"As human beings, we are innately creative. We have the power to design a whole new way of thinking and an entirely new reality. Just as we brought about the challenging conditions of today, we can generate the positive and lasting solutions of tomorrow." - Marci Zaroff, EcoRenaissance
The current climate, which is upsetting on many levels, has also shone a light on the power of human creativity and ingenuity. Over a short period of a week or so, people from every culture, class, generation, business sector and religion have come together. We have all had to shift gears completely. Quite suddenly, it is plain and clear that we are all responsible for one another because we are all connected. Here are a few examples of the way human creativity in crisis has brought about solutions:
From grab and go lunches for school children to Food Bank donations & home delivery for the most vulnerable populations, access to nourishment is a human right and a priority. Here is an extensive list of organizations that are working to keep people fed around the world.
Globally, local governments are putting housing evictions, foreclosures and utility shutoffs on hold until further notice. Homeless shelters are renting trailers and extra space to help with social distancing. In Chicago, good Samaritans helped move 100 homeless into a hotel to provide social distancing and warm quarters. If you are able and healthy, consider volunteering at your local shelter. Many regular volunteers have been unable to show up for shifts because they live with someone vulnerable.
Teachers are adapting quickly and working tirelessly to establish online education platforms for children all over the world. You have probably seen some of the creative resources for homeschooling circulating social media. Children's authors & illustrators are streaming free remote art classes and readalongs, and others are offering free access to online courses. The outpouring of generosity is overwhelming. Some cities and school districts are loaning laptops to families that do not have them and internet providers are offering free access to those that do not have any.
Doctors and nurses are coming out of retirement around the world to help with the spread of COVID-19. Scientists have already begun testing on a vaccine. Medical experts from China traveled to Italy to offer supplies and guidance as the outbreak grows. Some health insurance companies are waiving copays and deductibles related to the virus and others are offering new enrollment periods. Many medical providers are offering remote advice to ease the physical burden of hospitals and doctors' offices. And perfume and alcohol manufacturers are using their facilities, instead, to make and donate hand sanitizer. We see the same for fashion manufacturers using their resources and expertise to help keep up with face mask demand in hospitals.
Employers who had otherwise been closed-minded about a work-from-home structure are being forced to accept remote business operations. Online platforms like Zoom and Google are seeing a huge demand as everyone, who wasn't working from home already, transitions to a new structure. Restaurants are staying in business, offering menus on a to-go only basis and some small consumer businesses shops are selling gift cards for use at a later time to help them stay afloat. Others are getting creative with social media engagement and shifting attention to their online stores.
All the while, airlines are struggling to stay afloat, but our earth's lungs can breathe for a moment. Those of us who are not on the front lines have been forced to slow down and reflect. When we do so, we can see that politicians and billionaires and celebrities are not the ones physically putting themselves at risk to look after our elderly or stock our grocery shelves or fill our prescriptions.
We are indebted to those who continue to work on the front lines, risking their health for others'.
On a smaller scale, we are profoundly grateful at YES AND to have remote business options in place, as well as a direct-to-consumer model. We are in frequent contact with our India supply chain, which has thus far remained healthy by putting in place stringent protocols to protect our workers. Our current product assortment is warehoused on US soil, and has thus not impacted our ability to deliver quality organic fashion. Our team is spread out, so we are used to communicating over the phone. We are filled with gratitude that there is little disruption in the work aspect of our lives.
We will continue to collaborate to find creative solutions in our changing world. We would love for you to join us in this collective and global transformation. If you see a beautiful example of humanity's ingenious creativity at work, please send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us on Instagram @yesand. Thank you for your continued support and UNIVERSAL LOVE.