The “Good” In A Bad Pandemic: Part One


Because there is good in this season. I promise.

“I work for a nursing agency in the UK, and all the care homes are currently in lockdown which means residents and patients are unable to have visitors outside of doctors and nurses like myself. This has heightened the stress of an already stressful job, but we are committed to remaining positive and happy for our residents as we are currently the only people they see. One evening, we’d had a particularly heavy and emotional shift, so after all the nurses had completed our tasks we sat down to share cake and coffee. It just felt so good to be in that moment – to be social with each other, to share, to sympathize with the stressors of each other’s lives. I know none of us would trade our profession for the world, but we do find ourselves slightly envious of those who can isolate with their friends and family. Right now, it’s the smiles from residents and patients, and the cups of tea, that make everything feel right again.”

“I heard about an amazing idea someone came up with to support elderly neighbours in the community who may live alone. You give them three coloured pieces of paper for their window that faces the road. Green is for “I’m OK”, yellow is for “I need help with an errand”, and red is for “Emergency”. It helps them feel safe, loved and supported while in lockdown.”

“Going out for walks each day is something I would never normally do, but now it’s an essential part of keeping my mental health in check and I really enjoy that time. I’ve also been eating so much healthier without access to takeaways! It feels like my health is improving.”

“Our neighbours dropped homemade shortbread to every single house on our street.”

“I owned two cafes and a catering business that have all been shut down due to the pandemic. I’m trying to keep my staff employed but the $585 weekly payment from the government doesn’t even cover my $900 rent, so I’ve decided to get a job packing boxes at my local fruit and vegetable shop. I’m 31 years old, I’ve owned my own business and now I’m on my bottom! But, determined to not get down-and-out, I’ve set up an Instagram account called @Selflessisolation where I share funny memes, videos, stories and lessons, as a way to bring some positivity to those in a similar position during this uncertain time.”

“I got a new job!!! I’m going to be working in the Intensive Care Unit caring for Covid-19 patients. I’m very scared but very excited.”

“I love how everyone now says “hello” to each other when they’re out walking, and take the time to talk to the supermarket checkout operators and ask them how their day is going. This is how it should be, and I hope it continues post-lockdown.”

“My mother runs a charitable organisation which typically supports low-decile South Auckland schools, with the goal of improving the students overall wellbeing and access to opportunities. With schools now being closed, mum has partnered with our local Countdown supermarket who have been donating bread products (hot cross buns, bread rolls etc) and dropping them off to mum every single morning, by the dozen, for her to distribute to families most in need during this time. It is so wonderful and incredibly grounding to hear her talk about how much these families appreciate it.” 

“Kids in my neighbourhood have been writing messages of encouragement on the footpaths in chalk: “Be the best you can be!”. “Just keep moving forward!“. “We are all kind!”. It’s so cute.”

“With such a significant drop in the number of cars and buses on the road, and such a dramatic reduction in daily pollution, I swear I’ve never seen more beautiful sunrises. We might never get these again once so I’m trying to revel in their beauty every single day: to soak it in and be thankful.”

“It’s a small gesture, but there’s a house at the top of Mt Albert that put a different flag up on their mast every day and run a “guessing game” as to where the flag originates from. The next morning they post yesterday’s answer and then it starts again. it’s brought a bit of fun and sense of community to people’s daily walk up the hill.”

“My wedding has been postponed for the foreseeable future (my partner and I are both doctors and all annual leave has been put on hold). So, on Friday, we had a fake wedding in our backyard with just the two of us. I wore my dress and he wore his suit. We drank bubbles and ate a lemon cake. It was so special and a beautiful way to celebrate us! We made a wee video for our family that I’ll treasure forever.”

“It’s a terrible time to be an HR manager, but the good for me has been seeing how my employees have pulled together and been so patient, understanding and kind with one another and our business. All sort of offers to help – including offering to take significant pay-cuts in order to keep our team employed – have flooded in. They inspire me to keep going and I will do whatever I can to pull my team through this.”

“My husband and I have just discovered we are having a baby! So we have cozied up and are totally relishing in this time we have together at home without life’s usual distractions of work and meetings. We feel constantly in awe of how lucky we are to be hiding out with a special secret at a time like this. It’s our light in the dark.”

“A little boy on my street was turning four and obviously couldn’t have a birthday party, so we co-ordinated for everyone on the street to stand at their mailbox and clap/make noise as he ran up and down the street. He was so happy and it was a gorgeous moment.”

“I finally feel like I’m getting my health together: I’m not tempted by fast food, I have time to cook nourishing meals and focus on my fitness, I’m looking after my mental wellbeing with meditation and yoga, and I’ve gone back to re-reading my favourite books.”

A bunch of children on my street have written a joke (terribly spelt and also terribly simple) every morning on the footpath in chalk. I can’t help but laugh at them every day while I’m out walking my dog.”

“I’ve reconnected with my partner. We’ve been having proper conversations about our life together, mental states, our relationship, goals, the future…all of it.”

Header image by Holly Burgess for The Twenties Club