COVID Kindness

It’s been a difficult time in all of our lives, and at times I have found it difficult to pry my eyes away from the news and what seems to be constant negativity. However, I think it’s important to share uplifting and positive stories during times of trouble, and I’ve been surprised to find that although there’s bad news at every turn, I’ve been able to find good news quite often in my everyday life. 

So instead of talking about all the bad, because there’s plenty of bad news out there, I’m going to focus on the good. And let me tell you, there’s a whole lot of good. Kindness is truly the theme of COVID, so here’s a few stories that made me smile the last couple weeks.

One friend of mine enjoys woodworking as a hobby. When he heard that his local retirement center was looking for ideas on activities for their residents, he decided to get involved. So, each morning he goes to his shop and creates little wood kites for spring, wooden eggs for Easter, and many other designs for the residents to paint and display. There’s a lot of uneasiness at retirement centers right now, and the residents need activities to keep their minds focused on the positive. Kindness, it’s the story of COVID.

Another friend of mine is a veterinarian and researcher for the leading veterinary college in the country, you may have heard of it. Calving season doesn’t end just because of COVID, and neither do emergency surgeries and procedures for sick animals. Business hasn’t slowed, yet he and his colleagues still give their very little free time and efforts to help expand COVID testing to expedite test results at the State Hygienic Lab at the University of Iowa. Kindness looks a lot like Hawkeyes and Cyclones working together.

Another friend of mine has a printing company. In his northwest Iowa town, and across the country, there’s a need for more PPE, including plastic face shields. What’s a local guy to do with a couple extra 3D printers? He works day and night, getting very little sleep to create and donate face shields, protective shields for front desk workers and whatever else may be needed for local hospitals and clinics to help keep healthcare workers safe, all while continuing to keep his business open, serving his clients and maintaining his employees’ jobs. Kindness looks a lot like sleepless nights and early mornings - it’s the story of COVID.

I heard a story about a family in my neighborhood that’s been trying to sell their vacant home for months. Some friends of theirs had to cancel their large wedding plans due to COVID shutdowns but still wished to get married with their close family present. Unfortunately, no venue could take them. Instead of postponing, they offered the couple their vacant home for their families to gather, respecting social distancing, so they could still celebrate their wedding on the day they planned. Kindness reverberates between the walls of a vacant home - it’s the story of COVID. And yes, the family received an offer on their home not long after.

These are all local stories right here in Iowa, and I’m sure there are many more. Iowans and Americans are a resilient bunch. Even through times of trouble and uncertainly, we adapt and turn heartbreak into compassion and kindness. Kindness during a pandemic, it’s a the true story of COVID