Over the past few weeks, life has taken a full one-eighty due to the novel coronavirus. Social media is oversaturated with negative stories of the virus’ outcome, so it can be difficult to find positivity.
It can be draining to see negative news constantly, but remember that where there is bad news, there’s also good news. Despite being away from friends and family, we are somehow more connected than ever through technology.
Trying times like these remind us of the beauty of the human spirit, and how contagious being kind can be.
After searching online for some good news, I came up with a list of a few heartwarming highlights that showcase how wonderful humanity can be — especially when faced with a communal challenge.
A neighbourhood birthday celebration
Sophie, an eight-year-old girl from the United Kingdom, was upset that her birthday party was cancelled due to the virus. Her parents sent a request to neighbours through Facebook, asking if they could send her a happy birthday wish or drop off a card to their front door. To her surprise, Sophie went outside to find the entire street singing “Happy Birthday.” The video has gone viral, cheering up the nation, since it was posted online.
Music therapy on balconies
Italy was one of the first countries to go under complete lockdown due to the pandemic, as there have been over 101,000 cases and 11,000 deaths as of March 30. Despite the tragic times, people across the country have been staying connected by playing music from their balconies.
Some musicians have been offering free concerts from rooftops to cheer up their neighbours.
A caregiver in Spain took their Alzheimer patient on the balcony so he could play his harmonica and listen to the cheering crowd. Similar acts have occurred in other countries, such as Spain, France, Iraq, Lebanon, Germany, India and the United States.
Volunteers test experimental COVID-19 vaccine
On March 3, the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute started recruiting participants for the testing of their new experimental COVID-19 vaccine. Two weeks later, four individuals volunteered in a phase one clinical trial that the federal government sponsored.
The trial needed to recruit 45 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 55 years. However, the team closed the recruitment because of the positive response of people interested.
A 13-year-old makes 3D printed masks
In Falls Church, Virginia, 13-year-old Charles Randolph decided to use his parents’ 3D printer to print off masks for those who need them. He especially wanted to help his great uncle, who is in a vulnerable position as he needs a heart transplant.
While the masks may not be best for health-care professionals, he is looking into where he can donate them.
Engagement announced through a window
A North Carolina woman told her grandfather she got engaged through the window of his isolated care home. Similar situations have been documented across North America, with grandparents even meeting their newborn grandchildren through their windows. Despite the difficult times, love has never been stronger.
Vancouver residents applaud health-care workers
Rory Richard, a resident of Vancouver’s West End, started a Facebook event requesting for locals to cheer every night for health-care workers on the front lines. Other places have also taken part in the practice, such as France, Denmark, the UK, South America and India.
Retired man plays piano for his community
An 84-year-old professional pianist played music for the residents in isolation at his retirement home in Boulder. He was supposed to be at a Québec music conference but decided to hold a physically distant concert instead.
Surprise drive-thru gender reveal celebration
After a couple had to cancel their gender reveal party because of COVID-19, they hosted a digital one via Facebook live. Over video, they told their friends and family that they were expecting a girl. To their great surprise, cars started to drive past with pink balloons, streamers and signs in celebration of the news.
This op-ed was written by a University of Saskatchewan undergraduate student and reflects the views and opinions of the writer. If you would like to write a rebuttal, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sophia Lagimodiere | Outreach Director
Photo: Flickr / Elin B