As we settle in for another week of social distancing, news scrolling, and panic shopping, it’s key to put it all into perspective and seek out the positive. In times of crisis, communities get creative when it comes to forging ahead. Art and culture streams on, neighbors reach out, and cute animals continue to save our sanity on social media. Below, a few of the bright spots filling our world, from inspiring new volunteer initiatives to the viral videos giving us peace of mind.
Animal Shelters Report a Boost in Foster Applications
Faced with an empty home during an extended period of social distancing, The New York Times reports that people are opting to foster or adopt pets in increasing numbers. The article notes organizations in New York City, Kansas City, and Dallas have received an influx of requests to help shelter animals. “A lot of people are facing prolonged periods of time at home and inside,” Eileen Hanavan, director of the foster and engagement program at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told the Times. “They want companionship and to not feel alone during this unsettling time, and it is benefiting our animals directly.”
People Are Sending Cards and Letters to Nursing Home Residents
Retirement homes and nursing facilities across the country are limiting visitations for residents. Instead, facilities are requesting cards and letters be sent to lift their population’s spirits. People have taken the ask to heart, sending drawings and notes to their local nursing homes, with USA Today sharing examples.
It’s Never Been Easier to Watch Movies & Theater from Home
Although we’re mourning the closures of movie theaters and live performances, the entertainment industry is adapting the way we experience art. New movie releases including Emma, The Invisible Man, and Onward are hitting on-demand and streaming services early. Live theater-wise, The Actors Fund YouTube channel is producing daily mini-musicals. Plus, BroadwayHD and On the Boards are streaming theatrical productions that range from mainstream to experimental.
Disneyland Is Donating its Excess Food to a Food Bank
Disneyland closed this month amid novel coronavirus safety concerns. But while the park is closed, its surplus of snacks will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. Disneyland Resort external communications manager Kyleigh Johnson announced the move as a commitment to reducing food waste during closure.
It’s Never Been a Better Time to Catch Up on Reading
Let your spring reading list daunt you no longer. Diving into a great book (or 10) while home has never been simpler. New York residents can download SimplyE, a free e-reader app with access to 300,000 different titles. Those in other cities can download Libby, an app that connects to local libraries and allows you to check out any of their available ebooks, magazines, and audiobooks for free.
Medical Dramas Are Donating Supplies to Hospitals
In addition to providing hours of bingeable TV, shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Doctor, Station 19, and The Resident are offering supplies to hospitals in need. Deadline reports that those series are donating masks, gloves, gowns, and other medical equipment to medical workers and hospitals.
You’re Invited to a Koala’s Birthday Party
Once you’ve exhausted animal livestreams, head over to Symbio Wildlife Park’s Facebook page. There, you’ll find the impossibly pure sight of a koala’s first birthday party. (Yes, he does receive a stuffed koala as his present. No, we’re not recovered.)