
While putting in place best practices for minimizing the spread of Covid-19, Friends of the Family remains active throughout the crisis. According to the website, “Agency staff will be available by phone from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday; 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday; and 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday to provide resources, referrals, and support.”
Davis Street Community Center
With state-of-the-art health and dental services as well as other support, Davis Street Community Center is a major resource for low-income families in the San Francisco Bay Area. As the community adheres to best practices for slowing the spread of Covid-19, the economic downturn means that coronavirus donations will be needed for those battling job insecurity.
Families and community members of the center are still receiving help during the coronavirus shutdowns. The charity has implemented strong emergency disaster protocols and is taking measures to protect its staff and volunteers.
“Davis Street’s Emergency Food Pantry will remain open Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.,” the website says. “We will offer the option for a drive-through grocery pick up. If any clients are not comfortable coming into the food warehouse and would like to schedule a drive-through food pick up, please text or call (510) 561-9042.”
Radiant Health Care Centers
Following the lead of experts at the Centers for Disease Control, Radiant Health Care Centers are taking steps to ensure that infection prevention measures from coronavirus updates are being followed. There are details posted on the Radiant Health website.
Staff members have adopted strategies to improve health etiquette by putting into place best practices for controlling the spread of the virus. They include reduced contact with sick patients, excessive hand washing, and ceasing the practice of sharing personal items with co-workers. Clients who walk in their doors and have symptoms that are consistent with Covid-19 are immediately separated and placed in areas of containment.
You can support the work of Radiant Health Care Centers with a car donation through Cars2Charities to keep their doors open during this medical and economic crisis.
Rady Children’s Hospital
As San Diego’s premiere hospital for children, Rady is committed to preventing tragedies from unfolding due to the coronavirus outbreak. They assembled a core team of experts to collaborate with public health partners in San Diego.
Rady Children's Hospital is swiftly identifying patients who are infected with Covid-19 and isolating them from the other patients. They are in close communication with the CDC and local health department. Also, staff members adhere strictly to best practices regarding hand hygiene.
Though the youngest members of the population seem to be less likely to suffer from the coronavirus, hospital donations to medical facilities such as Rady are still needed. In fact, one of the main stressors our society will endure is the competition for limited medical services resulting from the pandemic.
You can make a vehicle donation to Rady Children’s Hospital through Cars2Charities and send them the support they need to keep kids healthy. We have partnered with Rady in the past and processed hospital donations of many kinds.
Your Local Humane Society
There is no evidence that animals can catch Covid-19, so caring for your pets is considered completely safe. We should keep in mind, however, the wisdom of applying the same protocol to our pet care that we’re applying to our social life – best practices such as hand washing.
Continuing to care for your pets is perfectly acceptable and adoptions are still needed. But because this pandemic is a novel virus, it’s still wise to let someone else handle the care of your pet if you become infected.
“We assembled a toolkit for animal shelters to help them respond to the needs of the communities that they serve and are in close contact with our Shelter and Rescue Partners to share information,” the Humane Society reports. “Our Pets for Life program, which supports pet owners in underserved areas, has delivered additional supplies to senior and immobile clients and is modifying spay/neuter and veterinary appointments to maintain those valuable services within guidelines. Client visits by Pets for Life teams are shifting to phone outreach and delivery of food and medications to avoid close contact for at-risk clients.”
You can also donate a car to the Humane Society or support them another way.
The courage of charity workers, even during a crisis, deserves our respect. As Americans band together to reduce the spread and minimize fatalities, we can assist them in their work. You can make hospital donations when you support a 501(c)(3) and contribute to the comfort of patients.
And it’s easy to comply with the governmental guidelines through our process at Cars2Charities. We communicate with charities via phone and email, and we send checks and invoices to charities through the mail. That means we can continue to process vehicle donations that comply with coronavirus best practices, and even benefit those fighting the spread of disease.