By Melissa Najafi
Together but apart – defining what we are all experiencing in the world right now during this global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Each person, community, and nation are directly impacted whether it is financially, mentally, emotionally or physically. Personally, it has brought up so many different emotions. One day I am overwhelmed by the love and support displayed by others in an effort to alleviate the effects of this pandemic; on another day, I am consumed with sadness and hopelessness. These emotions and thoughts are striking the minds and hearts of people across the world and it can be comforting to know that your feelings are validated and understood by others. In many ways we are all part of the same human family. COVID-19 sees no colour, no age, and no gender. It has exposed our essential biological vulnerabilities and the fragility of life. We are all struggling to make sense of this new normal; trying to restore our communities.
It is truly inspiring to see and hear how people are coming together in this time of crisis. Unlike the Hollywood films, this pandemic has actually brought out the best in people, not the worst. Online platforms are creating #caremongering communities and neighborhood pods. People are donating to local charities and organizations; celebrities are using their platform to raise awareness; and, government officials have announced the distribution of funds. Communities are trying to protect and care for more marginalized members. If this crisis is teaching us anything, it is how impactful supporting one another is for the greater good. Through unity comes power and change.
My first thought when this crisis skyrocketed globally was to worry about the impact on low-income families, homeless people, and women and girls. Women and girls are disproportionately marginalized and current conditions have only amplified their daily struggles. Considering the inequitable economic impacts of this pandemic, I think it is crucial to lend greater support to those in need.
This pandemic is, and will continue to show, how resilient we can be when we all come together to fight for a common cause. If I can take away anything from what we are all experiencing right now in the world, it is the influential role we can play in each other’s lives. We have the opportunity to lend our support and show appreciation to people around us – not just during global pandemics but on a day-to-day basis. I hope that those in precarious circumstances prior to the pandemic will be finally seen and that their needs will be met. No one should have to endure the devastating impacts of poverty and violence. In times of crisis, we don’t give up but step up.
A continuous effort in care-mongering is needed long after this global pandemic stops. For examples on how people are coming together, take a look at these social pages:
Now more than ever, shelters and food banks need our support. If you are able to, consider donating or lending your services to the following charities: