Last week we began Stepping Up, a weekly update that tracks the issues arising from COVID-19 in order for organizations and brands to make a difference. Just like the spread of the disease itself evolves from day to day, so too do the problems that arise for us to act upon.

Our first update (which you can find here) gave general recommendations for brands in this environment and a long list of actions to take. Each week we will build on that by focusing on the latest needs and what’s on the horizon.

Safety of Essential Workers

Essential workers and frontline employees are getting sick and dying – not just medical professionals, but also “less visible” groups such as retail workers, train and bus drivers, delivery drivers, rideshare drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers, cooks, postal employees, nannies, housekeepers and trash collectors. The topic of hazard pay and other financial compensation for essential workers is a growing focus. We are seeing a rise in stories criticizing companies for not offering essential employees meaningful protection, support and compensation.

What can you do to help keep essential workers safe?

The Dangers of Misinformation

Misinformation is always dangerous, but never more so than during a crisis. We are beginning to see organizations and brands dedicate resources to combatting misinformation and giving platforms to reputable nonprofits and charities so they can disseminate vital information and resources to a wider audience.

What can you do to help people receive the accurate information they need in order to keep themselves and their loved ones safe?

Seniors Suffering from Social Isolation

Seniors are clearly vulnerable to COVID-19. But the social isolation experienced by seniors is also dangerous, compounded by the reality that many seniors are uncomfortable with or lack access to technology.

How can you help seniors connect with others in a way that is safe but not necessarily dependent on technology?

The Toll of Isolation and Mental Health Among Vulnerable Populations

Mental health may prove to be a second-wave pandemic that hits in the wake of COVID-19. And there are a number of populations who are more vulnerable to the mental health impacts of social isolation, such as those suffering from drug or alcohol dependency.

What can you do to help mitigate the impacts of isolation among people more likely to struggle with mental health issues?

Staying Healthy and Happy at Home

As stay-at-home orders and non-essential shutdowns continue and families are forced to stay home together, often working and home-schooling children, we are seeing more stories on the struggles to maintain a healthy balance, to practice self-care and to maintain healthy personal and relationship habits.

How can you help lessen the feelings of stress and anxiety as people struggle to manage the multiple responsibilities created by stay-at-home orders?

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