Come Together In Isolation: stories of positivity in the time of coronavirus

Whilst the impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to deepen, we increasingly hear stories of people banding together and helping each other out, as well as positive news. We’d like to bring that to you.

Here’s a round-up of the most recent stories, around the world and right here at home.

come together in isolation, coronavirus

We’re bringing you some of the most positive news and heartwarming stories during the time of coronavirus, from around the world and right here at home.

Coronavirus and the environment

Whilst it may not be an unexpected outcome for some, the closure of businesses and a reduction of all kinds of traffic across the world has led to lower levels of pollution. Incredibly, the environment is demonstrating just how quickly it adapts to a change in human behaviour.

In Wuhan, an area usually badly affected by air pollution, residents are now seeing beautiful blue skies. Satellite data recently released by the European Space Agency (ESA) also shows a distinct drop in the levels of the air pollutant nitrogen dioxide across Italy and the rest of Europe.

In Italy specifically, residents have reported that for the first time in a very long while, the waters of Venice are crystal clear. Schools of fish have been seen swimming in the canals, joined by swans, and unbelievably – dolphins. More on that over here.

Supermarkets doing their bit

On the Australian front, Woolworths and Coles have both introduced dedicated shopping hours for the elderly and disabled. For both supermarkets, the hours between 7 am and 8 am will only be open to those who fall into those categories or their helpers.

Supermarkets across the country have been experiencing unprecedented demand, and this has left many unable to buy basic necessities, most notably toilet paper, but also bread, canned goods, and even potatoes. Supermarkets are doing their best to restock in the mornings, and a dedicated hour for the elderly and disabled will ensure that those most in need get a chance to stock up first. Coles are also hiring 5,000 new casuals to cater for the increased demand.

Stories of kindness

On a story even closer to home, in Newtown today, an elderly woman unable to find any toilet paper was discussing her situation in Foodworks when she was overheard by the owner of local business, Adult World. The owner proceeded to give her a supply of rolls to make do until she was able to find some.

The story was then posted to Facebook by the woman’s granddaughter, thanking the owner and describing, “She said she was so surprised by your kindness that she forgot to ask for your name.” Who said grandmothers and adult store owners can’t be friends?

Keeping on the toilet paper train, another resident in our very own Newtown has also put up this sign:

coronavirus, newtown
Photo: Adriel McIntosh Booker

Kindness in the rest of the world

Elsewhere in the world, Shine Distillery & Grill in Portland is turning their alcohol waste into sanitiser which they’re giving out for free. According to owner Jon Poteet, during the process of distilling spirits, the first batch of alcohol isn’t safe for drinking. Usually, the distillery uses it as a cleaning agent, however after a customer asked whether she could use cleaning alcohol as a sanitiser, it gave Poteet the idea.

After checking in with the authorities (green light), Poteet started making a mixture of alcohol solution, Xanthan gum, and water and giving it out to his customers. It’s a move that not only helps people in the time of coronavirus but also beautifully repurposes waste. Double win.

In another heartwarming story, schools across America have been giving out free food to those in need, even after they’ve been closed. According to AJ+, a Chicago school district delivered 1,000 meals to students in a single day, and a similar thing is happening in Virginia. Many low-income families in the US rely on subsidised school meals, so with uncertainty surrounding the economic impacts of coronavirus, it’s a gesture with far-reaching consequences.

For those in need…

Finally, when it comes to the latest companies doing their bit, Adobe is offering students and teachers stuck at home free access to Creative Cloud. The offer covers until May and could be a lifeline to those reliant on using Adobe, who are also being impacted economically.

Whilst the process to obtain the access is slightly rigorous (it involves your university’s IT admin filling out the application on behalf of the institution), it’s definitely worth it. Head over here for more information.

On a lighter, but no less important note, Bellesa Boutique are offering a giveaway of thousands of free vibrators for those stuck in isolation. Unfortunately, the offer is only valid for those in North America, but if that’s where you’re located – what are you waiting for? Head here for more info.

For everyone else, they’re offering 20% off and free shipping with the promo code “quarantine”. Well played, Bellesa, well played.


That’s all for today, we’ll check in tomorrow with more news. Stay safe and positive, and remember to wash your hands.