Starbucks and Sidewalks: Signs of Hope and Connection During COVID-19

Starbucks and Sidewalks: Signs of Hope and Connection During COVID-19

by Erin Monahan Erin Monahan

Every morning before sunrise, I look out my kitchen window to see the Starbucks across the street. The lights are on! I imagine baristas hurriedly brewing and whirring drinks to serve the long procession of cars in the drive-thru lane. Of course, customers are not allowed inside. 

Since coronavirus derailed the rhythms of American society, I perk up whenever I see sparks of normalcy. To me, the glowing lights inside Starbucks are a beacon of hope —- like a lighthouse helping restless and weary citizens navigate their foggy new normal. 

And that’s not the only sign of hope I notice. 

During my daily walks around my suburban neighborhood, I see inspirational messages and corny jokes written on sidewalks:

“You Are Blessed!”

“Stay Healthy!”

“Why was the math book so sad? Because it had so many problems!”

I see windows decorated with colorful crayon drawings that read, “We Got This!”

I see Christmas lights strewn on homes. 

I see a candle burning near a sign that reads, “God bless the healthcare workers.” 

I’m so grateful for these neighbors I’ve never met who are finding ways to bless in the mess. Their unexpected gestures are helping me and others hang on to humanity. 

The Healing Power of Community
Connection is an essential — and often overlooked — factor of a healthy, fulfilling life. We need each other! When we have shared experiences, relatable feelings or similar ideas, we feel like we belong to something greater than ourselves. We unite as one. 

In a strange and scary way, COVID-19 is causing the world to unite in its uncertainty. Right now, we can’t get close enough to give hugs or high-fives, but we can find other ways to comfort and cheer each other on from a distance.  

I have lots of ideas. For example:

  • I’m planting flowers and herbs in pots to brighten up our front porch. And I’ll place extra flowers and seed packets by the sidewalk with a sign encouraging others to take some to plant at their homes.
  • I’m bringing books to donate to Little Free Libraries around my city.
  • I’m hanging white Christmas lights in our windows.  

There are so many creative ways to connect with your community. If you need help generating ideas, think about what you’re grateful for at this moment. Your answers can be silly or serious. 

Here are some of mine:

  • Healthy family members
  • Our sweet dog Maggie
  • Photo walks
  • My favorite cookbooks
  • Plenty of toilet paper on the roll
  • A handwritten letter in the mail
  • Starbucks lights aglow

Gratitude gives you perspective and you’ll be surprised how this simple exercise can trigger your imagination. Showing others you care helps us all cope with the stress and uncertainty during this unbelievable season.

Point to Ponder: Community is an essential — and often overlooked — factor of a healthy, fulfilling life. 

Questions to Consider: What are you grateful for at this moment? What are some ways you could create connection and spark hope in your community during COVID-19?

Could days of quarantine offer space and time for greater wellness? Wanting to change something in your day-to-day activities to increase health? Chat with a coach to see if online health coaching could be the next step in your journey. Message a coach below to get started.

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