For the next few weeks, “In Case You Missed It” will solely be focusing on good things that have happened outside of UConn in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the influx of news from the mainstream media, I decided it was best to reframe this column in a way that allows it to be a positive place for people to go to and remember when they need a pick-me-up. As always, stay healthy and stay safe.
A 12-year-old boy in Canada recently designed ear guards to donate to frontline workers to help alleviate the pressure from wearing masks all day, according to MSN. Quinn Callander, who hails from the town of Maple Ridge in British Columbia, utilized his love for 3D printing to design and process several different prototypes for the guards. He has since given the guards to several area hospitals and his efforts have inspired others around the world to do the same. So far, Callander and his family have made over 1,200 ear guards for the effort. “It is very heartwarming to hear that such a small item made by a 12-year-old boy made a big difference in their lives,” Callander’s mom, Heather Roney, said. “The message we hear over and over again is that now they can focus on their patients and stop focusing on the pain they feel in their ears.”
Buddy and Barley, two golden retrievers from Huntington, New York who have recently been dubbed “brew dogs,” are helping their owners deliver beer and alcohol to residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to MSN. Mark and Karen Heuwetter, who own a microbrewery on Long Island, were forced to close their doors in March and can only do curbside and delivery orders for residents. Buddy and Barley, who are now “employees” of the brewery, are trained to bring the beverages to the front doors of residences, further alleviating any stress or anxiety people might have about distance and contact. “When they go out and make people smile, I think people really like that. In fact, people need that these days, so when they put a smile on people’s faces they’re doing their job — which, by nature, is easy for them,” Karen said. “You really kind of can’t get close to people other than your own family members. The dogs kind of bring more of a connection for them.”
A 6-year-old in British Columbia recently set up a drive-by joke stand to spread joy and laughter amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Good News Network. Callaghan McLaughlin had been looking forward to hosting lemonade stands when the weather warmed up, but had to improvise due to the pandemic. Instead, he set up a joke stand where he reads one-liners from a kids comedy book his mom bought for him several months ago (and he still respects social distancing guidelines while doing it). McLauglin sets up camp every morning for about an hour before taking a lunch break and returns again in the afternoon. “There’s a lot of stress in the world,” McLaughlin said. “And I kind of want to get some smiles on people’s faces.”
A female German shepherd who fell into a canal in Seymour on Monday was rescued by firefighters and reunited with her family, according to WTNH. Firefighters were called to South Main Street along the Naugatuck River after Metro-North workers working on a bridge across from the water saw a frightened dog perched on a small ledge just above the river. Firefighters were able to get in the water with cold water suits and help the dog out. Two firefighters were taken to the hospital for cold water exposure and a third for a dog bite.
A woman in Iowa has turned a tree in her yard into a giving tree so that those passing can pick up masks without violating social distancing guidelines, according to Good News Network. 55-year-old Deb Siggins, who recently made over 400 masks to donate to healthcare workers at the frontlines of the pandemic, came up with the idea for the tree and it has since been a hit throughout her community and elsewhere. The tree can hold up to 30 masks, most of which are typically gone by the end of the day, but Siggins is constantly making new masks to restock the tree for each new day. “It was really cool to see people driving up, grabbing a mask and leaving … It’s been a hit,” Siggins said. “I’m a giver, not a taker, so I feel really good.”
Taylor Harton is the associate news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at email@example.com.