It’s not all pandemic news and numbers out there. While the world continues to fight the spread of novel coronavirus, many individuals, groups and businesses have stepped up in a variety of ways to help those in need or to simply cast a bright light over troubled waters.
Empowering seniors to live full healthy lives, PARC for its part has been ordering additional groceries and supplies to be delivered, as needed, to residents throughout its five independent living properties. Long a believer in giving back to the community, PARC is also dropping off care packages to older adults living on their own.
Around the globe, similar acts of kindness, generosity and joy are helping to lighten the load that is COVID-19. At the very least they’ll put a smile on your face, if not inspire you to join in or do the same.
Here are just 10 of the many ways people near and far are showing up during these unprecedented times:
1. Here’s to healthcare workers
What began with one woman clapping from her West End, Vancouver, apartment window has blossomed into hundreds of self-isolating locals shouting, singing and banging on pots from balconies and yards around the Lower Mainland. Joining this nightly 7 p.m. cheer for healthcare workers is Stanley Park’s famous 9 O’Clock Gun, temporarily rescheduled for the month of April. Grab a pot, give a holler or make like this Vancouver DJ – or these PARC residents – and add to the heartwarming cacophony in your own unique way.
2. It’s a musical day in the neighbourhood
Residents in a North Vancouver housing complex are proving you can still make music together while social distancing. Armed with his guitar, Cary Feehan first joined his piano-playing neighbour, Melissa Fernandes, in mid-March for a rendition of Elton John’s Crocodile Rock. Playing from their respective patios, the duo has since delighted their complex with uplifting tunes like Everything’s Gonna Be Alright and Let It Be.
3. Caremongering comes of age
From behind the coronavirus cloud shines a ray of empathy in the form of Canada’s caremongering movement. Communities coast to coast are creating online groups made up of compassionate locals ready to help their more vulnerable and needy neighbours. Need your dog walked, prescription picked up or a hot meal delivered? Sign up with your local group on Facebook or other social media platforms and post your request. While the movement continues to grow nationally and around the world, seniors are already singing its praises in communities like Quadra Island.
4. Dawn of the drive-by party
No gatherings mean no birthday parties, which can be incredibly hard for kids to take. But instead of celebrating at home alone, many youngsters are being treated to a birthday to remember. From parades of festively decorated cars in Cranbrook to a brigade of police cruisers – lights flashing, sirens blasting – in Mississauga, drive-by parties are surprising kids everywhere on their special day.
5. Lending libraries swap out books for food
Thoughtful homeowners throughout North America are replacing books with groceries in their Little Free Libraries. Buying and affording food can be a challenge at this time, as can finding particular items; these tiny pop-up pantries aim to help fill the gap. In a twist, an East Vancouver sharing library is stocked with seed packets, in case anyone wants to get a jump on gardening while self-isolating at home.
6. Seniors-only shopping
With toilet paper, flour and other household items still flying off the shelves, stores across the country continue to kindly offer special senior shopping hours. To make sure older adults and those with compromised immune systems get first dibs on goods, stores from Shoppers Drug Mart to Whole Foods are restricting (usually) the first hour of each business day to customers at higher risk. Check individual locations for exact hours.
7. Flowers from a stranger
Angels can swoop in from nowhere when you least expect. Just before a floral shop in Needham, Massachusetts, was forced to close in keeping with the state’s new COVID regulations, a good Samaritan purchased its remaining stock and had 10 big beautiful bouquets anonymously delivered to residents around the town.
8. The feast will go on
Weddings, anniversary parties, reunions and the like continue to be cancelled in the face of COVID-19. In some cases, though, not all is wasted. A couple in Britain decided to donate their beef and hog roast wedding dinner to 400 hospital workers. The pair still went ahead and got married, but with just two witnesses present rather than the planned 120 guests.
9. Balconies are the new living rooms
From group workouts and bingo games in Spain to national anthem singalongs in Italy, Europe’s newest meeting place is the balcony. While riding out their countries’ strict quarantines, locals are managing to find fun and meaningful ways to connect. Not to be outdone, Denmark saw more than 100,000 citizens – many on balconies and in public parks – sing for their queen’s 80th birthday on April 16.
10. Food drives go virtual
With food banks struggling and seniors finding it more challenging to shop during COVID-19, kindhearted PARC residents have stepped up via two B.C. online fundraisers. Donations to the Mulberry PARC Virtual Food Drive will go toward the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, while proceeds from the Oceana PARC Virtual Food Basket will help the Seniors Come Share Society deliver essential goods to older adults in need.
A provider of five independent living residences in B.C., PARC Retirement Living’s top priority is the health and safety of all residents, their families and staff. Check back for more coronavirus updates and tips on PARC’s COVID-19 resources page.