It can be difficult to stay positive during this global pandemic as families hustle to find unemployment insurance benefits, college students struggle to get used to the online platforms that now make up their multi-thousand dollar education and prom and graduation have been stripped away from high school students. Civilians are not even able to go outside to get the necessary vitamin D for their bodies. 

Michael Scott from The Office once spoke these wise words: “Well, well, well, how the turntables.” Despite his incorrect phrasing of a rather popular idiom, there will always be an opposite side to the coin — in this case, a turntable. While the spirit of the world’s state amidst the pandemic is frantic and uneasy, we can see “how the turntables” if we show a little gratitude.

Of course, coronavirus is not something we can declare war on or negotiate with. However, it should not prevent us from appreciating those nursing others back to health, entering supermarkets with the appropriate safety precautions and donating to nonprofit organizations that provide free masks for their community.

Who can we show gratitude to during these harsh times?

Courtesy of Pixar via Twitter

Let’s begin with our frontline healthcare workers. People who work in hospitals are constantly exposed to patients that have contracted the virus, on a scale that others are not. They are sacrificing their safety in order to tend to people who face the risk of death. My youth pastor’s daughter, who works in the medical field, was exposed to the virus and quarantined for the required two weeks. She was unable to see her children and care for them.

Courtesy of M Health Fairview via Twitter

As was the case with my youth pastor’s daughter, other healthcare workers, like nurses, likely have children. Offer them child care, drop off groceries or pay their parking fees. I’ve learned that parking is rarely free, let alone hospital parking. 

Although the risk is less intense, another community is also facing similar dangers as healthcare workers — supermarket workers. We can express our gratitude toward market employees by entering the store with the correct safety precautions. Simply wearing a pair of plastic gloves and a mask is a good first step to prevent our germs from reaching the workers.

We might assume that grocery stores remain open to us as a given, but in a way, the employees are also risking their lives to provide their services for us civilians. They are sacrificing their safety for consumers simply by clocking in. The fact that markets are open is something to be grateful for because, at the very least, civilians have a guaranteed place to buy groceries to feed their families. 

But there are not just people risking their lives to supply food; there are others looking to supply our protection. Nonprofits organizations, such as churches, have been actively making quality cotton masks for their local neighborhoods and anyone in need. Churches, like the Lighthouse Christian Fellowship Church, hand out masks and provide information on how to reuse them by washing them correctly, given that they are made of fabric. Ever since the pandemic was officially declared a national emergency, masks became an elusive figure in the market.

Civilians of Asian countries, such as South Korea, will wait in mile-long lines to obtain just a couple of masks. People in nonprofits risk their own safety to provide basic safety precautions to those who cannot access it. In order to express gratitude to these organizations, donate fabric, filters or any necessary material you might find that they need. A yard of fabric costs around $3 and these nonprofits are making, handing out and even sending hundreds and thousands of these handmade masks for no cost. 

While we might be overcome by the frantic and fearful state caused by the pandemic, there is still room for us to show gratitude to those who make efforts to calm those waters. If taking a big step to show appreciation is difficult, one can always start by giving a simple shoutout to those who contribute during these difficult times online. After all, it is the least civilians can do to spread positivity in this tumultuous stage of our lives.