Coronavirus: Little Acts of Kindness
When mankind is down, humanity comes to the rescue. Around the world, people have reacted to the coronavirus pandemic in different ways. While stories of bad behaviour sadly still abound, there are also the many stories that should give us hope that we will get through this with a little help from each other. There’s even a name for it now – ‘caremongering.’ We look at some uplifting examples from around the world.
Italy emerged early on as the epicentre of the European outbreak. As the country went into lockdown, residents confined to their homes gathered on balconies for impromptu singalongs, while some brought the musical instruments for some backing tunes, too.
In a video that has gone viral, the Italian airforce put on a display to Luciano Pavarotti’s rendition of Nessun Dorma with the lyrics, “We Shall Overcome.” A solitary fighter jet, representing the coronavirus, flies towards a formation of jets, which soar over it, streaming the colours of the Italian flag.
In Spain, where the lockdown is one of the most wide-ranging, a fitness instructor has been leading classes from a low roof in an apartment complex for surrounding residents to join in on their balconies.
Help for the Vulnerable
Neighbourhood volunteer groups have formed across the world to help the elderly and the housebound get their groceries and medicine. In New York, two residents gathered more than a thousand volunteers in three days to deliver essentials to the housebound, and Australia’s “adopt an oldie” initiative has paired young volunteers with the elderly and other vulnerable people.
Many supermarkets have created special times for the elderly and disabled to shop, or as in the case of the UK, the National Health Service staff to shop. In London, thousands of volunteers have stepped up to help health staff with their childcare and chores, and drive people to appointments. Indeed, health staff have borne the brunt of the pandemic, and thousands of Europeans have come out onto their balconies to applaud healthcare professionals.
Chef Joe Andres has converted his restaurants into community kitchens to the needy, while a Hungarian restaurant owner, who had saved up for years to open a small pizzeria this month, is giving away half his pizzas to those stuck at home. This is just the tip of the iceberg, with numerous examples of restaurateurs, charitable and religious groups providing free meals to those in need.
Reprieve for the homeless
Coronavirus seems to be good news for the homeless, in London at least. Sadiq Khan, the city’s mayor, is working with International Hotels Group (IHG) to give hundreds of homeless people a hotel room for the next 12 weeks, starting mid-March. Turkey is also thinking of its poor, with residents strewing the streets with food parcels.
The little acts of kindness
Beyond the headlines, people all around the world have shared heart-warming stories of the little acts of kindness that have lifted their mood. The Kindness Pandemic facebook site, set up on March 14 to allow readers to share stories of compassion from their corner of the world, now has hundreds of thousands of fans.