Enduring a pandemic can be a lot less stressful when we lift up each other, tend to one another’s needs and reach out when we need help. It can be easy to be overwhelmed by bad news, online hostility and feelings of hopelessness and loneliness. But it may help to remember your community, whatever it may look like – family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, care givers or social workers, and to be there for each other. Although COVID-19 cases are still high, infection and hospitalization numbers are falling fast. That’s partly because of our commitment to keeping each other safe by wearing masks indoors, getting all recommended vaccinations and following public health safety guidelines.
But the people of Oregon are also coming together to directly support each other in times of need, particularly when someone in their community tests positive for COVID-19 and must isolate. We wanted to hear those stories, and we asked you to share.
We understand that not everyone has a social support system. If you’re looking for help, Oregon Health Authority has resources. Our website offers a list of crisis support hotlines, including for mental health and youth, as well as contact information for local mental health programs, listed by county.
If you have any COVID-19-specific questions about vaccines, isolation guidance, treatments, masks or resources, call our hotline at 866-917-8881.
Below are a few stories from people around Oregon. Answers have been lightly edited for grammar and clarity.
“My friends rallied me around by offering to shop run errands. Many people prayed for me. One person bought a pretty, potted flower. Another person bought me a care package with chocolate. Friends have called me to check up on how I am doing. I am so thankful for such wonderful friends and their love and support.”
– Nancy, Eugene
“My husband, my daughter, my niece and I all had COVID at the same time. One of my daughter’s friends delivered a care package. All I really remember is that there were cookies in the order and I was so touched by the thoughtfulness that I cried.” – Denise, Coos Bay
“My family brought me a home COVID test, thermometer, medicine, hot packs, water and food and left it outside my door while I isolated. When we all got sick anyway, our friends in our queer community offered to go shopping and bring us exactly what we needed, including prescription medications.
– Andrine, Portland
“My friends were amazing. Checking on me and asking to help. I only have two here since I am a transplant.” – Anonymous, Bend
“I tested positive in January 2022. The rest of my household tested negative, so I isolated for 5 days with a separate bedroom and bathroom. During this time, my husband prepared all of my meals and brought them to the bedroom door. We missed seeing each other, so we chatted on FaceTime several times a day.”
– Kathleen, Oregon City
“Me and my whole family – six of us – came down with COVID-19. Our friends in our congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses brought us meals each evening. They also went to the grocery store to get something that we needed as well as prescriptions that we needed to feel better. The friend who went and got prescriptions had to wait in the line for over two hours, so this was not just a quick errand for them.” – Fawn, Baker City