An outbreak of COVID-Kindness? Am I symptomatic?
By Chaplain (Col.) Dan Brantingham, Air Mobility Command
/ Published April 08, 2020
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) --
In the midst of this global pandemic, there is little known outbreak of kindness, “COVID-Kindness,” happening around the world simultaneously. A neighbor wanting to honor physical distancing and still help her neighbors created an “I can help” postcard to drop in mailboxes. The card lists her contact information and ways she can help - all for free. Disneyland donated their food stores to local food banks shortly after closing for COVID-19. Two young cello players, nine and six, held a 30-minute outdoor front porch concert for a 78-year-old widow who was self-isolating at her children’s insistence. Lastly, a 20-something answered a yell for help in a local supermarket parking lot. The yell came from a couple in their 70s who were waiting for the right person to come along and ask for help by doing their shopping while they remained safe in their car. Are you contagious with COVID-Kindness? Will someone pick you out in a crowd and yell to you for help?
What are the symptoms of COVID-Kindness? There are five predominant symptoms. First is a case of “proper pacing.” Basically, does your “get the mission done” pace allow you to still see the need of another and to adjust course to assist them? Second, is your breathing deeper? Are you managing your frustrations with your fellow human beings and technology by remembering to breathe deep breaths? Hold it, hold it – 4-3-2-1. The third symptom is are you quick to remember that not everyone thinks or acts the way you do? Fourth, is your compassion active? Are you willing to climb in the hole with someone, while maintaining a six-foot distance, and assist them in getting out of the hole? The fifth and final symptom is are you practicing humane risk management? The fifth and final symptom is are you practicing humane risk management? Are you practicing social distancing while staying connected; listening for and acting on ways to bless your neighbor? If you have three or four of these symptoms, you more than likely will test positive for COVID-Kindness.
You may ask, “If I don’t have the symptoms, how do I catch COVID-Kindness?” There are five ways to catch a case of COVID-Kindness. First, review your daily habits, your daily calendar. Do you have protected time to entertain kindness, to be kind to others? COVID-Kindness needs the fresh air of time to be caught and contagious. Don’t fear, COVID-Kindness does not need an extravagant amount of time. A kind or encouraging word in passing can bring healing oil to the soul. What’s important is that you’ve made a commitment to think about ways to go about being kind. Second, post a visible reminder of your goal to be kind and thoughtful of others. Post the reminder in your office, in your car, in your bathroom, on your refrigerator. The third way to catch COVID-Kindness is to read about acts of kindness. Search for acts of kindness on the Internet daily. Read one story on acts of kindness daily. Fourth, actively make an effort to remember every day that we are in this together. We are one team with a shared purpose and mission. Look around on your Brady Bunch Squares brought to you by video teleconference technology, this is our team and for one another we will fight this threat. In this war against a germ, we are not fighting each other, our fight is for each other. The fifth way to catch a case of COVID-Kindness is to find an accountability buddy – a sounding board, a confidant, a co-conspirator to plot acts of kindness together. Exposure to one or more of these risk factors will more than likely ensure you become a carrier of COVID-Kindness. This is not to say you’ll be a perfect carrier every minute of every day. You will however make a difference is your neighbor’s life and add some oil and peace to a fellow human’s soul as well as our own souls.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-Kindness? Dear Holy Creator of all things macro and micro, creatures big and small, I pray not. May we all be contagious carriers of COVID-Kindness. When we are, we protect and regenerate our souls and the souls of others.