It might seem like your news feeds have recently been flooded with an endless stream of bad news about the COVID-19 pandemic. What you might not know is that there are also many positive things happening as a result of the virus. Companies are stepping up to lend their services to those in need. Celebrities and other influential people are donating generous sums of money to help aid the areas that need it most. At the same time, they are using their notable voices to encourage safe social practices while sharing a message of solidarity and love. Volunteers, also known as everyday heroes, are popping up in communities across the globe to inform and assist their neighbors while keeping up with proper social distancing measures.

In times of crisis, things can seem complicated and messy, with fear leading to a host of extreme reactions – from even the most level-headed of people. Fortunately, it is at times like these that we also see heroes stepping up, reaching out and bringing calm to those who need it most. 

Here are 9 uplifting stories about the coronavirus response from around the world.

 

1) No water! No fear! Kenya’s community leaders step up to coronavirus challenge

Employees of community organisation Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) load a motorcycle with equipment for hand washing stations against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from their headquarters in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
Employees of community organisation Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) load a motorcycle with equipment for hand washing stations against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from their headquarters in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

In Nairobi, few residents have access to running water. This means that they’re at a higher risk for exposure to the virus, with no way to sanitize their hands. Concerned residents of Kenya have been setting up handwashing stations and organizing teams of volunteers to educate people about the disease.


2) Ford joins GE, 3M in speeding up ventilator and respirator production 

Ford logo is pictured at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
Ford logo is pictured at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Carmaker Ford Motor Co. has joined the efforts to manufacture thousands of ventilators and respirators needed to fight the spread of the coronavirus. Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler Automobile NV will start converting one of its plants to make over 1 million masks per month to combat the outbreak.


3) Singapore scientists study genes to fast-track coronavirus vaccine

A researcher works in a lab at the Duke-NUS Medical School, which is developing a way to track genetic changes that speed testing of vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Singapore March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Joseph Campbell

Scientists in Singapore have reportedly developed a way to track genetic changes that speed up the testing of coronavirus vaccines! Even better, their methods require only days, compared to the months required by other testing methods. Students and scientists from all over the world have been putting their all into finding a vaccine for the coronavirus, meaning it might not be as far away as it seems!


4) ‘Laser-focused’ on surgical masks, U.S. textile firms pivot in coronavirus pandemic

Analiese Zaleski sews hospital masks, as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, on day one of turning the Detroit Sewn facility into a production facility for hospital masks in Pontiac, Michigan, U.S., March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
Analiese Zaleski sews hospital masks, as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, on day one of turning the Detroit Sewn facility into a production facility for hospital masks in Pontiac, Michigan, U.S., March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

American Giant, another corporate hero, has switched gears from flannels and jeans to masks! They plan to make 35,000 masks in their first week of operation and scale up from there. With the number of masks needed by the healthcare workers on the front-lines, this effort definitely does not go unnoticed! They join a group of a dozen companies organized by the NCTO lobby group.


5) NBA stars, owners pledge donations for workers furloughed by coronavirus shutdown

Mar 8, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) grabs a rebound from San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray (5) during the first half at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 8, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) grabs a rebound from San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray (5) during the first half at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

NBA players and owners have been showing their support by donating generous sums to those in need. The sudden shut-down due to the virus has left many people furloughed, without a stable income or job security. While NBA players are also in shutdown, they recognize how difficult this pandemic will be for those who don’t have the option of working from home or staying on paid leave. 


6) London volunteers feed nurses for free as virus deaths surge

REFILE - CORRECTING NAME OF HOSPITAL Nurses and staff carry food delivered by volunteers outside St George’s Hospital as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain, March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
REFILE – CORRECTING NAME OF HOSPITAL Nurses and staff carry food delivered by volunteers outside St George’s Hospital as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain, March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

In London, a team of volunteers has assembled to offer their help to the healthcare workers who are fighting tirelessly to help those who are in critical condition due to the virus. These volunteers have been providing lunches to nurses for free, since the usual lunch spots for healthcare staff are closed. What started with a free pizza lunch has grown into a nationwide goodwill movement!


7) French fashion labels Saint Laurent, Balenciaga to make coronavirus face masks

The logo of Saint Laurent, a brand of French luxury group Kering, is seen in Paris, France, July 5, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
The logo of Saint Laurent, a brand of French luxury group Kering, is seen in Paris, France, July 5, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

Luxury fashion houses are joining the fight against the virus. Saint Laurent and Balenciaga will start making face masks to ease shortages during the coronavirus crisis, while Gucci plans to produce and donate 1.1 million masks and 55,000 medical overalls to Italy. LVMH, which includes Louis Vuitton, will also be using some of its perfume factories to produce hand sanitizer, which is also in shortage. 


8) From Colbert to Shakespeare, the show must go on(line)

Actor and television host Jimmy Fallon poses for photographers as he arrives for the opening of the new exhibit "Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones" in New York City's Manhattan borough, U.S., November 15, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Actor and television host Jimmy Fallon poses for photographers as he arrives for the opening of the new exhibit “Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones” in New York City’s Manhattan borough, U.S., November 15, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Just because entertainment venues have closed their doors, doesn’t mean there is none to be found! Broadway stars, comedians, and musicians have turned to online streaming services to connect with fans and provide entertainment for those in quarantine. Jimmy Fallon, for one, is hosting an online At Home edition of his show, where he fundraises donations for food banks and other relief efforts. Other stars are also streaming shows online, from musical performances, to live reads of plays and everything in between.


9) Rihanna donates $5m to coronavirus relief efforts

Rihanna donates $5m to coronavirus relief efforts
Rihanna donates $5m to coronavirus relief efforts

Rihanna, through the Clara Lionel Foundation, has donated $5M to coronavirus relief services, explicitly aimed at those on the frontlines of the virus as the world battles the disease. The money will be used to help provide supplies to food banks, and to provide funds for testing and care in countries such as Haiti and Malawi.

Although the situation may seem grim, there is always good to be found. These are just a few examples of how businesses and individuals are looking out for each other and finding ways to help during this crisis. We’re dedicated to sharing stories of kindness, compassion, and goodwill from around the world, even when it seems like there might not be any! Let this be a reminder to keep your chin up and your heart open. We’re all in this together!

 

— Raye Mocioiu