The news has changed. Sure, we are overwhelmed by statistics, infection rates, death counts, and updated stay-at-home orders. And there are still the non-rush hour, rush hour traffic reports followed by the weather forecast. But the tone and focus of the remaining newscasts have a subtle difference. There is more banter between the on-set anchors and those working from their home offices. The viewers have been granted glimpses of children’s toys strewn under their desks, camera stealing felines and the unexpected normal interruptions of home life.
Broadcasts have featured Rockhopper penguins touring the shuttered Shedd Aquarium to visit the exhibits and sharing their explorations on Facebook. They have treated us to Batesburg-Leesville S.C. police officers live-streaming as they read books to kids. At the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, orthopedic Drs. Elvis L. Francois and William Robinson sing and play piano, respectively, after the completion of their shifts. Their most recent rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” has gone viral.
Meanwhile, Patrick Stewart, who has logged over 60 appearances with the Royal Shakespeare Company, is performing a daily recital of Shakespeare’s sonnets on his Twitter account. DJs, singers, bands, and others are hosting live-streaming “virtual parties” and “virtual concerts” on various platforms. Inspired by Italians singing from balconies and open windows, similar serenades have happened in Edmonton, Chicago, Dallas, and other cities.
Every one of these events, each modest gesture, is a shining beacon of hope. For every light that gains national and world attention, countless others are touching one person or a small group of total strangers. Even when we defeat the virus, my hope is we remember these acts and continue to connect with each other. Maybe, finally, the world will be as one.
How will you let your light shine today?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer