When the ball dropped at midnight to kick off a new year and decade, no one could have anticipated what the year was about to bring. Only three months in, 2020 became all about cancelling trips/major events and social distancing. Navigating this pandemic is new for all of us, including working from home, protecting loved ones, getting supplies and staying connected to friends.

internet has become a scary place. Instagram and Facebook are no longer a friendly escape to see what friends and loved ones are up to the fear of the desperately ill; the loneliness of being unable to visit family members; the existential horror faced by doctors who have spent careers saving lives now planning triage scenarios in which they ration access to ventilators and medicines, limiting visitation rights to hospitals, and in some instances telling pregnant women they will have to give birth without loved ones present

but now often filled with alarming posts regarding the pandemic. It’s overwhelming for all of us…and the world at large is going through it together.

But with the bad comes the good. If we filter through the negative news, we all  read about the everyday heroes, nurses and doctors and volunteers, continuing to staff food banks, community members checking in on elderly neighbors, inventors working out new ways to mass-produce medical equipment many others. Here are some stories that will inspire you and lift your spirits ……………..

At Morristown Memorial Hospital, (in US) medical professionals were surprised with messages of encouragement and kind messages on the pavement of the medical center’s entrance doors. One message (written colorfully in chalk) read, “If you are just arriving thank you for what you are about to do!”

This neighborhood in Severna Park, Maryland is feeling a strong sense of community from a mystery mom who leaves bagged lunches outside a busy roundabout. With a sign that reads, “For anyone who needs it: I will be leaving some healthy sack lunches on this table for you if you are hungry and need to eat. Made with love by a neighborhood mom in a clean and sanitized kitchen. I will leave this table up from 11AM-1:30PM.” Her actions are a reminder that no matter who you are, you can make someone’s day a little brighter.

An elderly Italian priest with Covid-19 gave up access to a ventilator so that a younger patient might live; the priest died shortly afterward. Positivity can be contagious, no matter who you are and how big or small an idea — pursue it and pass on the good.

1. For years, health experts have been recommending regular handwashing to keep diseases at bay. Not everyone heeded to their advice. In fact, 69 per cent of men don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom, according to a study. But with coronavirus gaining traction all that has changed and millions are practicing good personal hygiene.
 
2. The worldwide disinfection and sanitization drive have caused a big blow to one of our deadliest enemies — the many resistant germs and pathogens responsible for infectious diseases like pneumonia, meningitis, common flu, norovirus and HIV to name a few.
 
3. Family time – a scare and hard-earned thing until recently — is suddenly in abundance in the era of Stay Home. For the first time since the early 19th century, parents and kids – in some cases even grandchildren – are under the same roof all day.
 
4. Road accidents account for 3,424 deaths daily or two deaths per minute globally but coronavirus stay-at-home orders have led to a heartening reduction in these numbers. 
 
5. The pandemic has contributed to a noticeable drop in pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. With streets emptied of people and vehicles, factories shut and flights grounded, the environment is breathing easier. Skyscrapers shrouded in smog are now visible and waters in Venice’s canals run clearer than ever.

6. Homes around the world have become clutter-free with people getting rid of unwanted stuff. Recently, Fay Wolf, author of New Order: A Decluttering Handbook for Creative Folks (and Everyone Else) even hosted a decluttering webinar for people sequestered at home.

7. Book sales appeared to face a bleak future but now their sales have hit new highs as readers seek escapism and education. 

8. The pandemic has exposed the inadequacies of healthcare system throughout the world and provided an opportunity to improve them. More and more countries are now realizing that only a sustained and increased investment in health-related research will win the war on coronavirus and provide health and safety to its citizens.

9. The new work from home culture has dismantled the nine-to-six lifestyle allowing us to stay focused on the job and mentally healthy while working from home.

10. The overabundance of newfound free time has encouraged people confined in homes to revisit childhood hobbies or pick new ones to get a respite from the grim situation.

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