From Food Dabbas To Free Therapy: How The Internet Is Bringing Us Together In Crisis

There's powerful pride in finding community online. Here are some of many ways people are seeking and offering COVID-19 help on Twitter.

Tanvi Akhauri
Apr 26, 2021 03:56 IST
Social Media COVID helpline

COVID-19 help on Twitter: On social media, there really has been no better time to simultaneously mourn and hope. The meme-ridden Twitter timeline has been turned inside out to reveal a messy universe that knows nothing but gloom and loss and breakdowns. To think that this is just a fraction of the havoc this fresh, deadlier COVID-19 wave has wreaked in India kills any hope one may have for any recovery from this dystopia.


Outdoors, beyond our screens where the feet can't currently travel - the country gasps for oxygen, begs for any medicine to keep their parents or children alive and then waits hours for their turn to cremate a family member who will end up becoming a statistic when the national numbers are tallied at the end of the day.

It's hard to see the silver lining in these dark times. 

But there are sporadic glimmers of it. Nowhere else, but on those very social media channels that are delivering headlines and updates that rend the heart. Is it possible for the human soul to keep alive so little optimism against so much pain without buckling under the bigger, more devilish force of the two?


Social media, today, is trying to harmonise them. Every day, when on my Twitter timeline cluttered with dying calls for emergency help I see interspersed sparse news of a patient living to see another day or a child hugging her recovered parent - all because the internet came together against all hopes to make it happen - I can't help but feel relieved. If only just a little bit.

There is immeasurable anger, of course, for authorities not having done enough too soon. And immeasurable gratefulness for frontline health professionals working round the clock, their own families neglected so someone else's can sleep better.

But there's powerful pride in finding community online; in witnessing COVID-19 help on Twitter being offered without interest, in the kind consideration of the youth promptly on their feet at the first alarm, in bigger accounts stepping down from their high horse of fame to connect patients to leads.


Our mental capacities are near burnout. It is only on the reserves of these small selfless acts by strangers that we're sustaining faith for making it out of this one day, together.

Here Are Just Some Of Many Ways People Are Seeking, Offering COVID-19 Help On Twitter:

Volunteers continuously verifying, curating helpline numbers


No fee health consultations for people with conditions

Free tiffin meals for essential workers and frontline warriors

Amplifying resources for blood plasma, donations, oxygen, etc.


Web developers generating easy, quick search links for resources

Volunteers consoling families, burying their kin as they say goodbye a final time

Home delivering groceries, other essentials for patients, elderly


Help with homework or schoolwork to alleviate unnecessary stress

Organisation of free mental health therapy for frontline workers

Going the mile beyond human lives, caring for our furry friends

Views expressed are the author's own. 

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