These are extraordinary times.

The coronavirus pandemic is pulling us through a common global experience, the likes of which none of us has seen before. And frankly, it's a little unnerving. The mad dash to get everyone on the social distancing wagon quickly enough to "flatten the curve," the swiftness with which our daily lives have been altered, and the uncertainty of what the coming weeks and months will bring has all of us feeling on edge.

But extraordinary times also bring our humanity. While some people don't handle crisis well (please stop panic-hoarding guns, America) there are countless examples of the best in people shining through the darkness. As we look toward the countries that have been hit the hardest so far, we can see these beacons of light as sources of hope.

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Courtesy of Chef El-Amin
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When non-essential businesses in NYC were ordered to close in March, restaurants across the five boroughs were tasked to pivot fast or risk shuttering their doors for good.

The impact on the city's once vibrant restaurant scene was immediate and devastating. A national survey found that 250,000 people were laid off within 22 days and almost $2 billion in revenue was lost. And soon, numerous restaurant closures became permanent as the pandemic raged on and businesses were unable to keep up with rent and utility payments.

Hot Bread Kitchen, a New York City-based nonprofit and incubator that has assisted more than 275 local businesses in the food industry, knew they needed to support their affiliated restaurants in a new light to navigate the financial complexities of shifting business models and applying for loans.

According to Hot Bread Kitchen's CEO Shaolee Sen, shortly after the shutdown began, a third of restaurant workers that they support had been laid off and another third were furloughed.

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