The coronavirus pandemic calls us to share more than ever

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Sharing during a pandemic? Sharing probably isn’t the first idea that comes to mind as it implies physical contact.

But there are innumerable ways to share that don’t require physical contact. And here’s why we should pursue them with extraordinary gusto during the pandemic.

In short, world leaders have failed to protect us from the coronavirus. They had a chance to contain it. But through delay, misinformation, denial, and unpreparedness, they have unleashed it on the world.

Now a growing number of us have been asked to cease our normal lives, shelter in place, and practice social distancing for who knows how long. And while it’s absolutely critical we do so to limit the spread of the coronavirus, we’ve been asked to bear the terrible costs of their incompetence in lost lives and livelihoods.

Leaders have also left us to figure out what stance to take in the crisis. From the official messages about social distancing and the like, it’s easy to assume that the only thing we should do is hunker down and wait the pandemic out.

Some messages offer no help. One world leader, when asked what he had to say to people who were scared, insulted the reporter. He had not a single comforting word or practical suggestion to offer.

In short, our supposed leaders have driven us to the edge of a public health and global economic abyss… and left us there. Even worse, some are taking advantage of the crisis to grab more profit and power. We can’t count on them to protect us. 

So, we must protect ourselves.

We must do so by sharing, cooperating, and taking decisive action when leaders have failed to.

We must fill the leadership and systemic voids that the crisis has exposed. The stakes couldn’t be higher — every human on spaceship earth is at risk. This is a moment of decision for all of us.

Will we hunker down, hoard, heap blame on the blameless, stay mesmerized by the media, spread fear, devolve in our isolation, and turn away from others?

Or will we rise to the occasion, fill the leadership void, share solutions, develop as people, and find our purpose in helping each other?

While this choice may not have occurred to you, this really isn’t a choice. There’s no one at the wheel of our collective bus. We must take the wheel or the immediate toll will be more horrific. The long-term damage to the social fabric might even be worse.

While you may not see it, countless thousands are rising to the occasion. A large and rapidly growing wave of prosocial behavior, resource sharing, and mutual aid is sweeping the globe. A growing number of people are defining this moment through their warmth, bravery, diligence, generosity, and creativity.

Need I mention front line medical workers who are risking their lives to stem the toll? Their sacrifice is a testament to the beauty, boldness, and boundlessness of the human spirit.

We need to follow them safely into the breach. If you haven’t already, it’s time to join this wave of grassroots action. If you already have, it’s time to ask your friends and family to join it with you.

Working together (and at a safe distance), we can flatten the curve in a humane way and come out more human for it.

Wondering how to get started? Check out Shareables 10 ways to share during the COVID-19 pandemic.


This article is part of our reporting on The People’s COVID-19 Response. Here are a few articles from the series:

The Response: Building Collective Resilience in the Wake of Disasters

Download our free ebook- The Response: Building Collective Resilience in the Wake of Disasters (2019)



Neal Gorenflo


Neal Gorenflo | |

Neal Gorenflo is the co-founder and board president of Shareable, an award-winning nonprofit news, action network, and consultancy for the sharing transformation. An epiphany in 2004 inspired Neal to

Things I share: Time with friends and family, stories, laughs, books, tools, ideas, nature, resources, passions, my network.