News of coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading around the world has made us all anxious and nervous in recent weeks—understandably. But in a time of crisis, it’s the uplifting moments that bring us out of the darkness and keep us feeling hopeful. The spread of the coronavirus, as frightening as it has been, has truly brought out the best in people, with many generous donations, kind messages, and selfless acts of service offered during the past several weeks.
To cut through the important but distressing facts that are flooding your news feeds right now, we want to highlight the moments that have sparked joy and hope during a time of sadness and fear. See how others are spreading positivity during the coronavirus pandemic below, and get inspired to do the same in your community.
1Tavern owner setting up a virtual pub
Jo Bowtell ran a pub called Noel’s Arms in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire for several years. After local bars closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, she decided to create a virtual pub experience just for her English community. But since launching The Virtual Pub on Facebook in mid-March, she’s had 14,500 “customers” join the group from all over the world.
The Virtual Pub offers trivia, comedy shows, DJ sets, Disney singalongs, and more. As the volume of customers has increased, Bowtell has had to hire “bar staffers” (who talk to customers) and “bouncers” (who approve who gets “let inside the pub”).
“It has completely blown up. We’ve got 3,000 members just waiting for approval—it’s like there’s a queue at the door to get in,” Bowtell told The Good News Network. “It’s the biggest pub I’ve ever ran and I can’t believe how popular it has become.”
We might just join the next trivia night—that is, if the bouncers let us in.
2Man using a bucket truck to visit his mother who lives on a third story
In Youngstown, Ohio, a 45-year-old man used his company bucket truck to visit his 80-year-old mom. As he said, his mother kept asking him to go out to dinner because she didn’t understand the concept or importance of social distancing. He decided to use the truck to reach the third-floor window of her nursing home to safely say hello.
3Jonathan Van Ness virtually officiating a couple’s wedding
On April 1st, Queer Eye‘s Jonathan Van Ness received a message from a couple in Indianapolis who had to cancel their wedding due to coronavirus. The couple had their first date at JVN’s book tour last summer, and they wanted him to virtually officiate their private wedding while they practice social distancing. Van Ness obliged and officiated the women’s wedding over FaceTime, marrying them on the spot. We’re feeling all the feeling during this super sweet moment.
4Math teacher teaching an algebra lesson through a student’s window
With her classes now all remote due to the coronavirus pandemic, this 12-year-old sought math help from her teacher over email. She was still struggling with it, so the teacher headed over for a special lesson — still complying with social distancing rules https://t.co/I3vi4gcNaA— CNN (@CNN) April 1, 2020
While most schools are closed around the country, one student still got a lesson from her math teacher (at a safe distance). In South Dakota, Chris Waba decided to go to a struggling student’s front porch— whiteboard and marker in hand—to give her an algebra lesson through the window.
Waba said, “I’m a better communicator face-to-face than [on] the telephone and I think students learn better that way.” We’re so appreciative of the lengths teachers are going to help their students during this uncertain time.
5Man offering $100 to everyone in line at an unemployment office
The coronavirus pandemic has caused many people to lose their jobs, all across the world. One man in Australia did his part to those who have been laid off or cannot work. He took out $10,000 in cash and gave $100 to each person standing in line at the unemployment office so that they could “put food on the table tonight.”
6NYC couple getting married on a sidewalk by a friend officiating from a fourth-story window
Although the coronavirus pandemic has caused many engaged couples to cancel their weddings, one NYC couple didn’t let the crisis stop them from safely tying the knot. Reilly Jennings, 28, and Amanda Wheeler, 38, planned to get married in October, but they began fearing that the venue would close due to the current situation, so they moved up the date to March 20th. They originally planned on heading to the Marriage Bureau to make things official, but it suddenly closed for safety precautions.
In a surprise ceremony, Jennings and Wheeler stood on a sidewalk in NYC while their friend (certified by a city clerk to perform the ceremony) stuck his head out of his fourth-floor apartment window, marrying them on the spot. Neighbors and friends (keeping a safe distance) cheered the newlyweds on as they celebrated their love, despite the unexpected circumstances.
7WestJet flight attendants putting on an impromptu graduation ceremony for students
Most upcoming graduation ceremonies are being canceled to practice social distancing. But Canadian airline WestJet did its part to make up for a few college students who won’t experience walking across a stage to collect their diplomas this spring. Flight attendants held an impromptu graduation ceremony for passengers on board a plane last week. They called their names, mimicked the classic graduation music, and allowed the soon-to-be graduates to walk down the plane aisle while fellow passengers cheered them on in congratulations.
8Customer leaving a $2,500 tip to waiters at his favorite restaurant before it closed
The coronavirus pandemic has caused most restaurants and bars in many states to close their doors in order to keep crowds and human contact to a minimum. Unfortunately, this means many employees are out of work for the time being. One man in Columbus, Ohio left a hefty tip to help the staff at one of his favorite restaurants during this tough time. He added $2,500 to a $29.75 bill, and requested that it be split evenly among the employees at Coaches Bar and Grill. If we, too, are able, this is the kind of support we need to be giving small businesses during this time of financial distress.
9Neighbors projecting footage of Fred Aistair’s “Cheek to Cheek” onto the apartment wall across from them, prompting a couple to dance along
Looking to spread some positivity in Rome, Italy, where residents are under lockdown, Aureliano Verita projected footage of Fred Astaire’s famous song “Cheek to Cheek” onto the outside apartment wall across from where he lives. This prompted a neighbor couple to do exactly what the song says, and dance cheek to cheek in front of their window while under quarantine.
10London hotels offering rooms to people experiencing homelessness
During this scary time where we are all urged to self-quarantine, people without homes don’t even have the option to do so. The city of London is taking steps to help people experiencing homelessness by booking hotel rooms. On March 21st, London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced that the city is booking 300 hotel rooms from Intercontinental Hotel Group, to allow the people to safely practice self-quarantine and social distancing.
11Italians and Spaniards applauding healthcare workers from their balconies
Both Italy and Spain are under nationwide lockdowns, but that didn’t stop locals from participating in a collective show of gratitude for healthcare workers who have been battling coronavirus. Residents in both countries stepped onto their balconies or opened their windows to join in a round of applause for healthcare workers on March 15th. The events were organized through social media to take place at the same time in each country. Health workers deserve this round of applause, and we hope they hear our gratitude loud and clear.
12Delta CEO forgoing his salary to avoid laying off employees
Now this is what we call “taking one for the team.” On March 14th, Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastain announced that he will forgo his salary for six months so that employees will not need to be laid off. Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly also reduced his salary by 10% to avoid the same fate for his colleagues. We hope more people in leadership positions follow suit and offer their teams this type of support if possible.
13Neighbors singing “Happy Birthday” from their apartment windows
In Beirut, Lebanon, one community spread the love by singing happy birthday to their neighbor from their balconies and open windows. The woman celebrating her birthday held a cake with candles lit while the neighbors sang to her. This is the support we all need to (safely) give our own neighbors right now!
14Kids putting on a concert for their elderly neighbor
A pair of siblings in Columbus, Ohio performed a mini cello concert on their patio for an elderly neighbor who is self-isolating due to the coronavirus outbreak. They even dressed up as if they were performing in a fancy concert hall. Listen for her cheering at the end of the video—it’ll warm your heart.
15One man’s commitment to his wife
Due to coronavirus precaution, Bob Shellard isn't allowed to visit his wife in her Connecticut nursing home. So he stood outside her window and held up a sign that said "I've loved you 67 years and still do. Happy Anniversary." https://t.co/cIwZxwmZeN pic.twitter.com/nW86SYm4HU— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) March 16, 2020
This photo of a man honoring 67 years of marriage with his wife despite coronavirus precautions keeping them apart really got us in our feels. The balloons, handwritten sign, and message show his true love and commitment to his wife through these trying times.
16Disneyland donating excess food
Over the weekend, all Disney Parks shut down temporarily, and all planned events were canceled due to the coronavirus. However, Disney Parks will continue to donate all of its excess food to Second Harvest Food Bank, whose mission is to end hunger in Orange County, California. This includes dairy products, fruit, vegetables, packaged goods, and banquet meals.
17Steph and Ayesha Curry donating 1 million meals to kids in need
Happy to help do our part for Oakland! https://t.co/KLlbx0Nxte— Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation (@eatlearnplay) March 15, 2020
A top concern during the coronavirus pandemic has been schools closing down. Now that we’re at the point where students are being sent home indefinitely, those who rely on the education system for food are struggling to find access to meals. Golden State Warriors NBA player Steph Curry and his wife Ayesha are donating one million meals for these kids in need in Oakland, California. The couple made the donation through the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation, which works to fight childhood hunger, ensure access to education, and enable active lifestyles.
Amidst the uncertainty and fear of the coronavirus outbreak, continue to share moments like these that spark joy inside us all.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, HelloGiggles is committed to providing accurate and helpful coverage to our readers. As such, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, we encourage you to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments, and visit our coronavirus hub.