How quickly we’ve gone from social distancing to sheltering in place.
To the realization that somehow our world has irrevocably changed.
In the meantime, we sneak out for food, to hunt down toilet paper and stock up on wine. We take a walk, go for a bike ride to help manage stress. We follow the news, trying to figure out why the rest of the country isn’t as terrified by the scale of this insidious disease as we are. What’s important is following the rules because people’s lives are at stake.
A shoutout to Andrew Cuomo
Governor Cuomo had the vision to understand the implications of this disease and acted decisively because the Trump administration was caught up in its usual blame game. Cuomo shut down restaurants, bars and other nonessential businesses. He turned the Javits Center into a hospital. He called recently retired doctors and nurses back to work to help relieve the healthcare staff who are working punishing shifts. Medical students are graduating early and joining them, as mental-health professionals volunteer their time.
Thanks to the people who are volunteering, filling a need and doing their jobs
- New York’s City Harvest has ramped up its collection and distribution of food for those who need it. According to its CEO: “What I’ve seen is an outpouring of people wanting to help.”
- Medical teams, Ill-equipped and understaffed, trying to come up with creative ways to balance their existing patient load with the daily onslaught of new cases.
- Hospital engineers are scrambling to overhaul rooms so that contaminated air doesn’t escape. Sanitation teams are challenged as they work to disinfect hospital facilities.
- A tweeting trucker, Shannon Newton tweeted: “If you see a truck driver this week, please thank them. They are putting in long hours, under stressful circumstances, to ensure life’s essentials get restocked.” Think about Shannon when you go to your supermarket and find empty shelves—or find that they’ve been restocked.
- A San Francisco mom, Lori Jabagchourian, saw that a hospital needed supplies. With the help of friends who own now-shuttered hair and nail salons, Jabagchourian has secured 42,000 gloves, more than 1,300 face masks, 25 bottles of hand sanitizer and gallons of antiseptic–all stacked in her garage.
- In Poland, Joanna Cieslik’s restaurant was closed down. She’s now cooking nourishing food for the elderly, sick and homeless, using crowdfunding to pay for food.
- In Australia, with most shops closed and people self-isolating, Gleebooks is delivering books by bicycle to those stuck in their homes.
- An Iranian public health researcher: “Many medical staff have not been home for more than a month. They’re working 24/7. Many have lost their lives here.”
- Marta Listwan created a Facebook group, Visible Hand, that coordinates volunteer efforts such as dog walking for people who can’t leave their homes–17,000+ volunteers and counting.
The heroes of this pandemic are working hard to help their communities and their customers
What if this were the biggest change that came out of all of this?