In recent weeks these pictures, which I took at my local grocery store, have become an all to familiar sight. In addition to products being hoarded, unnecessarily I might add, there has been panic in the faces of shoppers. There have been stories of not business closing…but cities, states and entire countries closing up shop in hopes of containing this virus. There are scary numbers of infections and death numbers on our tv screens and the screens of our computers and phones everywhere. It is certainly a much different world than we are used to living in.
Myself, I am home with some sort of respiratory infection and unable to see a doctor because I am considered a ‘high risk’ person due to my asthma and heart issues. Rather frustrating and a tad scary I must admit. All of this news seems dire. Economic circles are forecasting doom and gloom. People are losing their jobs or at the very least having to make some severe adjustments. Even places where we go to escape from all of this madness such as taverns for some and houses of worship for others have closed.
All of this may have us thinking how terrible the world is at this moment. In some ways things have certainly taken a turn for the worse, but there are wonderful signs of hope and humanity everywhere you look. I would like to share a few items here that this crazy virus and the steps we have had to take to control it have brought to light. These stories I believe are proof that when the chips are down, humanity and goodness prevail.
One of the first major disruptions that occurred in this country was professional sports leagues calling it quits or suspending seasons. This, of course, was the smart and prudent decision to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. When this happened a lot of people were quick to lament their loss of entertainment. A few even pondered the loss of income for television stations and their advertising. Some wondered how it would affect the salary of professional athletes. Very few may have initially considered how it affected the workers at the arenas. The single parent who works the consession stand. The janitor who makes a living cleaning the arena after rowdy fans leave the building. Not only are they filled with fear over the disease, but many are left without a source of income.
Here in the city I live in we have a professional basketball team called The Milwaukee Bucks. On that team we have a star player Giannis Antetokounmpo. That is him pictured above. Yes, he is out of work it would seem for the moment as well. Let us say I do not he has to worry about how to pay bills or day care for his new child. What he did realize is that the workers of the arena still did. He personally donated $100,000 to help pay their salaries during the work shortage. The team as a whole said they would match players donations to do the same. I think this serves as a great example of people paying back a community that allows them to earn a living.
Add to this things local businesses are doing. I have heard of distilleries making hand sanitizer and giving it away. I have heard of extra donations to local food pantries and people waiting in line at the local humane society to foster animals during this time. Two stories I think that really stand out to me are stores, such as Sendik’s Food Market here locally, as well as others, setting aside certain hours for seniors and those who may be high risk to do their shopping. I have also received many emails from businesses from restaurants to movie theaters keeping me posted on everything that is going on in their business. One that stood out is Meijer. They mentioned doing their best to stay open 24 hours to make sure those who need supplies can get them. They also mentioned the steps they are going to take to make sure their stores are safe and clean. Then they mentioned things, we as customers can do to help, such as avoiding panic buying and hoarding. Do you really need 50 rolls of toilet paper? I sure hope not. One thing they mentioned that many businesses did not is acknowledging the role their employees play and the risk they put themselves in just to make sure the rest of us can buy what we need. I thought that was really cool. They also encouraged people to compliment and be patient with their workers. From everything I saw grocery shopping this past weekend, I would have to agree. As a bonus, they pledged to donate $2.2 million to more than 400 food banks. That makes me want to shop there more! (Margie is actually there as I write this)
I am sure there are many more examples of people helping people. I have heard in Italy, neighbors began singing together from their porches. Being that we are the only house on the block and that my singing would probably not lift anyone’s spirits, I may pass on that one. I would love to hear what positive things you have heard of or are doing in what has become a dark time for a lot of us. Do not only share them in the comments here, but please share your ideas on social media and with family and friends. If ever inspiration and positivity were needed it is at a time like this!