Finding the good in the world even during troubled times

BY CARMEN FANNING

“Don’t worry about a thing, because every little thing is gonna be alright.” 

The famous lyric by Bob Marley still rings true today. In a time of panic and confusion, we must look for the light in this scary situation. It’s easy to get caught up in all the negativity surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, but there is still a lot of good going on. 

All over the world, people are coming together. If anything, this situation is teaching us to truly value all the little moments of life we take for granted and that at the core we are all the same.

For once, people are recognizing the importance of small-paying jobs. Medical workers, grocery workers, sanitation personnel, first-responders, mail carriers and so many more are the people keeping America going during this difficult time. They’re risking their lives every day for the sake of our comfort and safety. These people work behind the scenes to keep the world going round. 

Locally, the Hays community is doing its part to make this transition a little easier for everyone. Companies all over town have donated their time to help others. When students were forced to move off-campus, fellow students helped those living on campus to move their belongings for free. Additionally, Eagle Communications is offering free wifi to students in the area. 

To combat the feeling of loneliness, the Hays community brought back Draggin’ Main. Back in the day, fellow Hays citizens would pack Main Street with their cars to chat and hang out. 

“Let’s teach our kids what it was like back in the day when driving together was the best Friday night activity there was,” stated a Facebook post by The Bricks in Downtown Hays.

Other surrounding towns, such as Victoria, also participated in their own Draggin Main events. 

Students also have access to Tiger Care Team, a platform for students to connect with during this stressful time. All students received an email asking about the safety, security and academic support available to them. If any student were to lack any of these, they can reach out to a member on the team for help. 

For those staying on campus, McMindes Hall is offering take-out meals. Students with dining dollars can choose from a selection of meals to pick up and take home with them. The campus is also allowing students who can’t go home to stay on campus. The Hays community, along with the university, are ensuring everyone has the resources they need.

Nationwide, hospitals lack gloves and masks. A photo from the New York Post even show nurses using trash bags as a means of defense. People are taking it upon themselves to sew masks for the nurses and doctors on the frontline. Doctors and nurses are risking their lives every day with this rapidly increasing pandemic. The demand for gloves and masks can’t compete with the accelerated spread of the virus. 

According to the New York Times, people with the ability to sew are coming together to utilize their talents to help doctors and nurses all over the world.

“They are making masks for America, much as a previous generation manufactured ammunition and tended ‘victory gardens’ during World War II,” the article said. “Legions of sewers, called to duty in a matter of days via social media and word of mouth, their skills no longer taken for granted or dismissed as a mere hobby. They are working in living rooms, at kitchen tables and inside shuttered storefronts.”

The National Health Service in London issued a public service announcement for retired doctors and nurses to help at the hospitals. 

According to the London Economic the government sent out a cry, “Your NHS Needs You.” Nearly 4,500 retired nurses and doctors answered the call within 48 hours. It was a great display of public support to tackle the virus.

In a March article from Syracuse University, Isaac Budmen and Stephanie Keefe, of Budmen Industries in Liverpool, N.Y., are using the means of their 3D printer company to help those at their local hospital. The couple is mass-producing face shields for coronavirus testing sites. These shields are vital for the workers there to eliminate their exposure to the virus. 

“It just sort of felt right to us to do what we could to help the situation,” Budmen said. “I just said we’ll get it done. We’re really not looking to make money off the county in this crisis. We’re just sort of looking to get through it as fast as we can,” they said in the article.

People all over are using little free libraries to help others. These are public bookcases found in many cities where people can leave books for others to take for free. The goal is to promote paying it forward. In a recent article by Mental Floss, people have begun to leave food, toilet paper and other necessities in these bookcases to lend a helping hand. 

“Many of the makeshift pantries encourage people to pay it forward with handwritten messages like, ‘Take what you need, share what you can,’ and other similar adaptations of Little Free Library’s ‘Take a book, leave a book’ motto,” Ellen Gutoskey of Mental Floss said in the article.

This is a great way to help those who can’t make it to the grocery store or can’t afford the necessities to survive this trying time. 

Schools and universities nationwide have switched classes to online. The world could use a daily dose of happiness. Yale University is offering a free class, The Science of  Well-Being. The class discusses and teaches how to be happy. You can enroll in the class here

Professor Laurie Santo’s course description says class topics will cover misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change. 

“You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life,” Santo said.

China is slowly but surely returning back to normal life. In a recent New York Times article, the Chinese government reports no new local infections. Citizens can now walk around with their masks on and slowly return to normal life. We can look to China with hope that we can and will get through this. 

“As life in China returns to a semblance of normality, many people are moving on,” the article states.

China is now using its knowledge and resources for controlling the virus to help other countries. 

“China is mounting a diplomatic offensive to help as the rest of the world struggles to get the virus under control,” said NYT analysts Steven Myers and Alissa Rubin. “From Japan to Iraq, Spain to Peru, it has provided or pledged humanitarian assistance in the form of donations or medical expertise.”

There are so many other positive things we can look to during this time. If you have a place to quarantine, you’re privileged. If you have toilet paper or food, you’re privileged. If you have running water, you are privileged. So many other people around the world don’t have access to these. There is still so much good in the world. 

We will get through this.

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