How Acts of Kindness are Boosting Moods in Communities During the Coronavirus Crisis

On August 28th, 2005, I sat in the backseat of a Ford minivan for 16 hours. It took my family 16 hours to complete the 350-mile trip from New Orleans, Louisiana, to our evacuation destination of Eldorado, Arkansas. Hurricane Katrina was responsible for our involuntary road trip and subsequently, the destruction of the city of New Orleans. The mayor’s last-minute evacuation orders were clear: physical distance was mandatory for survival. As we literally inched our way on I-55 South, I ironically felt a sense of comfort in the cramped backseat; a Category 5 natural disaster was approaching, but the five members of the Thomas family were physically together under one (car) roof.

Fifteen years later, it is mandated that I physically distance once again, but contrary to Katrina, I am safest remaining at home but sadly away from my family—my emotional support. Typically, during crises, we spend additional time with loved ones for emotional connection. Because physical interaction has been drastically limited, responsible people currently in quarantine are relying on online communication platforms and social media channels for human connection.  We have never experienced anything like COVID-19 before, and it is crucial we stay optimistic during this unfamiliar crisis. We are not stuck at home, we are safe at home. One word can transform your attitude.

The benefits of staying positive through uncertainty are not just about feeling better — they impact the outcome…If you can stay positive and keep your mental traction through crises, you’ll be much more able to come up with solutions to problems and solve key issues. This is true in life and in business.

-Dr. Larry Senn, The Importance of Being Positive in the Face of Uncertainty

While you will probably be unable to discover a cure for the virus in your kitchen (but if you do, I will be thoroughly impressed!), it is easier to recognize solutions for dilemmas when you maintain a positive mental state. Across the globe, people are understandably filled with fear and angst. Acts of kindness will boost peoples’ moods, so act selflessly and share your stories.

Charlotte Bredael, 18, of Newcastle, England, noticed Facebook posts from parents explaining how devastated their children were because they were unable to make their awaited Disneyland trips. As a result, she jumped into action (rather, character). Bredael owns a small business that allows parents to hire beloved Disney characters for their child’s birthday parties. “I thought that if the kids weren’t able to meet a princess at Disney World, it might make it a little bit better for them if they could have a video from a princess.” After receiving a glowing report from the parents on the lifted spirit of their child, Bredael decided to continue creating these videos for children feeling scared or sad.

On Thursday, March 26, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised Barbadian singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman Rihanna along with the Rihanna Foundation for donating Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to New York State. “Personal protective equipment” is an umbrella term that includes any garment or equipment designed to protect from injury or infection. Currently New York has reported 10 times more positive COVID-19 cases than any other US state.

Owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and prominent entrepreneur Mark Cuban vowed to help small businesses during the crisis. He conducted a Q&A seminar for small-business owners via LinkedIn, and on March 13th, Cuban announced that the American Airlines Center’s staff would be paid in full for the six canceled home games they were scheduled to work.

Whether you were one of many TownSq users using the forum to create a safe donation and distribution system for supplies for the elders of your community, or you were (6 feet) behind a customer in a checkout line and witnessed a stranger pay for a shopper’s groceries when they were short on cash, share the deed with us at community@townsq.io! Let it inspire others to continue the positivity, let acts of kindness be contagious.

Created by Olivia Thomas, TownSq Product Manager