The infamous coronavirus pandemic that has reached viral status and taken up residence in everyone's minds is no doubt spreading as much fear and paranoia as it is infectious disease. We've all been bombarded with news of school closings, public gathering restrictions, layoffs and unemployment, the crashing stock market, and, of course, the #ToiletPaperApocalypse.
Life right now is scary and uncertain. While it's important to everyone's health and safety that we all stay up to date on the virus and adhere to the government's orders to keep our distance form each other, it's also just as important that we remain hopeful and, well, sane.
Here's a handful of stories I've read during my own time in quarantine that I hope will help lift your spirits.
Becky Wass, a woman living in the U.K., created an online postcard for people to print off and send to their neighbors. The postcard's header states, "Hello! If you are self-isolating, I can help," and is followed by a form asking for the person's contact details and the services they're willing to offer a neighbor, like grocery shopping or posting mail. According to this tweet shared to MSN, her generous movement is already making some serious tracks.
According to this article from The New York Times, some self-quarantined Italians have been singing to and with each other from their rooftops, balconies, and windows. Starting with the national anthem and evolving into serenades from trumpets, pianos, violins, and pots and pans, this is a heartwarming effort to encourage doctors and nurses in Milan who are taking on the spread of COVID-19.
In response to recent panic buying, which has left some shelves totally empty, stores such as Walmart and Target are dedicating some time in their regular business hours to elderly and/or disabled shoppers who are at particularly high risk of becoming infected. Doing so will help ensure that these shoppers get the items they need in a safer, more comfortable environment.
NPR published a list of artists who have opted to cancel their crowded concerts and instead perform virtually in an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Granted, you may still have to buy a ticket, but at least you won't miss the music!
To describe acts of kindness sparked by the coronavirus, folks in Toronto created the word "caremongering" to combat the better known "scaremongering." This may not be an act of kindness itself, but it goes to show just how much kindness the world is seeing in response to the recent outbreak.
In the end, this is a global health crisis and we all need to be doing our part (sorry in advance for the language there) to stop the spread of COVID-19. In order to do that effectively, though, we also need to maintain our sanity. That means recognizing that we're all in this together. It means continuing to find ways to spread acts of kindness despite the fact we're all distanced from each other. If we can keep this up, we'll prove that even a global pandemic can't shake the human spirit.
For a few more happy stories, listen to this short podcast, "Positivity in Quarantine" by Brooke and Jubal in the Morning!