In the face of fear-inducing circumstances like a pandemic, how can we better connect with others and be neighborly when we need to maintain at least six feet of distance? Being a good, well-liked neighbor and upstanding citizen in your community isn’t always easy, but here are four tips that work well, even during this time of social distancing.

1. Support local businesses by purchasing gift cards.

Local restaurants, small retailers, and even service industry professionals are some of the hardest hit by the circumstances of COVID-19. Was your hair appointment canceled? Pull out your favorite baseball cap for the next few weeks and purchase a gift card in the amount you would have spent on that appointment. Consider purchasing gift cards for all your favorite restaurants and boutiques, too.

2. Post online reviews for local businesses.

When looking for a new restaurant option, a new barber, or even a new dentist, we typically reach out to friends or family, but more and more people are seeking reviews from online resources like Google and Yelp. If you’ve had a great experience at a local business, jump onto one of those sites and broadcast that positivity to a wider audience.

3. Be a considerate pet owner. 

Neighborhood walks are so much better when accompanied by your four-legged companion, but are you being a responsible dog walker? Did you realize it takes up to one year for dog poop to decompose? More people walking their dogs throughout the complex or neighborhood increases the need to be more vigilant when cleaning up along the path. Make sure you are that kind neighbor and pet owner.

4. Offer to set up FaceTime, Zoom, or even Facebook for a less-techy neighbor.

During these uncertain times, many people still need face time with their family, friends, and even schoolmates. Unfortunately, not everyone is adept at setting up the technology needed to jump on a video call. Take a few minutes, using all social distancing guidelines, and help your neighbor stay connected to their favorite people.

Despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, we can all do our part to support the people in our community—neighbors and local businesses. By looking for ways to demonstrate kindness now, we can continue to build positive relationships long after this crisis subsides.