Everyday, the headlines are dire. All we see on our TV screens, and read or watch from online feeds are lockdowns, rising statistics of confirmed cases and deaths — all because of COVID-19. As of this writing, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared it a pandemic.
This disease and its massive rate of infection have resulted in panic and chaos all over the world. However, in the face of all these, we see a silver lining, of humanity coming together (albeit online or in the comforts of their respective homes) while following the dictates of social distancing.
It is refreshing to see random acts of kindness from people of all walks of life uplifting each other, especially battered souls around the world. If you need a breather in this time of uncertainty and fear, and while you are in lockdown or quarantine, read up on some stories of hope that are testaments to the best of humanity:
Companies providing for their workers in this time of crisis
The threat to livelihood is definitely a real fear in the face of community quarantines and lockdowns. For many who depend on their salaries to get by, especially in less developed countries, their inability to go to work poses a greater peril over getting infected by COVID-19. More so at this time, when the pandemic is bringing about an economic recession due to suspended business operations and hampered supplies.
As workers and employees brace themselves for the worse, many companies are providing support in the form of paid hours, emergency assistance, reimbursements, salary raises, and bonuses. Scarce essentials such as hand sanitisers are also being given away to employees, with some companies pledging free food. Many businesses are also promising their workforce generous paid leaves at this time when their health can be severely compromised. And companies are not alone in this endeavour because many corporate leaders are voluntarily taking salary cuts to help not just workers but their company too in coping during this economically challenging time.
BREAKING: Delta reducing capacity by 40% over the next few months due to virus outbreak; company also says it now sees negative net bookings for the next 4 weeks and as a result CEO Ed Bastian is forgoing his entire salary this year. pic.twitter.com/lbDVvXnSru— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) March 13, 2020
Crowdfunding, donating, and campaigning for those in need
With hospitals literally bursting at the seams, with images of overworked and overwhelmed health workers, and vulnerable populations such as low-income families and the elderly at their last straws, the needs are greatest. But just when the light of hope was about to give out, amazing individuals around the world started coming together to do what they can.
Celebrities and famous personalities were quick in their efforts to provide for food banks and donate large sums of money for COVID-19 relief efforts. Soju makers in South Korea chipped in by donating their alcohol for the manufacture of disinfectants. Donations of PPEs are also pouring in response to the appeal of health workers. And influencers are leveraging on crowdfunding sites such as gofundme.com and gogetfund.com to give ambulant vendors a fighting chance in this pandemic. Even ordinary people are finding ways to help out.
Relief, entertainment, and mental coping mechanisms
Netflix, Youtube, social media, yoga, even good ‘ol board games – you’ve probably done it all by now if you’re stuck at home and in quarantine. There’s just so much activity you can do in a limited space for weeks, if not months. And I know, it can turn any great mood down!
As such, seeing celebrities like Chris Martin of Coldplay and John Legend go live and reach out to their fans with in-home free concerts is invigorating.
No script and very impromptu – with John Legend even in a robe – this is not something you see every day and without paying for admission! It is a joy to see how musicians are providing stress-relief by accommodating their fans’ requests for entertainment. Listening to what many have to share and imparting their own sentiments about being stuck in quarantine giving streamers a sense of community. Even Gal Gadot and her pals are taking part in cheering up and providing hope for everyone in tune to John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
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We are in this together, we will get through it together. Let’s imagine together. Sing with us ? All love to you, from me and my dear friends. #WeAreOne ……. #KristenWiig #JamieDornan @labrinth @james_marsden @sarahkatesilverman @eddiebenjamin @jimmyfallon @natalieportman @zoeisabellakravitz @siamusic @reallyndacarter @amyadams @leslieodomjr @pascalispunk @chrisodowd @hotpatooties #WillFerrell @markruffalo @norahjones @ashleybenson @kaiagerber @caradelevingne @anniemumolo @princesstagramslam
It’s not only celebs reaching out and touching the lives of the struggling population. Italians, desolate in their isolation and reeling from the increasing death toll in their country, are taking to their balconies to cheer each other up with singing and playing musical instruments.
It seems everyone is on a mission to raise the morale of their fellow human beings and providing mental coping mechanisms in this difficult time. Indeed, it is crucial to remain positive despite the threat of COVID-19 and adopt the Italians’ outlook in this pandemic – “Andrà tutto bene” (everything will be alright).
Random people exhibiting kindness and help to the afflicted
Everyone wants to be safe at this time. This is why social distancing is a move being implemented by governments. But not all have the privilege to enjoy such “luxury”, especially people on the frontlines such as health workers. Many are forced outside of their homes so others can safely stay in theirs, notwithstanding the dangers of exposing themselves and their families to the virulent virus.
It is not easy to open homes to strangers, much more at the present time. But there are those who are conquering the odds just to offer a refuge to those who need it the most. Personal accommodations near hospitals are being offered by regular people to health workers as a form of comfort and gratitude for all the work they are doing for the community.
I have 2 empty studio units in BGC that I offer to any health workers / frontliners stationed near or in BGC who may need temporary accommodation. This is free of charge. Each unit can house 2-3 people. Share this to anyone you think needs it.— Luigene Yanoria (@luigene) March 17, 2020
Those who can afford it are offering to pay for temporary shelters for medical practitioners. Even a security guard has his own contribution as he offers to share what little disinfectant he has to passers-by for a chance of keeping the virus at bay.
There is also the blessing of volunteers helping in any way they can in the face of this crisis. Services are being offered freely by means of driving stranded medical workers as public transportation services are suspended. And let us not forget those who continuously encourage doctors and other hospital personnel through notes and letters as these modern heroes help the sick and dying. These may be small gestures but for those who are tired and in low spirits, these gestures mean a lot.
Selflessness of frontliners and medical workers
Perhaps there is no better evidence of humanity than the sacrifice frontliners and medical practitioners are making as they continue to provide care in this pandemic. Medical personnel take their place in health facilities everyday, fighting for those who are infected as they risk exposure themselves. They forego time with their families as they help save lives and deliver patients safely back to theirs. Even then, they don’t stop. They continue to the next patient until they collapse exhausted or fall sick themselves or when there is no more.
Not all heroes wear capes and this has never been more true with our frontliners in the fight against this pandemic.
COVID-19 has brought about new challenges that is testing many communities and governments around the world. In this trying time, let us continue to be our best selves, spread hope and treat each other with kindness as we fight this pandemic together as one humankind.
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Feature image of John Legend and Chrissy Teigen streaming from home for #TogetherAtHome Concert Series. Image: John Legend / YouTube.