Kindness is contagious

Everyone has heard how deadly COVID-19 can be. We have been bombarded with negative virus statistics county by county each and every day. This pandemic has filled us with fear, frustration, anger and anxiety.

But I think there is something more contagious than COVID-19 kindness.

With no clear end in sight, the uncertainty enhances our emotions and makes us take actions. Instances of pent up aggression are seen in our daily lives as well as on the Internet.

I have seen it first-hand in my travels. I remember the time my husband and I were in Sheetz picking up some miscellaneous items. After we had picked up all the items we wanted, we headed to the check-out line.

We had noticed a woman in front of the line. She was wearing a mask (we were also). She seemed to be talking or mumbling to herself. It was hard to hear or understand what she was saying through the mask. Then, she got a little clearer. She was talking to the line that had formed behind my husband and me.

She told them to keep six feet apart and pointed to the feet decal on the floor that designated where each person in line was supposed to stand for safety.

After hearing that, we looked down to see where we were standing and realized we were standing exactly in the right spot.

The people behind us answered this lady by telling her if she was so worried about the virus she should stay at home.

A few other remarks were made but it was time for this lady to check out and so the argument ended.

I have also seen several instances of people not wearing face masks and bystanders yelling at that person or people about not wearing one in public.

Some of these aggressive behaviors have become more volatile than that but I am glad I was not present to witness it.

And believe it or not, wearing a face mask in public is not a sign of your politics, but a simple act of kindness.

I believe we have become so busy judging each other for not doing the right thing that we have missed something; something really important; something more contagious than the virus; something that will help each and every one of us through this pandemic and come out stronger and more resilient on the other side. I am talking about kindness pure and simple.

I have seen how kindness is infectious when tearing up after hearing about a Florida cop who shared his lunch with a homeless person.

I have seen first-hand during the pandemic, local churches and organizations provided food distribution sites to help the hardest hit individuals through the tough times.

These gestures of kindness inspire others to be kind. Every time you see someone being kind, you have just been contaminated with those mental droplets of common humanity - making it more likely that you will be infected with the kindness contagion.

And the more infected you get, the more infectious you become. Then you start being kind to others, not because it's the right thing to do or because you want others to see you do it, but because it feels right.

You don't have to think about it. You just do it because it is the only thing that makes sense in that moment.

It feels right and good and clean to you and to the person you bestow the act upon, and then you've done it. You've infected their emotional brain centers with something that feels better and lasts longer than winning an argument or getting your way.

It might even be said that kindness kills. Kindness kills our fears that people who don't look like us are dangerous. Kindness kills our worries that we're alone in this. Kindness kills our doubts that we can work together.

Because that's the only way we'll get through this, together.

Go out there and smile through your mask. Kill everyone with kindness.

There are several ways to get involved with random acts of kindness.

Here are a few:

4Call a friend that you haven't spoken to for a while.

4Tell a family member how much you love and appreciate them.

4Help with a household chore at home.

4Tell someone you know that you are proud of them.

4Tell someone you know that you are thankful for them.

4Send a motivational text to a friend who is struggling.

4Send someone you know a joke to cheer them up.

4Donate to a charity or food bank.

When it comes down to it, kindness doesn't cost anything and I don't think we can afford to be without it.

The author is a CLARION NEWS staff writer.