To be essential means to be absolutely necessary and extremely important. Before COVID-19, a list of “essential” people today might not have included grocery store cashiers, sanitation workers, or truck drivers; yet now, many are realizing the vital role they play in keeping us healthy, fed, and safe. I’ve been thinking about this idea of “essentialism,” how it is evolving, and why. The nature of the roles I described above hasn’t changed. The only shift that has occurred is within our own awareness.
It is a commonly held myth that when disaster strikes, those impacted are paralyzed by shock and helplessness. Social psychologists have studied this across all types of disasters and found that the exact opposite is true. The first responders in disaster are rarely ever professionals working in an official capacity. In most cases, they are survivors themselves.
From the Ashes: TPP Changemaker Jenny Lowrey Battles COVID-19 in Her California Community, Ravaged by Fire Just One Year Earlier
But then, once again, the unthinkable happened—a pandemic swept through the nation, with California being one of the hardest hit states. All of a sudden, Lowrey was thrust again into emergency mode. “[Our family, friends, and neighbors] have survived the nightmare of the fire and had just gotten back to work. They were finally feeling hopeful again … and then COVID-19 happened. We are now hit with a second disaster before we have recovered from the first.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, Sam Suchin knew he had to do something. “In the past few weeks, people all over the world have started to brainstorm creative solutions to keep people safe during the outbreak,” says Suchin. “Hope3D has joined the movement.” Enter Project Shield: a project which aims to crowdsource 3D printed face shields for healthcare workers.
Our community of changemakers means everything to us–we exist to support it, to support you. Our goals have been and always will be the same: to uplift and empower individuals to create change for a more compassionate world. So when our community undergoes hardship, we take it very seriously, and we want to make sure that no member of our community feels alone. Our team is here to listen, provide guidance, and encourage you as our world grapples with the coronavirus outbreak.