Remember the dawn of the internet age? The promise of "all the world's information" at your fingertips? I do, barely.
Because that promise has turned into something very different, as I learned while nursing my friend. It seemed like every every bit of Covid-19 rumor, theory, conspiracy, and fantasy the internet could regurgitate ended up in an email or text that clamored for my attention.
No worries though. As a tech analyst, I've dealt with worse for decades.
What was hard was that all this "help" didn't help. What I really needed was something no one wanted to do: physical presence to perform physical, not virtual, tasks.
I don't blame friends for not wanting to become infected with a potentially life-threatening disease, courtesy of my mild case -- thanks for asking -- and my very sick friend. But, in the moment, stressed out -- all respect to nurses for the work they do -- I wanted real physical help.
Not misinformation. Or informed musings about the virus.
The Storage Bits take
When, not if, you have a friend in need of support during the pandemic, try to remember that they are already stressed. They may not know what they need, so offer physical actions.
Make a healthy homemade soup. Drop off some electrolyte solution. Or just about anything that says that despite the risks, you're offering something concrete.
If you must offer advice, be a filter, not an amplifier. Don't forward rumors or random theories. Stick with reputable sources, the CDC, or science reporting by physicians and/or public health experts.
Finally, caretakers are likely to be frazzled. So information you forward should include actionable recommendations that a home caregiver can perform. The opinion pieces will still be there once the crisis recedes.
Bottom line: be a friend in deed. Don't add to a caregiver's burden just to make yourself feel like you're helping.