Positive Stories Emerge From the Pandemic Madness
What's the difference between positive news stories and negative news stories?
The main difference is negative news stories are around us constantly. We don’t have to search for them. The headlines shout out to us.
Positive news stories, on the other hand, are often hidden. Especially lately during this pandemic. They're not easy to find.
If you'd like some positive news stories connected to COVID-19, you've come to the right place. I've done the searching for you.
Veterans’ Video Provides Hope
Turning Point USA is a conservative nonprofit organization. Their mission is to identify, educate, train and organize students. For the purpose of promoting the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets and limited government.
The group recently put together a powerful video to give Americans hope while dealing with the virus. Among the quotes from veterans are:
"We will get through this. The fear of pain will subside and a renewed appreciation for freedom will take its place. One like you’ve never known."
"You'll be emotionally stronger, physically more resilient. And collectively, we will be a better version of the greatest people on Earth."
'A Message of Strength and Togetherness'
Rob Smith, who served in Iraq, is a spokesman for Turning Point USA. He's also the author of Always a Soldier.
"We want to send a message of strength and togetherness to America as we're dealing with this coronavirus pandemic," he said. "And we wanted it to come from veterans.
"We want to let people know that through our experience as veterans we can give a voice to people who have been through rough times.
"Veterans know rough times. When I was first deployed to Iraq, I didn't have a shower or a hot meal for a month. I slept on the ground for about six months.
Mental Toughness Required
"There are a lot of Americans who are struggling with the coronavirus pandemic," he continued. "They need a more positive message. What better way than to give them that message from veterans?
"Mental toughness is as good as physical toughness. We had to get mentally tough to face what we were dealing with as soldiers. We want to encourage Americans to do that as well.
"And also, since the coronavirus pandemic has become so politicized, we want to encourage people to come together.
"Many veterans have wildly diverse political beliefs. But we want to come together as Americans to have the same message. And I think this is a time when we can come together to get through the pandemic."
Serving Again... Through Dance
Dancing on stage and firing a machine gun as a U.S. Marine in Iraq may not seem similar. But Roman Baca has done both. In each case, his actions were designed to help others.
"I joined the Marines because I wanted to fight for those that could not fight for themselves," he said. "And to be of service to others.
"Seeing the impact that war has had on so many – not only my fellow veterans, but on people around the world – has solidified the call again for service.
"But this time, I strive to do it without a weapon, with art, in the direction of global understanding and peace."
Reaching for Support
Baca was in the Bronx section of New York City during the height of the recent coronavirus surge there. He contracted the disease and suffered through two weeks of sickness.
"COVID-19 was one of the scariest times I have lived through," he said. "I was so scared the first night of symptoms, I could not sleep.
"I was worried that I would give it to my wife, our housemates, our friends. I was scared that I would be admitted into the hospital and wouldn’t be able to contact anyone."
Then he remembered what the Marines taught him about being afraid. "I started reaching out to others, like my wife and best friend, for support and advice. Their support got me through it."
Impact of Fatherhood
The experience inspired Baca to revisit his passion for dance and art. The artistic director and president of Exit12 Dance Company now aims to help veterans, victims of war and civilians.
They will conduct a one-week artistic residency in New Woodstock, New York next month.
Workshops will address subjects including the impact of fatherhood on the veteran experience. On the agenda are virtual meetings with veteran artists. And group sharing sessions.
"Getting people to work together to create a great piece of art that connects with others, it's incredible," he said.
A Natural Survivor
There's just no keeping Joy Andrew down. She survived a Nazi assassination attempt following World War II, a plane crash and breast cancer.
Now the 99-year-old has defeated COVID-19. She was placed in end-of-life care, but shocked her doctors by pulling through.
Described by friends as "indestructible," she lives in York, England. Family members are looking forward to celebrating her 100th birthday with her in November.
Here's what her daughter said. "My mother survived an assassination attempt in post-war Germany by her chauffeur, later identified as a Nazi. She also survived crash-landing in the desert as one of BOAC's first air hostesses.
"And she survived breast cancer. She certainly wasn't going to let coronavirus defeat her."
The pandemic is rough. And will continue to be. Hopefully more positive stories will emerge to balance out the negative ones.