Feature photo courtesy of @somegoodnews
A collection of stories from around the world that will help put a smile on your face.
It has been hard for me to check the news lately. Every hour, my phone buzzes with the same notification: “COVID-19 Updates,” listing an X amount of newly infected people and an X number of projected months of forthcoming quarantine. While it is definitely important to stay updated, my news consumption is understandably, yet overwhelmingly dark.
There are silver linings, even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, that are worthy of highlighting at the same capacity as the COVID-19 updates. Because even in the face of adversity, we have proven the power in our ingenuity and creativity, making the best out of our limitations. The following are some of the news stories that have given me hope in the past few weeks.
A couple dances with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
In Rome, Swing Time featuring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers was being projected onto an apartment building, allowing residents from the opposing building to enjoy the flick together. The full screen projection was cut off by the open windows of residents, yet viewers were not missing anything. As Fred and Ginger tap danced in each other's arms, a couple in one of the open windows illuminated the black and white film montage with their dancing — lost in both the joviality of the background music and their love for each other.View this post on Instagram
San Lorenzo resiste ✊ Forse il mondo fuori non è poi tanto meglio. Pensateci, la quarantena non per forza deve essere un supplizio. Può essere un momento in cui ritrovarsi, ritrovare se stessi e pensare alle proprie priorità. Non è poi così male come prospettiva. Qui da noi la paura si combatte con la bellezza. Forme di resilienza condominiale. Forza ✊ #IoRestoACasa #DistantiMaVicini #AndràTuttoBene
Casts of musicals, movies, and TV shows have been reuniting over Zoom. While we, as fans, dream of such reunions, they have thus far been nearly impossible with the complications of many varying schedules and logistical details. Through the magic of Zoom, we have been blessed with, for example, the cast of Hamilton singing their opening number for superfan, nine-year-old Aubrey’s, virtual birthday present. Meanwhile, the cast of High School Musical reunited via Zoom to remind us with their iconic song that “We’re All in This Together.” “Jessie,” which was a popular Disney show in the early 2010s, reunited on a livestream video. A show that dates back even earlier to the mid-90s, My So-Called Life, reunited after 26 years via Zoom. As fans who spend years watching these lives unfold, albeit fictional, it is undoubtedly emotional and exciting to see that our beloved characters remain connected long past their contracts and storylines.
Global Citizen hosts a virtual charity concert
Global Citizen is a non-profit organization that works to engage citizens to end poverty. On April 18th, Global Citizen in collaboration with the World Health Organization held a six-hour livestream featuring artists like Kesha, Ellie Goulding, and Charlie Puth followed by a two-hour broadcast with artists such as Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Elton John, and celebrities such as Priyanka Chopra and Amy Poehler. While we are stuck at home, deprived of the raw connection provided by live music, seeing artists in their PJs playing acoustic guitar tunes has created a new type of connection - one that reminds us that we are more similar than different.
7-year-old composes an isolation waltz
Stelios Kerasidis is a 7-year-old Greek pianist who composed an isolation waltz, dedicating it “to the people who suffer, and those who are isolated these difficult days because of the pandemic COVID-19.” The waltz is astonishingly beautiful and many listeners have been moved by this young boy’s creation. Using the universal language of harmony and melody, Kerasidis has inspired people from all over the world, with users from America, England, Tasmania, and China in the comments expressing their gratitude for his gift. In listening to his song, I felt my emotions being captured in a way words cannot and remained hopeful - for art continues to flourish.
NYC photographer goes on socially distant dates
Brooklyn-based photographer Jeremy Cohen asked his neighbor Tori, who was lounging on her apartment roof, out on a date - by flying a drone to her with his number. After texting for a bit, they went on their first “date.” From the same balcony he first spotted her, Jeremy set up a table with wine and spaghetti, while she sat on her roof with the same set up, as they Facetimed each other. For the next date, Jeremy met up with her in a giant plastic bubble, while they walked side-by-side through the streets of New York. Each date was documented via Tik Tok and ended up going viral on multiple social media platforms. This love story is surely one for the books. Jeremy’s creativity in courtship is something that we all wish we had - I mean, imagine being given someone’s number via a drone! Jeremy and Tori’s story reveals that even physical parameters cannot bar a strong connection.
People around the world make noise for health care workers
Around the world, people are practicing the “Clap Because We Care” initiative. Beginning in Italy, but now in cities such as New York to Barcelona, people are standing outside, on their front lawns and balconies, to give a standing ovation for healthcare workers at the end of each day. People clap, bang on their pans, wave flags, and sing in a joyous harmony of appreciation. While we all speak different languages, it is beautiful in the way we are able to communicate, through clapping and noise, our common expressions of solidarity and gratitude.
Volunteers are fostering pets at high rates as animal shelters close
With animal shelters closed due to COVID-19, many people have taken in and fostered or adopted animals, many of whom would otherwise face a fatal fate. During the week of March 14-20, animal welfare organizations saw a 93% increase in animals going into foster homes compared to the previous week. These adorable friends are arguably a great way to maintain sanity during quarantine and many people can now view quarantine as a great new chapter in their lives: one in which they brought in a new member of the family, with their “pandemic pet” or “pandemic puppy”.
Instagram accounts that celebrate good news go viral
View this post on Instagram
This is a beautiful way to honor his Grandmother and it will relieve a lot of stress for these families. Click the link in my bio for the full story, but here’s a little preview: Che posted on his Instagram that the gesture is “just a drop in the bucket.” He urges the city to draw up a plan for debt forgiveness to be granted to, “at the very least,” those living in public housing.
Many social media users can emphasize with my despondency resulting from an abundance of bad news. Thus, many Instagram accounts dedicated to the spreading of good news have emerged and quickly gained hundreds of thousands and even millions of followers. Accounts such as @TanksGoodNews, @GoodNews_Movement, and @Sunny_Side_News are sharing videos and images of moments, such as a video of a 90-year-old granddad dancing his heart out and the announcement of how comedian Michael Che honored his late grandmother by paying rent for the 160 families in her block. In looking for good news, is not that we are trying to escape reality, it is that we simply still have much to celebrate and remember.
We are all in this together, stay strong, stay safe, and we'll survive this together!