If the last few weeks have proven anything, it is that fear and panic are just as contagious as a new, deadly virus. Fortunately, something a whole lot more positive also seems to be catching. It’s kindness.
During these scary and uncertain times of Covid-19, an epidemic that has gripped the globe in fear, seeing entire nations lockdown, acts of what is now being called “Covid Kindness” are being seen all over the world. Every day on social media we are seeing heartwarming stories of people pulling together to protect the vulnerable, praising the workers on the front lines and boosting the spirits of millions in isolation.
Here 6 stories of “Covid Kindness” that have cheered us up this week:
The corner shop couple in Scotland delivering ‘coronavirus kits’ to those in need
Covid-19 panic has caused shocking displays of stockpiling and shops and supermarket shelves at times look worryingly bare.
Items like antibacterial handwash, gel and cleaning liquid are becoming increasingly hard to get hold of, as are non-perishable food items like pasta and baked beans. And loo roll…
In the Falkirk area in Scotland, corner shop owners Asiyah Javed and her husband Jawad have been putting together Corona Virus relief packages and delivering them to the elderly for free.
The corner shop couple delivering ‘coronavirus kits’ to those in need pic.twitter.com/gCbsW1pr4E
— The Independent (@Independent) March 12, 2020
“We’re trying to get out to doing free deliveries for everybody who can’t get out the house and whoever comes in, they can take one pack,” explained Asiyah.
“I met somebody outside Asda a week ago and this woman was crying because she couldn’t get anything and all the youngsters kept coming in and stockpiling everything and she couldn’t get anything, so I said I’ll try to help our local customers.
It costs the young Muslim couple £2 per pack and at the time of the video, they had already given 500.
“We’ve got another 300 on the shelf which we’re waiting for the deliveries to go out.”
Europeans clap from balconies for front-line staff
Europe was last week named the new epicentre of the global pandemic amid a surge in infections and deaths that have forced national governments to enforce drastic containment measures.
Draconian lockdowns have been declared in Italy, France, Spain and Czech Republic, borders have been closed and travel restrictions enforced across a number of countries.
To show their support and gratitude for nurses and doctors fighting the coronavirus outbreak, thousands of Europeans, from Madrid to Rome took to their balconies over the weekend to applaud and cheer.
The tributes came following calls on Spanish social media for people to express their appreciation to the country’s medical professionals.
Dare to Care Packages launches to deliver essentials to the vulnerable
“COVID-19 has forced elderly and immunocompromised people into isolation. Keep them safe from going outdoors by sending essential items like food and hygiene products,” says their website.
Dare to Care collect donated essentials to make up care packages and then deliver them to those in isolation.
The packages include hygene essentials like soap and cleaning products, food staples like canned goods and pasta and something to cheer up the recipiant, like a bar of chocolate or warm scarf.
Since launching, Jon and Josephine have secured the support of a storage facility, delivery services, many partners, and received donations from dozens of food and essential supply manufacturers.
Partners include the London School of Economics (LSE), Santander and The Entrepreneurs Network.
Social Media is mobilising direct giving
As the New York Times reports, “On social media, outpourings of generosity during the coronavirus pandemic are part of a shift toward direct giving.”
Similarly to how online crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and GoFundMe have changed the way startups can fund their concept, direct giving, fuelled by social media is changing how those wanting to help the vulnerable in times of crisis can have an impact.
It shows a move away from the traditional charity model to a millennial preference for a peer to peer method of giving which sees the receiver benefit immediately and directly.
In a Twitter thread by the writer Roxane Gay, she announced that she would help 10 needy people with $100 each to stock up on groceries, adding, “Maybe others can help if you have a little extra.”
If you are broke and need to stock up on groceries I will Venmo you $100. Like 10 people. It’s not much but I know it’s rough out there. Reply with yr Venmo
— roxane gay (@rgay) March 14, 2020
There are a lot of people struggling right now who cannot stockpile food or supplies because they don't have the $. If…
The bestselling author ended up doubling her initial pledge, giving 20 people $100 each to help with their bills. She said she was “really encouraged and heartened” by her followers who donated to others in need.
“People need immediate relief,” she said. “They need food. They need water. They need health care. They need prescriptions.”
Brother and sister duo in Ohio perform a concert for an elderly neighbour in isolation
When Helena Schlam, a 78-year-old Columbus, Ohio resident living on her own, and self-quarantined refused the offer from her neighbour, Rebecca Tien, who asked if Schlam needed groceries picked up, Tien was determined to find another way to help.
It came in the form of her children, 9-year-old Taran and 6-year-old Calliope, CNN reports. The duo was told by their cello instructor to practice “virtual concerts” at home in the name of social distancing.
“Helena really loves music, so I asked if the kids could come to the porch,” Tien, said.
So Schlam happily joined the children outside — at a responsible distance — and enjoyed a mini cello concert just for her.
“She knows I love music and I really like her kids, they’re terrific,” Schlam said.
“We love playing the cello for other people,” Taran Tien said. “Then we thought about how she was stuck in her house, so we thought it was a great idea and might make her happy.”
Irma’s Restaurant in Houston gets a big tip
A generous customer with deep pockets left a $9,400 (£8,160) tip at his favourite Mexican restaurant in Texas to help it out during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Pay your guys over the next few weeks,” the unnamed customer wrote on a receipt.
According to Louis Galvan, owner of Irma’s Southwest in Houston, the unexpected blessing was left by one of their regulars who has been eating there for 15 years.
“He came in and had a modest dinner of shrimp tacos and then left a $9,400 gratuity,” Galvan told Fox News.
Galvan said that everyone was “amazed” and that the restaurant plans to use the money as instructed.
“Basically we are going to split that among the staff members, not management,” he said. “So, about 30 people will split the $9,400 evenly.”
He added that the random act of kindness has given the restaurant hope during these troublesome times.
“It invigorated us as far as our commitment to the community and commitment to keep our business going,” said Galvan. “We’re going to grind this out.”
Basketball Star, Kevin Love donates $100,000 to arena staff affected by NBA suspension
The Cleveland Cavaliers basketball star, Kevin Love has said it’s time for athletes to “step up and be community leaders” to help with the financial stress created by the coronavirus
Putting his money where his mouth is, Love made a $100,000 donation through the Kevin Love Fund to give financial support to the Cavaliers’ arena workers due to the suspension of the NBA season.
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Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. And the fear and anxiety resulting from the recent outbreak of COVID-19 can be extremely overwhelming. Through the game of basketball, we’ve been able to address major issues and stand together as a progressive league that cares about the players, the fans, and the communities where we work. 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. 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.
“Obviously it’s been an incredibly stressful time for a number of people,” Love said on TODAY on Wednesday. “A lot of people living paycheck to paycheck. So I felt this is really the time, especially for us NBA players, to walk the walk and be more than athletes.”
Love’s generosity inspired several NBA team owners as well as NBA stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Zion Williamson, Blake Griffin and Steph Curry to also donate money to support their team’s arena staff with the NBA season halted as a result of the coronavirus.