I find it interesting that in times of crisis, we find ourselves coming together and supporting each other. Only in the face of something terrible, do we find our patriotism and connection. It’s an obscene but necessary reminder to slow down, to see the people beside you, taking up space in this big world and living a life with struggles and adventures and experiences and problems that you know nothing about.
Psychological research has actually confirmed this idea. In a test to determine people’s responses to acute stress, they asked participants to undergo a situation such as taking a math test or public speaking. Afterwards, they are asked to play a game with another participant that involves decision making and trust. The results showed that people who were put through a stressful situation were more likely to trust the other participant and tend to be more cooperative and prosocial. Of course, the stress of public speaking is minimal compared to the heightened stress of the global pandemic, but maybe, this is the world’s way of telling us to reconnect in great proportions.
Nevertheless, it’s definitely important to highlight the ways in which fear dissolves this country’s division. How in our darkest times, I’ve seen us shine the brightest.
From mid-March, the coronavirus pandemic has caused a complete lockdown in many areas of the world, driving people to sit in boredom, anxiousness, and worry at home. It was a time to reflect and remember how our lives really do depend on each other. There were multiple instances across the globe where people take to their balconies and sing to one another, applaud, and show gratitude through the universal language of music. Things like this really spread joy amidst all the sadness and worry. It’s things like this that we truly rely on, as people – to share that connection; our great equalizer.
From a lone trumpeter playing across the deserted streets of Italy, to people gathering on a balcony to thank essential workers by making noise with kitchenware in Amritsar, India.
From classical musicians playing for neighbors from their balcony in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and families applauding from a balcony during an event staged to thank medical staff in Ronda, Spain.
A resident in an apartment complex sings from a balcony to make people feel united in self-isolation, in Queens, New York and a young man prepares a rose to be delivered via drone to his mother on Mother’s day, in Jounieh, Lebanon.
A German artist sings “Ode to Joy” at the window of her apartment to show solidarity in Dortmund, Germany, and opera singers perform for quarantined residents of assisted living in New Orleans, Louisiana.
A musician gives a concert to the residents of his apartment building from his balcony during curfew declared as a precaution against coronavirus in Erbil, Iraq and a couple dances on their balcony after applauding for the medical teams in Geneva, Switzerland.
The stories are endless. People all over the world are coming together and doing things to inspire hope out of darkness, and I can’t think of a more beautiful way to pull us together.
Nurses are taking to social media, Tik Tok and Instagram, to showcase their celebration as patients recover from COVID by dancing in hospitals. While they risk their own bodies and health to heal the sick, they still find the time to inject little bits of positivity when they can. It’s an incredible thing to see society band together to keep ourselves and the vulnerable going.
During this time, many of us gained an appreciation for all the little things. To empty the streets, to let the sky breathe, and to clear the air of routine vacations and business trips that could have been meetings. This is what it took for us to notice the vulnerable among us and to want to protect them. To be vulnerable ourselves and miss touching. This is what it took for us to really realize that at the end of the world, or at least of grocery stores, sports games, and Times Square, to have time for how anyone else is feeling. We are being asked to literally come together… by physically staying apart. This is now our call to service. We owe it to ourselves, to each other; we owe it to the world.
We human beings are extraordinary. We are resilient. We are resourceful and compassionate. We are empathetic and we are fighters. And right now, we have been given the incredible opportunity to come together, and fight this virus with our love for one another. It is truly heartwarming to see all the ways in which people are doing exactly that.
We can do this. We can overcome together.
Despite the fact that the pandemic has pushed us apart in distance, it seems to have brought us closer together in heart. And this is something I hope survives long after the pandemic dies.
All Images Courtesy of Her Campus Media