We're in a deeply unsettling, downright terrifying time right now—there's no denying that. The Coronavirus is swiftly spreading, and there's little we can do to stop it. Schools are shutting down, cases are rising, business are struggling—this is, unequivocally, a dark time. And if it has you feeling down, you're absolutely not alone.
But through the devastation, the fear, the unknown, there have been slivers of pure light. We're seeing people come together thanks to this nasty virus. We're seeing young people help elders. We're seeing how family members show up for one another in times of need. We're seeing how social distancing can actually bring us closer to one another in some truly unexpected ways. And you know what? Those are the sort of things we need to hold on to right now.
Here are some of the sweetest moments we've seen go—we hate to say it—viral in the past few days. They represent the good that can come from such a scary situation, and we're so inspired by the way people have come together in the midst of all this.
Viral video shows Chinese singer holding a concert to entertain others quarantined during coronavirus
As we're quickly learning, social distancing can be extremely difficult. It's natural that we will succumb to feelings of loneliness, isolation, boredom and fear if we take the necessary precautions to flatten the Coronavirus's curve. But the neighbors of 27-year-old professional singer Wang Congjin were in for a treat: Wang put on an impromptu concert from his balcony.
The video, which was filmed last month, shows the young musician singing into a microphone. As he performed, neighbors began waving their phones in a show of solidarity—it's such a beautiful visual of how people can find new ways to connect in a time of social distancing.
Unfortunately, the concert was called off, according to MSN: Authorities were concerned about infections being transmitted between residents. Still, the gesture itself is so wonderfully inclusive and thoughtful.
Italian neighbors make music together from balconies, windows and rooftops
How do you find joy when your entire country is on lockdown thanks to a terrifying, poorly understood virus? You band together (literally!) with the people who live near you...and without making close contact with those people, you manage to bond in a way that is artistic, uplifting and incredibly unifying.
Quarantined residents came together from their homes to make music: According to the New York Times, it started with the country's National Anthem. Residents joined in the music-making in different ways: Some played instruments, others banged pots and pans. Poignantly, the music ended with a nationwide round of applause for the healthcare workers who are putting it all on the line to save the country's ill.
All of Italy is under house arrest, and the country has seen incredibly grim statistics where the Coronavirus's spread is concerned: The country saw 368 coronavirus deaths in just one day. The situation is tragic and horrifying but wow—what an unbelievable way for the country to come together in solidarity. We have goosebumps just thinking about it.
A husband's romantic gesture to his isolated wife goes viral
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
Talk about the real-life version of The Notebook: Bob Shellard and his wife, Nancy recently celebrated their 67th anniversary....unfortunately, they were forced to practice social distancing from one another on the big day.
Since Nancy is in a nursing home, Bob was unable to visit his bride due to coronavirus restrictions. But, he was still able to celebrate with her in a seriously romantic way. Bob stood outside his wife's window and held up a sign that read "I've loved you for 67 years and still do. Happy anniversary." 😭
We. Are. Melting.
Nancy stayed inside, but waved and blew her husband kisses through the window. We sincerely hope this beautiful couple can be reunited soon.
Thanks to the coronavirus, Spain is on complete lockdown, which means people cannot go anywhere in the country. We're starting to get a taste of what that sort of restriction feels like in the United States, and we know that after a few days on lockdown, anyone would start to feel stir crazy.
But a Spanish trainer did something that undoubtedly helped brighten the day for the people who live near him. He stepped onto his building's roof and led a full fitness class from that spot. Amazingly, residents began stepping out onto their balconies to join in the guided workout.
The scene was amazing: Residents from all parts of the building came together to execute the same workout as the leader called encouragement and instructions out to them.
We all know how restless you can get when you're cooped up in the house, and this workout likely made a world of difference to these residents. Getting up and getting your blood flowing can be a game-changer when you're quarantined at home, but so many of us don't quite know where to begin when it comes to exercise, and many of us are missing the energy of a group fitness class.
This trainer gave these people an invaluable gift: The motivation to do something active, the encouragement to take a healthy step, the camaraderie of doing something in a group, and the reassurance that there are others out there who are doing their part during this crazy time.
Children's author Mo Willems launches daily virtual doodle parties
There are child-friendly coronavirus schedules floating around the internet, but let's be honest: Keeping a child entertained is much easier said than done. If you're searching for a way to keep your little ones engaged while social distancing, here's the answer.
Mo Willems, children's book author, will be holding a daily lunch doodle session. The recurring event, which will take place virtually, of course, will encourage kids to draw, explore and write. Points for being both educational and entertaining!
Mo, who is the education artist-in-residence at the Kennedy Center, will go live at 1 pm EST weekdays to doodle alongside the families that join his virtual party. "I'm really looking forward to it," Moe says in a video announcement. "Because there's nothing more fun than doodling with a friend."
If this sounds like something your crew would love, join in on the fun right here!
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds donate $1 million to relief efforts
It's no secret that the Coronavirus's implication extend beyond the threat it poses to our health. The virus has also thrown many families and businesses into financial crisis—and groups and people alike need our help right now. Enter Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, who recently donated $1 million to be split between Feeding America and Food Banks Canada.
"Covid-19 has brutally impacted older adults and low income families. Ryan & I are donating $1 million to be split between @feedingamerica and @foodbankscanada," Blake wrote in a post shared to her Instagram feed. "If you can give, these orgs need our help...Remember the love that can travel through all this," she wrote. "Communities are stepping up—shopping for the elderly, making lunches for children. We can all do something for one another, even if that's simply staying home."
Of course, most of can't give anywhere near this amount...and that's okay. But if you feel compelled to do something to help the people who are hit so hard by this virus, and if you have some extra to give, consider following in this couple's incredibly generous example and pay it forward.
How to 'ride' Disneyland + Disney World attractions from home during coronavirus
Last week Disney announced it was closing its parks to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Disney fans were understandably disappointed, but now many are living vicariously through old videos of the ride experiences offered at the parks.
As first reported by Rich Juzwiak at Jezebel, "There exists something of a cottage industry of YouTube videos showing the full experience of rides at Disney (and other parks)—often from line to drop-off." A theme park fan, Juzwiak admits videos aren't a good substitute for roller coasters but the medium can capture some of the magic of the "of dark rides—the slow-moving attractions that guide riders through truncated narratives of Disney movies".
So if you're stuck at home with the kids you can still visit Disneyland virtually, thanks to point of view videos of rides like Space Mountain, Frozen Ever After, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, and of course It's A Small World.
Why rainbows on windows are going viral in the age of coronavirus
If you go for a walk today (and you should, we can still go outside, just not in groups) you might notice rainbows and other colorful displays on windows in your neighborhood.
This is how parents are showing love and solidarity with first responders and essential workers during this difficult time.
Mom and writer Robyn Landa posted the about photo to Instagram, explaining that her school district asked all parents to post rainbows in their windows "to brighten up our spirits and help brighten up the sporks of our community members who are taking care of us....doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, police officers, firefighters, trash collectors and delivery drivers," she writes.
Other parents are using similar window dressings to create social distancing compliant scavenger hunts for kids out on walks with their parents.
The displays are proof that we can stay connected to our communities in creative ways during these hard times.
Ellen DeGeneres is calling celebs while social distancing 😂
Ellen DeGeneres isn't working but that isn't stopping her from making viral content from home.
The talk show host has posted multiple videos of herself calling other celebs who are self-isolating and they are helping people smile during this tough time.
In one video Ellen calls Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel.
"Whatcha doing?" she asks Timberlake. He and Biel say, "nothing."
"Me too," says Ellen. "All right, well, I'll talk to you later."
So she calls John Legend and Chrissy Teigen.
"It's Ellen," she said. "What's going on?"
The two tell her "not much" and explain they're just hanging with Miles and Luna.
Ellen says: "I wish I had kids right now…I'm so bored."
She's making light of a serious situation but it's nice to laugh during this difficult time. Our kids will keep us busy during the isolation period (but there will probably be times when we are just as bored as Ellen).
Kristen Bell + daughters dance while separated from quarantined Dax Shepard
Kristen Bell's husband, Dax Shepard recently traveled, so he's staying at a friend's empty place and keeping his distance from Bell and the couple's daughters, 6-year-old Lincoln and 5-year-old Delta.
Bell and the girls are keeping their distance but obviously keeping Shepard in their hearts during his self-quarantine.
"We were missing him so much, we did the only logical thing we knew how to do. Danced outside his window," Bell wrote on Instagram.
Totally logical (and wonderful) during these unprecedented times.