Perhaps you’ve heard that 2020 has been…well, let’s just call it “interesting,” shall we? By now, we all know the players: Global pandemic with sweeping economic and social impacts; racial conflict and civil unrest; and of course, the usual, contentious politics and an upcoming election that’s sure to be a real doozy!
Now, we preface all of this by saying that we don’t want to undermine or make light of what are very real and serious issues. However, the world and society are ever-resilient and overwhelmingly good. And often lost in all the doom and gloom are heartwarming stories of hope, inspiration and unity—so many of which we’ve witnessed firsthand—which show the genuine fabric and power of the human spirit.
Indeed, in big cities and small towns, and in communities like ours, folks are coming together each and every day to protect and care for seniors and one another, and are making our world that much brighter because of it. From small acts of kindness, to unforgettable gestures with potentially long-lasting impact on people’s lives and our society, let’s take a few moments to recognize all that’s good at a time when it’s all-too-easy to fixate and get dragged down by what’s not.
The World & Environment
For millions, slowing down the normally frantic pace and spending a lot more time at home among family and loved ones has been both fulfilling and personally beneficial. And the environmental impact of quarantine was swift and noticeable as well.
- Waterways like the iconic Venice canals began flowing remarkably clear, with dolphins spotted swimming in them for the first time in recent memory
- Air pollution in the world’s major cities has declined by as much as 60%
- In addition to improving air quality, reduced nitrogen levels in the air could have unintended climate benefits
- Countless species of animals that were rarely spotted by humans before have been seen freely roaming urban and suburban areas
And although the human cost of COVID-19 has been great, new scientific studies by leading university researchers have concluded that isolation and response efforts around the world may have prevented more than 530 million cases of COVID-19. Experts are calling it “One of humanity’s greatest collective achievements,” and believe that lockdowns and quarantines imposed by the national, state and local governments have meaningfully “Changed the course of history.”
Selfless Acts of Kindness & Generosity
At the local and community levels especially, neighbors and strangers alike have stopped at nothing to support one another through trying times.
- Millions in food donations have flooded local food banks, with many families that cancelled events like weddings and graduations keeping their catering contracts just to support local businesses and give the food to the needy
- The “Lasagna Lady,” who was laid off from her own job, but still cooked 1200 pans of lasagna for strangers in nee
- An anonymous Florida donor gave $40,000 to keep a local café open despite the pandemic and feed local hospital workers
- A Columbus, Ohio man who tipped $2,500 on a $30 check to support workers at his favorite local restaurant and bar during shutdown
Showing Love & Regard for Our Nation’s Seniors
The outpouring of love and support for a vulnerable senior population has been especially moving. Throughout our community and countless others, team members are volunteering for additional shifts to help residents and fellow care and service providers. Community leaders have been working around the clock, with many of them sleeping at their respective communities to better ensure resident and team member safety. And whether it’s by way of socially distanced activities and events, delivering handwritten notes of encouragement, or orchestrating parades of family members and loved ones both in and around the communities, there’s no stopping our society’s efforts to look out for beloved seniors.
- Consider, for example, the Texas state trooper who anonymously (at the time) paid over $600 out of his own pocket for 4 new tires to help out a 92-year-old lady who could only afford on
- Local children played an orchestra concert from out on the patio of an elderly neighbor who was confined to her home during quarantine
- A Connecticut senior (pictured at right) stood outside his wife’s nursing home window to wish her a Happy Anniversary from safe distance. His sign reads “I’ve loved you for 67 years and still do. Happy Anniversary” (Source: NBC New York
- A senior living community in Brazil created a “Hug Tunnel,” which uses thick plastic sheeting complete with arm holes to allow visiting family members to safely embrace their loved ones standing on the other side.
Indeed, the stories of selflessness, dedication and sacrifice are deeply moving, and they are far from over. In many ways, the events of this year have re-written history and redefined what it means to be a “hero” in our society. It can be hard to see the good that’s transpired in what’s been a difficult and unprecedented year so far, but let this serve as a reminder that it’s out there, and often closer than you may think.
Rittenhouse Village At Valparaiso provides a range of senior living programs to help support a healthy and happy lifestyle for our residents. We also offer several senior living options for our residents to choose from. Contact us today at 219.245.7794 for more information.