From a reader…
If in my city people are under lockdown from the virus, I would like to make food for the homeless in the area and distribute it to them. My mother frequently is involved in groups with elderly people with underlying health problems, and so my concern is contracting the virus from someone while I am out in the city, passing it along to her, and having her pass it along to the elderly. Is this enough of a concern that I should find a different way to serve the poor in this situation? Thank you!
I love the fact that you are interested in this. Just this morning in a sermon I mentioned works of charity even in the face of growing anxiety.
Yes, if you are going to be out and around, there will be greater risk of contagion. However, you can take some steps to reduce this, perhaps in consultation with doctors who know and understand your project.
It would be a good idea to get organized NOW for this.
A couple practical points.
If may be that some people can do some shopping online with their stores. In that case, they might not have a way safety to get to the store to pick things up. Doing some delivery of pre-purchased items could help.
Perhaps readers have more ideas about how to help older people or people who are at risk.
Perhaps also it would be good to start creating networks for people to inform priests about hearing confessions (safely) and anointing the sick (safely).