Staying safe

Message to community in Hindi

Good things are happening in California and across the world

While there are many negatives resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, there are also countless good impacts that people are seeing every day.

Perhaps the most noticeable thing is clear skies: from China to Italy and across the United States, reduced traffic has resulted in reduced air pollution. The Air Quality Forecast posted at shows green for “good” throughout California, the web site saying, “Enjoy your outdoor activities.”

There is virtually no traffic clogging roads at Yosemite National Park, where photographers have been happily snapping pictures of wildlife roaming free.

Closer to home, Humane Society Silicon Valley reports more than 2,000 people have volunteered to foster pets since the pandemic took hold, while Southern California’s Riverside County has run out of adoptable pets. That is actually happening nationwide, with shelters from New York to Wisconsin and North Carolina seeing the same phenomenon.

Moreover, the community kindness that’s always evident during the holidays is making a spring-time resurgence, with countless volunteers delivering meals to shut-ins or calling their elderly neighbors to check on their well-being.

“How’re you doing grandma,” a teen was overheard asking his grandmother the other day – it was the second day in a row that he’d come to visit and walk her dog.

“Because Nice Matters” is evident everywhere, you just have to look for it.

Sure, we’re all tired of being cooped up. But taking a leisurely 45-minute walk is both eye-opening and good for you.

So, stop and smell the roses, the perfume of purple wisteria, the joyous scent of jasmine.

“It has paused us and made us think about life in general, the connections we have made with ourselves, our families, our kids, our friends are very precious,” Dr. Annu Navani said. “Nobody can take that away from us. Let us not lose those connections, those bonds and those positive things and influences when all of this ends.”

Dr. Navani is the medical director of the Comprehensive Sports & Spine Center, which has offices in numerous locations including Campbell, Fremont and Morgan Hill.

She pointed to telemedicine developments as another example of a good outcome.

“Think about things we never thought would be happening and they are happening now – like telemedicine in healthcare, like working from home all the time and still delivering the highest quality of products through IT departments. This is happening every day, so let’s carry on those positive influences it has brought to our lives as we move forward after COVID-19 ends.”

That said, Dr. Navani wants people to remember that we still need to take precautions to continue to “bend the curve.”

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” she said. “We still need to practice social distancing – keeping at least six feet apart from each other, washing hands frequently, maintaining good hygiene,  wearing masks when we go to public places and staying home if we are sick.”

Kaiser Permanente recently posted an article at on how to improve your health by practicing mindfulness. “Mindfulness is simply awareness. It can help you manage stress, be present in the moment and focus on the task at hand,” the article says.

Helping others is one task that every able-bodied Californian is being asked to do. The state initiative matches volunteers with community civic projects.

“From zoomers to boomers regardless of your age or stage in life, we want you to participate and we want to match those efforts in a way that gives meaning and purpose to this endeavor,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said.

Visit to learn more about volunteering at a food bank or homeless shelter, delivering food to less fortunate and isolated individuals, tutor folks online, join a senior “check-in service,” provide translation services – there’s even a need for tax preparers.

In all, there are some 80 areas where people can safely help their communities get through the crisis.

Stay Informed. Join Us.

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