There is no denying that COVID-19 has had a harrowing effect on communities around the globe. From crippling healthcare systems to battering global economies, the pandemic has forced us to grow and adapt to a new normal.
Through that process, we have bravely come together to combat the widespread devastation the virus has caused. Here’s a list of 4 inspirational examples of communities responding to COVID-19 worldwide.
1) Small Businesses Donated to Organisations in Need
Often, it’s those with less to give that dig deepest when it comes to charity. This has been the case in North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, where a small local pharmacy donated an assortment of vital PPE gear and medical accessories (such as masks and latex gloves) to a senior center in need.
Another example is John Cho’s invention, My Pet Child, a website founded during the pandemic to support pet owners who have been furloughed or fired. The charitable business works with other companies and charities to provide financial aid to cover food and vet bills so owners don’t have to surrender their pets while they get back on their feet.
2) Virtual Tip Jars were Created
In response to the pandemic, a global grassroots movement emerged, referred to as ‘virtual tip jars’. The purpose of a virtual tip jar is to offer support to service industry workers whose income has been dramatically impacted by social distancing and stay-at-home directives. The initiative involves collating spreadsheets of worker names, Paypal accounts and places of employment so that customers can send a digital tip to their local hairdresser, favourite waitress or childcarer.
3) The #ClapBecauseWeCare Initiative was Born
While it’s difficult to tell who exactly coined this heart-warming hashtag, the spirit behind the movement was born in Wuhan, China, where COVID-19 first took hold. Residents took to their balconies to salute and cheer for frontline workers to praise them for their valiant efforts and sacrifices made in treating COVID-19 stricken victims. Celebrations then moved to hard-hit Italy and Mumbai. Before long, songs of gratitude could be heard all over the world, with Facebook events even set up to encourage nightly clapping displays for solidarity.
4) The LONDO Project
When the conflict-ravaged Central African Republic mandated the use of facial masks to limit the spread of COVID-19, Minister of Health Pierre Somsé found that the 10 million masks required could simply not be sourced internationally. In response, The World Bank created The LONDO Project, a community-supported initiative that hired over 18,000 locals to complete the work. In addition to creating much-needed PPE gear for citizens and frontline workers, the initiative aims to inject over $17 million back into the local economy and provide further employment opportunities to impoverished families.
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Despite the significant challenges that the world has faced as a result of the pandemic, COVID-19 has undoubtedly brought out the best in communities around the globe, encouraging a greater level of creativity, warmth, collaboration and understanding for our fellow man.