Compassion in Times of Coronavirus

20 April 2020

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

Miracles happen in times like these. Our yoga teacher, previously a strictly non-technical person who is 79 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. The Surya Namscar mantra during our Salutations to the Sun now reaches far and wide. As if having an (almost) 80-year-old yogi wasn't amazing enough, now 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 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 lockdown, 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 and Creative Kindnesses #

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, lend 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.

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 are reading to their friends’ children via video calls to keep them entertained and give their parents a break. Musicians are stepping out on their balconies and treating their neighbours to free concerts.

Our friend, Joan Valent coordinated a beautiful effort of Musicians of the Balearics to play the most gorgeous music and provide those of us quarantined in other parts of the world with the sounds we miss so much. To watch this video, click this link >> Quatre Illes

Other Wonderful Ideas

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. Many Facebook Groups are popping up with a focus on connecting neighbors to their local resources. In case you haven't found a group for you yet, keep searching.

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 lockdown to give back to the community big time.

Delivery to Son Espaces

Healing Through Hummus #

To give just one example of a model initiative may I introduce you to Michael Hewitt, an American entrepreneur and founder of the restaurant talent recruiting service One Haus, who came to live in Palma some two years ago. He joined forces with his friend, 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,” says Mike. “I visited him day in day out for two 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 license to launch their initiative Healing Through Hummus. For as long as necessary, every Wednesday and Friday, they will supply fresh, delicious meal of hummus along with falafel, pitta and wraps to the doctors and nurses of the Son Espases, with a plan to extend their deliveries to other hospitals as well, Son Llatzer being the next on their list. The initiative is funded 100% through donations.

How to Donate for Healing Through Hummus #

Email Mike at [email protected] and he will send you the details of a bank account you can pay into directly.

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Affordable Mallorca put out the call to local businesses and we have a growing list of vendors who are willing to support you at home. If you are a service provider and are not listed here, this is a free service we are providing. If you are in need, check out this directory and share this with your friends. We are adding new listings weekly so make sure to keep checking for the latest additions to the Directory.

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Sources

  • personal experience
  • Michael Hewitt

20 April, 2020

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