Amid COVID-19, these stories will make you go awww *faith in humanity restored*
By now, you’re probably sick of all the bad news COVID-19 has brought.
Cases rising daily, new countries going into lockdown, travel plans going *poof*. 2020 isn’t looking very bright, is it?
But there’s no need to feel like the world is over. To take a break from the bad, we’ve dug up some (literal) good news for you to enjoy. There’s always a silver lining somewhere, so here are some wholesome stories to keep up the good vibes ✨
Read also: How COVID-19 Affects Singaporean Travellers
1) An elderly couple recreated their cancelled cruise trip at home
Photo credit: Screengrab from Jane Twill via Facebook
Many travellers (us included) had to cancel plans due to COVID-19. This leaves us with a few options: (a) be a tourist in our own country, (b) splurge on an epic staycation, (c) plan for future trips, or (d) mope about it.
You could also go with (e) Recreate your trip, like this sweet old couple. They were meant to go on a cruise to celebrate their wedding anniversary. However, it was cancelled due to the outbreak.
To cheer them up, their daughter decided to simulate the cruise at home by playing a video of the ocean. The elderly folks went along by wearing bathrobes and pairing the view with some fine wine. Now that’s making the best of what you’ve got!
Read also: How COVID-19 Affects Singaporean Travellers — Countries Affected And What to Do If Your Plans Are Cancelled
2) A Chicago aquarium allowed penguins to roam freely
Photo credit: @shedd_aquarium via Twitter
To control the COVID-19 spread, an aquarium in Chicago decided to close for two weeks. The staff then decided to do something strange: Let its penguins out.
Wellington meets the sea otters! 🦦🐧 Wellington the rockhopper continued his field trip around the aquarium by visiting the Shedd otter habitat. #WheresWellingtonWednesday (1/2) pic.twitter.com/VlEeDzSoIV— Shedd Aquarium (@shedd_aquarium) March 18, 2020
If you’re a fan of cute animals (who isn’t?!), you can watch clips of the adorable penguins roam around the aquarium. Sure, it may not be ground-breaking news, but you can’t deny it’s oddly therapeutic to see them explore empty rooms.
Recently, they let out their resident porcupine too!
3) SMRT and SBS secure accommodation for Malaysian workers after lockdown
Photo credit: SMRT via Facebook
On our sunny shores, we have people who do good work too.
After Malaysia decided to enact a two-week travel ban, thousands of Malaysians who commute to Singapore for work had to scramble to find a place to stay. Local transport operators like SMRT and SBS immediately secured hotel accommodations for Malaysian bus captains who wanted to stay and work here.
Meanwhile, MSF worked with sports hall staff to provide shelter to Malaysian workers who were stranded without accommodation. Fellow Singaporeans and couchsurfers are also opening their homes to help those affected.
4) Musicians performed concerts on social media
COVID-19 lockdowns have caused many movie theatres and concert venues to close. But, instead of suffering in boring silence at home, renowned musicians (also stuck at home) figured out a way to help everyone connect over music.
Dubbed the #TogetherAtHome series, musicians such as Chris Martin (Coldplay), John Legend, and Keith Urban have taken to social media to perform mini-concerts for fans (and they’re free too!). The campaign was done in collaboration with WHO and Global Citizen to raise funds for COVID-19 relief.
5) This Professor wrote a heartwarming message to her students
Photo credit: Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve via Facebook
It’s hard enough to be a student, but to be a student during a pandemic? That thought alone is probably enough to make anyone scream.
To help her students cope with the extra stress, a Professor from Brown University wrote them a reassuring letter. She advised them to remain calm and to continue learning to take their mind off the COVID-19 crisis.
The coolest part, though, was what she did. Knowing that the pandemic may affect her students’ grades, she changed her class to a “pass/fail” one. That’s one less bell-curve to worry about! #MVP
6) Locked down Italians sing together from their balconies
Photo credit: Classicfm.com
On 9 March 2020, Italy imposed a nationwide quarantine to contain the spread of the virus. Although citizens were self-isolated, many decided to sing and play instruments from their balconies to boost morale. Even opera singers joined in.
This touching gesture won the hearts of netizens around the world, which goes to show that people can still be united despite dark times.
During Italy’s quarantine, Italian tenor Maurizio Marchini wanted to do something to spread joy amid all the sadness in Florence.— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) March 14, 2020
So climbed on to his balcony and serenaded the entire town.
Photo credit: Bay.com
The EDM community didn’t miss out on the action either. A few Italians broke out their DJ sets on their balconies, proving that you can party no matter where you are!
7) Japanese students host a graduation ceremony on Minecraft
Modern problems require modern solutions. Photo credit: @backyennew via Twitter
Due to COVID-19, Japanese elementary schools have closed until early April — this means that many students will miss their graduation ceremony. To work around this, some students found a creative solution: Hold their ceremony online on Minecraft.
What’s most impressive is that the students took the initiative to do this entirely on their own. No parents or teachers were involved. Of course, the Internet was blown away by their ingenuity, along with the amazing assembly hall that they built!
8) Google enables people to take virtual tours of museums and national parks
Musée d’Orsay via Google Arts & Culture.
Our travel plans may be out the window for now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t “travel” from the comforts of our own home! Thanks to Google Earth and Arts & Culture, we can now jump on virtual tours of 32 US national parks and over 2,000 museums.
It may not be the real deal, but it’s good news for nature and art enthusiasts who can’t leave home. It’s also good news for travellers who have always wondered how these places look like, or are unable to visit due to COVID-19 closures.
Yosemite National Park via Google Earth.
9) Supermarkets start a “Community Hour” for elderly and disabled shoppers
Photo credit: Retaildetail.eu
It’s not just Singapore that faced the ugly behaviour of hoarding food and essentials — many other countries went through it too. Regardless of where it happened, some people who genuinely needed the supplies didn’t manage to get what they needed.
In light of this, supermarkets in Northern Ireland and Australia have introduced a “Community Hour”. For an hour every day, the stores will open exclusively for the elderly and the disabled to shop for what they need. As one store had put it, it was their way of looking out for the vulnerable community. Aww.
Update: Singapore has recently introduced a priority shopping hour for the elderly, pregnant women and the disabled too.
10) Disneyland donates excess food to a food bank after a temporary closure
Good news for Disneyland fans, did you know they also do magical acts of kindness in the face of COVID-19?
The Disneyland Resort in California decided to close to the public until the end of March 2020. As part of their commitment to reducing food waste, they pledged to donate excess food inventory to a food bank in the region. This includes all excess fruit, vegetables, packaged goods and banquet meals.
11) Wuhan closes ALL its temporary hospitals that were built for coronavirus patients
Photo credit: Businessinsider.sg
After seven weeks of battling the virus, Wuhan closed all 16 of its temporary hospitals as the number of COVID-19 patients dropped in the city. In a heartening viral video, medical staff celebrated the closure by removing their masks to show their smiles.
Chinese medical workers who have been fighting the #coronavirus day and night in Wuhan celebrated the closing of the last temporary hospital in Wuhan.— redfish (@redfishstream) March 13, 2020
The reported #covid19 cases went from a surge in February of 15,000 in one day to only 15 this week. pic.twitter.com/xWuPd23EfY
As Wuhan was the epicentre of the outbreak, this is probably one of the best news we’ve heard thus far.
Bonus: Otters frolicking around Singapore
Photo credit: Screengrab from Omni Channel via Facebook
In otter news, otters were spotted playing around now-empty tourist hotspots. This included the Merlion Park, Gardens by the Bay and Tanjong Rhu. It’s an adorable sight, and one that we can enjoy due to the lack of humans.
For more otter activity, check out the Omni Channel!
COVID-19 has undoubtedly launched us into an uncertain time where things change rapidly every day, but good news still prevails. If this list has proven anything, it’s that we are all in this together ✌#PosVibes
As always, we encourage you to be kind and take safety precautions during this period. This includes abiding by the “no travel” advisory and practising good personal hygiene. With regard to travel plans, have patience and plan ahead! (Or, y’know take a holiday within the country and enjoy a staycay.)
From us to you, hang in there! 💪
Featured image credit: Thelocal.it
Have you come across any other good news or heartwarming stories related to COVID-19? Share the love in the comments below!