Due to COVID19, the place where I live in the US is under Shelter-in-Place order, i.e. everyone needs to stay at home till April. All non-essential services are suspended. Schools, museums, businesses, restaurants are closed, while games, concerts are cancelled. Highways and parks are empty. Companies adopted a work-from-home policy for employees. The bustling city suddenly seems like a ghost town. We can now only go out for emergencies, groceries and to hospitals.
Nobody knows how to react under such a sudden and unprecedented situation. Sometimes fear makes people behave strangely and selfishly. We see news of people clearing out shelves, fighting over Toilet Paper, and wonder if the supply of sanity is running lower than sanitizers.
But many a time, stressful situations also brings out what is best in us.
An American friend called to ask if we needed something. Can she pick anything for us on her grocery run? Doorbell rings and a Mexican neighbour is standing outside with a box full of food. The neighbour asked if we needed anything else. She thought of us and picked a few things. She had checked on our elderly neighbours and dropped food for them as well. She was going to give some items for another neighbour.
A Korean friend and Chinese acquaintance called to ask if we needed anything, how we were doing and shared their concerns over the situation.
Different races and different faces, but the concern, care, and kindness are the same.
The city might be locked down but arms and hearts are wide open.