Here’s a short, ongoing list of heartening responses and initiatives around COVID-19 that I’ve seen so far, in no particular order:
Techies in NYC and elsewhere working hard and combining resources to put together mesh networks allowing families without internet at home to access it, as long as they have a device capable.
Yo-Yo Ma broadcasting himself performing beautiful music just to ease people’s hearts a little.
Broadway legend Laura Benanti reaching out to high-schoolers whose performances were canceled and giving them a place online for them to show off and be seen.
People starting to put together creative projects, like a magazine/book cowritten by a bunch of strangers currently in quarantine.
A *ton* of tech workers who already work remotely reaching out to newly, abruptly remote-workers to give them advice and resources and sharing funny aspects of their new situations.
China sending resources and teams to Italy to help in their response.
Jack Ma (of Alibaba) sending a ton of tests and masks to the US.
Durham distillery owners using their equipment to make bootleg hand sanitizer and distribute it locally for free.
Steph Curry is helping feed a million Oakland-area kids whose schools are closed.
Italian tenor Maurizio Marchini has begun serenading a locked-down Florence at night from his balcony.
“LVMH, the world’s biggest luxury company, is switching all of its perfume and cosmetic factories (behind Christian Dior, Guerlain etc) to making hand sanitiser gel that will be delivered free across France to address to address critical shortage of antibac gel”.
The band Dropkick Murphys canceled its St. Patrick’s Day concert but will be livestreaming a concert on Tuesday open to everyone.
“An Italian hospital ran out of ICU valves. A local biz brought a 3D printer to the hospital, redesigned & produced the valves in a few hours.“
Spectrum and Xfinity have both waived data caps and opened up their wifi hotspots to all.
Music companies Korg and Moog have made their synthesizer apps free for a limited time for people to make music while socially distancing.
Entrepreneur and investor Sam Altman has announced that he’s seeking to fund startups/projects focused on COVID-19, from PPE and ventilator production to vaccines, drug screening, and novel but possibly financially-risky therapeutics.
Update as of Monday 3/16 afternoon:
A couple canceled their son’s Bar Mitzvah but instead of canceling their order with the caterer they delivered the food to people in quarantine and sent more home with friends.
Chef Jose Andres closed his DC-area restaurants and is setting up community kitchens to serve meals to everyone instead.
A South Portland Maine landlord will not be collecting April rent from tenants, and has challenged other landlords to do the same.
ANOTHER local distillery has retooled to provide hand sanitizer for free!
Lots happening in the NBA! Player Zion Williamson will be paying arena staff himself. The owners of the Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks announced they’ll continue to pay arena staff. Cleveland Cavaliers owner is paying hourly and event staff team members, and Cavs player Kevin Love made a $100k donation to arena workers. AND MORE! Read the article! Holy crap!
Update as of Tuesday 3/17 morning:
Another video from Yo-Yo Ma performing, this one dedicated to healthcare workers.
Whataburger employees delivered a ton of food to grocery store H-E-B employees working long, hard hours to keep shelves stocked.
Georgia’s Old Fourth Distillery also retooled to begin producing hand sanitizer to distribute free of charge.
The creative behind SMBC comics released a bunch of books free to keep boredom away.
Margie Housley compiled a thread of live animal cams to watch while we’re distancing/in isolation/in quarantine.
Shedd Aquarium has been delighting the internet by letting its penguins explore other exhibits while it’s empty.
Update as of Sunday 3/22 afternoon (probably the last update, at least for the moment, due to my mental bandwidth):
Marine Scientist and Amateur Bagpiper Dr. Andrew Thaler performs for the quarantined masses.
Cambridge University Press made all 700 of its textbooks publicly available in HTML format.
Paris erupts in loud, coordinated appreciation for its medical workers.
Listoke Distillery retooled to make hand sanitizer.
In Barcelona, a pianist took his keyboard to his balcony to play for the neighborhood. A sax player in the next building joined in!
Inspired by Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum released, uhm, its dinosaur SUE to roam the exhibits.
A Tennessee grocery store is delivering free food to seniors in isolation.
GG Hospitality’s Gary Neville closed his hotels to provide them to the NHS and is still supporting staff with full pay.
Landlord Young Investment Company advised its tenants (mostly restaurants) not to pay April rent and pay their employees instead.
Audible released a TON of free stories for kids.
Unemployed Uber and Lyft drivers, actors, and technicians are helping a theatre union deliver meals to at-risk seniors.
Designer Christian Siriano (of Project Runway fame) has retasked his team to sew masks for medical personnel.
NYC’s marriage bureau unexpectedly shut, but a judge showed up to help several couples anyway!
An 84 year old professional pianist set up to play to a retirement community under lockdown.
An Indian restaurant owner jumped into action to donate food to UW Virology staff.
In general 3D-printed masks aren’t a great solution for medical purposes, but the team that made ventilator parts above figured out a better way by modifying snorkeling masks!