Good News During Coronavirus: America, You're Beautiful

July 2, 2020 0 By JohnValbyNation

We Americans have never needed our neighbors as much as we do right now. We can’t go into each other’s homes as we could before the new coronavirus turned our lives upside down, which makes the displays of genuine kindness all the more important and, if appearances suggest anything at all, it’s now prolific.

Most kids stuck at home are finding their teachers, from a safe distance, the teachers they look up to and admire. And teachers find ways to see them.

A state trooper, discovering he had just pulled over a doctor, did something that ended in tears, good ones, for both of them.

For more stories about how the new coronavirus is affecting your neighbors and for other community news, find your local Patch and sign up for real-time news alerts and newsletters.

The first in our collection of stories meant to lift you up features a man singing to his wife. The song he chose perfectly describes you and the grace you’ve shown during this crisis.

‘You Are So Beautiful’

Susan Maloney has dementia. Who knows what she recalls about sitting on her husband’s lap as he quietly crooned, “You Are So Beautiful.” The serenade and tribute, shared on the “Quarantine Karaoke” Facebook page, was a delight to all who heard it. Read Rachel Nunes’ story and watch the video on Coventry Patch.

Why They Cried

The doctors, nurses and other health care workers on the front line can rightfully be called heroes in the fight against the coronavirus. Many Patch stories the past week focused on how they’re fighting for all of our good health while increasing the risk to their own.

“The veil of civilization may be thin, but not all that lies behind it is savage,” a doctor working at a COVID-19 quarantine unit in Minnesota wrote after an encounter with a state trooper she was sure would end in a speeding ticket.

His sacrifice, the one that moved both of them to tears on the roadside, wasn’t that he gave her a warning and had one less to report to his post commander. It was much more precious than that. Read William Bornhoft’s story on Maple Grove Patch.

Why They Cheered

Even as — or especially because — the number of people sickened by the virus rose in their community, Hoboken, New Jersey, residents opened their windows and applauded health care workers, emergency workers and everyone putting their health on the line during the crisis. Watch the video and read Caren Lissner’s story on Hoboken Patch.


What They Did

An impromptu group in the Five Towns area of Long Island, New York, has raised $30,000 in a helpful gesture that has a domino effect. They’re buying food from local restaurants, which keeps their cash registers ringing, and then donates it to feed health care and other essential business workers. Read Jacqueline Sweet’s story on Five Towns Patch.

Why They Sewed

“The health care workers are really brave and I’m so excited that I have this opportunity to help them,” says a New Hampshire eighth-grader who is among Girl Scouts around the state sewing face masks for health care workers while under stay-at-home isolation. Read Tony Schinella’s story on Merrimack Patch.

(Courtesy photo)

Here are more stories about people helping the people who are helping the rest of us stay healthy:

How The NYC Fashion Industry Is Joining Coronavirus Front Lines, by Anna Quinn on Washington Heights-Inwood Patch Community Raises $50,000+ To Feed Nurses, Doctors, by Lanning Taliaferro on Chappaqua-Mount Kisco Patch Syosset Muslims Collect Coronavirus Supplies For Responders, by Nikki Gaskins on Syosset Patch Residents Stage Support Caravan To Hospital, by Jacqueline Seet on West Islip Patch Kids Make Face Shields For Medical Staff, by Alexis Tarrazi on Scotch Plains-Fanwood Patch Toy Designer Raises Money To Ship Masks To Hospitals, by Samantha Mercado on Concord Patch Soup And Sandwich Shop Takes Meals To Hospital Workers, by Alexis Tarrazi on Princeton Patch Volunteers Sew Masks For Essential Workers, by Maggie Fusek on Rohnert Park-Cotati Patch Lizzo Feeds Community Medical Center Staff, by Karen Wall on Toms River Patch Kane County Collects Protective Gear For Coronavirus Response, by Jo Herrera on Aurora Patch Cooking From The Heart

Throughout history’s darkest moments, there have been community strongholds where the stout of heart have made their stand. And amid the new coronavirus crisis, and in the New Jersey town of Montclair, Toni’s Kitchen is proving to be one of those strongholds — rallying the soup kitchen’s volunteers to cook more than a thousand meals for people struggling with homelessness and financial distress. Read Eric Kiefer’s story on Montclair Patch.

A caterer in Illinois is working toward the same goal and is crowdfunding to feed those in need. Read Jonah Meadows’ story on Evanston Patch.

‘Plenty For Us To Do’

When Ross Mudrick broke the news to his 7-year-old daughter her spring break trip to Louisiana and Los Angeles had been canceled, she began sobbing. “We said, ‘We’re not doing this trip, but, you know, there’s a lot of work for us to do here. The community needs us here.’ ” Read Maya Kaufman’s story on Astoria-Long Island City Patch.

Back-To-School: Well, Sort Of.

(Photo courtesy of Joe Fanaselle

If you think all students whose school years have been interrupted, or in some cases abruptly ended, are thrilled about the extended break, but you’re wrong. Kids miss their teachers, and their teachers miss them.

New Jersey teacher Sarah O’Neill would like to say her days start at 7 a.m., but the truth is, she wakes up about 3 o’clock. “I’m up, worrying about this scary virus, worrying about my children, my family, tossing and turning ….” she wrote in a candid post about what being sidelined from the classroom is like. Read Josh Bakan’s story on Barnegat-Manahawkin Patch

Teachers and students are finding ways to connect, and they all get an A, certainly for creative social distancing, but especially for caring. This seems to be a thing around the country.

Teachers, Students Have A Mutual Admiration Parade, by Chris Dehnel on Vernon Patch Teacher Video: Teachers And Staff See their Students In Motorcade, by Tim Jensen on Enfield Patch Photos: ‘Wave Parade’ Held For School Kids Amid Coronavirus, by Toni McAllister on Murrieta Patch Coronavirus Can’t Stop Kids, Teachers From Showing They Care, by Ellyn Santiago on Ledyard Patch Learning Can Be Really Fun

The coronavirus can take the vice principal out of the classroom, but it can’t take the classroom out of the vice principal from New Jersey who teamed with his wife, also a vice principal, and their two children in a hilarious video for distance learners. Watch it and read Eric Kiefer’s story on Caldwells Patch.

Does High Honor Include Fries?

This was fun, too. A Michigan teen named salutatorian of her 2020 graduating class learned about it in an unusual way — when she was working the drive-thru lane at a fast-food restaurant. Read Beth Dalbey’s story on Across Michigan Patch.

Still Cuckoo For You

Georgian Jodie Davis was disappointed, of course, when the spread of the coronavirus meat she had to cancel the launch party for The American Cuckoo Clock Company but she found a way to make others smile. Read Kathleen Sturgeon’s story on Canton Patch.

The Business Of Helping

The local businesses that make communities vibrant and strong have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Many have adopted the attitude of Rosie the Riveter, the cultural icon of World War II symbolic of women who worked in retooled factories and shipyards and produced munitions and other war supplies.

The fight against the spread of the coronavirus has been compared to a war against an enemy, and several distilleries in the Philadelphia area see it the same way and have joined the army. The spirits industry has pivoted its production to help replenish the nation’s supply of hand sanitizer, a good substitute when hot water and soap aren’t available. Read Justin Heinze’s story on Abington Patch.

Here are more examples of the beer and spirits industry helping out:

Illinois Distiller Makes Hand Sanitizer to Fight Coronavirus, by Jonah Meadows on Lake Forest Patch Distiller Chooses Hand Sanitizer Over Spirits Amid Coronavirus, by Ashley Ludwig on Newport Beach-Corona Del Mar Patch Brewery Launches GoFundMe Charity To Help Furloughed Workers, by Kathleen Sturgeon on Woodstock-Towne Lake Patch

In Illinois, factory workers accustomed to making office storage and filing systems are now building emergency beds. Read Jo Herrera’s story on Aurora Patch.

Free money? Well, not quite, but an automotive shop in Joliet, Illinois, is giving away $50 gift certificates to walk-in customers. But Bob Skinner, the franchise owner, doesn’t call it a gift certificate, but relief. “We’re here to help with relief,” he said. “This is going on until our little pandemic has ended.” Read John Ferak’s story on Joliet Patch.

Smile, You’re On Coronavirus Camera

Sidelined and out of work because of the coronavirus, a New York photographer put her skills to work to put a happier face on the crisis. Read Nikki Gaskins’ story on Syosset Patch.

(Photo courtesy of Oksana Pali Photography)

Need Inspiration?

Patch contributing writer Hal Green, who describes himself as a long-term optimist, writes a couple of times a week about how to live your best life. He has beenfocusing lately, as we all have, on the coronavirus pandemic. Read “Now Is The Time To Cherish” and catch up on more of his columns on Across America Patch.

Need A Laugh?

The sight of an adult traipsing around in an Easter bunny costume is ridiculously funny on its own. But when the rabbit puts on a mask and Haz-Mat suit and hops around the neighborhood? That’s some funny stuff. Read Dave Byrnes’ story on Plainfield Patch.

Need A Face-Palm Moment?

With questions that must be on the mind of almost everyone who has heard about it, let’s trace this back to the moment a man in Washington State decided to let his pit bull drive a car: What the actual, ahem, pup? Read Beth Dalbey’s story on Seattle Patch.

Need A Diversion?

Here are two if you’re feeling cooped up and want to get outdoors:

The first one isn’t what it may seem. Yes, there are bears in North Carolina and it’s best to steer clear of them. So when residents of this neighborhood tell their kiddos to go out and hunt them, they’re not talking about the kind of bear that might maul them. Read Kimberly Johnson’s story on Davidson Patch.

And if hope springs eternal, so do morel mushrooms. For a map on where these woodsy delicacies are already being found and where you might expect to find them, read Beth Dalbey’s story on Across America Patch.

Need Some Cuteness?

A newborn wallaby, known as a joey, poked its head out its mother’s pouch for the first time at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, then crawled back in. Did you know wallabies are born underdeveloped and, once they’ve burrowed back in, continue to develop after birth? Read Alessia Grunberger’s story on Washington, D.C., Patch

(Roshan Patel/Smithsonian National Zoological Park)

Happy Birthday

(Photo courtesy of Kevin Imm/

Rather than allowing the coronavirus to take away that one day of the year when kids feel like they’re the center of the universe — their birthdays — people are putting extra effort into making them memorable.

Neighbors Save Girl’s Birthday After Coronavirus Cancels It, by Nikki Gaskins on Port Washington Patch Photos: Fire Department Makes 3-Year-Old’s Birthday Special, by Michael Woyton on Levittown Patch Cops Give Youngster Birthday Surprise, by Chris Dehnel on Glastonbury Patch This.

A Maryland circus clown whose gigs dried up with the spread of the coronavirus decided in a moment of introspection that instead of “hanging out at home feeling very unhelpful,” he should do a show for the kids who live near his cul-de-sac. “Everyone was happy to have something silly to break up their day while learning a little science,” he says. Read Kristin-Danley Greiner’s story on Columbia Patch.