Positivity in a pandemic

Students promote kindness during a time of fear


Photo courtesy of Emma Cavalier

During quarantine junior Emma Cavalier collects litter around her neighborhood. Cavalier picked up garbage on trails nearby to brighten pedestrians days. “I think it was helpful during quarantine to inspire others that you can still be involved with your community during these pressing times,” Cavalier said. “It was awesome to see all the trash we had collected, and how much cleaner the environment looked.”

Kaitlin Reynolds, Staff Reporter

In the midst of the madness surrounding world health and COVID-19, a multitude of issues have come about. The lack of available meals, materials and the loss of work has created problems for many in our community. Millard West students have been making efforts during this global crisis to be kind to everyone who has been affected by the pandemic.

To comfort those who have suffered from the effects of the coronavirus, National Honor Society students have taken up writing letters. The notes composed of inspiring messages and moving words were sent out to government officials, medical workers and community leaders. Notes were also written to the elderly in nursing homes who are being isolated more than others because of a higher health risk. Their words of encouragement and motivation have lifted spirits throughout the Omaha area and have shown the receivers that they are surrounded with support.

“The letters were to help remind people that they are not alone, and that we are all trying to get through this together,”National Honor Society sponsor Delaie Shult said. “The goal was to bring smiles to the faces of people having a tough time with isolation.”

Students not only are lifting the spirits of those severely affected but also of neighbors and friends. Chalk art has become a new way of expressing gratitude and support for everyone who is struggling through this time of change. Drawing colorful messages and pictures on sidewalks has been a popular activity for people stuck at home that has brightened the days of many.

“Being in the house for so long gave us the perfect opportunity to do chalk art,” junior Milina Mike said. “We did it to put other people in a better mood while they are walking around the neighborhood.”

Mike’s messages of support were made up of drawings and positive affirmations. Additionally, she filled her sidewalk display with a game element where pedestrians could follow along with each activity as they walked. This small act of kindness has made social distancing more enjoyable for everyone who strolled by.

Due to the closures, there has been an increase in outdoor activity. Helping to keep the environment clean for pedestrians junior Emma Cavalier has been collecting trash throughout the trails around her neighborhood. 

“It was a great time being able to get outside during social distancing and make a difference,” Cavalier said. “I hope that by collecting trash in my neighborhood I motivated others to stay involved, and showed people that there is still light in this very dark time.”

Spending an hour and half rounding up nearly two trash bags full of litter was a small act that made a big difference and was noticed by pedestrians who walked by. Cavalier received many kind words of gratitude from people who were out enjoying the nice weather.

Students’ positive perspective on the changing circumstances has impacted countless in the community. Their actions of kindness have made an everlasting impression on those they have touched and set an example for all to focus on the good during this unprecedented time.