As we fight the coronavirus pandemic together, the most important thing we can do for each other – and ourselves – right now is to be kind. Even just staying at home while COVID-19 remains an issue is an act of kindness, as it ensures we don't spread the virus to others and that we prioritize some of the most vulnerable people out there right now.
Using our #HelloToKindness hashtag – which we created in an effort to spread positivity and goodwill online – we asked our readers what they were doing to take care of others and themselves during the ongoing pandemic.
Your (many!) responses were lovely and thoughtful, and shows how amazing we all are at working together to overcome a crisis and keep each other going.
We're doing our part, too! Editor-in-Chief Alison Eastwood and her partner Scott Pietrangelo, who are both members of Toronto a cappella ensemble SoundCrowd, have been hosting a singalong pyjama party for friends, family and fans that's live on Facebook! They've been performing together and taking requests, sometimes on the spot and you can sing along at home, too!
With no further ado, here are some of your wonderful answers.
On Instagram, we created a special Highlight feature on our account because we were so impressed with your responses. Taking care of the most vulnerable people was a huge priority for our readers, and we're thrilled to hear about some of the ways you're doing that during this time. Lots of you also wanted to emphasize it's important to recognize everything health care workers are doing during this time.
One of you said you were making sure you checked in on your nursing friends after their shifts were finished.
"I'm making meals, jams and cookies into Be Well packages for our family and friends," another reader wrote on our website. "We've had a friend of our adult daughter staying with us for March. My husband gets groceries for older people in family and friends and delivers them."
One of you also said you were picking up groceries for neighbours, along with giving food to those in need and writing letters to seniors in homes. That latter is very important, as those in seniors' homes are particularly at risk from COVID-19.
"My partner and I bought a few bundles of tulips and baby's breath from Costco on Sunday and made smaller bouquets with special messages taped to them," another reader shared. "We then delivered the bouquets to friends homes (dropping them at their front door and sending a text for them to look as we drove away). the messages were to let them know we were thinking about them, hoping they are staying healthy and safe. it made so many people happy!! Our hearts were bursting with love from their messages to us."
On Instagram, another person said their acts of kindness have involved sending gifts in the mail.
"I send some 'surprise' gifts to my loved ones: a book to my mum, some tea to my friend in Canada..." they wrote.
If you're wondering just how much these little acts do matter and make a difference, here's a response from someone who was on the receiving end. Get some tissues:
"I'm the 'elder' on my street and I'm the recipient of all the kindness!" one reader wrote. "One young man calls me every second day to check in (he's in quarantine so he can't come over). My children and grandchildren, who live next door and are also in quarantine, have afternoon tea with me – they on their back porch and I on mine – but within range to chat. A neighbour has organized an art gallery that we can each enjoy as we're on our daily exercise walk. We are asked to each put a piece of art – anything from a painting or a photograph or a kids' art project – in the window. My son-in-law has set up an easel at the front of the house on which the writes the 'Dad joke' of the day. Such fun!"
Don't stop there! Please keep letting us know how you're taking care of others – and yourself – during this very anxiety-provoking time. You can continue to share your acts of kindness with us by using #HelloToKindness on Instagram (we're at @hellocanadamag) and Twitter (our handle is @HelloCanada) to spread good deeds on social media.
If you share your stories with us on Instagram and Twitter, please be sure to include photos, as it helps everyone to see kindness in action in addition to reading about it.
If you don't have social media, you can email us a photo with your story at firstname.lastname@example.org!