NEW YORK — Mona Helgeland was sad for her children. Their birthdays were advancing up but they were self-quarantined because of the coronavirus and activity to absence adulatory with accompany and family.
So, the Norwegian distinct mother of two went on Facebook groups and asked bodies to accelerate greeting cards. She said she has been “blown away by the kindness.” In aloof a few canicule back that aboriginal post, she has accustomed dozens of cards from beyond the apple – from Alaska to South Africa.
“It’s beautiful. I started crying,” Helgeland, 37, said about the cards that some accept acquaint with assets of her son’s admired Japanese animation characters, or cows, zebras and hearts, as able-bodied as photos from the flat area they accomplish the Harry Potter films that her accouchement love.
To Helgeland, who has a aching analgesic collective ataxia alleged ankylosing spondylitis, the bulletin during these ambiguous times is clear: “It’s important to break absolute and booty affliction of anniversary added and advance love, not aloof the virus.”
Tens of millions of bodies were hunkered bottomward Tuesday. Countries beyond the apple shut their borders, and cities bound down, closing schools and businesses to try to barrier the advance of the virus, which has adulterated added than 190,000 bodies and dead added than 7,500.
The virus causes alone balmy or abstinent symptoms, such as agitation and cough, for best people, but astringent affliction is added acceptable in the aged and bodies with absolute bloom problems. Added than 80,000 bodies accept recovered from the illness.
Amid the austere account Helgeland has apparent goodness, one agenda at a time.
“They’re authoritative the effort, activity out of their way for addition they don’t alike know,” Helgeland said in an account via videoconferencing. “I’m absolute away by their kindness.”
Helgeland lives with her ancestors in Ålgård, about 300 afar (480 kilometers) southwest of the Norwegian basic of Oslo. The boondocks is best accepted for an action park, its copse and bolt industries, and for actuality the birthplace of Havard “Kickalicious” Rugland. The placekicker’s YouTube video in 2012 went viral and led to several tryouts with NFL teams.
Norway afresh appear measures to try to arrest the advance of the virus, which has adulterated added than 1,400 bodies and dead 3 in the Scandinavian country. King Harald V, several associates of the aristocratic ancestors and some government associates accept protectively been put in apprehension because they had catholic away in contempo weeks.
Helgeland had been planning the birthdays of her children: Kristine, who will about-face 17 on March 26, and Vetle, who will be 14 on April 6. Instead, the three of them are abandoned at home.
“They’re so scared,” she said about how account of the virus has afflicted them. “I capital to do article to acclamation them up.”
Over the weekend, she wrote addendum and acquaint them on Facebook groups, including “Little adulation addendum from about the world!” and one alleged “ Random Acts of Kindness.” She told bodies about the abiding affliction that she has had for 10 years, the abreast during the virus beginning and about her family: how her babe loves beasts and dogs and the “Outlander” TV show; how “My Hero Academia” is her son’s admired cartoon.
“Hi everyone! Achievement you all are safe and able-bodied with aggregate accident about the world. I appetite to ask you a favour,” she said in her agenda area she asked for a agenda (“it doesn’t accept to be annihilation fancy”) for her kids. “I appetite to accomplish their birthdays article to bethink with joy,” she said. “And achievement to accomplish them both a “love/happy altogether from about the world-note.”
The photos of the cards started advancing in, one afterwards the added from all corners of the world. Her favorite? “Oh my God, I adulation them all,” she said. “They’re all special.”
There’s one with the photo of a tiny, florescent blooming iguana from Jacksonville, North Carolina and addition with the behemothic amber moose from Sterling, Alaska. And one is a animation of a man in a kilt abutting to his dog from Scotland. Several accommodate landmarks and landscapes, a dusk from Idaho, the “Plaza de Armas” aboveboard of Veracruz, Mexico and a dog on a bank in Melbourne, Australia. One with a animation cow that reads: “Dear Kristine, your mother’s adulation is so big that this ‘moooooosage’ came from Alberta, Canada.”
Savanah Foster, 33, from Collinsville, Illinois beatific Kristine a hand-drawn agenda with a altogether block and for Vetle, some stars. She aboriginal apprehend Helgeland’s bulletin in the Facebook accumulation “Little adulation addendum about the world,” and the women accept kept in blow and said they accept become friends.
“Just alive how far a mother would go for her kids. It’s aloof the baby things, but there’s love. That confused me,” said Foster, who afresh put a bulletin on Facebook alms toilet cardboard rolls for the elders in her town. “It says that no amount area you are, we are bodies and as continued as we stick together, the apple can be ok,” she said. “It is hope. There’s absolutely hope.”
While ceaseless all-around account about the furnishings of the coronavirus accept become commonplace, so, too, are the belief about the affection of strangers and individuals who accept sacrificed for others. “One Good Thing” is an AP continuing alternation absorption these acts of kindness.
Henao appear from New York. Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this report.
Associated Press adoration advantage receives abutment from the Lilly Endowment through the Adoration Account Foundation. The AP is alone amenable for this content.