100+ COVID-19 Pandemic Resources and 5 Self-Preservation Tips From A Therapist (Updated Daily)

A drag queen joins protesters against the UK visit of US president Donald Trump as they gathered to take part in a march and rally in London. Photograph: Niklas Hallen/AFP/Getty Images

A reporter reached out to me recently, asking how people can help themselves and others during a time like this. My first response was that communities will have to let this historical moment radicalize them. This means not waiting to be impacted personally to realize that our fates are interconnected right now. Americans always seem to learn the hard way — through the hindsight of grieving avoidable tragedies — that our spirit of individualism doesn’t mean our lives aren’t intertwined, and that our welfare isn’t collective. But we can’t survive this pandemic by waiting to be thrust into awareness after the fact, once our small bubble bursts. GoFundMe funeral fundraisers and a million “Thoughts and prayers!” will never negate the repercussions of thinking “It’s not my problem yet, so I don’t care/won’t say anything.” We have to act as if every death is close to us, because we could be next.

This pandemic has wreaked such havoc on societal mental health because our panic is just as much about real and imagined scarcity as it is the virus. Panic has further exacerbated the typical American’s daily stress about feeling financially insecure and lacking adequate resources — namely, childcare, food, and the paid sick leave necessary to afford internet, rent and utilities, should they fall ill. And since Americans’ financial stress is practically chronic, the panic never ceases, even despite a number of city and state governments suspending evictions, school districts offering free meals, and internet and utilities service providers offering grace periods. Some of are so debilitated by the isolation and panic, they can’t even muster the energy to look for what resources actually do exist, which is why I compiled this streamlined list.

This pandemic is also challenging people’s faith in the belief that rugged individualism promises an American Dream. There’s a general sentiment of betrayal about the realization that our government only ever seems prepared to fund Wall Street bailouts or war. In the past week, we’ve witnessed Trump pull $1.5 trillion of capital injections out of thin air, to bail out the stock market and billionaire executives , amidst a “shortage” of testing kits. And now there’s evidence that several Republican senators were briefed on COVID-19 weeks before the general public knew. Cashing in millions of stock shares was their first priority. Oh, and the family owners of WalMart, the Waltons, just transferred $48 billion of Walmart shares to a family trust.

It’s disorienting for many to realize that the capitalist system they once trusted, which ties healthcare to employment, can cause a destructive level of panic when blindsided and outstripped of resourcefulness by disaster or pandemic. Our lack of preparedness, based on the assumption that things like this don’t happen to good, hard-working Americans like “us” — versus “them” and the rest of the world — has upended our entire lives. Disillusionment is also a part of our stress.

Suddenly, ransacked grocery stores resemble what many imagined a socialist safety net to be. Suddenly, we realize a handful of billionaires have been denying the vast majority of us the privilege of sick leave. We realize the hidden agenda in schools: conditioning us to believe America is fair, poor folks are lazy, and rich people never cheat. We realize, everything is political — that you’re either at the table or on the menu. We realize our materialistic culture has led to a false sense of class solidarity with billionaires who contribute less than we do with our meager earnings. And in the coming months, it’ll become even more clear that a basic safety net of public services could’ve cost us a lot less than trillions, if we’d had invested in it all along.

The lesson in this pandemic should be that there’s a price to pay for forgetting and neglecting the vulnerable. We’re all vulnerable right now, regardless of borders, class, or whatever other divisions and hierarchical identities we like to pretend are cellular-deep, to ignore inequity and justify privilege. Thus, now is the moment for people to embrace community care and interdependence, even despite quarantining and “social distancing”, and to see preventative measures intended to protect our collective welfare as both a form of self-preservation and an ethical and moral obligation to stay socially responsible.

Let’s be proactive, not reactive. Let’s not allow conspiracy theories, denial, or resistance to change come back to bite us.

During such a stressful time, regaining your sense of control requires community, rest, self-awareness, and an intentionally optimistic perspective. Use social media to stay connected with credible platforms that offer hope and practical information. Also, take a strengths-based approach to affirming what yourself and others are doing well. Be mindful of when your attention wanders to negative news, worst-case-scenarios, anxious nitpicking, or self-criticism. To that end, keep your mind as refreshed as possible, and know that it’s OK to prioritize rest over productivity right now. Every system and person is over capacity.

We’re all anxious and on edge, but there is a path forward if we stick together. We are each other’s safety net. Here are some tips and resources to lighten the load.

Tips:

  • Approach conflict empathetically. During this time, it’s important to navigate conflicts and tension compassionately, keeping in mind that the uncertainty of the times is weighing down on all of us, and even possibly triggering trauma responses. Trauma-informed approaches to mental health emphasize the fact that our nervous system’s fight-or-flight mode, which this pandemic has triggered for many, impedes upon emotional regulation and executive functioning. So, if a family member or housemate seems unusually disorganized, forgetful, or snappy, keep the context in mind.
  • Be mindful of media consumption. Are you seeking out news that feeds your paranoia, or helpful information and resources that reassure you there is a collective effort to survive this moment in history? Around the clock, people are working tirelessly to control the outbreak, and many more people are recovering from coronavirus than dying from it. Read about hopeful stories as much as breaking news and clickbait. If you can’t unplug, just be mindful of the proportion of despair and hope you’re consuming. Focusing on the strides being made can alleviate anxiety arising from uncertainty about what will happen next.
  • Distract yourself with something joyful. Don’t feel guilty about mitigating panic with joy, or even humor, during this time. When the news makes you feel heavy, shift your focus to a distraction that offers you peace of mind. Constantly being “on”, and bracing ourselves breaking news, is not only exhausting, but also an unsustainable source of energy. Feel free to share gifs and memes that bring levity to the grim realities of this situation, so long as they are respectful of those who have not been so fortunate.
  • Techniques for calm. Mindfulness can be extremely helpful for remaining calm, particularly grounding techniques that interrupt overthinking, and reconnect us to our bodies, immediate environment, and the present moment. Gratitude exercises can also be useful for counteracting fear-based cognitive distortions and negative assumptions that can eclipse our faith and appreciation of what is going right.
  • What if I feel hopeless? If your anxiety about coronavirus and the pandemic feels unbearable, please do reach out to a crisis line, via call or text. Remember that crisis lines are for all crises, not just suicidality. As a former crisis counselor of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and The Trevor Project, I can attest that many people call crisis lines just to vent. I loved those calls, because they reflected a reduction in societal mental health stigma and the impact of advocacy.

Resources:

Arts & Recreation

10 University Art Classes You Can Take for Free Online

1200 Museums and Cultural Sites to Visit On A Virtual Tour

Bestselling children’s author Mo Willems is teaching drawing on YouTube for kids stuck at home because of coronavirus

Free Queer Films

The Paris Opera is screening performances online for free

POINT ’EM OUT: Peep These 9 Online Black Artists’ Galleries While You Self-Quarantine

Streaming theater: A virus downtime guide

Stuck at home? Take free drawing classes from famous illustrators

You can watch Broadway musicals and plays free online for a limited time

Childcare and Education

275+ Enrichment Activities for Children While Parents Work Remotely

10 Strategies for Online Learning During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Afrocentric Homeschooling Curriculum

Amazon Makes All Kid Shows Free to Stream

Anti-Oppressive/Anti-Racist Home School Options During the Quarantine

Do You Need A Computer? — Boston Public Schools ChromeBooks

Educational Companies Offering Free Subscriptions Due to School Closings

Free and subscriptions for remote learning and homeschooling due to coronavirus

Going fast: Houston nonprofit’s laptop giveaway sees huge demand as schools plan to go online

Here are 450 Ivy League courses you can take online right now for free

Online Teaching Tools for Educators

Open Access JSTOR Materials Accessible to the Public

Parenting during coronavirus: What to know about play dates, education and more

Performing Artist Emergency Micro-Lending Grants

SAG-AFTRA Starts Coronavirus Disaster Fund for Those Affected By Production Suspensions

Scholastic Learn At Home — Day-to-day Projects to Keep Kids Reading, Thinking & Growing

YMCA of Southern AZ offers emergency childcare for first responders, healthcare workers

You can now download over 300,000 books from the NYPL for free

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan Is Giving K-12 Schools His Videoconferencing Tools For Free

Financial Resources/Worker’s Rights

A State-by-State Resource Guide for Music Professionals Who Need Help During Coronavirus Crisis

All NC SNAP Benefits Automatically Renewed April and May

Amazonians United Wins PTO for All Amazon Workers

Artist & Activist Relief Fund

Atlanta Mayor Creates $7M Emergency Fund To Help Hourly Workers

Coronavirus Emergency Expense Fund — City of Princeton, NJ

Coronavirus prompts PECO and other utility providers to suspend shut-offs

COVID-19 Information for Those Receiving Services from Texas Department of Health & Human Services

Emergency Funds for Freelances, Creatives Losing Income During Coronavirus

Financial Resources for Washington Residents Impacted by COVID-19

Food Stamp Applications Double in Louisiana

Has the coronavirus impacted your job or business: Here’s a list of resources

How to apply for disability, unemployment or family leave during the coronavirus pandemic

In response to coronavirus, Comcast offers 2 months of free Internet to low-income customers

Internet companies won’t disconnect people for unpaid bills for 60 days, FCC says

Minnesota and Vermont will classify grocery store workers as emergency workers

Philly small business owners can apply for immediate relief from the city

Resources for Coronavirus-Affected Restaurants, Bars & Food Service Workers — LA

Survey for Nightlife Workers, Freelancers, and Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Trump temporarily suspends payments on Federal student loans

U.S. delays April 15 tax payment deadline by 90 days for millions

Food Resources

16 Fast Growing Vegetables That Will Give You a Harvest Quickly

Accessing food during the Coronavirus outbreak

AISD providing lunch for students at 14 places in Austin, despite school cancelation

Baltimore schools will have free meals for students while schools are closed

Burger King to Offer Free Kids Meal During Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus in Cincinnati: Restaurants, organizations to offer free lunch, help to students

Detroit Public Schools will offer meal pick-ups to students next week amid school closures

FOOD: Here’s where Seattle Public Schools will offer free lunches

HERE IS THE CONFIRMED LIST OF 60 LAUSD SCHOOLS THAT WILL BE SERVING FREE MEALS TO STUDENTS IN L.A., MAPPED

HISD to operate daily food distribution sites during districtwide closure

Labor Delivers: Emergency Home Meal Delivery Organized by Erik Forman

LIST: Where D.C., Maryland & Virginia kids can get free meals during the COVID-19 shutdown

Lunches for low-income students in Texas to continue during school closures

New Orleans plans to have ‘child nutrition program’ for students in place by March 23

NYC Plans To Feed All Students, Deliver Laptops For Remote Learning

Where Families Can Get Free Breakfast, Lunch and Supper in San Francisco During School Closures

General

Chicago COVID-19 Hardship & Help Page

Community support efforts in response to COVID19 and Economic Crisis — Bernie Sanders Campaign

Coronavirus in NYC: Resources You Need to Know

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Report Price Gouging — Consumer Complaint Against a Business/Company

Resources for those in Delaware County

Homeless Shelters/Housing/

Coronavirus and Homelessness Resource Guide

Holiday Inn Express in Center City Philadelphia to become quarantine for homeless

Letter to landlord for rent relief

New York state halts evictions statewide due to coronavirus

Philadelphia halts evictions as coronavirus bears down

What to do if you can’t make your rent or mortgage payments because of the coronavirus pandemic

Mental Health

7 science-based strategies to cope with coronavirus anxiety

Charlotte therapist providing free webinar about importance of mental health care during COVID-19

Community Connections in Times of Physical Separation

Coronavirus will also cause a loneliness epidemic

Don’t Self Isolate Alone: Animal Shelter Encourages Fostering a Pet During Coronavirus Pandemic

Gentle and Grounding Chair Yoga Class — 45 minutes

Helping Children Cope With Emergencies

How to Fight the Social Isolation of Coronavirus

Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19

Online AA Meetings During COVID-19

Philly area mental health professionals offer free therapy for mental health care workers

These counselors are offering free, remote therapy sessions for people stressed by coronavirus

Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During An Infectious Disease Outbreak

We Need Social Solidarity, Not Just Social Distancing

Why your mental health may be suffering in the COVID-19 pandemic

Physical Health

11 Charts that Explain The Coronavirus Epidemic

30 Home Workouts to Stay Fit When You’re Stuck Indoors

Coronavirus Poses Unique Risks for Many LGBTQ and HIV-Positive People: What You Should Know

Fire Cider As Resistance: For Immunity and the Community

From boot camp to yoga, YMCA launches 60 free online classes for people stuck at home

How smoking, vaping, and drug use might increase risks from COVID-19

Legacy Community Health opens 3 free coronavirus testing sites in Houston

List of Personal Things You Can Do to Stay Well in a Time of CoVID19:

Relationship between the ABO Blood Group and the COVID-19 Susceptibility

Self-care Tips if you become sick with COVID-19 from an activist nurse

Survival Food — 56 Long-Term Survival Foods and Supplies at the Grocery Store

Updated: WHO Now Doesn’t Recommend Avoiding Ibuprofen For COVID-19

What COVID-19 symptoms look like, day by day

What It’s Like to Be Tested for Coronavirus

Why COVID-19 IS Worse than the Flu, In One Chart

The Workers Who Face the Greatest Coronavirus Risk

Minoritized Communities + Vulnerable Populations

11 Self-Care Tips, According to Expert Healers

Council on American-Islamic Relations — Request for Legal Assistance

COVID-19: 4 Tips to Help The Elderly Stay Connected

COVID-19 Information — SAGE (Advocacy & Services for LGBT Elders)

COVID-19 Mutual Aid Fund for LGBTQ+ BIPOC Folks

COVID-19 Trans/Queer Relief Form

COVID-19: Resources for Undocumented Californians

COVID-19 Resources for Undocumented Communities

COVID-19: When LGBTQ+ Families Face Stigma

Coronavirus Pandemic Poses Unique Challenges To Members of DeafBlind Community

Grocery Stores Open Early for Seniors

How LGBTQ+ People Can Get Help and Resources During Coronavirus

Open Letter to Cook County Regarding COVID-19 and Cook County Jail: Protect Public Health through Decarceration

Refugee Enrichment & Development Association

While limited, senior service agency helping elderly how it can during COVID-19 outbreak

Sexual Health

Can I have sex? A guide to intimacy during the coronavirus outbreak

Check Out This Super Queer Coronavirus Prevention AD

Grindr issues coronavirus warning to users as hook-ups thrive during pandemic

Here’s The Latest Advice From Experts About Coronavirus And HIV

What Does Social Distancing Mean for My Sex Life

Your Questions About Reproductive Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Answered

Testing

Drive-thru assessment centers being set up in Nashville for COVID-19 Testing

Drive-thru testing is starting up at some Chicago-area hospitals

Free Coronavirus testing available in north Houston

Here is where to get tested for coronavirus in Houston and how much it costs

Limited drive-thru corona testing begins at Parkland Hospital in Dallas

Where & How to Get Tested for COVID-19 in Los Angeles?

Araya Baker is an educator, therapist & writer who promotes disability, education & health equity, across borders, faiths, generations, identities & movements.

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