By: Mike Anderson
They are called caremongers; people who volunteer to get food and essentials to vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
And Danielle Trautman, a 46-year old mother of three from Keswick, is one of them.
“There are vulnerable people out there who we need to assist,” said Ms. Trautman, who jumped into action after reading anxious Facebook posts from isolated seniors and people with underlying medical conditions who were too afraid to leave their homes.
“It’s scary for them because they read the news and watch TV, and they can see that they’re one of the most vulnerable populations,” she said.
Ms. Trautman is offering to pick up groceries and prescriptions for free; she won’t even accept money for gas.
However, she is careful to maintain social distancing, with people paying her through an e-transfer, or leaving the money under their doormat.
“It’s just kindness. It’s what you should do,” said Ms. Trautman, who doesn’t like to call what’s she’s doing a service. “Besides, gas is cheap now.”
Ms. Trautman says she’s getting texts from seniors who weren’t able to stock up on groceries and other supplies.
“A lot of these seniors didn’t get what they felt that they needed,” she said.
Some people have pre-existing medical conditions and are too afraid to leave their homes to shop.
One woman who contacted Ms. Trautman said she had a rare lung disease that required her to be hooked up to an intravenous pump that runs continuously.
“Your offer to help would be greatly appreciated. I haven’t been able to do much, if anything, and now with this pandemic, I’m really scared to leave my home,” she wrote in a text.
Ms. Trautman is also concerned about the shortage of baby formula, an essential commodity whose scarcity hasn’t been discussed much in the news.
“We can use anything for toilet paper, but when it comes to things like baby formula it’s off the shelf and this is what these babies survive on. So for me, I’ve even gone to the extent of looking up how to make baby formula.”
Despite fears of community spread and a possible government lockdown, Ms. Trautman is hopeful she can continue helping others.
“As long as I’m feeling good and I know that I’ve been in a safe place, I have no problems doing it,” she said. “Georgina is a great community because people are willing to help.”
If you would like to become a caremonger, visit the “#Caremongering/Georgina Working Together” Facebook group, where you can offer to run errands for seniors and other “vulnerable” residents.