As countries around the globe struggle with COVID-19, the are a myriad of ways in which humanity’s empathy, fortitude and creativity are managing to rise above fear, worry and pain. To highlight and celebrate some of the good to be found in these troubling times, we are curating a recurring series of positive news. Some of these stories will be global, some local, some will involve big names, some will involve “no names,” but each will shine a bit of light when we need it most.
The Uplifting Power of Music
Nothing soothes and inspires quite like music. Perhaps you’ve seen some of the stories of people turning to music, both online and “in real life,” to make connections during this time of isolation. Worldwide superstar Lady Gaga teamed up with Global Citizen and the World Health Organization for “One World: Together At Home”, a Live Aid-style event designed to celebrate healthcare workers around the globe. The show included performances from the likes of Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Billie Eilish. If you missed the April 18 event, you can watch it here while you sing along and perhaps even bust a move.
Regular People Stepping Up. And Rising Up.
One doesn’t need to be Lady Gaga or Sir Paul McCartney to help in these troubled times, of course. Just look to David Placek in the U.S. He cancelled the rent of his 11 tenants for three months. What a guy! People in Canada and elsewhere have taken to creating “caremongering” groups as a way to make people feel better and push back on those pesky, depressing fearmongers. And did you see the story of an 88-year-old man who used a bucket truck to rise into the air in order to say hello to his wife of 61 years quarantined in a nursing home? It just may make you well up inside.
UN Calls on Professional Communicators to Fight COVID-19
The United Nations issued an open brief to communications pros around the globe, challenging us to come up with "fresh, innovative content" that will help communicate "critical public health messages." The UN is asking that the creative ideas focus on one of six key areas: personal hygiene; social distancing; knowing the symptoms; global solidarity; myth-busting and fundraising for COVID-19 causes. This is the first time in the UN’s history that they have put out a call to professional communicators. Let us encourage one another to rise up to the challenge.
A Little Peace and Quiet for Our Fellow Creatures
As the human world slows down, it has given the planet’s other inhabitants a chance to enjoy a world with a little less noise and pollution. There have been many reports, such as this one, of animals venturing out of the woods and fields into traditionally populated areas. This quieter, more private time has, evidently, even inspired a couple of pandas in China to mate for the first time in 13 years.
While there’s no sugar-coating the fact that we are living in dark times right now, these beams of light will help us find our way, while reminding us of what author Victor Hugo wrote: “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”