6 Heartwarming Moments to Make You Smile in These Difficult Times

Communities and families are coming together in unique ways to spread joy and comfort during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Posted in , Mar 27, 2020

A pair of rockhopper penguins.

Although large social gatherings and events are restricted to prevent the spread of coronavirus throughout the country, communities continue to find ways to support each other from a distance. Whether it’s lending a hand through a window or the internet, people all around the world are proving that bright moments can still be shared with one another.

These six heartwarming stories are sure to put a smile on your face.

People Are Putting Up Christmas Lights to Spread Cheer

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas—in March. In an effort to spread some hope and cheer during the ongoing health crisis, people across America are hanging up their Christmas lights and documenting it on social media. The cheerful trend has taken off on Twitter, with users sharing photos of their light displays followed by hashtags like #LightsForLife and #CoronaKindess.

"My mom thinks people should start putting up Christmas lights in their windows to remind each other that there is still life & light while we stay at home," one user wrote.

Another user, who lit up lights in the shape of a heart outside her window, wrote, “There are dark times ahead, but I can still put love & light out into the world.”

90-Year-Old Man Celebrates Wedding Anniversary by Holding Sign Outside Wife’s Nursing Home

For many, practicing social distancing also means not being able to see loved ones, even on special occasions. This was the case for 90-year-old Bob Shellard who couldn’t physically spend his wedding anniversary with his wife of 67 years, Nancy Shellard. Nancy, who has Alzheimer’s and dementia, is in a nursing home in Stafford Springs, Connecticut that has restricted visitors due to safety concerns over the spread of the virus. But that didn’t stop Bob from celebrating.

Bob stood outside Nancy’s window at the nursing home with balloons and a sign that read: "I've loved you 67 years and still do. Happy Anniversary." Nancy blew Bob kisses and waved from the window of her second-floor room.

The couple’s daughter, Laura Mikolajczak, spoke to Insider about the importance of her parents’ unique celebration. "Even with all of this uncertainty and fear going on with the coronavirus, it's important to continue to express your love and continue tradition," she said.

Flight Attendants Surprise Students with Impromptu Graduation Ceremony

A group of students from Briercrest College and Seminary in Canada celebrated their graduation in the sky, after learning their official ceremony was postponed due to the pandemic. The sweet gesture was put together by a WestJet cabin crew, who encouraged passengers to participate by applauding the four students as they walked down the aisle to collect their “degree” that read “WestJet Diploma of Excellence.”

"It was honestly the sweetest act during such a confusing and changing time in our lives," senior Kirsty Kindrachuk told the school's website. “We need to recognize these small acts of kind customer service that make people feel valued and important during times like these."

Neighbors Surprise 80-Year-Old Woman on Her Birthday by Singing from Their Balconies

A community in Madrid, Spain came together to celebrate their 80-year-old neighbor’s birthday. Charo, who lives alone, is currently in quarantine.  

In a video taken by her neighbor, Charo is seen opening her apartment door to find a small birthday cake. As she steps out of her apartment and onto her balcony, residents from the neighborhood serenade her with a rendition of “Happy Birthday” from their own windows.

Charo struggled to hold back tears as she waved to her neighbors, including her neighbor, Nacho who was more than happy to unite the community during these tough times. “She is going through a tough time and the least we could do as neighbors is support each other, especially where vulnerable people are concerned,” he told Daily Mail.

Penguins Explore Empty Chicago Aquarium Following Closure Due to Covid-19 Control Efforts

Although aquariums and zoos across the country temporarily closed their doors to help prevent the spread of the virus, their social media pages remain open; providing their audiences with daily digital entertainment.

Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium shared videos of a group of penguins taking a tour of the building and visiting other animals and exhibits. One Facebook video in particular captured viewers’ hearts, as it showed a 32-year-old rockhopper penguin named Wellington visiting Amazonian fish for the first time.

In another video, a pair of bonded rockhopper penguins named Edward and Annie had a date night during their nesting season, exploring different exhibits together.

Ohio Siblings Put on a Cello Concert for Elderly Neighbor in Isolation

Two children in Columbus, Ohio, are proving that it’s possible to put a smile on other people’s faces, even during times of uncertainty. Taran Tien, 9, and his sister, Calliope, 6, brought an impromptu cello concert to their self-isolating 78-year-old neighbor’s front porch.

Helena Schlam, a lover of classical music, was greeted by her young neighbors, who were dressed in a suit and a dress, as they orchestrated a performance from a safe distance. Fellow neighbor, Jackie Borchardt, shared a video of the performance on Twitter, which has more than 600,000 views.

"It was a good way to remember the value of connection, especially at a time like this, when everyone feels disconnected,” Rebecca Tien, the children's mother, told CNN. “Just to know we were a part of something so sweet, even just for a minute, meant a lot."

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