Adapting to Change, Loss, and Possibilities: Our Communities Are Smiling

There’s no denying the tragedy that is all around us during the current coronavirus pandemic, as I have noted in earlier sets of reflections in this series; it continues to hit colleagues, friends, and family. And yet we somehow are finding comfort. In each other. In our communities. And, of course, through laughter because of and in spite of adversity. As is obvious through this sampling of videos found through friends and through my own search for a terribly needed laugh in challenging times.

Pluto Living

I’ve loved this ongoing series, from Nancie Wight, ever since Jill Hurst-Wahl introduced me to the introductory offering at It’s difficult to choose favorites, but Pluto’s April 1, 2020 reflections on cats still stands out to me: The entire set is accessible at:

Holderness Family

There is an absolutely loveable wackiness to what the Holderness Family has been producing online, and it absolutely shines and shimmers in the coronavirus parody songs that keep flowing from the seemingly bottomless pool of creativity on display. Grateful to Nichole Brown—herself a continual source of inspiration—for leading down the path of addiction on this one. The “She’ll Be Missing You—Target Parody” was my gateway to their work: The entire set is accessible at:

Chris Mann

The consistently high level of writing, videography, and humor from Chris Mann—another referral from Jill—makes it a pleasure to just let YouTube lead you from one video to the next, starting with his “Hello (from the Inside): An Adele Parody) provides a wonderful introduction to his work: And if you stick with him long enough, you’ll find his poignant tribute to front-line workers, “Thank U +Frontline (Alanis Morissette): More available at

Shirley Serban

Serban, who, on her YouTube channel, identifies herself as a “school principal by day – kayaker, photographer and musician whenever I can be,” is from the West Coast of New Zealand. She had gained well-deserved attention for her The Sound of Music parodies, including  “Do Re Mi—The Covid-19 Version,” on YouTube at Other videos, including her charming a capella “Wash Your Hands, Man,” are available at

And then there are the wonderful moments from a variety of other sources:

Honest Government Ad: Coronavirus—Flatten the Curve

Neil Diamond: Hands Washing Hands

Jen Houston: Just Stay Home

Julia Louise-Dreyfus: Just Stay Home (which I found, of all places, in a tweet from California Governor Gavin Newsom):

Pixel Playhouse: Social Distancing—The Musical

Les Misérables: The Family Version

A great place to conclude—for now—is the beautiful, poignant version of Crosby, Still, & Nash’s “Helplessly Hoping,” created online by the high school and college students who form the heart of Italy’s Il

Coro Che Non C’é, a group whose work was brought to my attention by writer-teacher-friend-source of inspiration Ann Harleman:

–N.B.: This is the third in a series of reflections inspired by colleagues’ reactions to the coronavirus and shelter-in-place experiences and our continuing interactions online.

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