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Apart, Together

How does it feel to be a key participant in a sweeping, unprecedented, collaborative, global project?

Because that is exactly what you are, what they are, what we are, what everyone is.

Weird huh?

As Covid-19 pummels the world, mankind is being asked to change and to change double quick! From Nairobi to Toronto, Seoul to Rome, human beings are tasked with suddenly, drastically and universally altering their behavior!

Wear a mask, stay indoors, remain 6 feet apart, cancel schools, gatherings, concerts, limit trips to the market, literally every single aspect of our day to day lives has taken a radical departure from our normal pattern. For once, it doesn’t seem to matter if you are rich, poor, urban or rural, every human has their orders. If you care about your neighbors, your loved ones and yourself, you must toss out business as usual and re-design your lifestyle.

We have to do this for us.

At the grocery store, masked strangers go out of their way to avoid each other after patiently waiting (6 feet apart) to get into the door. I see my neighbors offering to drop groceries off at the homes of the elderly, sharing tips on where to get toilet paper, flour, paper towels. On social media a new FB group “View from My Window” has tens of thousands of locked down people sharing, quite simply, what they see outside of their window.

Artists ascending.

Trapped indoors? Why not tune into Andrea Bocelli’s Easter concert? Or visit one of the dozens of museums offering free online tours of their collections? Sign up for your neighbor’s new, online piano lessons, or listen in on an impromptu zoom duet, created in some musician’s kitchen! Creativity- in all its sparkling iterations has rarely been so critical to so many.

Everyday heroes.

The Kardashians are so 2019, as we make way for a new style of super star, the grocery worker, the delivery person, the farm worker, doctors and nurses risking their lives for all mankind. After all, who would you rather have in your corner right now?

Ultimately, despite nutty hoarders, lock down renegades and shifty politicians, I can’t help but view this entire experience through a lens of what is essentially good and helpful about people. That, when push comes to shove, the majority of us will rise to the occasion; we will make the necessary sacrifice; we will honor and support the people who truly deserve it, and we will reach out to comfort one another in times of darkness and grief.

Every day this strange new world astonishes me and fills me with hope.

Written in week 4- shelter in place—stay safe #stayhome

Thyra Rutter, is Artist and CoFounder of Arte for Elephants, a philanthropic art business that raises funds for elephant sanctuaries around the world through the sale of art, and hosts retreats to Kenya and Thailand. Find out more at


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