Accentuating the positives and eliminating the negatives.
If you haven’t heard of COVID-19 by now, you’ve probably been living under a rock and, frankly, a lot of us would like to join you. There is a lot of fear and uncertainty spreading throughout our communities at the moment, and it’s all too easy to let the media whirlwind whip us up into a panic-driven frenzy.
They may not always be easy to spot but there are good news stories out there as well; ones of kindness, spirit, generosity and solidarity. They have nothing to do with political agendas, vaccines or infection rates and, instead, are all about being human, and being in this together.
So, without further ado, here are nine good news stories to brighten up your day!
Getting To Know Thy Neighbour
Think lock-down or self — isolation means that the fun has to stop? Not so. Apartment dwellers throughout Europe are holding sing-a-longs, balcony dance parties, bingo games, movie projections, tennis (don’t try that at home) and have organised a co-ordinated mass applause for healthcare workers. Sometimes boredom can lead to ingenuity and meeting your neighbours (from a distance)!
Meanwhile, board games have appeared the doorsteps of residents in one Melbourne neighbourhood and, with the suspension of Anzac dawn services through the country, there are growing calls for Australians to come together (whilst staying apart) by standing at the end of their driveways at 05:55 for a minutes silence on April 25th.
Image credit: Jon Nazca/Reuters from Insider
Life surges along at a hazardous rate and, whilst this may not be the best way to go about it, slowing down does our mental health a favour. Whilst often stigmatised and de-valued, isolation/ solitude (for brief periods at least) gives us time to reflect on our propensity to over-work and over-consume and forces us to re-evaluate the things we want to make time for. It also puts social connection (in all its forms) at the forefront of our minds, and when we are not focusing on the next appointment, the next goal or the next day we are forced to sit in the present and be thankful for what we have.
Source: Psychology Today
Pressing Pause on Environment
Economies, societies and governments across the world may struggle to come to grips with the pandemic, but it appears as though the planet is breathing a little easier, with pollution in certain regions at record lows.
NASA satellite images reveal how the lockdowns in both China and Italy have significantly reduced the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and the study goes on further to speculate what such findings would mean for rates of air pollution-related deaths each year. However, with the levels beginning to rise again as China eases its lockdown restrictions, the question we have to ask is whether we will learn anything from this?
Lend A Hand
Businesses, community groups and individual volunteers are stepping in unique ways to help those at high risk (the elderly, the disabled, those with comprised health conditions or immune conditions) in their neighbourhoods. Have you seen notes like these around? Is there someone you know that could do with a hand?
Streaming (Not Netflix)
Teachers have always been an amazing bunch of people and now that many of them have forced out of the classroom with school closures, we are really seeing those creative muscles being flexed! Teachers are stepping up and finding new ways to engage with their students, minus the classroom.
It’s not only teachers, either. Actors, comedians, fitness instructors, group leaders, musicians and artists are connecting, setting up streaming services to keep the world educated and entertained. The Met has also launched a nightly opera stream, whilst Melbourne Zoe has set up live streams in half a dozen of its enclosures and, whilst it may not be strictly educational, Josh Gad (Frozen’s Olaf) is reading bedtime stories definitely deserves a mention!
Christmas in March?
You would be forgiven for double-checking your calendar now that #lightsforlife is trending. Twitter users are urging each other to dust off their Christmas lights a lot earlier than usual. Not only does it provide a fun social distancing activity for kids, but it also serves as a sign of hope in dark times.
Love Always Prevails
Hospital walls and quarantine restrictions can put a damper on a relationship, but two people have proved that love always finds a way. Unable to celebrate their 67th wedding anniversary together due to coronavirus restrictions, Bob Shellard instead stood outside Nancy’s (his wife) nursing home room with their family, balloons and a handmade sign. It’s a similar story for Zhang Jiapeng, who hadn’t seen his wife for a fortnight after she was assigned to a fever clinic in Weinan.
Thank you, for reminding us that expression of love can take all forms (and for setting a high bar for all our future relationships).
Image Credit: Laura Mikolajczak and Handout via South China Morning Post
In the light of school closures throughout Japan and the extra burden that this places on parents and households, Osaka city has approved plans to offer free school lunches (給食) to municipal elementary and junior high school students.
It’s a similar story in other cities but instead of school lunches, donations of food/ meals are being sent to hospitals, first responders and healthcare workers- those at the front of the pandemic. Local restaurants, delis and food providers were the first to kick off the movement but now the juggernauts are getting involved, with Uber announcing that it will give away 300,000 meals in the US and Canada. Similarly, Disneyland has donated their excess food to Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, following the closure of their park.
They say there is no such thing as a free meal but this comes pretty close!
Image Credit: KYODO via Japan Times and Disney Parks Twitter
It may not be a good news story per se, but we are living in a time where we can be a virus-fighting superhero. Chinese designer, Sun Dayong, has come with a futuristic shield which, from behind, reminds us of a certain Dark Knight.
It’s packed full of cool technology, but I think we all know what Batman would ask… “Does it come in black?”
Source and Image Credit: South China Morning Post
There you have it- 9 good news stories. We need a lot more!
Stay safe and stay healthy, everyone. Be kind. Protect those that need it most. And let’s stop the negativity spread.