The past three weeks have been a literal nightmare. Our worlds have been completely turned upside down and I have been forced to appreciate everything I took for granted such as: seeing my students and colleagues, eating dinner at my favorite restaurant, going outside, or seeing a movie. They are now all distant memories. Every day feels like a post apocalyptic film stuck on a loop. I pick up the remote and hope that the news will tell me, “It’s all over!” Very much like Phil Connors, in Groundhog Day, I am waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel and a stop to the quarantine that we are experiencing. As I have spiraled into a void of despair, I have overlooked the positivity and greatness of so many during the pandemic. While I am safely inside with my family binging the latest “must-see” TV or Netflix show, our healthcare professionals, first responders, grocery clerks, and mail carriers are fighting the good fight every day and regular people are doing amazing things for others. In any terrible situation, the most important thing is perspective and positivity. So as I opened this post with a bit of hyperbole, I think the most important thing is to recognize those who are spreading positivity and helping me gain a bit of perspective.
The first story of positivity that moved me was posted by a nurse in New Jersey. This man stood outside the emergency room with a sign thanking the nurses for saving his wife’s life. He knocked on the window of the ER to show the nurses the sign he made for them. The nurse asked him if she could snap a photo and he said, “yes” as he was crying. This man’s one gesture made the nurse feel like she was exactly where she needed to be and risking herself for others was worth it.
Now, there is much to say about Math teachers….they are smart, very strict, they don’t smile at all, and they also give a ton of homework. But, some heroes don’t wear capes and when a young girl in South Dakota was struggling with her math homework, what did her teacher do? What any teacher would do and go out of his or her way to help their student. When the student emailed her teacher for help, he delivered in a big way. He set up his classroom on her front porch and taught her math through her window. How awesome is that?
John Krasinski of "The Office" and "Jack Ryan" launched a YouTube show called “Some Good News”. On the show, he does just that, he shares good news and amazing things people are doing around the world. On yesterday’s episode he not only made a 9-year-old’s dream come true but also mine! Aubrey was supposed to go see the Broadway hit, Hamilton for her birthday but due to the quarantine, the show was canceled. Aubrey was devastated to miss her favorite show and I could only imagine how she felt. Mr. Krasinski decided to send Aubrey tickets to New York City to see Hamilton when this is all over, but this is all about the amazing things people are doing during this pandemic so of course - The entire original cast of Hamilton Zoom bombed her chat with Krasinski and sang the opening song especially for her birthday. I am sure this is a birthday she will never forget!
So during this unprecedented time in our lives we need to sometimes think and reflect. This is a time to realize how beautiful humanity can be when we come together and work together. There are so many stories of people doing remarkable things. So, if you are feeling down or depressed, look for some positivity, or create some. The time is now and making someone else smile will make you feel good too. So I challenge you students and adults, how can we do something positive for someone else while quarantined? Let me know and share your positivity with me and our community.