From Dark Coronavirus Places, Beautiful Things Still Grow

Here’s a message to all the essential workers; to the delivery drivers, mail carriers, utility workers, elder care specialists, police officers, truckers, farmers, security guards, warehouse workers, first responders, veterinarians, mechanics, grocery store employees, bus drivers, gas station attendants and people who drive the bulldozer at the dump: THANK YOU for all you do! We literally couldn’t go on without you and we hope you are safe and appreciated. Since hugs are off limits, please know we are digitally embracing you from afar. Speaking of embrace, it’s Easter weekend. Whether you observe or not, this time of year is usually ripe for togetherness and new beginnings. Let’s all try to find a little of both — even if it’s just over a video call.

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From one generation to another 

Cavanaugh Bell is kind of like Santa Claus, if Santa Claus were a 7-year-old boy from Gaithersburg, Maryland, and was working way, way out of season. Cavanaugh and his mom Llacey Simmons have delivered more than 100 care packages and hot meals to elderly people in their community. The little boy got the idea when he realized people like his 74-year-old grandmother are at higher risk of getting sick. After delivering some things to her, he started think about all the other people in his grandmother’s assisted living facility. One thing led to another, and Cavanaugh took all his savings, went grocery shopping and, with the help of his mom, loaded up their car and made some special (socially distanced) deliveries of toilet paper, flushable wipes, hygiene products and, of course, food. Now, thanks to the help of donations, Cavanaugh and Simmons have opened a local community care pantry. “It makes me feel beautiful inside because I like giving back,” Cavanaugh says. (And, not to be biased, but he has excellent taste in baseball teams.) 

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Some much-needed color 

Around the world and here at home, boarded-up businesses and empty main streets are a sad reminder of how many livelihoods are on hold while we fight through the coronavirus crisis. However, some artists are creating colorful murals and messages to break through the dreary scenes. Whether it’s a funky mural on an Austin bar (above), a sunny pink smiley face window in Seattle or just simple signs of gratitude in Portland and Vancouver, these works of art remind us that, no matter how long it takes, things will get better, and the places we love will come alive once again.

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A bright idea

A group of more than 50 humanitarian groups including United Nations agencies, nongovernmental organizations and international mental health organizations have collaborated to create a lovely story book designed to help children cope with and understand the coronavirus crisis. The story is called “My Hero is You: How Kids can fight Covid-19!” It features a creature named Ario, who explains how children can protect against the virus and process the many emotions they may be feeling. The group says they sought the input of more than 1,700 children, parents, caregivers and teachers to put the story together, and it will be available in at least 36 languages.   

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