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  • Jolene Roehlkepartain

Being Hopeful and Positive During the Pandemic

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

As COVID-19 races around the world making people sick, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, panicked, and helpless. But many people are stepping up. Along with the very bad news, there’s also hopeful and positive news.

People helping people—In an apartment complex in Portland, Oregon, tenants created a “helping list,” giving names of neighbors, emails, and phone numbers of those willing to buy groceries for others. In Columbus, Ohio, two elementary-school children perform cello concerts on the front porches of their neighbors. In Minneapolis, people have hung encouraging signs on trees, created positive sidewalk messages, and hanging up messages in windows that people see as they walk outside.

People connecting with others—People are calling each other and connecting through Google Hangouts, FaceTime, Zoom, and other digital platforms. Steve Hartman of the CBS Evening News has been giving Kindness 101, a free, 30-minute, online class to children to learn and act with kindness ( After the first week, children sent notes to the front-line workers: those working in health-care, essential stores, sanitation, delivery people, etc. Separated high-school students in Chino Hills, California, created a 3-minute YouTube video, singing “Over the Rainbow” Around the world, residents have placed stuffed teddy bears in their windows so that walkers (especially children) can go on “bear hunts” when they go outside.

People working to make a positive difference—Doctors are racing to treat the sick (even though there isn’t a known treatment yet), discover a vaccine, and learn as much as they can about the virus in order to treat and prevent it from getting worse ( Some leaders are giving consistent messages and making tough decisions to protect people. These are monumental tasks, and I’m grateful to those working around the clock to do these things.

Do whatever you can to care for yourself while remaining hopeful and positive. Yes, sometimes that mean you need to vent about what’s deeply bothering you, but don’t stay in that place too long. I’ve been journaling about a lot of those issues while taking action to connect in positive ways and focusing on the stories of hope. A few times a week, I post a photo on social media of beautiful places I’ve been. One friend hosts an afternoon tea each afternoon. Another posts a joke every day on social media to everyone’s delight.

What small thing can you do to bring some hope during these very trying times?

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