Right now, it feels almost impossible to escape the ever-changing COVID-19 harrowing headlines, conspiracy theories that make your eyes roll, and folks who are only looking out for themselves by stockpiling alllll of the supplies in the store. Still, with all of the chaotic noise in this world, it can help to look for silver linings… even in these moments where we have to look really hard to find them.
Communities are pulling together, families are gathering around the table for dinner once more, and people are helping people — the very things we need in this world right now. Sure, we are seeing the ugly and it sits in plain sight, but we’re also seeing the beauty of people caring for other people, something we’ve never really witnessed on a global scale before.
This does not in any way minimize the very real fear, trauma, and pain that many people are feeling right now. Billions of people are in crisis mode, and it’s only in these moments that people really begin to show their true colors. A crisis can bring out the worst in people, but it can also bring out the best.
1. Zookeepers take animals on a tour of a Chicago zoo.
How can you refuse to smile at the sight of this? These penguins getting a glimpse of the real world is absolutely adorable. I mean, look at the way those they waddle and strut around the office as if they own the place, at the same time never leaving one another since it is their nesting season.
OMG! I just want to squeeeeeze their little wobbly selves. More of this, please.
2. Family members and friends are making safe visits possible at nursing homes.
With the CDC instructing the elderly to stay inside their homes for quarantine, and many nursing homes isolating their residents as a direct effect of these precautions, it’s fair to say that our elderly population is feeling a little lonely. Thankfully, these new restrictions haven’t been stopping family members from visiting.
Despite not being able to be together in the same room physically, folks are getting creative by sitting outside the window of their loved one’s home and writing messages or talking on the phone as a way to still communicate face-to-face.
For this woman, she told her grandfather she was engaged through the glass of his nursing home, and really, is there anything else more wholesome?
Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and when these visitors find that way, you can tell it brightens up the residents’ day.
3. Servers were tipped $1,000 moments after restaurants were ordered to close.
Since governors around the nation are ordering restaurants and bars to close except for take-out and delivery orders, servers, bartenders, and small business owners are foreseeing a long financial struggle. Moments after the news broke about the closings, however, two regular customers left a $1,000 tip for their server.
“They knew that it was the writing on the wall,” the restaurant’s owner John Cataldi said. “And they knew that this was probably going to be the last tips that they got for a while.”
4. Students home from school are making cards for those in nursing homes.
For one school district in Indiana, students are seizing the opportunity to show love to the most vulnerable in their communities by making and sending them homemade cards.
Research shows the coronavirus can live on surfaces for several days, so the staff at nursing homes are being diligent about keeping cards in quarantine during that time before handing them over to residents. Since they aren’t allowed visitors, just knowing they are being thought of during this season makes the world of a difference.
5. A husband celebrates his wedding anniversary outside his wife’s nursing home.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Bob and Nancy couldn’t be together for their 67th wedding anniversary, but even the brick walls of a nursing home, quarantine restrictions, and a pandemic couldn’t stop these love birds from celebrating together on such a special day.
Outside of Nancy’s Connecticut nursing home, Bob stood with a sign that read, “I’ve loved you 67 years and still do. Happy Anniversary.”
In an interview with NBC, Bob says, “I wouldn’t want anybody else. I don’t think she could put up with anybody else besides me.”
(Who’s cutting onions in here?)
6. Neighbors in Spain sing “Happy Birthday” to an 80-year-old woman from their windows.
Even with a quarantine in effect, birthdays still come and go each and every single day, and we all want our own to feel special. For 80-year-old Charo in Spain, her birthday was just another day when she found a birthday cake on the footsteps of her door. In a video released by her neighbor, he can be heard saying (translated in English), “It’s for you — come on out. We all got this for you. We are all out on the patio. Go and say hi. Come look.”
From the footage, Charo appears to be simply tickled and overwhelmed from the kindness of her neighbors who serenaded her from their windows and patio.
It’s the little things, folks.
7. Indiana children are bringing smiles to their neighborhood with a “chalk walk.”
“Never stop fighting COVID-19,” 12-year-old Jess writes on her sidewalk.
While students are home from school and their parents are off of work, this family of eight hopes to be a shining light in their small town community by sharing inspiring messages to their neighbors and pedestrians who may be struggling with the upheaval of this world while walking by.
8. Disneyland is giving its excess food away to food banks.
Just last week, the “happiest place on earth” announced its closing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With all of its many restaurants and food vendors, that meant that Disneyland would need to store all of its food until they reopened or let it all go to waste. Instead, Disney chose to donate all of their food to Orange County, California food banks.
9. These neighbor kids put on a cello concert for an elderly woman in quarantine.
Nine-year-old Taran Tien and his six-year-old sister Calliope dressed in Sunday’s best and fed their 78-year-old neighbor’s love for classical music by performing a concert promptly at noon. It’s a rough time for the elderly what with all of the self-isolation instructions they’ve been given, but for this neighbor, her day was made a little brighter by the little people in her neighborhood who wanted to make a difference from their front porch.
10. Chicago area community collects donations and delivers them to families in need.
More than 30 million American kids rely on free or reduced breakfast and lunches for food. Now that many schools and jobs are shutting down across our nation, parents and children are hurting. This suburban Chicago neighborhood, however, is seeing to it that no child or family goes hungry.
With the help of her community, mom Yeulanda Brown-Degala is bringing food to those families with kids who receive free or reduced school lunch. The school district is providing these families with two meals a day, but as we all know, kids want snacks, snacks, and more snacks.
Being able to provide for someone who isn’t as fortunate as you is a privilege. If you look beyond your home’s four walls, I promise you will find a need — and I urge you to fill it.
Drop off groceries and diapers at the doorstop of a single mom’s home. Support a small business and fill some bellies by ordering takeout from your town’s diner and sending it to your local hospital. If you have an overabundance of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, or other home goods, seek out areas in your town where you can donate your excess items.
“Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than you found it.” — Wilferd A. Peterson
This article was originally published on