In a span of a week, Americans have had to adapt to a new normal. A virus, that we so recently warily regarded from afar, has wreaked unforeseen havoc on our lives since the first case was reported in Washington this January. The tipping point of the virus crescendoed over the past couple of weeks, consequently exposing the precariousness of the global economy, the crags in our healthcare system, and the fallibility of human nature in a time of a crisis.
In these trying times it’s become so important that we redirect our focus toward the acts of kindness, scientific progress, and forward movement happening in pockets all over the world — if not for your mental health, but the collective optimism of your community.
Here are a few things that may help you to remain hopeful today:
The first sites of the virus are showing signs of recovery
As of this week, China reported very few new cases. According to the World Health Organization, “Of the 80,000 reported COVID-19 cases in China, more than 70% have recovered and been discharged.” Apple and Starbucks chains are slated to reopen there shortly, which is a telling sign of the country’s incipient recovery.
South Korea is also showing signs of shifting towards the early recovery period with the number of recovered people are starting to outnumber new infections.
In Italy, the nation’s fastidiousness quarantine efforts seem to have paid off. In Codogno, the site of one of the two highest Coronavirus cases, there have been significantly fewer infections reported each day.
City dwellers around the world are staging balcony concerts involving every neighbor
The Italians hit the hardest by the pandemic, started a movement of balcony sing-alongs. What was first incited by a select few and has since inspired a movement across Europe.
Even the Germans befell their culturally misappropriated stereotype of being too stoic for cheerfulness, giving the Italians a run for their money.
The movement has taken off in the US, too. One Dallas resident serenaded his neighbors with a classic morale-booster, ‘Lean on Me’, inspiring others to join in.
Small businesses have been stepping up to combat the virus
Distilleries are dispensing high-proof alcohol in order to combat the shortage of hand sanitizer. Moonrise Distillery in Clayton, Georgia, for example, is concocting hand sanitizer using botanical gin infused with aloe vera. Moonrise intends to dispense their hand sanitizer for free and has only requested donations from those who can afford it. In an effort to support hospital workers, Durham Distillery in North Carolina recently stated that they would be handing out free hand sanitizer for local hospitality workers.
In Seattle, the tech company Slightly Robot is now selling an iPhone and Android app at cost value ($50) that encourages users not to touch their face. “We’re not looking to make money,” one of the co-founders, Justin Ith, reported to GeekWire. “We are selling each unit nearly at cost, accounting for the cost of materials, fabrication, assembly and handling…Our hope is that as more people show reception to the idea, we can order larger quantities, reduce the price and make it more accessible.”
While humans are bound indoors by the Coronavirus, Mother Earth is getting a nice respite
Perhaps the only real ‘benefit’ of this pandemic is the almost immediate positive impact it’s had on the environment. Satellite images capture the stark difference in air pollution over China that’s occurred in a little over one month’s time.
In New York, there has been a significant drop in CO2 emission due to fewer cars on the road. Researchers at Columbia University have found there to be a 5-10% drop in CO2 over New York and a solid drop in methane as well. “New York has had exceptionally high carbon monoxide numbers for the last year and a half,” Prof Róisín Commane, from Columbia University, reported to BBC.
Time will tell how the climate is effected once this pandemic comes to an end and normal life ensues, but the global financial crash of 2008-09 is a good predictor; carbon emissions shot up by 5%. Governments, of course, will need step in to alter this likely outcome.
In the meantime, wildlife seems to be having a heyday in the absence of human interference. Dolphins, minnows, and swans were spotted in or near the Venice waterways while everyone was inside during the quarantine.
Celebrities have stormed the ranks of Youtube, Twitter, and IG to entertain you à la living room
Count on Chris Martin to be a pillar of optimism, even in the darkest of times. His imperfect rendition of all the greatest Coldplay hits is enough to put a smile on even the most cynical person’s face.
Gal Gadot, aka Superwoman personified, put together a catalog of all your favorite celebs singing ‘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
Even a pandemic can’t muffle Ellen Degeneres’ boundless charisma. The comedian and revered talk-show host has been keeping us all entertained with daily content, from her home to ours.
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#repost @savewithstories ・・・ “Ellen DeGeneres Home” by Ellen DeGeneres ♥️♥️♥️ – read by @theellenshow . THIRTY MILLION CHILDREN rely on school for food. Responding to the needs of kids during school closures, @savethechildren and @nokidhungry have a new fund @SAVEWITHSTORIES to support food banks, and mobile meal trucks, and community feeding programs with funds to do what they do best—and also—with educational toys, books, and worksheets to make sure brains are full, as well as bellies. . If you can manage a one time gift of $10, please text SAVE to 20222. If another amount would work better for you, please visit our website—link in bio. There is no maximum and there is no minimum—together we will rise and together we can help. . Thank you and stay safe. XX #SAVEWITHSTORIES
Broadway shows and movies (unlucky enough to come to theatres at this time) are now available to stream online
Playbill is offering a roundup of all the greatest broadway shows and miracles, and where you can find them online. Some notable ones include the unforgettable Cats, Billy Elliot The Musical Falsettos, and Peter Pan.
If the theatre arts aren’t your jam, you now have a wide range of movies at your fingertips. Since they’re ‘early-release’, they may come at a higher price tag, but you’d be supporting the box-office and academy by renting them. Of Universal’s current theatrical films, The Invisible Man and Emma. saw 60 percent and 72 percent drops, respectively.
Plus, $19.99 is a lot less than what you’d most likely be spending on a trip to the cinema. You can rent films like Emma, The Invisible Man, and other early-releases on Amazon.
Neighborliness has never been stronger in the US
Despite the toilet paper uproar (which many would say belies any underlying crag in human decency) camaraderie amongst neighbors has seemed to grow stronger in these trying times.
In Tenessee, the Old North Knoxville Neighborhood Association has created an online forum called the Kindness Committee where neighbors can offer help to others who need it — this includes everything from running errands to meal prepping. Kelly Arsenault, one of the members of the Old North Knoxville Neighborhood Association told WATE.com, “It’s been amazing. We just put it up a couple of days ago and already we have at least 16 or 17 people who have volunteered to help with any of those things as far as preparing meals and helping run errands for people who are in need and I know that that amount is going to just keep growing.”
In Clearwater Floria, the nonprofit Neighborly – a Meals on Wheels affiliate – is providing meals and companionship to seniors in Pinellas County, in an effort to curb the virus’ hit on the elderly.
In Washington D.C., a bar on Capitol Hill, since shutting down its beverage service, is putting together a food pantry for children. Throughout the DC area and neighboring Maryland neighborhoods, many restaurants are allowing children and seniors to eat for free.
It’s by no means easy to ignore the flood of fear-mongering Coronvirus news. But eclipsed beyond the deluge of negative media, there may be a payoff to seeking out the good.