Can You Love A Virus?

We get knocked down, but we'll get up again!

Can You Love A Virus?
Photo by the author - Melbourne street art circa 2014

As the great Chumbawamba once proclaimed:

I get knocked down, but I get up again

You're never gonna keep me down

I get knocked down, but I get up again

You're never gonna keep me down

I get knocked down, but I get up again

You're never gonna keep me down

I get knocked down, but I get up again

You're never gonna keep me down!

Issue a challenge, and people will respond.

Between November 2010 and February 2011, Queensland experienced the worst widespread floods in memory, with ⅔ of the state declared a disaster area. The capital city of Brisbane was one of the final areas inundated, with over 20,000 houses succumbing to the floodwaters.

The State Premier called on those not affected by the floods to lend a hand for their neighbours. They estimated 6,000 people would assist.

Over 55,000 registered. Many more helped anonymously.

The mud army was born.

In emergencies since, the mud army reactivates without official request. People know their neighbours are hurting and do what they can to assist.

Queensland saw many properties destroyed in the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfire season, and the drought that preceded it stirred many locals into helping, providing food and water to firefighters and locals affected.

Then came COVID-19 and the mud army was officially reinstated, now as the Care Army.

Thousands of individuals, and even businesses, are donating their time to help older and disadvantaged people who need food, shelter, or even just to have someone to talk to.

It's knowing that community spirit exists, not just locally, but globally, that is helping me face each day with a positive spirit.

Helping Hands Come in Many Forms

A food hamper is a wonderful gift, but so too is the feeling that you are part of a community. With millions of people isolated from their own neighbours world-wide, it takes a special person to reach out and say "it's OK, this is affecting us all, join my hand and we'll get through it".

That's why I adore the community groups that have come into being on Facebook, sharing stories of kindness, images to raise smiles, and music to lift our spirits.

Quarantine. The Soundtrack. has brought thousands of music lovers together to share the songs that improve their world.

Click the group name above to join - embeds don't work for Facebook Groups

The Kindness Pandemic has exploded to over half a million members, all who want to hear or share their own stories of kindness.

Kindness won’t make this virus go away, but it will enrich the lives of everyone we are kind to.

The group posts stories constantly about random acts of kindness being experienced, from isolation birthdays through to strangers shopping for those who can't afford food.

It's proof that human kindness is as contagious, but far more powerful, than any virus.

Click the group name above to join - embeds don't work for Facebook Groups

Bin Isolation Outing is the final Facebook group to share, and proof that a smile is worth more than any amount of money. Over a million people have joined this quaint outlet for the bizarre and heartfelt, sharing photos or videos of them in fancy dress taking out their wheelie bins.

For some it becomes a sport, others a chance to put on their finest outfits, or for others it becomes a new form of exercise.

The absolute best of the posts I've seen so far takes all the above and combines them, recreating a sporting race being called on TV with the ingenuity of a real-life puppet show ... but with kids and bins instead of wooden dolls!

Meet-up Virtually Anywhere

Many people love taking photos and sharing, especially with groups like their local Instagramers. Brisbane's versions is igersbrisbane (naturally) and they, like other groups, have taken up the challenge to keep people exercising their creative muscles by having virtual meet-ups.

It's a great way to continue a feeling of community when you can't leave your home.

People who have the luxury to be able to walk out in the great outdoors also have the opportunity to brighten our days by sharing glimpses of theirs.

If You Go Down To The Woods Today

Another joyful occurrence bringing people together is the front window bear hunt. With many kids stuck at home and not allowed contact with friends at school or daycare, parents are frantically trying to find ways to keep everyone's sanity intact.

Whoever came up with the bear hunt deserves a medal.

The simple act of putting a teddy bear in your window (or front yard) so kids can spot them while on a walk (therefore also getting exercise) is a great way to stimulate the neighbourhood spirit and bring joy.

They're even making the news!

Even if you don't read the story, look closely at the scrabble board. Lots of great messages, and a bonus joke!

This was my contribution - Ted is almost the same age as me, and for many years in my youth was larger than me. Not in bad condition for a 50 year old bear, still loving climbing the trees in search of honey! Good for you, Ted.

When You Think About It...

Without this rotten virus, we'd never have many of these outpourings of creativity. So I shout to the world: "Take that COVID-19! You caused something that brings me joy, and I'm grateful! Ha! Jokes on you!".

So, in a way, I'm glad this has happened.

It's made a lot of people take stock of their lives, and helped others realise the most important thing in life is, well, life. Not money. Not possessions. People. Friends, family, even total strangers.

WE are the meaning of life.

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Stephen Scott
Stephen Scott
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Stephen Scott

I’m just a simple man, trying to make my way in the universe. Writing flash fiction to amuse, entertain, enlighten & inspire … and Other Random Things.

See all posts by Stephen Scott