Uplifting Stories During the Health Crisis

While COVID-19 has disrupted life as we know it, the pandemic is also revealing a multitude of people and organizations that band together to re-think their normal routines and products to contribute to the greater good. It’s important to recognize these uplifting acts of kindness during times like this. Doing so helps us maintain a positive outlook. Our favorite neighbor, Mr. Rogers always maintained a positive outlook, even in times of distress, thanks to his mother’s advice. 

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” – Fred Rogers

In today’s blog, let’s shine a light on the people who are putting others first in a time of crisis.

Some Good News Worth Sharing

1. Companies are using their manufacturing power for the greater good.

Given the national shortage of hand sanitizer, breweries and distilleries across the U.S. are stepping up to the plate. Companies like Anheuser-Busch, Woodford Reserve and even our fellow Atlantans, Old Fourth Distillery have shifted the production of spirits to hand sanitizer. Old Fourth Distillery, for example, mixes its 95% proof alcohol with aloe vera to create a simple sanitizer by following the CDC guidelines. They were giving it away for free, but now are focusing on providing hand sanitizer to first responders.

Additionally, apparel companies are producing supplies to help protect healthcare workers. Gap Inc. is working directly with California hospitals to connect them to their supply chain vendors so they can obtain protective masks and gowns. Fabric stores are also joining in. For example, Jo-Ann Fabrics has partnered with Neiman Marcus to make apparel for medical workers.

Meanwhile, Dyson, a company best known for its vacuum cleaners and hand dryers, has committed to manufacturing thousands of ventilators to address the shortage. Auto manufacturers are following suit. For instance, General Motors and Tesla have adjusted their production lines to manufacture ventilators for hospitals. It’s uplifting to see so many brands making a difference during this pandemic.

2. Now is a great time to learn something new.

For those who want to use this time to learn something new, here’s some good news – you have no shortage of options. Coursera, an online learning platform is offering 100 classes for free until May 31st. Many of the courses are taught by Ivy League schools, including Yale and Stanford. If you’re more into museums, you can view world-famous masterpieces and archaeological treasures from your living room thanks to Google Arts & Culture. To feel like you’re there in person, click on “Street View” and virtually navigate the gallery.

3. Healthcare workers are uplifting communities in need.

Some communities have been hit especially hard by the pandemic, like New York City. However, healthcare workers from other parts of the country are stepping in to help. Just last week, dozens of Atlanta-based medical professionals boarded a Southwest Airlines flight to assist the hospitals in New York.

At a more local level, some communities, especially lower-income areas, can’t easily access COVID-19 testing and treatment. This puts these communities and their residents at a higher risk. The good news is that some providers are addressing these discrepancies in access to care. For example, Dr. Uché Blackstock, who operates urgent-care clinics in Brooklyn, NY, closed a clinic in the relatively affluent area of Brooklyn Heights so that she can shift staff to clinics dealing with the surge of patients in Prospect Park South and Crown Heights. We thank you, Dr. Blackstock and all the other healthcare professionals who are striving to ensure every community is cared for. 

The near constant stream of bad news about the pandemic can feel overwhelming, but there’s lots of positivity happening in the world right now, too. This blog shows only a fraction of the acts of kindness that are happening across the country.  I hope that inspires you. In the meantime, let’s keep sharing uplifting stories to make this difficult time a little easier.

Do you know someone else who is helping out? Let us know! We’ll update this or feature the good news in a future blog.