Though staying safe through social distancing is our primary priority, community solidarity and support is equally important during this time of crisis. The combined impact of our contributions to essential workers — even in small ways — will make a big difference.

Verde Magazine encourages everyone to aid the local community as much as possible with the following steps.

Wear a mask

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many individuals who carry COVID-19 are asymptomatic and can still transmit it to others before developing classic symptoms of illness.

Thus, Palo Alto now requires by law that individuals wear cloth face coverings in public when they are within six feet of other people — such as in grocery stores and pharmacies. It also limits excursions to grocery shopping, giving urgent care to loved ones and similar essential trips.

Wearing a mask and limiting disposal in public prevents potential spread of disease from an individual — even if they believe they are healthy — and keeps those around them safer. By doing so and limiting social interaction, these precautions ensure that essential workers who already risk their lives for us, such as doctors, store clerks and those involved in transportation, stay healthy.

Support local restaurants

California’s shelter-in-place order has temporarily closed all non-essential businesses; however, local restaurants are suffering the most from a harsh drop in orders and revenue and are at risk of closing down permanently.

While there is a valid concern that ordering food increases the risk of coming into contact with the novel coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom has provided guidelines for takeout and delivery so that consumers are protected from the virus.

Buying takeout and sharing restaurants donation pages aids employees at risk of losing their jobs as detailed in the “Restaurant Reactions” feature on page 13, providing benefits for both customers and workers.

Scan the QR code to be directed to the City of Palo Alto’s “Volunteer and Donation” page with a full list of programs and donation opportunities.

Donate and volunteer

Several organizations aiding community members are listed below and can be found on the City of Palo Alto’s website under the Volunteer and Donation as well as the Food, Human Services and Financial Assistance pages.

The Donate Essentials program, started by a group of Bay Area high school students, provides essential materials such as masks, toilet paper and disinfectant for people at risk such as the homeless and frontline medical workers.

QuaranTunes, which offers free music lessons from Palo Alto and Gunn High School students for teens and younger children, aims to promote learning while sheltering in place. — anyone with music experience can volunteer to teach classes with the organization.

The Ecumenical Hunger Program offers emergency meal services for families in need and takes contributions in the form of monetary donations, cleaning materials and food.


Restaurant reactions: How local businesses are staying afloat

Interactive map: COVID-19 from around the world