Working together to support and protect each other.
The coronavirus crisis has sparked a lot of negativity and anxiety—it can be hard to escape the negative press surrounding it. Thankfully, however, it has also brought out the best in many communities as people and businesses alike work together to help and protect each other during the crisis. If you’re looking for a way to brighten your day and give you hope through this crisis, here are 10 amazing and hopeful things that are happening right now.
1. Celebrities are reading to children online.
Actors, comedians, authors, and artists are banding together to provide entertainment and encourage kids to continue learning while they’re home from school. Josh Gad, who voices Olaf in Disney’s Frozen, is reading children’s books on Twitter every day, while Save With Stories has partnered with Save the Children and No Kid Hungry to offer stories on Instagram and Facebook. Jimmy Fallon, Lupita Nyong’o, and Jennifer Garner are just a handful of the notable people who have already read books on the platform, which also aims to raise money to feed children who are going hungry without access to school meals. You can also search #OperationStoryTime on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to find authors, illustrators, and other influencers reading books for children.
2. Insurance companies are waiving the costs of COVID-19 treatments.
In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that people can receive—and afford—prompt treatment for the illness, several insurance companies have begun waiving member cost-sharing fees for the treatment and testing of COVID-19. These companies include Cigna, Humana, and UnitedHealthCare, which is also waiving commercial Medicare Advantage and Medicaid member fees for telehealth visits that aren’t related to COVID-19. Other companies, such as Aetna and Anthem, are waiving copays for diagnostic testing related to COVID-19, and encouraging patients to use telehealth services whenever possible.
3. People are donating protective gear to medical staff.
Hospitals are running low on the face masks that doctors, nurses, and other staff rely on to protect them, but communities across the country are stepping up to help out. Rescuing Families Inc., a nonprofit that remodels homes, donated the N95 masks they use during construction after they heard about the shortage. They’ve since started helping other groups donate their masks to hospitals and police stations across the country. Similarly, volunteers are sewing and donating thousands of homemade, washable masks to medical staff and police, who can wear the masks over N95 masks to help them last longer.
4. New Yorkers are cheering for essential workers every day.
Each day at 7 pm, people from across New York City open their windows or venture out onto their balconies to thank essential workers in the service industry in the form of applause and cheering. This includes not only doctors, nurses, and police, but delivery people, childcare workers, grocery and restaurant staff, and more. It’s a simple but heartwarming way to say thank you to the people who are treating the sick and keeping the world turning.
5. Distilleries are making and giving away hand sanitizer.
Instead of shutting down, distilleries across America are putting their specialized equipment to use by making free hand sanitizer to give to their local hospitals or community members. This allows their staff to continue working while helping fight the virus in a meaningful way.
6. The U.N. is organizing a global response to the pandemic.
The U.N. has organized a $2 billion humanitarian response to the virus on a global scale. This plan will involve protecting especially vulnerable countries by launching public education campaigns, setting up handwashing stations, and delivering medical equipment and supplies where they’re most needed. To get workers and equipment to their destinations quickly and safely, the U.N. will establish air bridges across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This ensures that countries that are already facing war, natural disasters, or poverty will have access to resources that will help them fight COVID-19.
7. Companies and communities are ensuring workers’ wages don’t suffer.
Thankfully, some companies are working hard to ensure they can continue to pay their workers. Google set up a fund to pay workers who can’t work due to COVID-19, Microsoft is paying vendors their usual salaries despite reduced hours, and Apple is paying its employees while its stores are closed for several weeks of deep cleaning. Communities are also raising money to help out service workers, such as a community in Williston, Vermont, that raised money to pay eight janitors overtime for the days they spent deep cleaning local schools. Although the goal was to raise $200, the community donated a total of $7,450.
8. Volunteers are delivering prescriptions and groceries to high-risk people.
Across the country, volunteers are ensuring that high-risk people won’t have to leave their houses to get groceries or medications. In New York City, Liam Elkind and Simone Policano started a new organization, Invisible Hands Deliver, for this purpose. In only a few days, the new group had already gained 2,700 volunteers to shop for and deliver necessities to people’s houses.
9. Experts are providing free lessons online.
If you’re looking for ways to improve yourself or entertain your kids while your family is stuck at home, there are dozens of experts offering free lessons online. Ivy League colleges like Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell, Columbia, Yale, and more are offering hundreds of free online courses, many of which offer certificates when you’ve completed them. Your kids can benefit from free lessons by influencers on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, from Mo Willems’ live-streamed art sessions to educational videos by zoos across the country.
10. Companies are temporarily discounting membership fees.
Many companies are doing their part to help keep people entertained or working by discounting or waiving membership fees for their products. Loom, a video streaming platform, has waived Loom Pro’s membership fee for students and educators at K-12 schools, universities, and other educational institutions, while Scholastic has made a week’s worth of lessons available for free to kids in pre-K to sixth grade. Similarly, gyms and online fitness companies are offering a wide range of free, high-quality workout videos you can use to get moving at home.
In times like these, it can be hard to escape from the sense of negativity and anxiety that seems to fill the news, so it’s refreshing and heartwarming to realize that so many people and businesses are willing to donate their time and money to help people who have been affected by the coronavirus. We hope that learning about these acts of kindness will help you find the sense of hopeful optimism you need to get through each day until we’ve defeated COVID-19.