Amid the stress, fear and grief brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still glimmers of good news: self-isolating Americans are rising to this unprecedented challenge to bring relief, comfort, moments of joy and glimpses of normalcy to our rapidly changing world.
No "I" in teen: For the deaf community, face masks can make communicating particularly challenging. That's inspired one California 17-year-old to start making face masks with a clear vinyl center to allow people to read the lips of the person speaking. In New Jersey, a high school senior got a shout-out from the governor after he ran a marathon on his treadmill to raise funds for healthcare workers. And in Pennsylvania, one 13-year-old kept home from school and kept away from his emerging social life came up with a plan. Like his grandfather before him, on third-generation property, he decided to plant something. From NBC10 Philadelphia: Amid Pandemic, Teen Plants an Apple Seed, Dreams of Tomorrow.
Making memories: High school students have a lot to worry about right now, and it doesn't help that they're missing out on important rites of passage many of them have been looking forward to for years. Fortunately, some dedicated parents, teachers and students themselves are finding ways to preserve, and maybe even improve upon, these milestone events. A New Hampshire mom is offering free "prom" photos for students stuck at home, while across the country, undefeated high schoolers are putting on their own "isolation proms." Then there's the principal reaching out to celebrities on behalf of high school seniors in an effort to help make their virtual graduations extra special.
And they're...off: This year's Kentucky Derby, originally set for this weekend, was rescheduled to Sept. 5, 2020. But you can still celebrate on the original date – get some ideas from our How to Derby at Home guide. And we've all seen the fastest eight minutes in sports, but how about the slowest? This year, the first Saturday in May has yielded to the legs of a bunch of slowpokes: Seattle Slow headlines a field of turtles — yes, turtles — that will race in the Kentucky Turtle Derby.
The kindness of neighbors: They say it’s important to count your blessings, and a longtime Carlsbad, California, resident is doing just that – and uniting her neighborhood in the process – with some simple notes of gratitude. In Riverside County, California, what started out as 175 free meals per day has now grown to 1,400 meals being handed out every day, along with free groceries on the weekends, thanks to the tireless efforts of the area's Sikh community. Meanwhile, Eric Kwasniewski is known to hold many titles in his Connecticut community: Vietnam vet, retired police officer of more than 30 years, cancer survivor, husband, father, brother – and birthday boy. This week, amid a battle with COVID-19, Kwasniewski turned 75, and his neighbors came through to help celebrate. And in Massachusetts, another type of celebration: A 7-year-old boy who twice tested positive for the novel coronavirus while undergoing chemotherapy at a Boston hospital for months finally got to come home.