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Uncommon humanity in these trying times…

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I am a believer in the saying that there is always some silver lining in the sky. Although, sometimes (and especially in these times), one has to really look hard to find it.

It is just always there!
Amidst the current onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, unusual humanity has also sprung up in various parts of the world. Perhaps, this is even the whole point of the times.

I mean, nature trying to teach us the hard way that we are happier and better off united, kind, sacrificing, humane, courageous, and compassionate.I have taken my time to put together uncommon humanity from some parts of the world…as documented in the media. There is always something that each of us can take home from such endeavours in these times.

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And like someone advised, rather than promote “fear-mongering’’ we should actually preach and live “care-mongering.’’

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do”- Eleanor Roosevelt.

While one-fourth of the globe is on lockdown, it is uplifting to know that someone somewhere still deems it fit to extend uncommon gestures of humanity to others.

In Turkey, even as there is lockdown to curb the spread of the Coronavirus, the people began to leave food packets on the road for the poor and the needy.

Frankly, this to me is humanity! When some people are hoarding food, others are sparing a thought for the have-nots.A priest in Italy refused to use a respirator his parishioners had bought for him, and instead gave it to a younger patient he did not know. The priest died some days later at the age of 72. If this is not sainthood, I don’t know what that is!

World-class football managers (like Jose Mourinho) became volunteers for NGOs supplying food to the elderly. Some footballers and their managers are beginning to donate huge sums towards the fight against the virus. Asian businessman, Jack Ma, even extended charitable gestures to African countries with supplies of the necessities to fight the virus.

According to Facebook, hundreds of thousands of people in the United Kingdom had joined local support groups set up for the virus, while similar groups have been formed in Canada, sparking a trend there known as “care-mongering.”

Their activities range from volunteers, donating money, sharing recipes and exercise ideas, sending uplifting messages to self-isolating elderly people. People have even transformed their businesses into food distribution centers. Supermarkets in Australia created a special group called “elderly hour”… so older shoppers and those with disabilities have a chance to shop in peace.

A fitness instructor in southern Spain was said to have led an exercise class from a low roof in the middle of an apartment complex, which residents in isolation joined from their balconies.

Some social-media users have taken it upon themselves to keep sharing suggestions of new hobbies as well as ideas on how to keep safe…in a bid to keep morale high.

An art teacher in the United States was said to have been live-streaming classes for children who are out of school, thereby inspiring them to get creative at home.

More than 35 Facebook groups have been set up under three days to serve communities and they already have more than 30,000 members between them. People are said to be joining the groups to offer help to others within their communities, particularly those who are more at risk of health complications related to coronavirus.

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The virus has also highlighted the importance of health workers and other people working in key services. Thousands of Europeans are said to have taken to their balconies and windows to applaud the doctors and nurses fighting the virus, while medical students in London have volunteered to help healthcare professionals with childcare and household chores.

Many people have used the opportunity to reconnect with friends and loved ones over phone or video calls, while groups of friends have organized virtual clubbing or pub sessions using mobile apps.

Let us not forget the nations who rose to the call of responsible and humane governance in these trying times.Immediately the lockdown came into effect, some governments put in motion welfare packages for the unemployed and wage subsidies for small businesses and incentives to ensure workers do not lose their jobs.

While we face these stressful and uncertain times, let it not be lost on us that a key factor in fighting the pandemic is to have the courage to spare a thought towards those who cannot do much for themselves!

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