As the news piles up about the pandemic and joins the existing flood of bad news, it’s easy to think the earth is a terrible place. We see stories of people fighting wars, committing crimes, and taking advantage of the vulnerable. Seeing all that, it’s easy to get the sense that perhaps part of human nature is just to be terrible to one another.
It’s important to bear in mind, however, that not only do negative stories stick in our memory more, they’re also great for business. A story about a tragedy draws readers to look at it and share it even when they already know all about it. And all that sharing brings in views of the ads in the article. Making you afraid and despair for humanity is very profitable.
The antidote to this is to change your media diet. Of course stay informed, stay on top of the news and know what’s happening, but also be aware of the good things that are happening all around us. In the midst of the pandemic I’ll be sharing all of the news and stories of this nature I’m finding. I hope these stories give you encouragement and hope when lots of bad things are happening. I also hope that, inspired by this, you may be able to find some way you, also, can be a ray of light in someone else’s life. So without further preface, here are the latest stories:
A little boy named Hemanth from Andhra Pradesh gave up the money he was saving for a bicycle to donate to COVID-19 relief funds. But he’s not alone. Kids from all over India are breaking open their piggy banks to make donations.
You can take the teachers out of schools but you can’t take the caring out of the teachers.
Toronto’s Turkish community is gathering food for food banks.
And in Turkey, Spiderman, himself has been spotted delivering food.
In Germany people are leaving bags of food out for the needy.
Other people are setting up pantries in their neighbourhoods.
And people are not just leaving packaged food out. These guys are leaving movies out and also, if you read the sign, people are invited to knock on the door for frozen food.
A farm in Idaho found that as a result of the pandemic, they had no market for their potatoes. Rather than let them go to waste, they gave them away.
In Sydney, Australia, a restaurateur is giving free meals to students. Students, particularly foreign students stuck outside their home countries are having a hard time making ends meet so he decided to do what he can to help.
In India a police officer takes time to feed a hungry child.
Actor and comedian Michael Che’s grandmother recently died of COVID-19. After she died, he paid the rent for all 160 apartments in the public housing building she lived in.
Birthdays in isolation are hard, but they’re especially hard for the elderly who would be especially at risk if people came to visit and celebrate with them. This person helped organize a “party” for his 80 year old mother and got the whole neighbourhood involved.
In Beirut, a band was raised on an elevated work platform to entertain the patients and staff at a hospital where most of the COVID-19 patients in the region are.
And COVID-19 patients at this hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts USA get a standing ovation from the staff who are all called to the lobby to say goodbye when they leave after recovering.
And finally, a very sweet story. A young man moves back in with his dad after the schools close and the son asks if his friend can stay with them as he’s having trouble with his own parents back home. The dad says “of course” and they all are living together. Soon the dad realizes that it is likely that the “friend” is actually a boyfriend that his son is afraid to talk about. The dad has no problem with this but can tell his son is uncomfortable and so he takes to the Internet and asks for advice for how to best let his son know he loves and accepts him and it’s fine to have a boyfriend. The article is a lovely read and includes the whole story from the dad along with much of the advice and reactions from people after he told those who gave him advice about how it went.
And as always I try to give an idea of what you can do to help in your own community. This time I’d like to remind you that people are still very much in need of blood donations. In Canada, Canadian Blood Services is still accepting donors and taking enhanced measures to protect donors and staff. (more details here). Patients still need blood transfusions and many still need other blood products like plasma to keep themselves healthy. And so, as always, your donations are really necessary and appreciated. If you are in Canada, you can find a location to donate and book an appointment here.
What good things are happening in your area?