Very few of us, outside the heroes of the care sector, would check in on our neighbours in normal times, or even have met them. Now communities are being brought together by tech, whether that's WhatsApp, FaceTime, Zoom, Houseparty or one of a dozen other apps booming at the moment. Resources are being shared, help is being given, support is being offered in ways unimaginable just a few weeks ago. It's empathy, and it's inspiring.
To give us all the good news we need, our Corporate Social Responsibility team has been sharing uplifting and inspiring stories found on the internet. Here are just a few of them...
The need to help
Here's an example. Capt Tom Moore, a 99-year-old war veteran, set out to raise GBP 1,000 for the UK's National Health Service (NHS) Charities Together by walking 100 laps of his garden, 10 laps for 10 days, ending on his 100th birthday on 30 April. He wanted to repay the help he received from the NHS with treatment for cancer and a broken hip.
On setting out he could have had no idea his benevolent efforts would dial into an overwhelming zeitgeist of compassion, of wanting - needing - to help. Ahead of schedule, he completed his 100th lap on 16 April and to date, he has raised nearly GBP 28,000,000 and counting. If you want to help him to help others, you can donate here and see the current total.
A positive mind
There are plenty more inspiring stories out there that raise either hope or just a smile. One of the best round-ups from the last few weeks is on Elle.com.
Penguins can cheer up anyone. When Chicago's Shadd Aquarium closed its doors, there was no reason to keep the penguins penned in so they let them out to explore and posted their wanderings on Twitter.
Lockdown Live Aid
Over 100 of the music world's biggest stars got together virtually in One World: Together At Home, a concert organised by Global Citizen and the World Health Organisation and curated by Lady Gaga to say thank you to frontline healthcare workers.
Sir Elton John, Billy Eilish and Sir Paul McCartney performed from their homes, The Rolling Stones joined from four different locations to give an acoustic rendition of 'You can't always get what you want' and John Legend teamed up with Sam Smith to cover Ben E King's 'Stand by me'.
As well as entertaining millions around the world, the concert raised over USD 128,000,000 to fund vaccine research and support local and regional charities. You can stream all eight hours here and donate here.
Another heartening response, and one that will surely make a difference, is the reaction of the world's superwealthy to this pandemic. These are people who get things done. Business Insider looks at the contributions of Jack Dorsey, Bill and Melinda Gates, Jack Ma, Mark Zuckerberg, Giorgio Armani, Mukesh Ambani and many others.
The luxury industry has also rolled up its sleeves and joined the fight. This article in Gentleman's Journal highlights just a few of those who have made a difference and here is a Tatler feature on the fashion industry's response.
It's never been truer that our stars shine brightest in the darkest of nights.