As the world copes with radical change — social distancing, economic distress, uncertainty and a barrage of emotions from calm to fury — I have not observed people reacting from a place of fear. Rather, I have witnessed an outpouring of love.
I see people embracing life through a new lens. I believe what has emerged is a deeper desire to truly live.
So, in the spirit of celebrating life, here are 9 redeeming stories of love in the age of Coronavirus — pulled from the news, my social media feed, and my personal life.
1. Redemption Song
What demonstration of love during the Coronavirus crisis could be more moving, more heartfelt, more touching and awe-invoking than the Italians, confined to lockdown, with windows burst open or spilling onto their balconies, rooftops and terraces, to sing?
Their music and voices erupted across vacant streets, reminding us of the unbreakable human spirit that survives even the most trying times.
Every social media post I see of people hiking, sungazing, or admiring budding life in spring brings a smile to my face.
I have found life’s simplicity (as we #canceleverything) causes nature’s gifts to feel that much more profound: birds chirping, damp Earth beneath my bare feet, fresh air, the setting sun, the phases of the moon….
3. Virtual Connection
Recently, I’ve seen community forged across oceans and borders.
Online community has been my solace throughout this time of social-distancing. I gather virtually with women daily on Zoom video calls for self-expression and dance breaks! It’s invigorating, inspiring and life-giving.
4. Rallying to Support
When South by Southwest (SXSW) cancelled, the economic implications for local Austin businesses and service industry employees was quickly understood. Corporations and individuals started brainstorming ways to help.
A friend’s company comes to mind: T3. The ad agency united to support folk financially impacted by the event cancellation. Their gofundme campaign surpassed their initial $5,000 goal within 24 hours, and has since exceeded $10,000 in donations. This is one example among a sea of support efforts.
5. Neighbors “Leaning In”
Friends in New York City have painted a hard-to-fathom image for me of their overnight ghost town. Yet amid the difficulties of adjusting to semi-isolation in a city designed for human interaction, they have formed unexpected connections and found ways to support one another.
I’ve been particularly moved by stories of individuals lending a hand to the elderly — purchasing their groceries or simply checking in.
6. Business Innovation
Small businesses worldwide are taking a financial hit, and in some cases, closing shop. Meanwhile, service industry employees and nonsalaried workers are grappling with anxiety about how to make ends meet.
But what I’ve had the good fortune to witness is business coaches encouraging entrepreneurs to pivot, not give up. I see innovators empowering others to build and grow thriving online businesses. (Props to my favorite business visionary, Emily Rose.)
7. Frontline Defense
Healthcare workers and first responders are putting their lives at risk to assist sick patients and protect against the spread of COVID-19. Their bravery and service is a selfless act of love.
8. Confronting Desire
Reverse psychology works. When we’re told we can’t have something, we hunger for it. And I think this very desire is what feeds our spirits and powers us through a challenging time. (Why am I suddenly craving clubbing and sweaty salsa dancing?!)
Another benefit of fewer distractions: time to reflect and do the things we’ve always said we wanted to do. I’m finally studying Spanish and practicing yoga daily.
9. Recognizing Mortality
We cannot consider the impacts of Coronavirus without considering death, loss and grief.
Death is my favorite muse. It gives love a sense of urgency. It inspires us to embrace life and one another more deeply than ever.
I see so much beauty right now, amidst the turbulence and uncertainty. Love always prevails.