Messages of Hope Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic
April 1, 2020
With fear and anxiety at an all-time high for many of us amid the coronavirus pandemic, it’s more important than ever to spread messages of hope and inspiration. Across the world, people have been using dance, music, art, and other creative ways to spark compassion and solidarity in their neighborhoods. So take a deep breath, take a break from the inundation of news, and enjoy these beautiful messages from our global community.
Last month, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health released a catchy song about how to defeat the coronavirus. Shortly after the song’s release, dancer Quang Dang choreographed a fun dance to go along with it. The dance includes movements about preventive measures against COVID-19, including how to properly wash your hands. Since releasing his video of the dance, thousands of people in Vietnam and around the world have recreated the dance as part of a tik tok dance challenge. “There are a lot of bad things happening in the world because of this virus,” says Quang Dang. “And I think in this era, in this dark time...only music and dance can connect people.”
Medical professionals are also using the power of dance to keep their spirits up during the outbreak. Even in Iran, where dancing in public can be punishable by law, doctors and nurses have been dancing in hospitals
overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, and sharing videos online. These dances have been alleviating the stress of fellow healthcare workers across the globe who are currently under tremendous amounts of pressure.
Italy has been under a national lockdown for weeks, but that hasn’t stopped its citizens from getting creative and uniting, from a safe distance of course. Many videos have gone viral, featuring Italians singing and playing instruments from their balconies. These musical performances surely have kept up morale while people are social distancing.
Choir and vocal leader James Sills was inspired so much by Italy’s videos that he decided to create a way for people from all over the world to join together in song. The Sofa Singers is a free weekly online event that brings hundreds of people together to spark joy and human connection.
Quarantined music students are also using their talents to create virtual concerts from the comfort of their own homes. Last week, Shelbie Rassler, a senior composition major at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, rallied her fellow students together to produce a rendition of “What the World Needs Now Is Love
.” The result is a heartfelt and inspiring showcase of talent. During these uncertain times, it is encouraging to see that musicians can still collaborate, be creative, and produce art.
Street Art, Writing, and More
From Austin, Texas to Berlin, Germany, to Dakar, Senegal, graffiti artists have been creating coronavirus-inspired street art to inform the public to stay safe. These works of art also serve as reminders for communities to work together to slow the spread of the virus. While much of the emerging street art has a serious message, some pieces are playful and silly; on the streets of Mumbai, Buddha is depicted wearing a face mask. In Berlin, Gollum from "Lord of the Rings" is painted holding a roll of toilet paper saying, "My precious!"
Social distancing can lead to isolation, especially for residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. But many pen pal programs have emerged to keep seniors connected with their communities at this time when their loved ones are prohibited from visiting them. Residents across the world have received handwritten letters, children’s artwork, poems, and stories. Some nursing homes have even implemented virtual pet therapy, projecting pictures and videos of cats, dogs, and other animals on TVs to cheer up their residents. These uplifting programs have helped to connect people from all walks of life and from all parts of the world while we wait out the pandemic in our homes.
The Human Spirit
Finally, people across the world continue to come together to applaud the healthcare workers that are so bravely and generously fighting the coronavirus. In cities like Atlanta, Buenos Aires, Milan, and Istanbul, people have been stepping onto their balconies and sidewalks to cheer for healthcare professionals and other essential workers every evening. These acts of solidarity remind us that there is hope, and that together, we will overcome.