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During these times of physical distancing, it is easy to feel disconnected from our loved ones, friends, and communities. “Stay at Home” orders protect all of us, but there’s no denying the emotional toll of the coronavirus pandemic. The virus’s broad effects make for an undeniably stressful situation. However,  this does not mean that we should be hopeless, or give up with connecting with those around us.

Messages of Hope

With creative ways to send messages of gratitude, a few simple gestures are bringing hope throughout our “stay at home” events. Many individuals have taken to putting up uplifting signs in their windows or yards for neighbors to see. A simple gesture like a yard sign can rekindle a sense of community during this time of distance. It shows that even without a phone or computer, human beings have an amazing capability of harboring connection. 

This past week, we were delighted and honored to have witnessed this practice with some of our own clients. As our caregivers are continuing to provide our services to clients in need, their bravery cannot receive enough thanks. Recently, a client displayed a beautiful symbol of their own gratitude by placing a sign on their porch reading: “Heroes work here. Thank You!” 

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This simple expression of thanks means so much to workers such as those working for New Wave Home Care. Now more than ever, our caregivers, healthcare professionals, and other essential workers display true selflessness by reporting to work each day for the sake of helping others. Bringing awareness to the tireless efforts of these individuals reaffirms the amazing work they are doing. 

Acts of Kindness

In some locations, people have been partaking in other creative communicative forms with neighbors. A recent article by the New York Times details communities around the world taking part in neighborhood stuffed animal hunts. Those who participate place stuffed animals in their windows or yards for children (and their families) to find when on walks. The activity requires no interaction, but provides joy and a fun sense of engagement in places where typical interactive activities are currently prohibited. 

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Photo credit: The New York Times

Recently, other simple acts of kindness have included providing donations and support for essential workers or others in need. Individuals and even a few private organizations have taken to making breathing masks to donate to hospitals and other facilities. In the past few weeks, independent internet users have published hundreds if not thousands of free tutorials on how to make masks. In many locations, community homeless shelters and food banks have found ways to adjust protocols in order to still take donations. This includes updating donation lists to respond to the current health crisis.

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Coming Together, Virtually

Some social distancing events currently taking place are working on a more virtual level. Many people have found new ways to utilize social media and other technological aids. On any given day, live videos on Facebook and Instagram provide dance classes, sing alongs, and many other interactive programs. Applications such as group FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom are also allowing people to gather virtually. Many people might use one such application during working hours for meetings or online classes. Now, they have also proven perfect for socializing while social distancing. Families, friends, and even religious groups have taken to using video chat as a way to come together while physical gathering remains out of the question. 

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Staying Positive

Although none of these gestures of kindness can fully supplement our “normal” day-to-day experiences, they can help us remain positive. While we are currently facing a lot of challenges, we can also remember our beacons of hope. Our caregivers, doctors, nurses, and other essential workers shine a light on all that we should remain grateful for. From a yard sign to a donation campaign to a video-chat church gathering, there is also a lot to partake in right now. Although our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 create physical distance, we must continue to spread gratitude, hope, and kindness during these strange times.