"It was the best of times, It was the worst of times".
The exacerbating coronavirus pandemic makes one reminiscent of the opening lines from Charles's Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. Only this time, it's the tale of Planet Earth itself.
With the number of deaths due to coronavirus swiftly crossing 7,000 in just a span of months, the virus seems to have brought out the best and worst of humanity. While on the one hand, there is an immense amount of racism being subjected towards Asians, specifically the Chinese, and petty hoarding of essentials like hand-sanitisers, there are also outpourings of love and kindness that have popped up across the world.
From offering free supplies and lodging to legal and mental-health support or even just simple acts of kindness to cheer up a person in quarantine, COVID-19 has brought out some of the best sides of humanity in recent days.
1. Rooftop Fitness Classes
A fitness instructor in Sevilla, Spain, refused to let coronavirus make him or his neighbours unfit while in quarantine. Unable to go to the gym or hold regular classes, the instructor decided to give classes from his rooftop for his neighbours to follow from inside their homes.
In Seville, Spain they are not accepting #quarantine as an excuse for not working out. This fitness instructor hosts a workout from a rooftop —and people join his class from their balconies. More of humanity’s awesomeness pic.twitter.com/Aw23y2tkYi— Zoe (@zoescaman) March 15, 2020
2. Heart of Gold
Jackson Frank, a Gonzaga University student from Spokane, Washington in the United States, took to Twitter to offer financial help to anyone affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Within instants of posting, the student started receiving a barrage of requests from people in need. And it seems he sent each one of them some form of help. Wondering how a college student managed to offer much aid to everyone who sought it? According to reports on local Spokane media, Frank's Twitter not only attracted those who needed help but others who could offer help as well, thus allowing him to provide much-needed aid to people who had lost their incomes due to heavy quarantining and lockdowns to contain the pandemic.
I don’t have a ton to offer but if you’re in need of financial support because of coronavirus, DM me or reply here. Gonna try to mobilize my following for good.— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) March 15, 2020
3. Quarantine Serenade
An adorable video of two young children, Taran Tien, 9 and Calliope Tien, 6, from Ohio, US, won the internet recently after they serenaded their elderly quarantines neighbour with a cello performance from their porch. The two little budding cellists performed for their 78-year-old neighbour who had put herself on self-quarantine.
My elderly neighbor is self-isolating. So the neighbor kids are playing her a cello concert from her patio. pic.twitter.com/g6Nr2HNVho— Jackie Borchardt (@JMBorchardt) March 16, 2020
4. Exclusively for seniors
A grocery store in Cornwall, United Kingdom, has been opening shop early to give time to the elderly to shop without hindrance. The store, called the Constantine Bay Stores has been inviting the elderly citizens, or more specifically, those born on or before 1950, to come to do their shopping from 8 am to 8.30 am every day. Called "The 1950s Club", the initiative is meant to provide a safe and comforting environment for the elderly, who are at high risk of being infected by COVID-19, to shop for essentials and groceries. Not just Constatine, convenience store chains like Woolworths in Australia and others like Iceland Foods in Belfast, Iceland, have also initiated similar plans.
Iceland Foods at Kennedy Centre, West Belfast will be opening their store between 8-9am for the elderly starting this Tuesday. The wider public are asked to respect this hour as it has been allocated for elderly people only. Would be great to see other stores now do the same 👏 pic.twitter.com/nfu5Hsz5um— Paul Doherty (@Paul_Doherty__) March 15, 2020
5. Community Birthday
That awesome moment when an entire quarantined apartment block in Lebanon came together (from their respective apartment windows) to celebrate the birthday of a woman who couldn't leave her home to celebrate. In a video that went viral, the woman can be seeing giggling while readying to cut the cake, even as her neighbours sing Happy Birthday for her.
6. Kindness Postcard
Another story from Cornwall, UK, saw a woman called Becky Wass slipping in little "kindness postcards" to those in containment, offering to run errands and provide the outside assistance they require while in quarantine. Her husband John Green took to Twitter to share the Wass's initiative online. In the postcard, the Wass asked others to "spread kindness" and not the disease. In the postcard, the made boxes that patients or those in quarantine could check such as getting groceries, posting mail, or just giving them a friendly phone call.
Becky my wonderful wife came up with a great idea last night, and it's already going viral. Wash your hands, print this, fill it out and pop it in your neighbour's letterbox. Simples. #viralkindness #COVID_19uk #coronavirusuk https://t.co/wnxVhvk742 pic.twitter.com/tnVQMIiSMI— Jonny Green (@MrJonnyGreen) March 13, 2020
7. Helping Hand
A woman called Rebecca Mehra went viral on social media for helping an elderly couple shop for groceries when they were too afraid to go inside the store. A former Stanford runner, Mehra said that she found the couple huddled in a car and too scared to go to inside the store for fear of getting infected. She asked them if she could help and they gave her a $100 bill along with a list of groceries. Mehra obliged and bought the items, much to the relief of the couple. The random act of kindness cheered many up on Twitter.
I went to the grocery store this afternoon. As I was walking in I heard a woman yell to me from her car. I walked over and found an elderly woman and her husband. She cracked her window open a bit more, and explained to me nearly in tears that they are afraid to go in the store.— Rebecca Mehra (@rebecca_mehra) March 12, 2020
8. Caremongering Canadians
Canadians have started about 35 or so "caremongering" groups on Facebook to take acre of the needs faced by people in quarantine. One of the first such "caremongering" groups was set up by Mita Hans and Valentina Harper along with the help of others in order to fight "scaremongering" or the spread of misinformation and fake news about the global pandemic. In the last week, Candians have successfully managed to launch "caremongering" as a movement in the country with several individuals joining such groups to help out those in need.
9. Pizza love
A Pizza parlour in San Jose called Pizza and Pasta has been delivering food to those above the age of 70, free of cost. People have also been donating to their fund in order to aid hungry and needy people with food.
People. Doing. Good. This is what we love to see! @tonyandalbas Pizza & Pasta in San Jose is taking free pizza and salad to people 70 and older in their delivery area. Cash donations have been flooding in to help pay for the food for people in need. https://t.co/4BmMorGiz1 pic.twitter.com/Zs2gkSpDXB— Dustin Dorsey (@DustinABC7) March 17, 2020
When a school was sent into lockdown for an indefinite break, a librarian called Tom Bober decided to give children the opportunity to continue reading while at home by lending large numbers of books to children. Before sending the children home, Bober took all the students to the library and let them choose whichever books they liked. Imaged of gleeful kids with cartons of books lit up social media.
Today I decided, with the possibility of an extended break, that we would drastically expand the number of books that’s students could check out. We had the entire school through the library by 12:45. The shelves are a mess but these kids have some great books going home. pic.twitter.com/mMGLxlqsv0— Tom Bober (@CaptainLibrary) March 12, 2020
11. Love thy neighbour
In a heartwarming incident, a Twitter user called Florencia Chang-Ageda shared how her neighbour had brought over vitamins for them while they were in quarantine.
My neighbor bought vitamins for those who don’t have♥️ pic.twitter.com/dG3f8J1s8p— Florencia Chang-Ageda (@FloAgeda) March 16, 2020
In fact, people from a variety of places have been coming up with innovative ways to help their neighbours in this time of need.
A small act of kindness seen in my building💖 “Hello. We are the neighbors of 2nd 1. If any neighbor with risk factors to the contagion needs to buy food, medicine or another thing, we offer to go. You can call our intercom” pic.twitter.com/3K3L4odnFz— Ellie Borstad (@ellieborstad) March 15, 2020
Five min ago our neighbor knocked on our door and gave us a bag and it was full of essential hygiene materials because there's lack in stores— Sᴀʀ 🌻 سَرْ (@sarsarism) March 15, 2020
He's giving this to all of our neighbours too.
He restored my believe in humanity in a whole new level🌸 #COVIDー19 #coronavirus #Libya pic.twitter.com/JOQ7XyxPVL
A Muslim couple, Jawed and Asiya, who run a cornershop convenience store called 'Day Today store' in Falkirk, Scotland, have been giving away free COVID-19 kits to help the elderly from getting the disease. They prepare the relief packages which include a hand sanitiser and face mask and personally deliver them to vulnerable neighbours, completely for free.
A Muslim couple in Scotland is giving out #coronavirus relief packages to vulnerable people.— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) March 13, 2020
And delivering them for free.
There are many ways to respond to a crisis, and it’s so good to see people choosing generosity, compassion, and kindness.
13. Tips Galore
Customer of a restaurant in Houston, Texas called Irma's left behind over $9000 in tips to help sustain the employees of the restaurant that went into lockdown due to the pandemic. With the staff looking at no work for an indefinite number of days, the tips would be divided equally among the staff.
Italians went viral across the world and almost started the global trend of singing opera, love and patriotic songs from their balconies while families were stuck at home in quarantine.
People of my hometown #Siena sing a popular song from their houses along an empty street to warm their hearts during the Italian #Covid_19 #lockdown.#coronavirusitalia #COVID19 #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/7EKKMIdXov— valemercurii 🌍 (@valemercurii) March 12, 2020
When a considerate neihbour left a sealed packet of toilet paper at a doorstep amid intense hoarding of the commodity.