Perspectives on the week’s headlines
By Liza Horan, Editor
Caring becomes a core story of coronavirus coverage
Heads, habits and now hearts are wrapping themselves around the new realities of life that Covid-19 has brought to more than 200 countries.
While we watch the overall numbers climb — 640,000 cases and 30,000 deaths across the world — we can take some hope that hard-hit areas are finally seeing the rate of infection decline. Yet the virus’ path continues.
Amid the pain — physically for those trying to survive severe symptoms and emotionally for those whose loved ones are suffering, and both physically and emotionally for those treating patients — the fear, anxiety and uncertainty, there have been moments of uplift.
Caring about one another has become a lead story.
Sympathetic Supply Chain: Manufacturers are pivoting their usual production resources to make medical supplies. “The most high-profile example has been the effort by industrial powerhouses to manufacture 30,000 medical ventilators, with household names such as Airbus, Dyson, Ford and Rolls-Royce all pitching in with expertise and resources. The banking group HSBC moved to help ventilator manufacturers by offering fast-track loan applications, cheaper interest rates and extended repayment terms,” The Guardian writes.
The fashion and beauty sectors have risen to the challenge, too. Companies from Crocs to Prada, Estee Lauder and L’Oreal are providing footwear, hand sanitiser and other support programs for health workers and those in need. Never has haute couture been so accessible. Here’s how British fashion designers are contributing.
Gin and whisky distillers across the British isles also have been producing alcohol-based hand gel.
Economic Support: Governments have enacted legislation to help support workers and companies during the crisis, as many people are out of work due to ordered shut-downs of all but essential businesses. The UK government’s initial workers support scheme left out self-employed and freelance workers — which are what most mind-body-spirit practitioners are — so a plan was devised for them. In the US, a $2 trillion stimulus package covers salary relief. While the annual IRS tax deadline has been extended to 15 July, the IRS doesn’t yet have information on how the stimulus payment checks will be handled for tax.
Meanwhile, some sectors of the economy are booming: In the UK, grocery stores need 35,000 new workers, home care service Cera needs 10,000, and there are others hiring. The farming industry is hiring to keep the food supply chain running smooth — and seed sales are up because people are starting to grow their own produce.
And Forbes reports that Amazon is hiring 100,000 people to fulfill online orders, among other companies with open slots.
Activism: People are stepping up to help — in unprecedented numbers. The NHS asked for 250,000 volunteers and more than 750,000 responded to the call. “Those signing up will be helping to deliver shopping and medication to those in need, transport patients and NHS equipment, or check in and chat on the phone with individuals at risk of loneliness as a result of self-isolation,” wrote the Evening Standard.
The Guardian has put together a thorough list of questions surrounding volunteerism with lots of leads various ways to get involved. The British Red Cross in Scotland has launched ReadyScotland.org to accept volunteers to support efforts.
Kindness: Neighbours have been reaching out to other neighbours to see how they can assist those who can’t get out for groceries or medications. Insider.com has rounded up some global acts of kindness.
Conversation: Organisations have grown their phone banks to meet isolation with open ears and warm words. There are several phones lines offering help and seeking volunteers. MentalHealth.org offers a list.
“Extra money is being directed into mental health services to help people struggling with symptoms of anxiety and depression. A total of £2.6 million is being spent increasing the Breathing Space and the Mental Health Hub phone lines and web services, providing telephone support around the clock for people who are struggling to cope,” TheTimes.co.uk reported. “Another £1.2 million has been allocated to expand online cognitive behaviour therapy sessions to help people manage their symptoms.”
Breathing Space: Open parks, quiet pavements and deserted streets have become our natural playgrounds and gyms. And with transport suspended by land, sea and air, pollution has dropped drastically. ” “It’s the first time in history we’ve seen something like this,” The New York Times quoted Marco Percoco, an associate professor of transportation economics at Bocconi University in Milan.”
Connection: The miracle of Internet video is making live (yet remotely produced) comedy, music and arts performances feel like face-to-face communal socialising.
Amid the lockdown, community has been reignited — locally and globally.
This will be a temporary situation, but we don’t know how temporary. We’re learning to respect each others’ space, hopefully having left panic behind (depending on where your country, city or neighborhood is on the timeline). Communities are slowly rising from fearing to caring.
Editor’s Note: The wellness industry’s services are in demand, for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. And many individuals and companies are rallying to deliver online what used to be in person, and many also are freely giving their time and services.
The mind-body-spirit disciplines can be a salve to devotees as well as those who may have been less inclined before this crisis.
The plan was to list some here, but the list keeps growing each day. To make it easy for people to learn about holistic disciplines, Mindstream is listing free online events from mind-body-spirit practitioners.
If you are a mind-body-spirit enthusiast and know of such free online happenings, please share this link with a provider so they can list their events: https://bit.ly/postmyfreeevent.
We truly believe that mind, body and spirit are connected, and the impact of coronavirus is targeting all three. Perhaps this is a time where some people will be more open to trying holistic disciplines, and those who already practice them can embrace them further. So, please help us help connect healers and seekers. We are in this together, and that’s how we’ll get through it. Thank you for being here.