Our current global situation is something that none of us could have imagined just a few months ago. Since originating in Wuhan, COVID-19 has spread rapidly around the world, causing many communities to self-isolate in a bid to flatten the curve and stop the virus spreading.
While the UK government has stopped short of announcing plans for a full-scale lockdown, drastic measures are being taken to ensure the safety of the population, which now include full school closures, flight restrictions and limited use of public transport. The measures, while needed, have left many people feeling anxious, creating an air of tension both online and in the outside world.
Thankfully though, in times of crisis, the best parts of humanity often shine through. While the negative impact of coronavirus continues to dominate global conversation, many acts of kindness are taking place amid the unrest. From local communities offering to collect groceries for elderly neighbours, to teachers tutoring pupils via video call, self-isolation is seeing people band together more than ever before.
So if you are in need of something to smile about, scroll down to see all the acts of good happening in the world right now.
- Restaurants are giving away free coffee and discount food to NHS workers
Our NHS staff work hard every single day, but now some of the UK’s most popular restaurants and cafes are working together to offer UK healthcare professionals free food and drinks.
2. A London orchestra is playing outside people’s homes to keep spirits up
If you are missing the sound of music, look no further than The World Harmony Orchestra. The ensemble of professional musicians are lending their services to help cheer up those self-isolating in London.
Putting out a call on the orchestra’s website, the group announced they would be offering ‘emotional support’ to their community by offering to play outside homes in the local area for free. All you have to do is send them a message here.
3. CO2 emissions and pollution levels have drastically dropped in China
According to the BBC, CO2 emissions in mainland China have significantly decreased since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Researchers in New York have said that carbon monoxide gas (mainly produced by cars) has also fallen by 50% in comparison to last year. Images from NASA and the ESA satellites also show a significant reduction in NO2 levels.
4. Supermarkets have introduced ‘silver hour’ to help vulnerable shoppers
With supermarket shelves getting emptier by the day, many of the leading chains have implemented a dedicated ‘silver hour’. The initiative gives elderly and vulnerable shoppers the chance to shop before everybody else, with some stores now extending the hours to include health workers too.
5. Fashion students are using excess materials to create face masks for hospital workers in Prague
Students from the Fashion Design Studio in Prague are using dead stock to create face masks for local hospital staff.
According to one student, people in the Czech Republic are already running out of protective clothing, with a mass shortage countrywide. In order to combat the lack of essentials, students are stepping in and using excess materials to create masks for healthcare workers and the elderly.
6. Beauty companies are giving free toiletries to people in need
With people panic-buying groceries and toiletries worldwide, many of us are finding it difficult to get hold of basic essentials.
In order to ease the pressure on supermarkets, independent soap company Nuddy is offering free vegan soap bars to help people stay clean at home. Charities are also stepping in, with Beauty Banks raising over £85,000 to provide those in need with basic hygiene essentials. Coconut oil brand Lucy Bee has also stepped in to help, donating over 30,000 natural soap bars to charities across the UK.
7. An online therapy service is offering free sessions to elderly people self-isolating
With many elderly people now self-isolating for extended periods of time, loneliness is becoming an increasing concern.
In order to help with the problem, therapists around the country are offering their services for free via the Help Hub app. Originally starting as a small initiative in west Oxfordshire, the therapy tool is now expanding nationwide, offering vulnerable elderly people free 20-minute sessions online.
8. A musician has created an online choir called ‘The Sofa Singers’
With self-isolation putting a stop to most social activities, many people are at a loss with what to do with their free time.
In order to help those quarantined feel less isolated, musician James Sills has set up weekly online choir rehearsals. Using video tool Zoom, the program allows up to 500 virtual singers to join in from the comfort of their sofas. All you have to do is sign up here.
9. Online clothing retailers are donating proceeds to charity
Now might seem like a funny time to online shop, but some companies are making sure that clothing purchases are helping those in need.
Among them is Three Graces London, which is donating 100% of net sales for the next two weeks to homeless charity Crisis. Similarly, French label Sézane is donating 10% of profits to an emergency fund set up to support hospitals in France.
10. Musicians are livestreaming concerts from their living rooms
If you’ve had a gig cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, you may be happy to know that some of your favourite artists are offering concerts for free.
Coming to you live from their living rooms, artists like Pink and Christine and The Queens have been singing on livestream for self-isolating fans. Taking the initiative one step further, Australian musicians have banded together to create a full-blown IGTV festival, with 75 performers livestreaming sets over the weekend.
Originally published at https://www.refinery29.com on March 19, 2020.