Now is the time to embrace the new normal, like book deliveries. Picture: istock
Now is the time to embrace the new normal, like book deliveries. Picture: istock

We can get by with a little hope from our friends

So, in the immortal words of Joey Tribbiani from Friends, how you doing?

I'm guessing perhaps not as well as you were about, oh I don't know, two weeks ago, before the world seemingly went completely mad and people started stockpiling toilet paper.

Not all people, just some people, because while the toilet paper hoarders among us are of the "I'm all right, Jack" variety, the rest of us are checking if each other are.

I understand the feelings of anxiety and uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic and the strange new normal it's bought us - because I feel it too. Of course I do, we all do.

But here's the thing about we human beings, we're pretty good at adjusting to new normals - big or small, and whatever form they take.

It's why we're still here, on this planet, despite some fairly impossible odds over the centuries. We've survived some spectacularly dangerous times, and we'll survive this too; after all, as one popular post circulating around social media puts it: "Our grandparents were sent off to war, we're being sent to our couches."

Now, I am not in any way suggesting that we should not be taking COVID-19 all its implications seriously. Nor am I diminishing the heartbreak felt by those it has directly affected - not for a minute. Not for a second.

But I am suggesting that instead of bowing our heads in defeat and resignation that we're all going to hell in a hand basket, we lift them up and look around us.

Because all around us are, even now, even this early on in the piece when nothing seems certain at all, are signs of hope.

And hope, my friends, is exactly what one of my favourite writers and educators David Orr says it is - "Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up."

The other thing that's circulating at the moment is story after story of people doing just that. All over the world, people are dealing with their new normal; creating new concepts to keep their businesses going; finding innovative ways to get their messages across, and to simply, like the quarantined Italians serenading each other from across their balconies, remind us that even in isolation, we are not alone.

 

Here in Queensland, all sorts of businesses and all sorts of individuals are doing the same thing. I wish I could list them all, but here's just a sample of people in our community rolling their sleeves up in their new normal.

Let's do the same, and support them.

Inner South Community Helpers - Helping Those in Quarantine is a Facebook page that's just been set up and staffed by volunteers to lend a helping hand.

Two of the Western suburb's finest cafes - Graceville Fine Foods and Deli and Three Girls Skipping have joined forces to create delicious, home delivered meals. Check out their Facebook page for details.

The terrific, family run business in West End, Chez Nous Corporate Catering are also now offering home cooked and delivered meals.

Cheznouscorporate.com.au

If you are looking for something special, don't forget the wonderful Buy From A Bush Business - beautiful creations from regional Queensland and all over Australia

www.facebook.com/groups/buyfromthebush

Local business stylingyoushop.com.au is open for business delivering gorgeous Australian made clothes, and if you fancy a bit of fresh seafood, I highly recommend www.seafreshtraders.com.au which is also delivering.

Soul Song Community Choirs in Brisbane and Cairns are starting viral choirs so we call join in the chorus together.

https://www.soulsong.com.au/viralchoir

A volunteer visits a frail elderly woman in Rome, Italy, during the coronavirus lock down. Picture: Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images
A volunteer visits a frail elderly woman in Rome, Italy, during the coronavirus lock down. Picture: Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images

Bucci Restaurant and Bar (James Street Brisbane) are offering take home pasta kits from $10 from today.

http://buccijamesstreet.com.au

Queensland's bookstores are doing their bit to spread some story cheer throughout the State. West End's Avid Reader is offering free book delivery to some areas, while the gorgeous River bend Books in Bulimba is offering some free books to the elderly or isolated. Check their websites for details.

Please feel free to contact me at frances.whiting@news.com.au to let me know of others rolling their sleeves up - and if you are feeling blue, here's another one of my favourite quotes: "Things will be all right in the end, and if it's not all right, it's not the end."



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