Community groups find ways to give back during pandemic

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For the past month, all we have heard are scary news and horrific updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only people who have the virus are suffering, but the pandemic is definitely affecting lots of others. However, even in this time of great hardship, people are finding ways to express kindness and creativity. 

At Delta College, professors and staff are doing their best to help students get through the semester. All classes are now moved online, and they have quickly adapted to the situation and still make sure the online transition comes as easy as possible for the students. The Active Minds club at Delta also increased their presence online to support and provide students with information, motivational posts and they are also hosting virtual meetings via Zoom every Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. that everyone is welcomed to join. 

“We are currently putting together some challenges and spirit days to encourage people to be in the community. Think of spirit day from high school. For example, pajama day or crazy socks day. Something small but it’s also something that we can do together while being apart and respecting social distancing,” said professor Adriana Brogger, the Active Minds club advisor. 

There are countless numbers of people, restaurants and businesses who are trying their best to help others. 

In Galt, 25 miles north of Stockton, a restaurant named Papas & Wings is trying their best to show their appreciation to the frontline workers. 

“You know, everyday the COVID-19 advanced and it is only getting worse, and the nurses and doctors are working very hard to help people so about three weeks ago, we went to the Lodi Memorial Hospital and we fed the whole ER, the staff was really cool, they really appreciated it and we felt really good about what we were doing also,” said JD Virgen, general manager for Papas & Wings. 

Papas & Wings is also currently holding a medical supply drive, in which they give a free order of fries to whoever donates supplies like masks, hand sanitizer, etc. 

“There are people who are hoarding some stuff and there is justification for doing so, but if you can spare a box or two, and if you want to donate it, bring it here, we will bring it directly to workers who need them. Today, we fed our local fire department, station 45 and 46, they both came and we fed them lunches. They are out there, they are responding to the accidents, responding to people’s health and they are the one who is really taking the risk to help us out. So, we completely recognized that and wanted to show our appreciation,” said Virgen. 

With the lockdown order in place, most people, especially the younger generations, are spending most of their time on social media — not only for entertainment, but also for news and updates. Knowing this, teachers, coaches, instructors are taking advantage of platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and Tik Tok to guide and offer their help to others. 

On Instagram, lots of health instructors, live coaches, and dance choreographers are offering free lessons. Instagram users can watch their live videos on Instagram and join them. Account user @trainwithdanny, who is an L.A.-based personal trainer offers a “Sweat sesh” every day, which is a working out session that includes a wide variety of exercises that you can do at home. Allison Holker, a choreographer/host of Disney Fairytale weddings also offers workout and easy dance lessons that you can join for free on her Instagram page @allisonholker every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. 

Besides individuals who are helping others on social media, there are a lot of other good examples of kindness and generosity. Stories can be found on accounts on Instagram such as @tanksgoodnews and @greatbigstory, like the man in Detroit who spends $900 to buy gas for nurses, the math teacher who stood outside of his 12-year-old student’s house to help her with math problems or the 21-year-old student who designed masks for deaf and hard of hearing people. Instead of a traditional mask, this mask has a clear flexible plastic front to cover the mouth area, so that people who are deaf and hard of hearing can communicate by reading lips and still stay safe. 

Big companies are also trying their best to help out customers and help people reduce some stress also. Netflix put together Netflix Party options for viewers who want to watch movies and TV shows with their friends and families. The feature synchronized video playback and adds group chat to Netflix shows, letting people communicate as if they were all watching in the same room. Lowes is also promoting a “Create a DIY thank you from home” project, in which people can get creative and make a thank you note or posters for frontline heroes working around the clock to support the community like doctors and nurses.