Although the global pandemic of COVID-19 is rampaging through communities, weakening healthcare systems and putting economies at risk of collapse, the importance of finding ways to stay positive is crucial. According to Psychology Today, despite the fact that it may feel easy for negative thoughts and feelings to creep during the pandemic, keeping a positive mindset and being optimistic is able to help filter out the constant barrage of discouraging news.
The recent positivity trend of the #ChalkYourWalk movement has allowed individuals to write inspiring messages on sidewalks, making people’s walks during coronavirus a little better and reminds individuals that they aren’t going through the pandemic alone. Neighborhoods across the country have encouraged their residents to chalk their sidewalks and driveways to make the day a little brighter.
“Two of my students Claudia and Isabella have been drawing lots of inspiring chalk messages in the neighborhood and everytime I go for a run, they always make me smile,” biology teacher Paige Fullhart said. “I also remember that when I was running one day, someone in my neighborhood was having a baby shower and had tables by the curbside covered in gifts.”
According to Fullhart, beyond just inspiring chalk messages, her neighborhood puts up signs that say “We Love You, Class of 2020” and has candle lights on the driveway at night to support front line workers such as nurses and doctors.
Another way positivity can be seen throughout the pandemic has been through birthday drive-by car parades for friends and families, which have become the newest craze for people to deal with coronavirus. These drive-by parades encourage people to think of creative ways to cheer each other up while still observing social distancing rules from afar.
“Although I have participated in four birthday parades during quarantine, orchestrating my brother Brett’s with a parade of more than 75 cars and about 125 people to surprise him has been my favorite one yet,” senior Brooke Wilkinson said. “Even though he didn’t get to go on his planned Las Vegas trip, he loved his special day and getting on the news for it was the icing on the cake.”
Besides drive-by birthday parades, another popular way to spread positivity amid the pandemic has been to donate money, support small local businesses in the area and sew homemade masks for health care workers who need it.
“A way I have supported our local communities has been doing a food drive as a part of Brett’s parade, where participants who surprised Brett could drop off food, therefore allowing my family to collect and donate to the Wheeling Township Food Pantry,” Wilkinson said.
With social distancing and a mandatory stay-at-home quarantine order, the virus has allowed an opportunity to grow and develop with a new lifestyle change. According to Wilkinson, driving around and listening to music has a calming effect and there’s never been a better time to pick up a new hobby that can help kill some time. It can take your mind off of the virus, even if only for a short while.
While the constant bombardment of coronavirus news can dampen people’s moods, these times of isolation with family can build stronger relationships and give time to make a new personal schedule and set new goals.
“Although it may seem like it’s the end of the world for us, I always tell myself that this is the way it might be today, but not how it will be in blank,” Fullhart said. “Finding positivity, whether it’s a sunny day or seeing my students faces, helps me remain optimistic and puts my energy towards what’s going well for me.”