When my partner and I moved into a new house a few years ago, we hoped to become friends with our upstairs neighbors. We knew we’d have to navigate tricky situations—whether to patch the leaky roof or replace it, how to divvy up the shoveling and raking duties—and counted on it being easier to reach an agreement if everyone liked each other. Fortunately, the couple on the second floor have exceeded our expectations. We carry in each other’s packages. We take turns checking on each other’s cats. They bring down the extra veggies in their CSA and we bring up extra food that we cook.
Now we’re facing an unexpected tricky situation: They are returning from Spain tomorrow and have to self-quarantine for 14 days. So many people find themselves in this position right now: They’re returning from vacations, hunkering down to protect their health or the health of their loved ones, or simply trying to practice social distancing. We’re lucky enough to find ourselves in the last category—taking things very seriously, but able and willing to pitch in for friends in need.
Here are the ways that we’re planning to help our neighbors. No two groups will want or need the exact same thing, but I hope this list sparks an idea that will benefit you and your community.