We stay at Home. But the distance welds us together. We help the neighbors and save our neighborhood, our district, our street. The crisis shows how great we are.
A few days ago, the United Nations published the World Happiness Report. The index measures the state of happiness all over the world: Scandinavian countries dominate the top ten, Germany comes in 17th place as in the previous year. However, the results are not relevant here. One thing that makes the report exciting is one comment: The data basis of the report is the years 2018 and 2019. Life was still nice there – you might think. The problems of the past now seem to us to be void. Void in comparison to how the coronavirus pandemic changed our world. And yet the authors of the report assume that the feeling of happiness could paradoxically increase in the wake of the Corona crisis. One possible explanation is "that people are pleasantly surprised by the willingness of their neighbors and the institutions to help each other," the authors write. Does Corona make us happier? A reader describes in an email to ntv.de a situation in a supermarket. A man standing in front of him at the checkout desk was apparently lucky to have received the last pack of toilet paper. He put it on the tape and was congratulated by a woman who was just paying. She would have needed toilet paper too. The man immediately offered to share the package with her. Such little stories, as banal as they are, give courage. And there have been more and more of these lately. There are currently notes in every hallway with offers of help for the elderly, the sick and those who cannot leave the apartment. No gossip and complaints about slow internet connection – calls for solidarity dominate in neighborhood groups on Whatsapp. In the Kaskelkiez in Berlin-Lichtenberg, someone suggests a solo lunch: The restaurants in the district are not doing well economically, they would offer a few dishes to pick up every day. The only catch: in order for at least a small surplus to arise, the restaurateurs must find at least 50 buyers. Who wants to join in? The chat explodes: "Great idea, be there!" Vouchers instead of toilet paper! Solidarity campaigns with small businesses are springing up like mushrooms. To ensure that the favorite pub around the corner survives, so that the favorite vintage shop can continue to pay its rent, a young team launched the project Helfen.Berlin, of course on a voluntary basis. On the platform that was built in a few days, you can support cafes, restaurants, theaters, etc. by buying a voucher that can be redeemed after the reopening. "Vouchers instead of toilet paper!" also calls a Berlin ice cream parlor, under the corresponding hashtag on Instagram, hundreds of entrepreneurs – but also customers – are now calling for vouchers. According to Helfen.Berlin, support initiatives are emerging all over Germany: Mainz.help in Rhineland-Palatinate, save your favorite shop in Bavaria, voucher in the Ruhr area. Startnext, a German crowdfunding platform, also supports creative minds and founders. With the United We Stream campaign, the legendary Berlin club scene is fighting for its survival. DJ sets are streamed live daily from 7 p.m. to midnight. The campaign also serves to collect donations for the clubs that are threatened with their existence, and to save favorite shops from bankruptcy – this is also possible without any money. On hilfdeinemkino.de you can watch commercials that are normally shown in the cinemas in advance and thus directly support the cinema in the neighborhood. The list can go on almost indefinitely. Network and help each other Contrary to what is common these days, people don't just go outside to celebrate "corona parties" in parks and "share beer bottles"; Some people take to the streets to hang a bag of donations for the homeless on a "fence". Or to shop for older people. Or also to feed pigeons that would otherwise starve. Oh well. The others follow the call "stay at home" and support doctors and helpers who work in hospitals in the chord. Residents hang their donations on a fence in Berlin-Friedrichshain. (Photo: Uladzimir Zhyhachou) Noah Adler, a 15-year-old student from Berlin, also stays at home and starts a network through which people in need of help can find help. The boy is a hero, just like everyone who offers help on his Coronaport platform – but also on next door.com or wherever. Just like a landlord who waives the rent. Just like supermarket employees, doctors, nurses and those who applaud them at windows. Networking and helping each other is the order of the day, and although we stay at home and keep our distance, we are moving closer together now. Together we can make it out of the crisis. And when it's over, we'll go out on the street and have a huge corona after party. Without distance and with a lot of physical contact. Then we can be at the forefront in the next Happiness Report.