Amid the stress, fear and grief brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still glimmers of good news: Self-isolating Americans are rising to this unprecedented challenge to bring relief, comfort, moments of joy and glimpses of normalcy to a locked-down world.
In this week’s edition: Life finds a way.
Surprise: This week marked the 50th celebration of Earth Day, but social-distancing humans couldn't really make it to the party. Turns out, though, our absence might have been a better Earth Day gift than our presence ever was: As People Stay Home, Earth Turns Wilder and Cleaner. It's premature to say whether the clear skies and cleaner air we're seeing these days are here to stay; in the meantime, though, nature is giving us something beautiful to gaze at longingly from afar (bioluminescent dolphins, anyone?).
Not so fast, Earth: Human life goes on, mostly apace, under lockdown, as some creative workarounds allow people to keep celebrating important milestones. Like this dad using signs to announce his son's birth to family members anxiously awaiting news outside; like this couple who, after having to cancel their wedding, got their big day after all; like this boutique doing what it does best to provide for brides-to-be who are working on the front lines; like these bold people venturing online for romance from a distance; and like these hospital workers cheering for a patient upon his release after a month-long coronavirus battle.
And around the country, people are still clapping, cheering and singing in tribute to the healthcare and hospital workers fighting the virus. Iconic crooner Tony Bennett wants San Franciscans to join him in belting out his famous love song to the city on Saturday. And in New York, a Tony winner and former COVID-19 patient is serenading workers from his balcony.
Feeding the front lines: A family in Virginia, after finding out their son would be getting a liver transplant, raised more than $12,000 to feed hospital staff. After an entire family in New Jersey had recovered from COVID-19, they got to work cooking thousands of catered meals for medical workers. And the iconic NYC deli whose slogan became “Send a Salami to Your Boy in the Army” during World War II is now delivering matzoh ball soup to senior citizens, low-income residents and New York City health-care workers.
'You've got a friend in me': Tom Hanks donates typewriter to bullied 8-year-old named Corona.
Sports medicine: The virtual NFL draft this week has reinvigorated despondent sports fans, but the lack of baseball this spring still stings for some. From the AP: Mets PA Announcer Steps Up to the Plate.
Macias Konstantopoulos speaks Spanish and relays the story of a recent patient who broke down realizing she could understand him. “He began to cry and he said, ‘God has sent me to you because I have not been able to tell anyone about my symptoms.’” From NBC Boston: Hospital Interpreters Provide a Lifeline Through Language.