During storms, it is the roots of the tree that hold fast, grounding the tree into the earth and ensuring its nourishment. As we weather the storm of COVID-19, it can seem overwhelming as things change around us. In these times, it is our fundamental roots — our relationships with our partners, our teams, our families, our communities and ourselves — that ground us. They strengthen and uplift us as we hold fast. As your partners, we are grateful and value that you are part of our root system. Together, we will weather this temporary storm.
With the conditions of the pandemic continuing to unfold, we are witnessing the power of relationships as people, institutions, businesses and communities share their talents and find more and more ways to support each other.
Across North America, thousands of current and former nurses, doctors and other health-care workers joined the fight against COVID-19 putting off retirements and putting themselves on the frontlines. In just 24 hours, 1,000 retired health care workers volunteered to help fight coronavirus in New York City alone. Across many countries, residents are gathering at their windows, on their balconies and at their doors to #clapforcarers, thanking frontline healthcare workers.
At the same time, artists are organizing free virtual concerts from the Metropolitan Opera's Nightly Met Opera Streams to Rufus Wainright's daily “#Quarantunes” for his “#RobeRecitals” series on Instagram (follow rufuswainwright) to whole symphony orchestra’s demonstrating how we can literally work in concert from home to Neil Diamond releasing his *new* song “Hands...Washing Hands.”
As people share their talents, random acts of kindness are becoming not so random. They are becoming the new norm: from neighbors supporting the elderly to mutual aid networks emerging in cities across North America. Even the collective act of social distancing and self-isolating is an immense act of kindness — steps we each can take that protect our health, the health of all around us and the health of frontline healthcare workers and other essential services.
Our interconnectedness is more apparent and more significant than ever — and our relationships will root us to ride this storm out together.
As Italy entered its quarantine, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte asked his citizens: "Let's distance ourselves from each other today in order to embrace each other more warmly [...] tomorrow. Together we can do this."