Social distancing or not, there are ways we can be there for each other.
It's been a really hard week. Coronavirus has everyone stressed and stories about people buying up cleaning supplies to sell at a markup or hoarding all the toilet paper have people losing faith in humanity. The New York Times just published an option piece titled "Pandemics Kill Compassion, Too" warning us that we may not like who we become during the coronavirus pandemic.
But for every story about someone taking all the toilet paper, there are more incredible stories of people stepping up to help others during this pandemic.
The coronavirus is contagious but so is compassion and here are five stories that prove it:
NBA player Kevin Love donated $100,000 to help arena staff during shut down
When the news came that the NBA was suspending operations during the pandemic we knew the wealthy players would be okay, financially, but there are a ton of families without million dollar contracts who depend on the NBA for every paycheck.
That's why Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love is donating $100,000 donation to the the workers and support staff at Quicken Loans Arena impacted by the pause in basketball. "I'm concerned about the level of anxiety that everyone is feeling and that is why I'm committing $100,000 through the @KevinLoveFund in support of the @Cavs arena and support staff that had a sudden life shift due to the suspension of the NBA season. I hope that during this time of crisis, others will join me in supporting our communities," Love wrote on Instagram.
"Pandemics are not just a medical phenomenon. They affect individuals and society on so many levels, with stigma and xenophobia being just two aspects of the impact of a pandemic outbreak. It's important to know that those with a mental illness may be vulnerable to the effects of widespread panic and threat. Be kind to one another. Be understanding of their fears, regardless if you don't feel the same. Be safe and make informed decisions during this time. And I encourage everyone to take care of themselves and to reach out to others in need—whether that means supporting your local charities that are canceling events, or checking in on your colleagues and family."
Thanks to Kevin Love for spreading the love.
Neighbors are coming together to help the vulnerable
Hey — just wanted to draw your attention to this quick: My dear friend @batemanak lives in a building with elderly… https://t.co/v1XddqP7aR— Elamin Abdelmahmoud (@Elamin Abdelmahmoud)1584059172.0
As Elamin Abdelmahmoud pointed out on Twitter, the threat of coronavirus is both encouraging social distancing and encouraging people to get to know their neighbors.
On Thursday Abdelmahmoud posted an image of a sign-up sheet a friend of his posted in their apartment building, offering to help more vulnerable neighbors, like seniors and those with underlying health conditions, and seeking other neighbors who are less compromised to help those individuals out.
Some education companies are waiving subscriptions during the pandemic
For parents whose kids are out of school figuring out which online tools to use (and which are affordable) can be difficult.
Thankfully, many online education companies are offering free subscriptions during the pandemic so that kids whose parents who may already be missing a pay check won't have to miss out on online learning opportunities during their downtime.
Check out this massive spreadsheet of companies offering free services right now.
Moms are coming out to help others
As author Mary Laura Philpott noted on Twitter, lots of us want our moms right now and not everyone has one.
"If you have that uneasy 'I need my mom' feeling, but don't have access to your mom for whatever reason, I have Big Mom Energy to spare. (Seriously, my teenagers are over it.) Lemme know here / DM if you need me to tell you it's OK. Now go wash your hands," Philipott tweeted.
If you've got extra Big Mom Energy, now is certainly a good time to put it to use comforting others.
Viral Twitter thread proves compassion is everywhere—even in crowded grocery stores
Imagine if you were too afraid to go into the grocery store. Rebecca Mehra came face to face with that reality when she was heading into into the grocery store and heard someone calling to her. She shared the story in a now-viral Twitter thread:
"I went to the grocery store this afternoon. As I was walking in I heard a woman yell to me from her car. I walked over and found an elderly woman and her husband. She cracked her window open a bit more, and explained to me nearly in tears that they are afraid to go in the store," Mehra wrote.
"Afraid to get sick as they are in their 80's and hear that the novel coronavirus is affecting older people disproportionately. And that they don't have family around to help them out. Through the crack in the window she handed me a $100 bill and a grocery list, and asked if I would be willing to buy her groceries. I bought the groceries and placed them in her trunk, and gave her back the change. She told me she had been sitting in the car for nearly 45 min before I had arrived, waiting to ask the right person for help," she explained.
Mehra continued: "I know it's a time of hysteria and nerves, but offer to help anyone you can. Not everyone has people to turn to."
Seriously. It sucks that those people had no one to help them, but it's awesome that they found someone who didn't just grab that $100 bill and run.
Compassion is catching.
Need more good news, mama? Well, researchers in Canada have isolated the virus, which will help scientists around the world "develop better diagnostic testing, treatments and vaccines, and gain a better understanding of SARS-CoV-2 biology, evolution and clinical shedding," according to a news release from the Sunnybrook Research Institute.
According to the World Health Organization, a vaccine is still 18 months away, but it is encouraging to know that researchers are making progress. In the meantime, we can inoculate our communities with compassion.