Be Inspired By All The Positive Things Happening Around NZ And The World Because Of COVID-19

By Holly Shin
3rd Apr 2020

A chilled guy sitting on a mountainside

If you’re anything like us, your newsfeed is full of panic-inducing news articles and your inbox is worse. We know, it’s a lot right now. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of all the positive things that have come about because of this virus, just to remind you that the sky isn’t falling.

Animals Reclaiming The Streets And Seas

With most of the world in some form of lockdown right now, the streets have become pretty empty. Animals have taken this chance to explore deserted streets throughout the world, including peacocks in Madrid, goats and wild boar in Wales, and the most millennial pink jellyfish are reclaiming the seas in the Phillippines. All over Italy, there are reports of dolphins returning to the coasts, wildlife roaming the streets and nature taking back a little bit of the space we’ve been occupying.

Innovative Ways To Support Local Business

Looking for ways to support your local cafe during this time? The minds behind SOS cafe whipped up a website where you can buy vouchers for local cafes and restaurants that you'll be able to redeem once everything's re-opened again. You'll find spots such as Peach's Fried Chicken in Panmure all the way to Formosa Delight in Dunedin. You simply enter the voucher amount you want to buy and voila, you've helped a business stay afloat during this rough time. Head on over to SOS cafe and pick up a few vouchers—these businesses will appreciate it.

Volunteering Initiatives Take Flight

The Wellington Student Army was formed back in 2016 in response to the Kaikoura earthquake, and they're back again to help out the vulnerable people in their local community. They're not an actual army, just a group of students who wanted to help out the community. They're offering to lend a hand to those in self-isolation with any errands or grocery runs that need to be done. It's little acts of kindness like these that will help us all get through this and keep those positive vibes going. If you're not in Wellington or you're not a student, you can still help out by joining Support Crew, and assist those in your community who need a (contactless) hand during the lockdown. Friends In Need are another service where you can volunteer your time to look out for people in your neighbourhood. Sign up here.

Venice Canals Are Clearing Up

Sit back, we’re about to get a little scientific on you. When the Venice canals are full of boats, all the sediment on the bottom gets stirred up, creating constantly cloudy water. With the lack of tourists due to shutdowns and quarantines, the sediments have been able to settle, showing off almost crystal clear water for the first time in years. You can even see small schools of fish swimming around, much to the delight of the locals. 

A view shows clearer waters by a gondola in a Venice canal on March 17, 2020 as a result of the stoppage of motorboat traffic, following the country's lockdown within the new coronavirus crisis.

Looking Out For Our Elderly

We’re sure you’ve heard enough about panic-buying and toilet paper for the rest of your life, so here’s something positive that’s happening in a few countries worldwide, including our neighbour Australia–elderly-only shopping hour. We’ve all heard how elderly are the most vulnerable to the virus (and probably not well suited to fighting it out over the last packet of toilet paper), so supermarkets around the world are opening for a special hour for our seniors to shop without hordes of other people around. Although supermarket's in NZ are yet to make any changes, a worker at a supermarket in Levin brightened everyone's day with an enthusiastic rendition of "If you're happy and you know it" over the loudspeaker to a crowd of elderly, managing to get all them all clapping and laughing by the end of the song. You can even sign up to adopt a grandparent in the UK!

Pollution Levels Are Down Worldwide

With people choosing to self-isolate at home, workplaces shutting down and travel decreasing worldwide, air pollution levels were bound to be affected. In China, satellite images from NASA show a huge decrease in the amount air pollution from cars and industrial factories, and in Wuhan, this pollution practically disappeared–and it only took a matter of a few weeks. Breathing clean air lengthens life expectancy too, so it's not only good for the environment but good for our lungs, too!

NASA China Pollution levels dropped

Singing In The Streets

This tourist hotspot has been hit pretty hard, but the Italians are not letting the virus get them down. Italy has been in lockdown for over a week now, with all public places closed and Italians stuck in their homes. They’ve combatted this isolation in what we think is the most Italian way, by singing together from their balconies. You can check out videos of them singing together above, we’re sure it’ll put a smile on your face. 

Needing some more feel-good vibes? Grab your popcorn and settle down with 10 of the best feel-good movies on Netflix right now.

Image credit: Zac Harris, Andrea Pattaro

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