Acts of service and kindness provide hope amidst the crisis.
As social distancing becomes an increasingly crucial priority, people are reaching out and joining forces to help others who have been affected by the virus. With so much uncertainty and anxiety going around about how the virus is affecting your finances or education, as well as worrying about staying healthy, it’s refreshing and uplifting to see people putting so much time and effort into helping others. If you’re looking for resources that can help you, a chance to help others, or even just a dash of hope and happiness, here are 10 things humans are doing to care for others during this crisis.
1. People are organizing food delivery and running errands for high-risk people.
For people who are high-risk due to age or pre-existing conditions that compromise their immune system, even running errands can be a risk. As a result, people across the U.S. are banding together to deliver meals and groceries to high-risk people—some are even running errands for them. A Cincinnati teen named Trip Wright, for example, started a nonprofit to deliver groceries to those who need it; just three days after launching the nonprofit, he already had over 30 volunteers. Volunteers across the country are also using an app called NextDoor to connect with and help people, while churches are organizing to donate groceries to thousands of families who have lost vital sources of income. These volunteers are working to ensure that the most vulnerable people in our society don’t go without or get left behind during this crisis.
2. Audible and Apple are giving away free books.
Thousands of people’s jobs and education have been affected by COVID-19, so Audible and Apple have stepped up to help people fight boredom without breaking the bank. Audible has created a free collection of children’s audiobooks to entertain and teach your kids, while Apple is offering free audiobooks and eBooks for readers of all ages.
3. People are providing free lessons online.
Public figures and teachers alike have stepped forward to offer free lessons online to support parents and teachers, and to keep kids learning and active while schools are closed. A kindergarten teacher named Traci Browder has started a YouTube channel called “Operation Teacher Relief,” where she and other teachers are sharing lesson plans to keep kids learning, while Mystery Science is providing free K—5 science curriculum to parents and teachers. There are even free classes to keep your child’s creative juices flowing and to get them moving; children’s book writer and illustrator Mo Willems is providing free, live-streamed art sessions at 1pm every weekday, and personal trainer Joe Wicks is streaming live P.E. classes for kids every day.
4. Noel Fielding started an online art club for kids.
Noel Fielding, an American comedian, entertainer, and artist, has started an art club for kids on Twitter. Every day, he chooses a theme, looks at everyone’s submissions, and selects a winner to enter the Art Club Hall of Fame at 5pm. It’s a great source of entertainment and creativity for your kids—and maybe for you, too.
5. Astronauts are reading stories to kids from space.
If your kids love space, astronauts, reading, or all three, they’ll love listening to these stories, which are read by real astronauts in space. This resource is entirely free and will help keep your kids’ brains working while they’re out of school, improving their vocabulary and fostering their love of reading. Plus, your kids will love seeing the astronauts in the space station!
6. Hotel owners are offering free rooms for medical professionals.
Many hotels are closing to the public, but several business owners have decided they can’t let their rooms go to waste; instead, they’re offering free rooms to medical professionals who are self-isolating to protect their families. Gary Neville, who owns two hotels in Britain, is one of these business owners. When he announced this initiative, he also shared that they’re taking precautions to protect hotel staff while ensuring that they can continue to receive a regular income.
7. NBA players are donating money to pay arena workers’ salaries while games are canceled.
Canceling sporting events is an essential part of slowing the spread of the virus, but it also puts many people temporarily out of a job, including food vendors and ticket takers. NBA players are donating money out of their own pockets to ensure that these employees continue to receive salaries during the closure; together, they’ve already raised several hundred thousand dollars.
8. Companies are giving away digital versions of their brick-and-mortar products.
Hundreds of businesses have been forced to temporarily close their doors, but many have decided to make social distancing and self-quarantine a little more bearable by offering digital versions of their brick-and-mortar products—for free. Gyms are giving away high-quality workout videos, such as the free videos on 305 Fitness’ YouTube Channel and CorePower Yoga’s website, while Comcast has made its Xfinity Wi-fi hotspots available for everyone to help people stay connected with their friends and family. New York City’s Metropolitan Opera is even streaming a free opera every night until they reopen to entertain people who are stuck at home.
9. Companies are temporarily discounting or waiving membership fees.
Even companies that are fully digital are contributing by temporarily discounting or waiving costs like membership fees. America’s Test Kitchen waived the membership fee for 50 of their most popular recipes, while Adobe is providing teachers and students with free access to its Creative Cloud applications to ease the transition to online learning. Many more restaurants, educational platforms, and fitness centers have also contributed to this effort.
10. Over 300 experts created an open-source 3D-printed emergency ventilator.
Ventilators are an essential part of saving patients who have severe cases of COVID-19 and related pneumonia, but they’re in short supply; doctors in hard-hit Italy have even had to decide which patients to treat, focusing on the people they feel have a better chance of survival. When Colin Keogh realized how dire the shortage of ventilators is around the world, he started a movement to create an open-source 3D-printed emergency ventilator. Over 300 engineers, designers, and technicians worked to produce a prototype in just seven days. If the ventilators pass medical testing, they can be printed on 3D printers around the world, helping to remedy the shortage and potentially saving thousands of lives.
While COVID-19 is certainly leaving its mark on our daily lives, it’s important to let ourselves stop and appreciate how humanity has banded together to protect, save, and aid everyone who has been affected by this virus. Thousands of people, from medical professionals to volunteers and business owners, have sacrificed time, money, and even their own safety to help those in need, creating a sense of solidarity and community that we hope we’ll hold onto long after life returns to normal.