Good Shines Through
BY BILL RUBIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
March 30, 2020 The coronavirus and COVID-19 were mostly unknown terms as the world ushered in a new decade just a few weeks ago. They are now at the forefront, impacting the world’s health, way of life, and economy.
Throughout the mostly bad news, there are shining examples of good deeds, done by average people, perhaps following the subtle command of the mega-company possessing the distinctive swoosh, “Just Do It.” Some random examples:
New Richmond, Wisconsin’s own 45th Parallel Distillery is producing hand sanitizer for residents and businesses willing to drive to the distillery for the product. Sanitizer was distributed free of charge, but many donated money to offset production costs. Batch #2 is underway. #3 will likely follow. Bring your own container and some loose change or George Washington’s. An Abe Lincoln wouldn’t mind getting tossed in either.
A local restaurateur, hurt by the downturn too, provides gift cards from other local restaurants and bars, as part of take-out orders.
Clinic and hospital staffers are at the forefront of illness and chronic health problems They rush toward their own version of hot zones the same way firefighters attack a burning structure.
A faithful son visits his elderly father every day from the outside of a closed nursing home window, both using cell phones when in-person visits were prohibited.
Nursing homes created their own version of B-I-N-G-O by wheeling residents to door openings in the hallway to play along at safe distances.
St. Paul, Minnesota’s Mac-Groveland neighbors deploy 10-foot chalk circles for personal space during evening exercises. The exercises are known as radio calisthenics, or rajio taiso, and go back to 1928 with the introduction of community- or employer-led exercises in Japan. Some stay in their chalk circles after the workouts just to visit. Neighbors getting to know neighbors! The number of participants now extends beyond a small neighborhood. Keep it going!
In Drayton, North Dakota, the community held a drive-by celebration past a 7-year old’s front yard when his birthday party was cancelled. The drive-by was led by a couple of wailing fire trucks, then classmates, then neighbors. Drayton’s population holds steady at around 850 very neighborly residents.
Kyle Rudolph, a tight end with the Minnesota Vikings, who sports jersey #82, pledged a donation of 82,000 meals to those in need. Ha! A marauding Viking with a heart. Other pro athletes representing other sports set-up funds for laid-off arena workers.
Retail associates, full- and part-time, restock shelves as fast as truckloads come in, and others operate cash registers with lines that seem too long for a typical Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday morning, afternoon, or evening. One part-time grocery store associate said, “Today I unloaded two pallets of yogurt taller than me. And many shoppers thanked us for doing our part.”
Modern day Rube Goldberg’s employ high-tech 3D printers to create N95 safety masks for healthcare workers; others converted their production lines to manufacture face shields and other high demand products. Meanwhile, as the call went out for donated N95 masks, many, many painting contractors, general contractors, and manufacturers jumped in.
As taprooms closed, micro-brewery owners worked together on new distribution channels and creative ways for pick-up orders in their parking lots.
Examples go on and continue to grow. Next time you see someone on the frontline, offer them encouragement and a big thank-you. They’ve earned it. Mightily.