Over 50s Lifestyle

A different kind of Pandemic we should all welcome

August 15, 2020
Kindness

2020 will be remembered as the year of The Pandemic, COVID-19. The beginning of a new decade saw our lives turned upside down as we adjusted to lock down, social distancing, food shortages and COVID testing – even scuffles over toilet paper! For many, including here in Australia in the state of Victoria, a second wave came through just when we thought it was safe to emerge from our homes and bring some normality back to our lives.

Feelings of anxiety, stress, depression, anger, selfishness and greed have been brought to the forefront. Being in isolation has affected some more than others. Being cut off from family and friends for months, the inability to work for some job losses, the panic of wondering if you had symptoms or not and whether you should be tested or not, plus those who actually contracted COVID-19 has had a negative impact on everyone, worldwide. Not to mention the increasing numbers of deaths.

But despite the negativity and difficulty there has been still bright lights of positivity for us to be drawn to. I felt uplifted then when I read of a new pandemic which also started earlier this year but perhaps hasn’t gained as much media attention as COVID.

What is it?

The Kindness Pandemic

The Kindness Pandemic

was established on 14th March, 2020 by Dr Catherine Barrett, to support people who lives are impacted by COVID19. The group grew to 500,000+ members in two weeks. Kindness wont make Coronavirus go away, but it is making many people’s lives easier and more rewarding. The Kindness Pandemic is underpinned by principles of Intersectional Kindness, or how we look out for people who are marginalised before COVID19 and those who have become marginalised or experiencing new hardships because of COVID19. The Kindness Pandemic calls for action to improve the lives of others, particularly those who are marginalised and oppressed. We focus solely on action to create change because it can transform what people are experiencing right now. 

taken from the Kindness Pandemic website

The Anatomy of Kindness

Through the Kindness Pandemic website I found the Anatomy of Kindness which included:

  • Intersectional Kindness – reaching out to others, despite our differences to understand what others experience and to work towards addressing inequalities
  • Loud Kindness – sharing your acts of kindness, not to boast but to motivate and inspire others
  • the Power of Kindness – to transform lives and promote acts of kindness to others
  • You can Read more about the Anatomy of Kindness here.

The Kindness Project and 2020 – The Kindness Year are two of many Facebook pages and groups that promote, inspire and encourage kindness.

Over the years, I’ve written several posts about Kindness including:

Filling a bucket each day with Kindness

10 Benefits of Showing Kindness

How showing kindness improves your health and well-being

and even extending kindness to ourselves in the recent Women Living Well After 50 podcast Learning to become your own best friend with guest in Conversation Leanne from Cresting the Hill

So whilst 2020 is a year we may wish to forget we can still do something to make our world and those around us a little brighter.

Have you experienced acts of kindness or shown acts of kindness over the last 6 months? I’d love you to share your experience with me.

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33 Comments

  • Reply Donna Connolly August 16, 2020 at 12:40

    Hi, Sue – This post jumped right out of my inbox and shouted “read me”. It’s exactly the kind of post that I love. Despite the worldwide horrors of the pandemic, there have also been noticeable acts of kindness every single day. Many of these acts have been small – but very powerful. As I’ve been walking hiking for most days of the pandemic, I’ve noticed how friendly strangers have been. On trails, almost everyone steps off so that we can pass from a safe distance, and they wave a warm hello or share a kind word. I’ve also had the privilege to connect with friends both near and far via weekly video-conferencing. Why in the heck didn’t I do this before COVID? It has been such a positive light to my every week! 😀 I’m off to check out the kindness link right now.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 18, 2020 at 04:40

      Hi Donna, yes I thought the title might make people curious. I mean the word Pandemic isn’t usually associated with positive feelings is it? I think we all could spread a little extra kindness considering the year that we have all experienced.

      • Reply Donna Connolly August 19, 2020 at 13:25

        Absolutely, Sue! I was very aware of giving extra kindness to others during the beginning of our COVID restraints. As time went on, and COVID fatigue set in, I found myself being less tolerant. Your post has been a great reminder for me to b-r-e-a-t-h in the face of frustration, and to up my patience and understanding for others. #MLSTL
        PS – MIssed you tonight. See you Thursday/Friday!

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au August 16, 2020 at 15:21

    Hi Sue – kindness has become a bit of a mantra for me – along with gratitude, simplicity and grace. All such important qualities – to manifest towards others, but also importantly – to ourselves. Thanks so much for sharing our lovely talk as a podcast (I look better on a podcast than on a video!)
    Look after yourself and remember to keep practicing some of that self-kindness so you don’t burn your candle down too quickly while lighting the way for others xxx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 18, 2020 at 04:43

      Hi Leanne, they are all such important qualities, I agree and really is it that difficult to show kindness to others? Sometimes I think we just get so caught up in life that simple acts can be forgotten. Self-kindness is another area we tend to neglect and that is why I enjoyed our conversation for the podcast so much as it put the spotlight on being kind and loving to ourselves which is just as important as showing kindness to others. x

      • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au August 19, 2020 at 15:31

        Hi Sue – just back for our second last #MLSTL and to say I’ve shared this on my social media – thanks again for all your co-hosting efforts xx

        • Reply Sue Loncaric August 20, 2020 at 07:50

          Yes can’t believe there is only two to go. We’ve provided a great service to the midlife blogging community and should feel proud of ourselves. x

  • Reply Debbie Harris August 16, 2020 at 17:04

    Thanks for this lovely post Sue, you are the epitome of kindness with all you do for others. The facebook pages are a lovely reminder to us for being kind to others especially during these times. And it’s importnat to be kind to ourselves too! I admire kindness in people and thankfully many of those In surround myself with fall into that category, including bloggers 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 18, 2020 at 04:39

      Oh thank you, Deb. I don’t find it difficult to show kindness. I think I learned this from my Mum. xx

      • Reply Debbie Harris August 19, 2020 at 20:50

        Such a great way of looking at life Sue, back for #mlstl and sharing

        • Reply Sue Loncaric August 20, 2020 at 07:18

          Thanks Deb for revisiting and also for your continued support. xx

  • Reply Michele Somerville August 17, 2020 at 11:06

    Love this, shared on my Facebook page and will share to the churches pages as well. Thanks and blessings, Michele

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 18, 2020 at 04:38

      Thank you so much Michele for sharing. We all need to share the message don’t we? Have a lovely week. x

  • Reply Bree August 19, 2020 at 06:36

    Thats the one joy when looking at Facebook is the Kindness Pandemic page. So many lovely people out there in the community stepping up. So beautiful to see. This pandemic has really shown me how people react in times of stress. I have been on the horrible end of abuse by “so called friends” on fb. They have abused my friends to the point they dont comment on my posts anymore. These so called friends were people we had in our home – in between stage 3 and stage 4…We used to visit their home she couldn’t do enough to cater for my gluten free etc diet. So welcoming. Yet bring on the pandemic and all that changed. They went on holidays up North while borders were kind of open. They did all of this horrible stuff while on holidays. I even said at one point “he time to enjoy your holiday and stop being so nasty”..her reply was yes hubby said I should stop but Im having fun!…Telling us off for not visiting Gregs mum in Shepparton..we couldn’t we live over 3 hours away to drive there and back…as we were not allowed to stay overnight plus she is living in a retired home and they were on lockdown to visitors. It still upsets me that someone I thought was a friend is not the friend I want in my life. In one way 2020 has certainly been an eye opener. True friends dont hurt their friends…Im going to miss this wonderful group of inspiring women xx #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 20, 2020 at 07:20

      Hi Bree, it is so disappointing when we realise that someone we thought of as friend is not longer being a friend. We need to let go of those in our life that aren’t serving us well. Why not come join my FB Group Women Living Well After 50 I’m going to be having a weekly mini link up there if you are interested. Take care xx

      • Reply Bree August 21, 2020 at 09:19

        Thank you Sue I think I have joined and I need to tune in more xx

  • Reply Natalie August 19, 2020 at 06:53

    Thank you, Sue, for sharing this post and the links. In the last six months, I say hello, good morning and smile at strangers when I cycle or walk on the trails or go grocery shopping. They smile and say hello back. I also reach out to my elderly neighbours to check in during isolation time. I reach out to my family and friends as well.
    I’m sad to see MLSTL coming to an end soon. I understand and appreciate the amount of work that you and Leanne put in every week since the conception of MLSTL. Both of you have built a positive blogging forum and that is an act of kindness . Thank you. and have a wonderful week!#MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 20, 2020 at 07:45

      It doesn’t really take much to show kindness, does it Natalie? I’m sad about MLSTL as well but so many things pulling me in different directions and Leanne wants to follow a different path as well. Life will go on and of course I’ll still be following your blog and linking up with Denyse and others. I might even have time to start linking up to your Wellness Weekend again. xx

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee August 19, 2020 at 07:32

    I will be blacking out this year as a boring and pretty devastating year (The restaurants that limped through lockdown seem to be closing now one by one – it’s so sad. I just think ‘there goes some poor persons house). However, as you say, there has been some wonderful kindness kicking in. And just some better attitudes. Your experience at a restaurant is poor, you don’t give anyone grief. Just let it go, Your room at the hotel isn’t ready at check in time – shut your mouth. Your neighbour is on low income? Buy them the price-gouged toilet paper and lie about the ridiculous price you paid. And gift it. Donate to the millions of street pantries popping up. Donate to the Street Kitchen who’s numbers have doubled in an alarmingly short time…and MSF. Who are working on getting affordable tests in countries where people can’t afford it. Good post. #MLSTL

  • Reply Michele August 19, 2020 at 08:43

    I have noticed a wave of kindness as people seem to go out of their way to share messages about kindness especially on social media. It is one of the good things to have come out of the pandemic.
    Also. I am sad to hear about the end of MLSTS. It has been a wonderful group and I have enjoyed my interactions with everyone! I know you will find great success with your new endeavors!

  • Reply Christina Henry August 19, 2020 at 09:28

    Hi Sue, this is really lovely and uplifting. I will definitely check out the website and Facebook groups. Some positivity in an otherwise dreary year will go a long way. I’ve been mainly on the receiving end of kindness this year which is unusual when I’m usually the one giving it. From being cared for by my attentive husband for the first 3 weeks post mastectomy (he even washed and dried my hair which was divine!) to receiving unexpected gifts of beautiful gift boxes, flowers and plants, to all the kind messages – my kindness cup has overflowed! I feel very blessed. Regards Christina

  • Reply Jennifer Jones August 19, 2020 at 17:07

    Sue this is a much nicer kind of pandemic than the covid-19 kind. I hadn’t heard of this movement until now but I definitely support it. I’m so pleased to have two more weeks of #MLSTL than I expected. I’m going to miss it but understand that time moves on.

  • Reply Enda Sheppard August 19, 2020 at 18:14

    Yes, kindness will never be wasted, Sue. That is the positive side of all this business. Really sorry to see the linky go, but really appreciate the work that has gone into it! #MLSTL

  • Reply Jennifer August 19, 2020 at 20:32

    I keep calling this the year that never was, it reminds me of the Christmas movie The Year without Santa Claus. I do love to find kindness wherever it is. As someone who takes calls all day, I am actually amazed by the number of people who think the pandemic is a joke. So I’m surpised and heartened when I come across someone who is concerned about me going into work and wants to make sure that I stay safe.

  • Reply Corinne Rodrigues August 19, 2020 at 21:46

    My friend invited me to the Kindness Pandemic page a couple of months back and I love it. I’ve also started to follow a lot of kindness handles on Instagram. The videos they share are so uplifting and motivate me to reach out to more people with small acts of kindness. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s about the fragility of life!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 20, 2020 at 07:17

      Hi Corinne, it is amazing once we start becoming involved in kindness it can become second nature. Small acts of kindness should never be underestimated, especially during these uncertain times. xx

  • Reply Nancy Andres August 20, 2020 at 02:23

    Dear Sue, Agree that despite the negativity and difficulty there has been bright lights of positivity for us to be drawn to. Your blog posts are often my bright light for the day. Thanks for hosting this terrific blog party. As you shift gears once again, perhaps you can remember endings provide us with an opportunity for a new beginning. Wishing you something grand.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 20, 2020 at 07:16

      Thank you for your lovely comment Nancy and whilst I am sad that MLSTL is ending (for the moment, ‘never say never’) I am thoroughly enjoying my new path and experiences. I hope you will continue to follow my journey. Take care xx

  • Reply Denyse Whelan August 20, 2020 at 09:26

    I agree we need an antidote to the ‘other’ pandemic. Kindness rocks and we need to pay more attention to it in terms of self-kindness and to others. It is even harder to show my full emotions in connecting with others physically these days of ‘no touch’ and ‘wear a mask’. Yesterday, I had a dr visit and took up a few cupcakes for the front desk ladies and doctors. Just to let them know how we appreciate their kindness when we need to see our doctors and they go all out to see it can happen.
    Denyse #mlstl

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 23, 2020 at 07:46

      It is the little acts of kindness that can me so much, Denyse. I’m sure the cupcakes were a hit and much appreciated by the staff and doctors. It wold have certainly brightened their day. x

  • Reply Erica/Erika August 21, 2020 at 09:26

    Sue, what a nice twist on a topic often fraught with anxiety and stress. A Pandemic we should all welcome. I immediately went to Thesaurus and Wikipedia to look up more definitions for the term Pandemic. “Widespread” is a word that comes up.

    You summarize very well how our lives have been turned upside down this year.

    I love how you bring our attention to the “Kindness Pandemic.” The phrase “remember to be kind” is a hallmark phrase we heard every day from Dr. Bonnie Henry, our Provincial Health Officer.

    I am often overcome with emotion daily by many of the small and larger acts of kindness I witness daily. You are part of this kindness wave. Sue, your thoughtful, caring approach to everyone you meet always makes a difference. Especially when you take moments out of your very busy days to share a kind word. Thank you! xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 23, 2020 at 07:44

      Hello Erica! I thought it was a lovely use of the word ‘pandemic’ and wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if Kindness was widespread. Thank you for your kind words. I try to be like my Mother who was such a kind, caring and loving person. She was gentle and everyone loved her. A great role model for me. Have a beautiful week my friend. x

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