While worrying news continues to dominate the headlines regarding the Coronavirus, we wanted to pull together some stories that are making us smile
CREDIT:This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on Happiful
We are fully aware of what an overwhelming, and anxiety-inducing, time it is right now. As well as writing and reporting on it, we are also living it; we’re worried about loved ones, we’re worried about the economy and we’re worried about what the future will hold. Something which has been a ray of light during this time, however, is the variety of positive news stories we’re seeing; people are pulling together and finding ingenious ways of supporting one another, even when we can’t do so physically.
If you’re in need of a little light and hope right now, read on, and take comfort in these stories and the fact that kindness always prevails.
Support cards for the vulnerable
Starting the #viralkindness campaign, Becky Wass, a lecturer in Cornwall has created postcards offering support. The message on the cards reads, “Hello! If you are self-isolating, I can help.” These cards are already being dropped on doorsteps across the UK.
You can download the cards online, print them out and offer your support whether it’s with picking up shopping, posting mail or simply being there to listen on the end of the ‘phone. Talking to Cornwall Live, Becky said, “I was talking to my husband, John, about how the news was quite hard-hitting and there wasn’t much we could actually do to make a positive difference. If just one person feels less lonely or isolated when faced with this pandemic, then I’ll feel better about it. Coronavirus is scary. Let’s make kindness go viral.”
Penguins given free reign at the zoo in the US
One of the videos that has had us smiling most recently is this one of Edward and Annie, two rockhopper penguins exploring their empty aquarium as it temporarily shut down due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
The penguins are a bonded pair, meaning that they’re together for nesting season. A later twitter thread from Shedd Aquarium went on to say, “While this may be a strange time for us, these days feel normal for animals at Shedd. Our caregivers are constantly providing new experiences for the animals to explore and express their natural behaviors with. Let us know what penguin activities you would like to see!”
So, keep an eye on Shedd Aquarium’s Twitter for more updates!
Netflix launch viewing parties
A lot of us will ,undoubtedly, be turning to Netflix for a little escapism right now, and we’re thrilled to see that they’re encouraging a social way to watch with Netflix parties. This function allows you to watch movies and TV shows with friends, wherever you are, and adds a group chat so you can react and discuss together.
Head to netflixparty.com and follow the instructions to set up your first party.
Supermarkets and banks give priority to the vulnerable and elderly
Supermarkets have seen an unprecedented rise in shopping due to panic buying,and deliveries, for many, are now difficult to come by. To ensure the vulnerable and elderly are still able to get what they need, many supermarkets are announcing measures such as dedicating the first hour of the day to those who need it most.
Sainsbury’s is the latest to speak up about this, with an email from CEO Mike Coupe explaining that all its stores will be open to these two groups alone for the first hour of trading on Thursday – but will then stay open for an hour longer so other shoppers do not miss out. Customers over the age of 70, and those with a disability, will also have priority access to online delivery slots from Monday.
Morrisons have also announced that they will be creating 3,500 jobs to meet demand, and plan to create a new call centre for those who can’t access online shopping.
Alongside supermarkets, banks are also looking at ways to support vulnerable customers. Nationwide building society will be trialling opening an hour earlier than normal for those over 70 and those with health conditions. If successful, it will roll this out to other branches across the UK.
Prime Minister of Norway holds a press conference for children
Helping to ease children’s fears surrounding the outbreak, Norway’s prime minister, Erna Solberg, held a 30-minute press conference especially for kids. She acknowledged that, right now, life is very different and that it’s okay to be scared.
As expected, the children asked some very direct questions which the prime minister answered without simplifying her language. Here are some questions and the answers provided.
• “How long will it take to develop a vaccine?”Answer: About a year, maybe less, but scientists are also working on medicine.
• “Why am I not allowed to celebrate my birthday?”Answer: It’s time to get creative and celebrate on FaceTime. Solberg also suggested everyone in the class should call and sing individually.
• “Would schools really only be closed for two weeks or would it be longer?”Answer: We don’t know; it could be longer.
Business owners offering support
Several business owners are doing their bit to support others. NLP practitioner Rebecca Lockwood has created a free mindset support group to help those struggling with anxiety and co-founder of Happiful and mum of two, Aimi Maunders, has created a new Youtube channel called Homeschool Help to help those now homeschooling with daily videos offering tips and support.
The stories we’ve covered here really only scratch the surface of what we’re seeing around the world, and we hope they’ve offered you a little light relief. If you’re struggling, do take a look at our guide to supporting your mental health and don’t be afraid to reach out to a counsellor if you need to talk – many offer online sessions.
Most of all, continue to take care of yourself and others.