How people are showing great kindness in crisis

“No man is an island,” 16th century English scholar and poet John Donne once wrote. And now the coronavirus has made that more true than ever.

If there’s anything positive from this worldwide scourge of a virus, perhaps it’s that we see in fact, it is a small world afterall. 

As poet Tess Taylor wrote in recent days: “This virus (and the chaos it causes) reminds us of our common lives, our common breath, our deep dependence on interconnectedness: it shows that to thrive we must meet and build and plan and educate and heal and celebrate and make art and grow food and trade goods and eat together, because we are complex social artistic imaginative beings in a web, all attempting to share breath and resources on a planet. The virus reminds us that there is really no elsewhere, no place to retreat, no gated community whose walls will serve: We are all linked, and our health is a community function—the well-being of others is also the well-being of ourselves.”

The well-being of others is also the well-being of ourselves. 

As the news has unfolded day after day in this unprecedented and often unbelievable time (though there is good news out there too), I’ve felt myself cheering from the couch over and over again as people rally to show care and kindness to others. Just take a look at hashtags from #coronakindness to #togetherathome.

Here’s a few I’ve loved over the past few days.

Grocery stores are instituting “elderly hours” to help this vulnerable group get their shopping done during the outbreak.

Athletes and teams are pledging to pay arena employees during the shutdown. Utility companies are giving customers a break.

UberEats is supporting restaurants by waiving delivery fees for 100,000 independent restaurants across the U.S. and Canada.

Penguins had free reign of the entire Shedd Aquarium in Chicago after it was closed to humans amid the coronavirus outbreak.

YoYo Ma is sharing #SongsOfComfort, videos of him playing the cello, on Facebook. Along with many other musicians doing the same.

Italian priest found a unique way to be with his parishioners—he printed photos of them and taped to the pews of his parish for Mass.

Paris museums put 100,000 images online for unrestricted public use.

Facebook announced small business grants.

The Metropolitan Opera is streaming a title from its Live in HD series each night.

Companies are offering free educational resources for kids stuck at home—from worksheets to lunchtime doodles and storytime.

And perhaps my favorite: People are putting their Christmas lights back up to spread cheer during the coronavirus scare.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:5).

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Christin Thieme

Christin Thieme is Editor in Chief of Caring, where she tells stories about people of all experiences—the unbelievable and every day—who each have something special to share with the world. (Even if they don’t know it yet.) Whether she’s interviewing a best-selling author, a government leader in Cuba, a single mom in Los Angeles or a coffee farmer in Vietnam, Christin believes all of us simply need someone to recognize (and wordsmith) what sparks in our story. Christin holds a master’s degree in specialized journalism from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and taught journalism as an adjunct professor at California Lutheran University for four years until bringing home her own live-in student. She’s host of the 5-star Do Gooders Podcast and holds a first-place prize from the Evangelical Press Association. When not writing about other people (or herself in the third person), she’s often playing trash trucks at home with her two boys.