The coronavirus has been dominating the news for months now. To most observers it seems like the preponderance of the news is bleak. The virus has developed into a true pandemic. It has penetrated virtually every country in the world. A large chunk of the world’s population is on lock-down. The world’s economy has been virtually shut-down.
According to “Worldometer” worldwide cases now exceed 1 million with some 57,000 deaths. The US still has reported the most cases, almost 260,000 with approximately 6,600 fatalities. One reason for the high number of cases in the US is the widespread testing, which is now in excess of 100,000 per day. In just the last two weeks there have been about 1 million filings for unemployment benefits, and that only includes the people who could get through on the overloaded websites and telephone exchanges.
According to “The Hill” there have been in excess of 1,000 fatalities in the US just in the last 24 hours. In the opinion of various medical experts the US has not yet passed the “apex of the curve,” so things will likely get worse before they get better. How much worse, no one, not even these medical experts, knows for sure. Drs. Fauci and Birx have estimated that the US death toll could reach as high as 200,000 before when all is said and done. Most of us have been quarantined in our homes, except for emergencies like buying food or seeking medical care, with no end in sight.
Amid this plethora of bad news there has been some good news. There have been many instances of kindness and generosity by businesses and individuals, most of which have been very sparsely reported. These deeds have been shunted aside by all the bad news that has been dominating media reports. These deeds highlight the indominable human spirit even in the bleakest of times.
I would like to give these generous businesses and individuals their due. Below please find some examples, which I have chosen from various news reports:
1. Kudos to all the medical workers who have been working valiantly and tirelessly, often at great personal danger to themselves.
2. Kudos to those who are delivering much needed food and medical supplies.
3. In NY, which remains the primary hotspot, the military has built temporary hospitals in every borough in an amazingly short period of time. Also, it has provided a huge hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, which presently is docked on the West Side of Manhattan.
4. FEMA has been rushing medical supplies to NYC, including 1 million N95 masks, nearly 2 million surgical masks, 460,000 face shields, 1.4 million gloves and 4,400 ventilators.
5. In a previous blog I reported on the instances of hoarding and price gouging and the Department of Justice’s investigation of same. As a follow-up, the FBI has reported the seizure of thousands of various medical supplies from hoarders. I would expect the perpetrators to be punished.
6. Various celebrities have “stepped up.” The list is too long to include all of them, but below please find a sampling as reported in “Elle Magazine” and other media outlets:
a. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft brought 1.2 million masks to the US on his team plane.
b. Arnold Schwarzenegger donated $1 million of medical supplies to hospital workers.
c. Dolly Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University for coronavirus research.
d. Various airlines have flown Americans stranded overseas home.
e. The popular tv show, “The Masked Singer,” donated 10,000 masks.
f. Many professional sports teams and individual players have covered the salaries of laid-off arena personnel.
g. Leonardo Di Caprio, in partnership with Apple, Laurene Powell Jobs, and others, established “America’s Food Fund” to provide food to “vulnerable” people.
h. Kylie Jenner donated $1 million to various LA hospitals to pay for various medical supplies.
i. Rihanna donated $5 million to various organizations, such as WHO, Feeding America and the International Rescue Committee.
j. Steph Curry and his wife donated $1 million for school meals to kids in Oakland who are missing out on them due to school closures.
7. The waters in Venice are reportedly clearer and cleaner that in recent memory due to the absence of boats. Fish have been spotted.
8. In Britain hoteliers are offering free rooms to medical workers.
9. Entertainers such as Elton John and John Legend have provided free live concerts from their homes.
10. Many food stores are opening one hour early to service seniors and the disabled.
11. A shop in Scotland is providing “COVID-19 kits” containing hand gel and wipes to seniors.
12. In Copenhagen quarantined people were serenading people from their balconies with the song, “You’ve Got A Friend.”
13. In Spain quarantined people were playing bingo over a loudspeaker.
14. Elle reported that, remarkably, three centenarians, 104 year-old WWII veteran William Lapschie, a 103 year-old Iranian woman and a 102 year-old Italian woman have recovered from the virus.
15. NYC’s Metropolitan Opera is streaming old operas.
16. Germany is flying COVID patients from Italy, which has been overwhelmed, to Germany for treatment.
17. China has been reopening certain tourist attractions, such as the “Great Wall,” (although I don’t think I would feel comfortable going to China right now).
18. A British couple whose wedding had been cancelled donated their entire catering to some 400 hospital workers in the area. Note: they went ahead with their wedding with just two witnesses in attendance instead of the planned 120 guests.
19. In an event coordinated through social media, last Thursday at 8 pm activity in the UK halted and people gave a huge ovation to UK medical workers in appreciation of their efforts in fighting the virus.
20. In Copenhagen quarantined residents participated in a group exercise workout from their balconies.
21. In Massachusetts a “mystery man” bought all the flowers in one florist store that was being forced to close and donated them to residents in the town of Needham.
As I said, in the face of adversity many human beings rise to the occasion. Personally, I have noticed more instances of kindness than before. At the present time, for the most part, people are not separated by politics, economics, race, gender, or “tribes” as they were just mere weeks ago. Most people realize that defeating this insidious virus will require all of us pulling together. That time-worn phrase “united we stand, divided we fall” seems very appropriate to this situation.