We’re all living in unprecedented times of the coronavirus pandemic. Our lives have changed suddenly and dramatically.
It’s not something we’d ever have imagined living through. Many of us are reeling. Some of us are frightened too. And we’re all adapting to our ‘new normal’.
Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland said:
Life should not feel normal and, if it is, you should ask if you’re doing the right things. Nicola Sturgeon
Despite all this there are still glimmers of hope that spark joy in our daily lives. We may all feel physically far apart from one another at the moment, but these 12 small things remind us that we are still very much together.
Here are some of the most heartwarming ways we’ve connected during these strangest of times:
Clap for our Carers
On Thursday 26th March at 8pm families around the UK stood on their doorsteps and balconies to clap for their carers.
If you joined in you can’t fail to have been moved.
It came after a week of keeping our distance from one another. And it felt like we were together.
Landmarks across the UK were lit up. Fireworks soared across the skies.
And together communities clapped, banged pots and pans, whooped and cheered as we all made our thanks known to the NHS.
Right now, as the coronavirus hits hard, people are connecting with their neighbours more than ever before.
Some are posting cards through elderly neighbour’s doors, offering to drop off food and medicines.
Others are texting nearby family and friends to offer help.
Even when we walk once a day we smile and greet the people we pass (from afar).
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
We are all cherishing our walks outside once a day.
And one heartwarming way people are making those walks more enjoyable for kids is by placing teddy bears in their windows.
Children can go on a Bear Hunt as they walk around their neighbourhood, spotting as many teddies as they can along the way.
It’s been a beautiful way to let kids know the community is still thinking of them, even when they need to stay at a distance physically.
Who’s Zooming Who?
Anyone who had never heard of the apps Zoom and Houseparty will certainly be familiar with them now.
These days, more than ever we want to stay in touch with our family and friends. Since we can’t see them in person we’re embracing technology to meet up virtually.
Families are organising weekly meet-ups and ‘pub quizzes’.
Classes we attended are going on line. We’re all connecting up and chatting and doing the things we love over apps.
And it brings a whole lot of cheer to our days.
In a way we’re lucky that this time of isolation has come when we have the technology to meet up virtually and connect online.
As One We Sing
While in isolation, communities have been joining together to spread a little cheer.
We have all seen videos of streets in Italy singing together over balconies. And it’s happening here too.
Residents in blocks of flats in Edinburgh all sang The Proclaimers song “Sunshine on Leith” from their balconies.
We may be isolated, but it’s a reminder that we’re all still in this together.
Virtual Clubs and Classes to the Rescue
Celebs have set up free virtual classes that we can all join in for free. Millions are taking part in Joe Wicks 9am P.E. sessions each day.
Thousands are joining Gareth Malone’s Home Chorus at 5.30pm each evening.
And so many children are hearing their bedtime stories read to them by celebs. Such as David Walliams who has released 30 free audio books on his website, one every day for 30 days.
They have all been so generous in offering online apps, clubs and classes for free (or at a heavily discounted price).
We now have a full schedule of virtual activities to choose from while stuck at home. Which feel almost as good as the real thing.
NHS workers Groove on Down to Olly Murs
Ant & Dec appealed to viewers to send in videos of themselves dancing to Olly Murs’ ‘I Just Want you to Dance with Me Tonight’.
It was their first ever broadcast without a live studio audience. And they wanted to end their Saturday Night Takeaway with the best ‘End of the Show Show’ by airing videos of their audience dancing.
The montage brought many viewers to tears. Families, children, the elderly and champion NHS workers danced to the track.
It was hard to watch without grinning from ear to ear. And holding back the tears.
Boredom Buster Sharing Like Never Before
Parents everywhere have all suddenly become home educators, from one day to the next.
The lucky ones have online work made available to them from schools which kids can follow.
Many more are floundering. It’s harder if one or both parents have to work from home AND educate/entertain cooped up kids.
From day one of the lockdown homeschooling websites, YouTube and Facebook Groups and Pages stepped in to help.
Here at Mas & Pas you can join our own Facebook groups:
Which have daily tips, crafts, activities and resources to keep the kids amused, learning and busy.
But, more than anything, groups like these help us stay connected. We can share what we’re doing with each other, what’s working (and what’s not) so that nobody feels alone.
Kids all over the UK (who have suddenly found themselves home schooled) are joining together by painting and creating rainbow pictures to hang up in their windows.
They spread a little colour and happiness when everyone walks by, getting their daily exercise.
If you’ve spotted rainbows in windows you will know how much they make you smile.
Waste Not, Want Not
At first there was panic buying. And very soon supermarket shelves were stripped bare. Food became hard to find.
Now things appear to be recovering, but every household now is more aware of food waste than ever before.
We’re all checking used by dates and making sure nothing goes to waste. We’re cooking from scratch and Googling or inventing new recipes.
Food supplies are precious and we’re making the most of what we’ve got to limit trips to buy more.
When all this is over we hope that we will all have developed habits to be less wasteful of foods. And more creative in what we can use up to create meals from ingredients we’ve got.
Family Time, Times a Zillion
It’s unlikely that we’ll all face a situation like this in the future. So we may never get this time together as a family again.
Exams and revision are cancelled, pressure is taken off school work. Whether you’re having to work from home or not, there will still suddenly be acres of time that you’re in the house.
Your commute is no more. And families are having to spend each and every hour of each and every day together.
We’re doing jigsaws, playing board and card games, snuggling up to watch movies, crafting around the table.
We’re involving the kids (big and little) in the cooking and tidying and cleaning.
It’s a weird time but one we’re unlikely to get again. We should try to remember that it will end.
In the meantime we can enjoy (rather than resent) our family time together.
Our Planet is Healing
As air flight has ground to halt and we’ve all been restricted by social distancing and isolation measures, our planet has found a little time to breathe.
Pollution levels have dramatically decreased in cities. Both China and northern Italy have recorded major falls in nitrogen dioxide.
As we pause, the environment is getting a little chance to pause and heal too.
Right now we’re facing a dangerous situation and the biggest change to our everyday lives in a generation.
We’re all in lockdown. Some days can feel OK. Others feel scary and unsettled. Right now, we’re all holding our breaths and waiting for the worse to come, and hopefully to pass us over.
It’s natural to feel anxious right now, but remember, there’s a whole lot of love out there.
We might be apart. But together we stand.