Compassion in Times of Coronavirus

20 April 2020

No one has ever become poorer by giving. - Anne Frank

Miracles happen in difficult times. In the face of COVID-19, our yoga teacher, previously a strictly non-technical person who is 80 years old, has gone digital overnight and now offers online classes via her Zoom account. During the year we would have drop-ins from different parts of the world join the class while on the island, but now they are able to join us daily from across the globe. Those of us who are on the island now have the choice to either attend her live class or stay home and switch their computers on to join. The Surya Namscar mantra during our Salutations to the Sun now reaches far and wide. As if having an 80-year-old yogi wasn´t t amazing enough, that she is technologically up to date was an amazing accomplishment.

More importantly, the spirit of togetherness our class felt in our first yoga zoom session a mere two weeks into lockdown really touched me. During our feedback round at the end of the class we talked about how each of us tried to make the best of the situation, some using the time for spring cleaning, others enjoying the peace and quiet it afforded them, when suddenly Annie (name changed) burst into tears. “I’m so sorry to spoil the mood”, she apologized, “but my father died and I couldn’t even go to England to attend the funeral. And now I’m so worried about my mother and can’t be at her side.” Her words did indeed cause an atmospheric shift, but in a positive way. The conversation that ensued suddenly gained a new depth and feeling of compassion and kindness, as we shared our stories of hardship and sorrow, but also of love and hope. In the intimacy of virtual space, social distancing became irrelevant, and I am sure I’m not the only one who, after the session, felt grateful for our blessings.

Woman crying

Our WhatsApp Support Group #

Last summer, when COVID-19 and “Corona” was still considered a cool brand of beer drunk direct from the bottle after pushing a slice of lemon through its neck, we created what we called our “support group” on WhatsApp to help each other in all kinds of practical ways like when somebody needed a ride to Son Espases or to the garage, a pet-loving hand to feed their cats over the weekend or to cook a healthy meal for someone who was down with the flue. What a wonderful invention this has turned out to be in these past weeks. Giving and receiving help has welded us together into what feels not so much as “a group”, but a family.

During lockdown, I heard from many friends all over the island I hear about similar initiatives– the young and healthy running errands and doing the shopping for neighbours who are considered part of the risk groups; people reading to their friends’ children via video calls to keep them entertained and give their parents a break; musicians stepping out on their balconies and treating their neighbours to free concerts; people with skills in cooking, baking, crafting, knitting, sewing posting videos to teach others their skills; the digital generation reaching out to the tech dinosaurs to help them learn to walk in a world where we all depend on state-of-the-art means of communication to stay in touch with each other.

On Mallorca, we may have arrived in what they call the 'new normal', but the crisis is by no means over. A second wave might hit us, and the worldwide numbers of COVID-19 cases are still rising fast. But one day, when looking back on COVID-19, this new sense of community will be one of the things I will remember – the openheartedness of people, their kindness, compassion and readiness to help; and also the creativity they show in making the best of the challenges we all face to give back to the community big time.

Delivery to Son Espaces

Hummus for Healing #

Let me give just one example of a model initiative by this dream team: Michael Hewitt, an American entrepreneur and founder of the restaurant talent recruiting service ‘onehouse’, who came to live in Palma some two years ago, Ronen Levy of Santa Catalina’s Eastern Mediterranean Restaurant ‘Simply Delicious’, and Antonio Serra Garcia, owner of the Es Reco by Antonio Serra stall in Santa Catalina market.

“My father had pneumonia after a broken leg procedure at Son Espases last year and he was treated so well,” said Michel. “I visited him day in day out for 2 weeks, and I remembered how gracious, accommodating and nice they were there.” He felt a personal desire to help them, in a time of crisis. His approach was more micro level - who can we affect the most, locally, versus bigger international causes. So, when looking for ways to help and give back, Son Espases was an obvious choice.

In a perfect match of organization skills, culinary expertise and generosity, he teamed up with his friend Ronen, who according to many makes the best hummus on the island, and Antonio who has a delivery licence to launch their initiative “Hummus for Healing”. For as long as was necessary, every Wednesday and Friday, they supplied a fresh, delicious meal of hummus along with falafel, pitta and wraps to the doctors and nurses of the Son Espases and later to Son Llatzer, too. The initiative was funded 100% through donations.

'Simply Delicious' is open again, and they do home deliveries. Find out more in our Directory>>

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Joy Ron Foundation min

Sources

  • Personal experience
  • Michael Hewitt

# Mallorca #Majorca #hummusforhealing #charities #donate

20 April, 2020

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