Among all the talk of the COVID-19, you may find yourself wondering how you can support your local Jacksonville businesses if you are stuck at home. First and foremost, be sure you are doing all that you can to stay healthy and avoid large social gatherings. Secondly, consider all of the following ways to support the community and find ways out of the house.
A new rule just went into effect in Jacksonville that a restaurant cannot have more than 50 people inside. Plus, some restaurants are not allowing in-house dining at all. However, this does not mean they are closed! You can still visit many of your favorite restaurants and simply order it to-go.
Donate, donate, donate
It becomes easy, during times of crisis, to think about how to prepare for yourselves. But what about the less fortunate? Places like Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry (BEAM) and Mission House are always looking for donations to distribute. If you can spare some canned goods, it can go a long way.
Buy liquor before midnight at the bar
You may have seen it in the article above, but alcohol sales are now banned from midnight to 8 AM. If you love the bubbly and want to support your favorite restaurant or bar, get your adult beverages before midnight! Just remember to limit your physical contact and ensure that you wash your hands afterwards. (New limit on all Jacksonville restaurants, bars)
Buy gift cards at local businesses
Buying gift cards is a great option because you have the option to purchase many of these online! You can support your favorite businesses by purchasing a gift card and redeeming it once all of the madness has ended. I recommend getting a gift card to Publix, also, because we all know that they will be fully stocked again once the craziness is over.
Stock up on pet food through your local suppliers
Outdoor activities are still safe in small groups
You don’t have to abandon the fun outdoor options in Jacksonville (at least not yet)! We have still been told that running, biking, surfing, skateboarding, and strolling through the park are all healthy and safe ways to stay active. So get out there and explore Jacksonville, but do so cautiously.
#FrayLifeTip: Hanna Park is closed now, unfortunately, which is a hot spot for outdoor fun.
You can still visit businesses as long as crowds are small
As far as we are aware, many businesses are running with their normal operations. So you can still visit your favorite places, as long as the crowds stay small. I would avoid places like the movie theaters, bowling alleys, gyms, and popular bars. But bike shops, nail salons, and small coffee shops still have the green light! So yes, people, you can still go to Bold Bean.
Work from home
This may go without saying, but if you have the option to work from home, do so! You can still support the company in which you work, but keep yourself safe, by handling your job from the comfort of your home. That is what I am literally doing right this moment!
Keep the medical community & first responders aware
Hopefully you don’t have to go this far, but if you know someone who may have the Coronavirus, or you get it yourself, be sure to immediately get tested. Once the medical community around Jacksonville is aware, they can start helping those affected. It’s important to treat these cases and keep them isolated from those that are healthy.
If it is suggested to avoid a place, please follow that rule
Mayor Lenny Curry has suggested that the citizens of Jacksonville avoid large gatherings. Specifically, he mentioned that the beach has been packed with people, and that it is wisest to turn around and go back home on such occasions. I know that the beach is the most appealing part of Florida, but the risk is unfortunately too high right now. Let’s keep each other safe by listening to common sense. (Beaches open for the time being)
Most importantly: Don’t panic!
People are running into Publix and spending upwards of $600 on supplies. It is good to stay well-supplied and prepared, but don’t panic, people. And don’t selfishly take everything that you can get your hands on. We have a whole world to save!
Stay safe and healthy, everyone. Keep your eyes on the news and Jacksonville’s steps of action.