For us in Alexandria, VA, it all started on March 12th. On that fateful Thursday, we received notice that there would be no school that Friday, the 13th. Throughout that weekend, news in our school district would change rapidly. Before we knew it, we would receive word that our school district was canceling school for an indefinite period of time. And then, our state’s governor ended up announcing Virginia schools would be closed for the remainder of the academic year.
Thus began our count of quarantine days, which began officially on Monday, March 16. Today is Monday, March 30, and we’re on day #10 of the quarantine. If you are looking for statistical information on the infection rates and death counts from the coronavirus and would like me to join you in prophesying the destruction of the world or wanting my general support in your complaints, please stop reading now. This blog post is not for you.
Today is my day of pride. “Pride,” a term modernly used within the LGBTQ community is a term I’d like to borrow for my blog post today. I want and need to blog about the pride I have in my brothers and sisters throughout the world. My brothers and sisters are really all of us humans who are in the same boat together. We are all feeling the effects of this required quarantine at a time when businesses are struggling, the economy is starting to crack, people are newly unemployed, and parental frustrations and difficulties with homeschooling have reached feverishly high peaks.
Despite the fact that there is an abundance of negativity floating around right now, I’m choosing to relish the gourmet taste of the sweetest news I’ve read about how my brothers and sisters across the globe are coping with and surpassing the spirit of humanity with humor, funny sarcasm, ingenuity, creative ideas, helping others, and down-to-earth pleasantries.
Here are just a few highlights of the good news I’ve read recently. I know there are many more, but this just goes to show you a small window of hope by reading about how people have risen above the circumstances to do good deeds, help others, spread joy, entertain, add humor, and overall, be good to one another.
Right now, this is what we need…
This was the first news story I saw that showed me the lengths of how far the human spirit can expand during moments of crisis. Back on Match 13, reports began to circulate describing how Italian people started singing to one another and playing instruments from their balconies. Though they were physically separated, they were united in spirit.
One Italian journalist shared a video of what he saw to his Twitter account and from there, it became national news. People on Facebook have been sharing these videos a lot, hoping to inspire others. Even during quarantine, music is played, singing voices are shared, and happiness has spread.
See the full story here.
Gennifer Difilippo and her non-profit Art Spire Va work to provide art opportunities to all. Right now, they’re taking a break from supporting dance scholarships and turning their attention to donating art bag supplies to needy students locally.
Refer to their website for more information.
Christine Hohf, a medical technician, and her friend, Andi Correa, a teacher, started losing hours at their respective jobs. They came up with a creative idea to wear inflatable costumes and walk up and down the streets in their neighborhoods to wave at people and spread happiness.
See the full news story here.
Teachers in Maryland and in several other states have invented a slow-moving parade of cars to spread good cheer to students in some neighborhoods. Some teachers have posted inspirational pictures and words to their cars while others have opened their windows to wave. It has warmed the hearts of students and their families.
See the news story about the Maryland teachers here.
Here is a compilation of teachers and their slow-moving parades in other states.
On Sunday, March 29, music legend Elton John hosted “The Living Room Concert for America” featuring streaming performances of musical songs and performances by popular singers and bands. Among the most impressive was the Backstreet Boys, composed of five members, who dialed-in from their homes to sing their parts of the harmonious song “I Want it That Way.”
If you watch that performance, you’ll see how stripped down it is. It is lacking in the glamour, glitz, and typical over-the-top sexiness and extreme lighting and special effects that are normal for Hollywood videos and productions. And that is exactly what makes this performance so appealing.
It is wonderful to see the singers in their own homes, wearing casual clothes, even singing along with their children. It does a heart good to see such famous performers be down-to-earth like the rest of us.
Catch the Backstreet Boys performance and see full details here.
Falls Church, Virginia
Teen Charles Randolph owns a 3-D printer. He has chosen to use his machine for good by making masks and searching for places to donate them.
See the news story here.
Georgia radio station 106.7 captured the moment in which a man led a praise sing-along in the parking lot of Coffee Regional Medical Center in Douglas, Georgia. People respectfully stayed in their cars and joined in to sing praise songs together.
Watch the video on the Facebook page for Georgia radio station 106.7.
The Magen David Adom (@Mdais on Twitter) is an organization that provides blood services nationally within Israel. This organization has drive-through coronavirus testing centers that allow people to quickly and efficiently be tested. Some of the workers are seen in a video entertaining people with unique dances, immediately causing smiles and lifting spirits.
Access the video on Twitter here.
Owner Sharita Rouse Montez from Tummy YumYum Gourmet Candy Apples candy store decided to convert her store into a temporary soup kitchen by enlisting help from the community to purchase gift cards, donate food and money, cook, and help serve hot lunches to children in Prince William County in Virginia.
As seen in the Western Prince William Chatter Facebook group. Visit her website here.
Blogger Kiril Kundurazieff enjoys entertaining his online friends by posting very detailed descriptions of everything he does, his plans, and his thoughts. He has several cats which he treats as real people, instilling in them human-like characteristics that give him creative inspiration to write. Kiril is an interesting person who shares strong, humorous opinions on his day job as a Walmart cashier, walking, cycling, public transportation, cat care and maintenance, and day-to-day ennui that he turns into funny comments to the best of his ability.
Kiril has posted his thoughts consistently during this pandemic, not slowing down and never showing negativity despite recovering from a serious car accident that left him needing surgery and a walker.
Lots of optimism is found on Kiril’s blog.
Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois decided to let its penguins loose to roam their spacious facilities after being ordered to close its doors to the public due to coronavirus. Needless to say, the penguins ended up being the most adorable aquarium visitors ever!
See the story here.
Caterer Simply Fresh Events has partnered with non-profit Nourish Now, from Rockville, MD to prepare and donate 100 meals per week.
See Simply Fresh Event’s website.
People have unleashed their creativity with full force to make funny, memorable, spitting-out-your-coffee memes about every aspect of coronavirus. It would be hard to capture them all in this blog post, though I have my favorites, relating to the scarcity of toilet paper rolls and the newfound respect for teachers.
Please note: the memes are not intended to lessen the fear of infection or the seriousness of the deaths caused by coronavirus. Yes, it is all very sad and heartbreaking, but a sense of humor is essential to help us all cope. As they say, laughter is the best medicine.
Here is one person’s round-up of coronavirus memes.
I saw a particularly interesting thing this morning that struck me as a great coincidence on the same day I decided to write this blog post. Actor John Krasinski created a Youtube channel and a Twitter hashtag #SomeGoodNews to highlight the same things I’m highlighting in this blog post – – the positive ways people are handling a required period of quarantine and social distancing.
See John’s Youtube channel here.
Hope this blog post made you smile and appreciate the ways in which the human spirit is present all around us!