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Opinions | The beauty of the human spirit: Becoming connected across the distance

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Over the past few weeks, life has taken a full one-eighty due to the novel coronavirus. So­cial media is oversaturated with negative stories of the virus’ out­come, so it can be difficult to find positivity.

It can be draining to see nega­tive news constantly, but remem­ber that where there is bad news, there’s also good news. Despite being away from friends and family, we are somehow more connected than ever through technology.

Trying times like these remind us of the beauty of the human spirit, and how contagious being kind can be.

After searching online for some good news, I came up with a list of a few heartwarm­ing highlights that showcase how wonderful humanity can be — especially when faced with a communal challenge.

A neighbourhood birthday cel­ebration

Sophie, an eight-year-old girl from the United Kingdom, was upset that her birthday party was cancelled due to the virus. Her parents sent a request to neighbours through Facebook, asking if they could send her a happy birthday wish or drop off a card to their front door. To her surprise, Sophie went outside to find the entire street singing “Happy Birthday.” The video has gone viral, cheering up the na­tion, since it was posted online.

Music therapy on balconies

Italy was one of the first coun­tries to go under complete lock­down due to the pandemic, as there have been over 101,000 cases and 11,000 deaths as of March 30. Despite the tragic times, people across the country have been staying connected by playing music from their balco­nies.

Some musicians have been offering free concerts from roof­tops to cheer up their neigh­bours.

A caregiver in Spain took their Alzheimer patient on the balco­ny so he could play his harmon­ica and listen to the cheering crowd. Similar acts have oc­curred in other countries, such as Spain, France, Iraq, Lebanon, Germany, India and the United States.

Volunteers test experimental COVID-19 vaccine

On March 3, the Kaiser Per­manente Washington Research Institute started recruiting par­ticipants for the testing of their new experimental COVID-19 vaccine. Two weeks later, four in­dividuals volunteered in a phase one clinical trial that the federal government sponsored.

The trial needed to recruit 45 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 55 years. However, the team closed the recruitment be­cause of the positive response of people interested.

A 13-year-old makes 3D print­ed masks

In Falls Church, Virginia, 13-year-old Charles Randolph decided to use his parents’ 3D printer to print off masks for those who need them. He espe­cially wanted to help his great uncle, who is in a vulnerable po­sition as he needs a heart trans­plant.

While the masks may not be best for health-care profession­als, he is looking into where he can donate them.

Engagement announced through a window

A North Carolina woman told her grandfather she got en­gaged through the window of his isolated care home. Similar situations have been document­ed across North America, with grandparents even meeting their newborn grandchildren through their windows. Despite the diffi­cult times, love has never been stronger.

Vancouver residents applaud health-care workers

Rory Richard, a resident of Vancouver’s West End, started a Facebook event requesting for locals to cheer every night for health-care workers on the front lines. Other places have also tak­en part in the practice, such as France, Denmark, the UK, South America and India.

Retired man plays piano for his community

An 84-year-old profession­al pianist played music for the residents in isolation at his re­tirement home in Boulder. He was supposed to be at a Québec music conference but decided to hold a physically distant concert instead.

Surprise drive-thru gender re­veal celebration

After a couple had to cancel their gender reveal party because of COVID-19, they hosted a dig­ital one via Facebook live. Over video, they told their friends and family that they were expecting a girl. To their great surprise, cars started to drive past with pink balloons, streamers and signs in celebration of the news.

This op-ed was written by a University of Saskatchewan undergraduate student and reflects the views and opinions of the writer. If you would like to write a rebuttal, please email opinions@thesheaf.com.

Sophia Lagimodiere | Outreach Director

Photo: Flickr / Elin B

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