Kindness in the time of COVID. Let’s face it. It’s not easy times we’re living in. It’s not being overly dramatic to say that we, as a culture, as people, as a world, will never be quite the same again. Nothing is “normal” today. And finding a new normal will take some time. Kindness will make it easier, though, if we endeavor to both give and receive it.

In the first full week of school cancellations and working from home, I witnessed (online) the kindness and generosity of so many people. Facebook groups sprang up for people to offer what they had and ask for what they needed. Tweets, texts, posts, videos…all offering virtual (or in-real-life) support for one another.

I personally experienced an outpouring of generous offers to run to the store, help with things, drop things off, and words of encouragement from so many people. It’s heartwarming and so welcome. Especially as an immunocompromised person, the generosity of words and deeds directed toward me has been so appreciated. I endeavor to do the same for others.

But I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. For the tides to turn.

It seems that people can only be kind for so long. Of course, that’s not really true, but there are factors at play that will push people to their limits. Being cooped up. The same “four walls.” Fear. The unknown. Not knowing when the light will appear at the end of the tunnel.

In truth, I’ve already witnessed some of it. In a post in a Facebook group where someone asked if anyone had any face masks to spare for her son, a medical worker, half of the comments were condemning.

Another friend posted on Twitter and was Twitter-attacked for her opinion.

It doesn’t need to be that way.

When we were young we were taught that if you didn’t have something nice to say, to not say anything at all. More of us need to remember that advice.

Instead of attacking one another, let’s bolster each other up. If your neighbor needs toilet paper, give them a roll. If someone asks for a face mask, either offer them one or say nothing. And if people express opinions out of fear, dread, or sheer boredom, either respond kindly, or not at all.

We need kindness now more than ever before.

Kindness in the time of COVID is possible.

The Golden Rule still applies: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The opposite is also valuable: don’t to do other people what you don’t want to experience yourself.

Kindness begets kindness. Let’s create a kindness wave together that spreads. Let’s contribute to the good. Let’s remember that we’re all experiencing a tumultuous time, and we don’t know what “normal” will turn out to be. We really are all in this together.

Whenever possible, be kind. And it’s always possible. (Dalai Lama)

With kindness,