By Amber Avila
The efforts that many people have taken during this worldwide pandemic to help others have been truly amazing to witness. In this anxious time due to COVID-19, people around the world have on countless occasions stepped up and put others’ needs before their own. From doctors to grocery store workers to first responders to children drawing messages in chalk, people have often completed selfless actions. In a time of toilet paper hoarding and people ignoring social distancing orders by prioritizing their pride over health, many people are fighting not only spreading a disease, but spreading negativity.
The pressure and uncertainty that come with hardship bring to light who we really are. Patterns in our words, actions and the way we treat others showcase our true character. So it is very important to continue helping others in these unprecedented times.
There is no question that essential workers and first responders have become heroes during the pandemic. Not only does continuing to work with the public expose them to the viru, but it has also separated them from their loved ones as they work long hours. For example, doctors and nurses who work in the Intensive Care Unit are consistently at risk of getting ill as they care for patients who are infected by the virus and other illnesses. The commitment and strength these essential workers devote to their work during this frightening time is astounding and honorable. One trait of selflessness that has become apparent from their consistent actions is sacrifice, as they continually put themselves in danger for the safety of strangers.
However, it is not only essential workers and first responders but also people at work and those staying at home who have gotten involved in many different ways. There have been people going out of their way to donate to charities and food banks or buying groceries for elderly neighbors, and more.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention recently advised Americans to start wearing protective face coverings in public places. Many companies have now begun making face masks such as Old Navy, Reformation, Anthropologie, Target and more. Brands doing so are selling directly to consumers or donating them to health care workers and others in need through purchases.
Numerous sewing experts at home have also joined this cause, making masks for people and medical centers in need of them. For example, Elizabeth D’Antonio, a retired nurse practitioner and costume designer in Maryland brought together a group of 15 people to make masks for the Anne Arundel Medical Center. Many of them already owned a lot of fabric which inspired them to use their extra time to do something useful. It is heartwarming to see companies and local people stepping up in this time of need by going out of their way to make these products.
“It feels good to be able to do something because you feel helpless in this whole thing,” D’Antonio said in an interview with The Washington Post.
According to Bernstein Research and Apptopia, the app Zoom has been the top free app for iPhone users to download in the United States. It’s daily downloads have also increased 30 times year-over-year since March 18. Whether it is celebrating a birthday, having trivia nights, or simply talking with one another, many of us are still making an effort to stay connected virtually. Through actions like this, we show our care and love for others through generosity. Although these times are difficult, there have been growing acts of kindness as many are reaching out to others and giving without any expectation of something in return.
Students at Granada Hills Charter High School (GHC) have also been taking action. Juniors Sarah Shapiro and Skye Loventhal started “The Covid NineTEEN Project,” a student led organization that offers free online tutoring and fun activities for elementary school students. Shapiro and Loventhal started the program to use their free time during social distancing to spark social change, and since then, the organization has grown swiftly. It offers daily tutoring for staple school subjects such as English, science and history, as well as fun activities including yoga, Zumba, art challenges, dancing, bingo, and more. Their goal is to provide easy access to fun and engaging activities for young students during this time of uncertainty.
“I was inspired to get involved with this project because I wanted to do something positive and productive with my time in quarantine. Not everyone has the same access to educational or entertainment resources during this time, so I hope that our free program is able to provide that for some people. I also just love working with kids, and I hope that our program is able to brighten someone’s day or provide an escape from the scary reality that we are living in,” junior Danielle Anz said.
No matter what is going on, we should always strive to act with humility and be there for others consistently. The world now more than ever is in more need of kindness as many things are worrisome and up in the air. It is not worth openly defying social distancing orders or wanting to life them as it puts everyone at risk. At this time of need, it is crucial to be more concerned about our health and safety rather than complain about wanting to get a haircut from a salon.