In 2009, the same year that this journalistic project was born Peace Correspondent faced a pandemic and just like right now we saw back then how this disease spread faster than the virus itself.
It was the disease of fear of uncertainty and distrust.
Today, in 2020, maybe far more than back then, the virus that affects us the most is the feeling of general despondency.
This is being constantly transmitted to us via relentless information that is gradually weakening our mental state and also our immune system.
This is of course happening on an individual level but especially on a social scale.
Both this virus, Covid-19, and the information we are receiving from countless media outlets and social networks confirm that we most certainly live in a globalised world one in which borders apply neither to viruses or the information we receive.
confirm that we most certainly live in a globalised world one in which borders apply neither to viruses or the information we receive.
It is also a world in which we see and feel that it doesn't matter where we were born or in which part of the planet we live.
Because in reality, we all worry about the same thing: the vast majority of us, if not all of us simply want to live, be happy and for the ones we love be they human, or also animals in my case, to be safe.
This is the priority that drives us today.
Certainly, the social distancing we are imposing on ourselves in order to look after ourselvesand our loved ones is leading us all to practically the same conclusion in all four corners of the planet.
And this, even if said conclusion is not entirely clear to us just yet is invaluable.
We now know, in fact we have seen that we are capable of putting an end to the non-stop, chaotic nature of our lives.
We now know how much we need physical contact to hug and love one another, with those who are around us We are also now, in the midst of our personal confinement opening our hearts in many other ways upon realising how many people care about us and how many people we care and think about even if some are far away.
We are worried about ourselves but we are especially worried about others.
about the health of others especially that of the ones we love.
I think maybe we should have realised a long time ago and I mean humanity in general that we should stop seeing ourselves asdifferent people of different nationalities.
Maybe we should have also realised that forest fires, floods, earthquakes and even wars that happen in one region or another are in fact happening to all of us in this home.
In this home that belongs to all of us, the only one we have.
An enormous and diverse home in which we humans live but which also belongs to millions of species and living creatures and it is us human beings who have been a deadly disease that destroys and infects everything.
And today, while we have been quarantined by this insidious virus which has isolated us so quickly it turns out that our planet has started, while in its own quarantine to heal itself from our invasive presence in its live body.
Both are extremely powerful messages and they have reached us at the right time.
One one hand we are beginning to understand in our loneliness and individual vulnerability that we humans ultimately have far more incommon than we wanted to admit until now.
On the other, we are starting to realise that our home, planet Earth needs to heal itself from our harmful actions.
And maybe the most important thing we can take from these two messages is the realisation that it doesn't matter how much wealth we have accumulated be it in money, material goods or land because this moment in time is teaching us that sooner or later we will be left with no other option than to share with each other and work together if what we want is to return to thosesimple, priceless things that we are yearning for right now to be able to hug each other, to feel life in the air once again and to once again be trusting of others.
To those of us who make up the Peace Correspondent team none of these premises are really new.
For eleven years we have dedicated ourselvesto peace journalism knowing, or at least sensing that living life according to another social paradigm was not just possible, as we are now seeing but also urgent.
Urgent for human beings, obviously but urgent also for the other species in general and for the good of the planet as a whole For eleven years we have been telling of the brightest parts in the midst of the social darkness that has surrounded us.
We have been insisting that the story of the world by us journalists in the news, in social media, in our messages is ultimately a story which shapes the way we relate to each other to the world that we live in, and of course, to others.
We are inundated with information that overwhelms us and that eventually weakens us even more so than this virus that has turned into a pandemic.
And this is why at Peace Correspondent we believe that it is essential that our readers be kept in constant contactwith all those stories, acts and initiatives that show us the solidarity we are capable of that we have always been capable of.
These acts that remind us of the gratitudethat moves us and that we often feel when we once again value the things that we have gradually stopped appreciating among the chaos of everyday life.
Stories, acts and initiatives that bring uscloser together when we are far apart and which, when we read or hear about them inject us with hope when we most need to believe in something something which brings immediate relief.
We think it is paramount that we begin to think about what we will be capable in the future what we will be able to create together in that future that awaits us.
On this website dedicated to peace journalism we are convinced that this virus that has struck us can ultimately unite us all and what unites us when this pandemicis over will depend on us whether it is disease and fear or rather solidarity, happiness and cooperation.
Today our borders have practically been erased we have seen they are non-existent borders because for news and viruses, there are no borders while our interdependence on one another is what will become most evident now and in the future.
We think that at this moment in time, when it is more necessary than ever to up our individual and social game so that we strengthen not only our internal defences but also our defences as a society as a whole.
This is why the Peace Correspondent team has taken it upon itself to compile all the stories that have come from different sources that can make reconnect with the mental and spiritual health of a planet that we can see that right now is sick, isolated and weak but that is on the road to recovery.
But it must be said that it isn't just uswho have made this news feature possible this section of inspiring and uplifting stories on COVID-19 has been thanks to many journalists, organisations and people all over the world that in the midst of this crossroads remind us, with tangible examples that our natural fear of death has always, always succumbed to our most distinctive hallmark: our love for life.
We hope that this feature that we have named “The Virus That Has United Humanity” that takes a look at inspirational stories that are happening all around the world some of which are spontaneous others which are part of a plan but which are all born from a sense of solidarityin the face of this health crisis we hope this feature can lift our spirits at this time when it seems that anguishand confusion are winning the battle.
We also hope that it can inspire us all to replicate and multiply these acts of cooperation and solidarity that will ultimately define us when all this is over.
Translated and subtitled by Eirian James.