My sister and my brother-in-law made a series of comedy videos during the lockdown. These videos were sent to family, friends, acquaintances and colleagues to spread cheerfulness and laughter in this serious, disturbing time.

The recipients of the videos were pleased that they could at least see my sister and my brother-in-law in the video, since personal meetings were not possible. Thus one felt closer again, despite the distance. In addition, the funny content of the videos was a welcome change in the midst of the disturbing news. Many recipients felt that a newly released video was often the highlight of the day, as it made everyday life, which was marked by social withdrawal, a little happier.

With regard to social interaction: The videos were a good occasion to get in touch with each other and to exchange ideas. The effort that went into creating the videos was worth it, as it brought cheerfulness to the recipients and gave them a sense of closeness. With regard to technology: An Internet connection that is too slow has often meant that the videos could only appear after a considerable delay.

Picture by John Barnard Whittaker “Comedy and Tragedy”, Brooklyn Museum.

Story shared by Franziska Schulz, Germany

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Kansans Turn To Each Other For Help During Coronavirus Outbreak

In Kansas, there were several examples of Mutual Aid Networks and about restaurants providing free meals for those in need.

“After one crowded lunch service, Heriford said, she could no longer justify the risk to her staff or customers. The restaurant closed March 14, though she and a small number of staff haven’t stopped working. The Ladybird is offering free bagged lunches for anyone who needs them. Heriford buys the food from her usual distributor, prepares it and leaves it on carts in front of the restaurant.”

Picture by Nomin Ujiyediin, Kansas News Service

Story from the USA.

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Highlighting Organizations Preventing Violence Amidst the Pandemic

PreventConnect, a project of the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, is spotlighting organizations doing work to stop violence during the pandemic. With more and more families experiencing unemployment, housing insecurity, and hunger, people may feel a loss of power and control. This loss of power and control contributes to violence at home. Organizations featured thus far provide support for rural and tribal communities, immigrants and indigenous communities, Black women, Texans seeking mental health services, preventing child sexual abuse, and strengthening communities.

Story from USA.

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Mutual Support Between Frontline Workers and the Socially Isolated

As millions of courageous healthcare workers continue their work to combat the COVID-19 crisis, this new service allows you to send messages of love and support to a frontline hero—and get one in return. #TextForHumanity has people identify themselves as either a frontline worker or someone living in isolation. Senders choose which group of frontline worker to send a personalized message of thanks and support. Frontline workers include anyone from nurses and doctors to delivery drivers and grocery store staffers. After sending a message, people in isolation receive a supportive text back from their frontline worker. Text For Humanity is enabled by WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and regular text messaging so it’s easy for anyone with even the most basic phone to join. This is particularly important for the elderly who are among the least likely to own a smartphone. To join the service, text JOIN to 37352 (U.S. only) or +1 833-421-4726. Additional international number options and links to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are available through the platform’s website: Text For Humanity

Story from the USA.

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Neighbourhood Watches in England Provide Aid for their Residents and Communities

Neighbourhood Watch Associations all over England have been stepping up to help residents and their greater communities during the pandemic. Residents are organizing phone trees, socially distant street parties, music performances, and supply deliveries for their neighbors to provide entertainment and support. To support their communities, one Neighbourhood Watch Association purchased 3-D printers to make PPE visor shields while another has its residents sewing masks and scrubs for hospital staff. Read more about each Neighbourhood Watch’s efforts.

Story from the UK.

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St. Louis Coronavirus Response Resources

Community volunteers and the St. Louis Regional Data Alliance (RDA) built STL Response, a dashboard that brings together resources to help St. Louis residents through the COVID-19 crisis. The dashboard features the number for a crisis hotline and resource directory, coronavirus information from the CDC, resources in multiple languages, and space for people to seek or share their own resources.

STL Metro Covid Stats Compiled by Chris Prener

Story from the USA.

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What is a Mutual-Aid Network and how can They Help During the Pandemic?

A Mutual-Aid Network is a space for people to list their needs and also for people to list what skills or resources they can provide to help others. For example, one person may post on the forum that they are unable to leave their home, and they would be matched with another person who volunteered to shop for and deliver groceries. Learn more in The New York Times article: Feeling Powerless About Coronavirus? Join a Mutual-Aid Network.

Photo by Katherine Taylor for The New York Times

Story from the USA.

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The human potential – uncertainty into action

Since our main festival got cancelled due to Covid19 Covid19 created an online series with Alex Grey, Marianne Williamson, Charles Eisenstein, Daniel Pinchbeck, Kaypacha Lescher, A.H. Almaas, Gay Hendricks, Jamie Catto, Liam Forde, Anjum Rahman, Karen Johnson. Part 1 of the Human Potential Series weaves together a multitude of viewpoints from artists, authors, activists, teachers, thought leaders, visionaries and entrepreneurs focused around how we can Transform Uncertainty into Action. This is the first of many initiatives to come around new ways of living, community support and involvement.

Picture retrieved from here

In our first live session with Alex Grey we had hundreds of people tuning in to draw inspiration and use tools to transform uncertainty into action. We now creating a forum to discuss how to action ideas and initiatives that will promote life, freedom, acceptance and accountability.

That we are diverse and different that currently we are in the most challenging times in human history due to growing divisions and separation. We realized that we fear death and not coming to acceptance with this as well as our differences. We feel it is time to reimagine our relationship with ourselves, our communities, our appointed governments. This time we need to see beyond our fears and differences to be able to truly reach our potential. This will be through hosting discussion panels, community activities and invite as many people as we can to take part.

Story shared by Issac Oron, New Zealand

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Covid nurses wear lapel pins with cartoon avatar

Patients were not able to recognize health professional wearing mask, and this had implications on caring, empathy, reducing the caring (not the curing) capacity of the health professionals. The provincial president of nurses report the problem during a newspaper interview, and an illustrator offered her ideas to solve the issue.

Now most nurses in different wards of the most important hospitals in Bologna wear the lapel pins and this help nurses doing their job.

Picture retrieved from La Repubblica

This was recognized as a good initiative by the ministry of health, nurses would like to formalize it as a good practice, providing a simple, funny way to handle a problem that may apply also in other contexts (i.e, schools, kindergartens etc.).

Story shared by Cinzia Albanesi, Italy.

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