The coronavirus pandemic is affecting people all over the world. In the face of this global challenge, governments are working to stop the spread of the virus. People are doing their part to support health-care workers and lift spirits. Here, TIME for Kids looks at efforts in four of the countries hit hardest. These actions show us the power of kindness and cooperation.
CHECKING IN A volunteer registers an elderly person at a hospital for COVID-19 patients in Beijing, China.
ZHANG YUWEI—XINHUA.SIPA U.S.A.
No country has taken more-extreme steps to stop the spread of the coronavirus than China. The outbreak began in the city of Wuhan. That was in December. After nearly 11 weeks, China ended its lockdown in Wuhan on April 8.
Chinese billionaire Jack Ma has been doing his part to help others. He has sent supplies to people in Iran, Italy, Japan, and other countries. In March, he donated 500,000 test kits and a million masks to the U.S. “Speedy and accurate testing and adequate personal protective equipment for medical professionals are most effective in preventing the spread of the virus,” Ma said in a statement.
SPECIAL DELIVERY Workers prepare free lunches for the elderly, at a restaurant in Louisiana.
MELINDA MARTINEZ—THE TOWN TALK/U.S.A. TODAY NETWORK/REUTERS
The U.S. has the world’s highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases. At press time, it had nearly 600,000.
This could push the health-care system past its limits. In New York, thousands of retired doctors and nurses have stepped up to volunteer.
The federal government is also taking steps. In March, Congress passed a $2 trillion bill. The bill will help people who are out of work.
Ordinary people are helping, too. They’re delivering food to the elderly and giving thanks to medical workers. “You are extraordinary,” reads a message in chalk outside a hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana.
SWEET MELODY An accordion player serenades her neighbors in Milan, Italy, in March.
ALESSANDRO GRASSANI—THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX
Until mid-April, Italy had had more deaths from COVID-19 than any other country. It has one of the largest percentages of people age 65 or older. Older people with the virus are at high risk.
On March 9, the Italian government declared a nationwide lockdown. The spread of the disease has slowed since then. Now Italy is testing more people for the virus. This makes it easier for health officials to decide who should be quarantined.
People are following orders to stay home. To cheer them up, musicians have been performing from balconies. They fill Italy’s empty streets with sound. Videos appear on social media. One post reads: “Italians . . . always making the best of the worst. How can you not love them!”
HELPING HANDS People in Barcelona, Spain, make face masks for use in hospitals and nursing homes.
SAMUEL ARANDA—THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX
Spain ranks second in COVID-19 cases, behind the U.S. Data from April 13 showed about 170,000 infections there altogether. Many of the people infected were doctors and nurses. Like other countries, Spain did not have enough equipment to safely treat patients.
On March 14, Spain’s government told people to stay home. People have been leaning out their windows at night. They clap for health-care workers. Twitter user Carlos DelclÓs posted this message: “You are heroes. You are what solidarity looks like, and I hope that solidarity is what’s most contagious these days.”