By: Madeleine Chan, Staff Writer
Look, I know our current situation seems grim. A global pandemic isn’t something that we should be happy about. But we also shouldn’t be blind to the kindness and compassion sprouting from these difficult circumstances. They have the ability to lift us up when we need it the most.
Social media is ripe with examples of the generosity of the human spirit. Take my neighbourhood’s Facebook group (yes, they somehow still exist). What is usually a page where middle-aged, nuclear-family parents complain about how “the homeless are taking over” is now a space where communal help is found in spades. People in the group are making themselves available to go out and get supplies for older or immunocompromised folks, for example.
This selfless behaviour is not just relegated to our corner of the world, either. I’ve seen countless videos of people lightening the mood in quarantine by singing and playing instruments from their balconies, restaurants giving away free food, and even breweries around the world taking the time to help alleviate the hand sanitizer shortage. This trend of “caremongering” — organized acts of kindness and generosity — is almost as infectious as the actual virus. Dispelling fear and bringing people together through the power of compassion is something that is sorely needed right now to focus and to break through the existential panic of the pandemic.
Sure, there are also people who’ve had not so great reactions to this crisis — people like toilet paper hoarders and resellers, ignorant, rich celebrities, and people going outside acting like nothing is happening. But these people are a small blip in the population. The majority of people are finding ways to connect and care for one another in seemingly impossible conditions. It’s almost as if humans aren’t as inherently horrible as we think. Like we’re beings who want to help each other, to care, and to love one another. Who would have thought?
I hope these words give you some comfort in these uncertain times, and that you and your families are safe. As the 2008 graduating class of Albuquerque High once said, “We’re all in this together,” and once people recognize and embrace this wholesome and connective fact, then our time indoors will surely seem a bit less lonely.