You Know What the Good News is?

Taylor Kearns • March 24, 2020

When I was a kid, my mom would ask us that question immediately following what – at the time – seemed like a soul-crushing disappointment. You know, the kind of disappointment that ruins your young life: not making region band, missing out on a role in a play, the VCR failing to record the 3 AM showing of Godzilla Vs. MechaGodzilla, etc. No matter the scale or severity of the issue, mom was always ready with the Pollyanna-inspired rhetorical pick-me-up, “but you know what the good news is?” Typically, the answer paled in comparison to what we’d originally wanted. But there was always something.

Today, the stakes are much higher. We face a worldwide pandemic that’s killed thousands and left countless others sick and/or quarantined. We don’t know what’s coming next, but the experts say it doesn’t look good. People are unable to grieve the lost, earn a living, or just sit and talk with friends and family. Even Pollyanna would struggle with this one.

But I’m trying to find the good news in our collective resilience and ability to innovate on the fly. Like never before, we’re seeing everyone from business leaders to school bus drivers figure out how to “adapt and overcome” to ensure people are fed, cared for and loved.

I submit, for your consideration, the following GOOD NEWS:

  • Online book reading sessions for children stuck at home.
  • Local health clubs closing, but posting workouts online members can access and use at will.
  • Designated shopping hours for seniors to keep them safe (and stocked with toilet paper).

Or, how about this one from Kershaw County (where today, you’ll find 1/3 of South Carolina’s positive cases): we’ve watched school bus drivers leverage social media to make sure school children are fed.  Drivers are posting on social media, “Listen for the school bus horn at 8:00 am on so-and-so street.  Come to the curb and pick up the meals.”  It’s an impressive (and rapidly deployed) solution to feeding children who depend on school meals, while also maintaining that all-important social distance.

Along with innovation, we’ve watched compassion spring forth in ways that rival our typical responses to a natural disaster: neighbors shopping for friends who are at an increased risk of catching the virus, residents gathering money to buy dinner for local hospital staff, a building owner telling their tenants to pay their employees instead of the rent.

The examples are out there, and although social media has been accused of “killing socialization,” I think it will ultimately be one of our greatest sources of joy throughout this experience. So, I encourage you to seek – and share – that joy. Social media campaigns are already in motion: #EncouragingTheCarolinas (on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter); WLTX’s #ShareTheLove; or #StayHome (get a look inside your friends’ work-from-home set-up across all social platforms). Jokes, video of your dogs helping you work from home, examples of compassion in the face of adversity, it’s all welcome. And these days, it’s all needed.

So, help me out – do you know what the good news is?

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