I live in a small house in a small neighborhood in a small town in western New York. We have tree-lined streets, sidewalks everywhere and old streetlamps whose soft glow at dusk in winter makes our houses look exactly like Thomas Kinkade paintings. I adore my area.
We also have a community Facebook page that serves as an incredible resource for our residents. Of course, as it is with all towns big or small, we have members whose collective job appears to be out-assholing each other and let it be said, some take this job very seriously.
As an example, I posted the other day to ask if anyone was aware of whether two local stores were exercising sanitary and social distancing measures because neither answered the phone when I called to inquire and I didn’t want to make needless trips if certain precautionary measures weren’t taken. Amidst the helpful responses, there were some who interjected decidedly unhelpful variations of “just stay home!!!” and I bet they punched those exclamation points with as much gusto as one can harness when unleashing one’s inner dickhead.
I’m quite proud of myself that I did not lose my shit on any of them by asking if they really thought I *WANT* to visit stores during this crisis and EXCUSE ME, maybe I needed some emergency items and HELLO, I OBVIOUSLY CARE ABOUT HUMANITY BECAUSE I ASKED THE DAMN QUESTION IN THE FIRST PLACE. Instead, I chose to ignore them because they are douchebags. That and the moderator closed comments.
Having said that, I love the community Facebook page, especially lately because it emphasizes all the wonderful things my town has done/is doing for us and the surrounding communities at large and I thought it would be nice to share some of them because I am neither a dickhead or a douchebag and the world needs more of us and less of them.
This is how we are getting through this together, albeit separately:
A hopscotch challenge where children draw hopscotches all over town so that other children (and adults whose knees don’t punch them in the face for even entertaining the idea) can hopscotch to their hearts’ content.
Children chalk inspirational messages on sidewalks and driveways. Honestly? This might be my favorite. Children learn from us. We set the example. Lead with hope and they will follow with hope.
A scavenger hunt of different colored shamrocks and eggs hanging in windows and on trees, and a “wild” scavenger hunt to find stuffed animals in trees.
One of our county’s major hospitals is located in our town and there is a widespread call to arms on behalf of residents and restaurants to organize meal donations for the weary heroes who work 12+ shifts and risk their lives to save us.
Our school district continues to offer free meals to students and, I believe, do so without regard to school ID (*I may be wrong on this particular aspect but I’m including it anyway because it gives me warm fuzzies).
Various teachers and aids have posted offers of free tutoring for those kids whose new teachers are all WAIT, WHAT? and have no idea how to solve for “x” and yell WHY IS THERE ALPHABET IN YOUR MATH?
We are peppered with little free libraries, any one of which is likely to house pantry items as well as books.
Librarians are offering online storytime.
We have auto repair shops who offer to pick up cars from residents and drop them back off, repaired AND sanitized, and flower shops who offer free bouquets of fresh flowers because, why not?
What are your communities doing to help everyone get through this time?