As the world is in the midst of the pandemic coronavirus, we are told to: keep a distance of 6 feet from the next person; practice ‘social distancing’ (one of many new words we will see during this epic time); wash our hands vigorously with soap and water while singing ‘Happy Birthday To You’ twice (a good way to get children to wash their hands); sneeze into our elbow, left knee, or whatever is most convenient; and refrain from hoarding toilet paper (What is that all about?). To help us not only get through this crisis, and do so with patience, humour, music, and prayer, we present a number of stories to lift our spirits by showing how others are lifting spirits and inspiring hope. Humanity is rising to the occasion to evoke laughter and smiles. Enjoy the following, bearing in mind that the evil of abortion and other assaults on the human person are still among us. Pray, be vigilant, and always support life – from conception to natural death.

We begin by suggesting a short video of an Italian nonna who presents the above advice, and then some, with umorismo e amore. The video is on YouTube, which you can access by keying in “Italian grandma’s suggestions, coronavirus.”

Honestly, it is worth the view.

Next, we have a story from the U.S. about Brandon, age 4 and his sister, Cameron, age 6. Both children are autistic. Brandon has a “crippling fear” because of his autism, a fear that is compounded by stories of the coronavirus and its attending quarantine and health concerns. His sister comes to his rescue with consoling words from Scripture. In Sunday school she learned a short passage from 2 Timothy 1:7: “The Spirit God has given us is no cowardly spirit, but rather one that makes us strong, loving and wise.” Cameron went over each word with Brandon until he was able to understand and quote the text and have his fear reduced. Their mother, Sheletta Brundidge, posted on Twitter: “Stop letting your fear of coronavirus be bigger than your faith in God. Plead The Blood, pray, and wash your hands. Amen.” Sheletta, who is an author and blogger has just published a picture book, Cameron Goes to School, the story of her daughter’s autism journey. See her Twitter account for more information and inspiration. The aforementioned video appeared March 12.

Quarantined Italians have taken their social life to a new level – on their balconies. With instruments from violins to accordions and voices from professional opera singers to casual but enthusiastic singers, Italians are joining their neighbours from across the street to across the piazza to sing and play music as only Italians can – with hope, love and an abundance of joy. There are numerous videos on YouTube at this calamitous time to lift your spirits in song. Google ‘Coronavirus outbreak: Italian residents join together to sing from balconies during lockdown’ and then scroll down to view all the videos that are inspiring the world to not give up, to not have fear, to trust in God and each other. A professional Italian tenor and opera singer, Maurizio Marchini, goes out on his balcony each evening to serenade quarantined Florence. All these videos will bring hope to your heart and tears to your eyes.

There was plenty of regular life and family news that could have filled this space, but we wanted to provide you with something that might illicit a smile. If this situation with the coronavirus lasts for long, we might open up this space to some jokes by Campaign Life Coalition president emeritus Jim Hughes.