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Outbreaks of the Best Kind

A few short months ago, who would have thought we’d be in this situation? Honestly, it’s a bit surreal and very disconcerting – usually, we feel somewhat more confident and in control, even in times of crisis.

Today, in our new (but hopefully, short-lived) normal, we have an increased, pandemic-related vocabulary: CV-19, WFH, PPE, shelter in place, self-quarantine, social distancing, flatten the curve, N95 mask...and more. And we’re all trying to keep up with new case announcements in our area, purchase grocery staples, and regularly wash our hands with soap for a full 20 seconds. We’re struggling not to touch our face and to stay connected with friends and family online. Most of us know someone, near or far, who has tested positive.

Our situation is definitely serious. We all need to do our part to mitigate the spread and help those on the front lines of the fight. But you don’t need me to tell you this. We all know it – and feel it. The global tension is palpable.

That’s why I’ve decided to use this blog as a forum to share my favorite medley of Good News. Creative acts of kindness that have emerged triumphant to lift spirits and rekindle the connectedness and positivity we crave now more than ever. Let’s stop for a moment to cherish the good in people and be inspired by the fact that despite our individual isolation, we are actually coming together.



Tooth Fairy Inspiration

Two little girls in Australia, ages 4 and 6, used their tooth fairy money to buy hard-to-find tissues and toilet paper for the elderly in their neighborhood. Let’s just give them a virtual hug.



Virtual Bingo

Who wouldn’t play a little bingo with Matthew McConaughey? Well, the seniors at The Enclave at Round Rock Senior Living Center in Texas did just that. #Alrightalrightalright!

https://www.boredpanda.com/matthew-mcconaughey-hosts-bingo-for-isolating-seniors/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic


Penguin Expedition

So, how cool is it that when Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium closed to the public, the penguin caretakers permitted a supervised “enrichment” stroll (well, waddle) – on the other side of the glass! Smiles went viral.

Check it out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHHkJwQQU0o


6’ Block Parties

No reason to not get together with your BFFs up and down the block. Just keep your distance – ha!



Teddy Bear Hunts

Inspired by Michael Rosen’s 1989 children’s book, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”, teddy bears are now randomly appearing in windows around the world. Kids are keeping bear tallies on walks and car rides – a fun, social distancing-friendly scavenger hunt for bored tots (and their parents).




Family Porchtraits

Photographer John Martin from Grosse Pointe Woods, MI has added a twist to traditional family photos. He’s encouraging quarantined household members in his community to art direct their own commemorative moment. They stay on their porch, and he stays near the street. It’s a win-win.

Lip Reading Masks

Ashley Lawrence, a college senior in Kentucky, created an innovative protective mask that allows the deaf and hard of hearing to continue reading lips and facial expressions as part of American Sign Language. We give that a huge thumbs up.



Chalk the Walk

More and more folks are taking breaks from in-home isolation by walking and getting fresh air. And they’re finding inspiration along the way via chalk messages and happy, hand-drawn pictures. Chalk Talk. It’s a thing.


Homemade Parades

School closings don’t always mean teachers can’t see their kids. Organized car parades have allowed teachers to drive through neighborhoods greeting and cheering their students from a safe distance.


Parades have also become an innovative way to celebrate quarantined birthdays. I’d say this gives “Drive By” a whole new meaning.


Hope Huddles

Nurse Emily Fawcett at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan saw the strain of the unending stream of CV-19 patients among her fellow ER nurses. Since she worked on other floors, she had some good news of these patients’ progress. So, she shared her updates in a brief meeting she called a “Hope Huddle”. The smiles and cheer in these now regular gatherings have become a lifeline for health care workers struggling to keep up their morale. Hope really does make a difference.


I could go on and on… It’s heartening to realize that hard times often bring out the best in others. I can’t predict the next few months, but I do know that my faith in humankind will remain strong.

Stay safe.


















Mike Flecker

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