Covid19 News

Inspiration and acts of kindness during the coronavirus outbreak


Schools are shutting down, stocks are plummeting, and health-care workers are scrambling to deal with a shortage of beds. But you probably already know that, or you’ve read similarly concerning news. In this time of social distancing and high anxiety, it can help to step back and remind ourselves of the myriad ways people are still being positive.

We asked several of our reporters to share something they saw this week that is helping them remain upbeat. Have you seen or read about an act of kindness or moment of beauty, whether in your own neighborhood or on the other side of the world? Fill out the form at the end of this article with what’s giving you hope, and we might include your example in a follow-up.

Here’s what has been keeping our reporters — and one editor — smiling:

  • The coronavirus feels like it has left nothing untouched in its wake, and that includes pet shelters. Fewer people are swinging by to visit available pets, and volunteers have similarly dried up. So I was heartened to see my friends take in Wyatt, a sweet pit bull mix around 2 years old. He was found starving two months ago in a Walmart parking lot in Georgia, my friend Lauren said, and she took him to her home outside New York City. She and her husband, Kris, will care for Wyatt until he is adopted and finds a forever home — a remarkably selfless decision in a period of anxiety and uncertainty. Not to mention: Lauren and Kris have done this before. Kris found Frosting, a Jack Russell and pit bull mix, running down the street in D.C. last year. That means for now, Wyatt has a friend to frolic with in the spring, now that Frosting has found a home for good. If you are interested in adopting Wyatt, email: alex.horton@washpost.comAlex Horton
  • Inside Chicago’s once-bustling Shedd Aquarium, there wasn’t a soul in sight — except for a penguin waddling past the glass tanks. With the facility closed to the public, staff at the aquarium saw an opportunity for a field trip. They started Sunday with a penguin named Wellington, who peered into one of the giant fish tanks. The next day was mated pair Edward and Annie’s turn. Video of the sightseeing trips was shared online thousands of times — and understandably so. Amid a crush of news about shuttered businesses, a crashing stock market and a growing number of infections, it was a much-needed glimpse of wonder. — Brittany Shammas
  • When you’re feeling anxious, pausing to appreciate the natural world can be a great way to calm the mind and relieve stress. And it can even be done in quarantine, as professional birder Nick Lund showed us over the weekend. On Sunday morning, Lund called on Twitter followers who were riding out the coronavirus at home to send in pictures of the birds in their backyards. Within hours, a virtual community of birders from around the country had snapped photos of 230 species, from bald eagles to wood ducks to painted buntings. For me, the project underscored how nature can bring people together in a frightening time. There’s something distinctly soothing about the presence of an animal — whether it’s a cardinal pecking at your feeder, a cat sitting in your lap, or, if you’re Arnold Schwarzenegger, a mini donkey and a mini horse joining you at your dinner table. Animals are innocent. They’re stoic. While our world grinds to a halt, theirs carries on. We can learn a lot from them. — Derek Hawkins
  • With the conversation Monday turning to the coronavirus — as it always seems to do now — one of my housemates mentioned her mother, a teacher in North Carolina. Even before school districts around the country shut down, she was worried about what the virus meant for her students: How would they all eat, when many relied on free lunches? How would they all keep learning while they were isolated in vastly different living situations? I thought of the messages that friends got from their professors as they were kicked off campuses — stressed, worried about family and in some cases scrambling for a place to go. They were thoughtful messages with parting words such as “do not hesitate to write to us for any reason” and advice to check in on vulnerable people in their lives. In all the upheaval this pandemic has brought, I’m reassured by teachers’ care for the young people who look up to them and rely on them. — Hannah Knowles
  • A three-tweet thread from Jester D (@JustMeTurtle) Saturday roughly did for me what watching five seasons of “The Wire” did: Remind me that every job, no matter how routine or insignificant it can feel, is essential for a functioning society. Doing it well, free of cut corners, matters. Jester wrote about being a garbageman who can’t work from home, and it resonated with others who aren’t taking days off because the world needs us. We’ve always been needed, but suddenly we felt a little more seen and appreciated. Twitter, which is often ground zero for awfulness, unspooled a thread of…



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