Helping each other through strange times could make the world a better place. Let’s imagine the rainbow after the storm.
I bet you’re reading this in… (let me think really hard) …your home! Am I right?
Well I’m pretty sure I’m right. But, OK, I’m not a mind reader. I just know that nearly all our readers are at home. Schools are shut and millions of us can’t go out. So how are you feeling about it? Are you finding new things to do?
Some kids have cheered everyone up by painting rainbows and putting them in their windows. It started in Italy, where schools shut already last month because of the corona virus. The rainbows often come with the slogan “Everything will be OK!”
Monica, who lives in northern Italy, explained to Euroweekly News why she and her daughter got the paints out: “We made this poster to be positive that everything will be all right and we will be able to go out again and go back to a normal life.”
Now there are rainbows in windows in lots of countries. People are posting their rainbows on social media too. In Britain, one popular hashtag is #chasetherainbow.
Natalia, who runs a Facebook group in Belgium where people post drawings, says her message is: stay home and have fun.
Not going out is a good thing today, she said – because it’s the best way to stop the virus so we can all get back to normal.
People are helping each other out in lots of practical ways. Maybe you have a granny or grandad who can’t go out to the shops? But I’m sure that they have neighbours, friends and relatives who are helping them out.
Hanna, a teacher in Poland saw a message online from a lonely old man who was hungry. He lived far away but she reposted his message on her own social networks. The old man got so much help, she told AFP News, “It was an avalanche!”
Maya, 10, told WoW! that she keeps cheerful at home in London by spending time messaging and chatting online to let people know they’re not alone:
“It’s important to support and think of vulnerable friends and put ourselves in their position by keeping in touch and checking up on them,” Maya said.
If you feel worried about the corona virus and the shutdown, that’s absolutely normal. You should talk about it to your parents. They can tell you that children are very unlikely to get it – and that nearly everyone who has got ill, has got better. Life is getting back to normal in countries like China and Korea, where people first had to stay at home to fight the bug. And new medicines are on their way.
An important group of people who need support are nurses and doctors who are working hard to help people who are sick. One way people are helping is just to say thank you to them. And how do you think we can do that at home?
Well, here at WoW!, we and our neighbours all open our windows to clap our hands and cheer every night at 8 p.m. “Thank you!” everyone shouts.
The idea has spread across Europe. In Spain, a nurse called Montse told Arte TV: “My and my colleagues cried when we heard all the people clapping.”
Doctors are also telling us that the best way to help them is by staying indoors, washing our hands regularly and keeping healthy.
Some people are helping doctors with equipment. A factory in France that used to make handbags and socks is making face masks. In Scotland, a distillery – where they make alcohol like gin and whisky – is producing gel for cleaning nurses’ hands.
I’m sure you have stories to tell about solidarity – helping each other. In WoW’s family, one of our cousins says her dancing teacher is sending her video lessons so she can practice at home now that classes have been suspended.
And another cousin, who is helping to look after old people, said something to me that made me think of rainbows: “It will be good,” said Janet, “If after all this helping each other, we go on looking out for each other in the future too.”
Why did that make me think of rainbows? Well, to get the joy of a rainbow you first have to put up with the rainstorm. And what Janet said makes me hope that maybe after this rotten COVID thing, we can look forward to something beautiful, too.
Like a rainbow of kindness.
We’d love to see your rainbows and hear your ideas for making the best of these unusual times – and for what we are learning from it for the future.