While there is a lot of worry and fear in the world right now, there are also a lot of awesome things to smile about. We’ve rounded up some of the most heartwarming things going on around the world which will bring joy to your soul and make you feel so proud of our global community. Sure, 2020 hasn’t been what we’ve all hoped, but if this article can brighten just one person’s day, then we’ve done our job...
Communities have come together to help the vulnerable
And in so many different ways! To give you one example, in the UK, younger generations are coming together and volunteering to make medicine deliveries from pharmacies, having daily calls with the elderly people living in isolation, driving patients to appointments and bringing them back from hospital. Half a million UK citizens have signed up! There has been overwhelming support to join the #NHSvolunteerresponders in the UK to help protect the most vulnerable members of society.
If you live the UK and would like to volunteer, apply here
The ozone layer is healing
Some great news for our planet. LadBible reported on Instagram that “after depleting at an alarming rate, the banning of ozone-damaging substances in the 80s appears to have reversed some of the damage we'd caused, and it's continuing to heal.” This story has also been covered by many major news outlets across the world. Without the protective ozone layer, it would be almost impossible for anything on our planet to survive, so we’re glad to see patterns shifting...
Through music, people are lifting spirits of others
One of the most heartwarming videos going viral on social media are clips of Italians singing in the streets or playing instruments from their balconies. Being one of the hardest hit countries, it’s so heartwarming to see locals keeping positive and spreading good vibes.
In other news, a Dutch orchestra based in Rotterdam plays Beethoven 9th from their homes and it’s one of the most awesome things ever! You can watch the virtual performance here .
Even famous musicians like John Legend, Chris Martin, Joe Jonas, Robbie Williams and Christine and the Queens are taking to Instagram Live to help their followers combat isolation boredom! They’re taking requests and are there for you when you fancy a sing-along and a little musical entertainment.
Improved levels of air pollution in China
With fewer factories running, less cars on the road and barely any planes flying, China has seen a recent reduction in air pollution which has improved the country’s overall air quality. Levels of nitrogen dioxide, which forms as a result of burning fossil fuels, is down in China by 30%. Amazing! Being the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, hopefully China will be able to find ways to keep this up once COVID-19 is over.
Grandmas in Italy taking pasta-making online
Always wanted to make your own pasta at home? Well, look no further than the Pasta Grannies Youtube Channel! This is one of the cutest Youtube channels that follows real life Italian grandmothers and home cooks who teach you how to cook authentic, Italian homemade pasta from their kitchens. Vicky Bennison, a former development worker has filmed more than 200 nonnas (grandmothers) over the past four years making all sorts of pasta, from gnocchi in the Italian Alps to orecchiette in Puglia. “The grannies are the last generation that had to make pasta every day to feed their families...I wanted to celebrate older women and their experiences”.
Check out the Pasta Grannies here and learn to make pasta from home...
The world shows its appreciation to health workers
Nations around the world are coming together in support of its health workers! It’s so heartwarming to see all of the amazing videos of people clapping from their windows or releasing fireworks to show their support for doctors and nurses on the frontline of COVID-19. Italy, France, the UK, USA, India and many more countries are applauding for the #ClapForOurCareers movement to show appreciation for the selfless people putting themselves at risk to help others.
Michelin-star chef creates food boxes to give our free-of-charge
Michelin-star Andrew Wong has created cook-at-home boxes which he and his team are giving out for free to vulnerable people struggling to source food. After having to temporarily shut down his London restaurant, he’s planning to produce 50 to 100 boxes per day for those in need instead! How incredible - and I bet they taste darn good.
Schools of fish can be seen in Venice’s canals for the first time in decades
The water hasn’t been this clear since the 60s! Another huge positive to come out of people travelling less (or not at all in this case), is clean water and happy fishies. Looking down into Venice’s world famous canals, you can now see schools of fish swimming through the water which just weeks ago was murky and completely unclear. No tourists taking gondola rides and causing air pollution in the Italian City of Love has allowed sediment the chance to settle on the canal beds and wildlife to enjoy some well-needed undisturbed peace!
Grizzly bear emerges from hibernation
This grizzly bear in Canada has been sighted emerging from below the ice after hibernating and it’s the sweetest thing ever. Filmed by a park ranger in a Canadian town called Golden, she has been waiting to capture this moment for 8 years! The 18-year old bear called Boo is now social media famous!
China has now made eating wild animals illegal
To help prevent another outbreak, China has enforced a new law which bans the farming and consumption of wild animals across the country. It’s believed that the source of the Coronavirus outbreak was a wet market in Wuhan, China, where animals like snakes, turtles, porcupines and countless more are commonly sold. While stopping trade altogether will be an almighty task for a country that’s immersed in this culture, it’s a massive step in the right direction.
Animal shelters across the world report a boost in foster applications
Puppy love! Since the Coronavirus pandemic, many animal shelters across the world have seen a massive increase in their rehoming figures. Battersea Cats & Dogs Home in the UK has had more than 150 cats and dogs adopted in just one week (16 March to 22 March). The same goes for many animal shelters across America.
Thinking of giving a rescue animal a caring, loving home? Check the website of your nearest animal shelter.
You can watch Broadway and West End musicals from home for free
Is there anything happier or more heartwarming than a musical? One of the amazing things to come out of this bizarre situation is that you can now stream West End and Broadway musicals from the comfort of your home! And it’s totally free when you sign up to a 7 day trial on BroadwayHD . Watch world famous stage shows such as Cats, Kinky Boots, The Sound of Music and 42nd Street just to name a few. If free musicals from elite venues across the globe isn’t a benefit of being stuck inside, we don’t know what is!
Disneyland is donating all its excess food to food banks
Walt Disney World may not currently be able to bring that infectious spark of joy it does to millions every year, however it is using its time in shut down to help out local communities. The ‘happiest place in the world’ that is Walt Disney World Resort has been donating their surplus food including fresh salads and delicious hot dishes to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
Penguins happily roaming around the empty zoo
It’s not just pets that are benefiting from most of the world being in isolation. After announcing their closure to help prevent the spread of the virus, the penguins of Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium were let loose (while being supervised, of course) to say hello to their fellow aquatic friends across the park. If you haven’t seen the videos yet, this one is sure to put a smile on your face. Seeing the tiny waddling creatures roaming around freely and stopping to peer into their neighbours’ tanks across the aquarium is the sweetest sight! Detroit Zoo followed in their footsteps and took their penguin Pickles on a waddle around, too. Now, zoos, aquariums and sanctuaries across the world have set up live streams so you can get your wild animal fix right from your sofa.
Spanish police are entertaining families
To finish off with something that is sure to make you smile, watch this clip of a Spanish policeman entertaining a neighbourhood in Mallorca with music! The entire island is on lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’re still keeping positive! If that’s not true community spirit, we don’t know what is...