Welcome to #NotBadNews, our new (and hopefully short-lived) daily column where we round up the good, surprising, and weird things that have happened around the world during this coronavirus pandemic.
It is seemingly impossible to escape coronavirus news: it’s on TV, it’s on the front page, it’s all over our website. Though staying up-to-date on the virus is important for our health and that of others, constantly being inundated with such scary news can be overwhelming. In order to keep you sane and thinking positive during these hard times, we are rounding up the most heartwarming and, at times, strange things born out of self-isolation.
Balconies in Italy and Spain Are the New Hot Spot
The lockdown in Italy called for some ingenuity, as residents found new ways to entertain themselves and interact with their neighbors (all while keeping a responsible distance, of course). In a game that we might not recommend playing but definitely enjoy watching, two neighbors created something entirely new: window tennis.
Very high technical sport is invented during the lockdown of #Italy
— Mr.Dong (@Dreamershuo) March 17, 2020
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If you’ve got the agility and bravery to do something of this caliber, give it a try with your most daring neighbor. However, if you’re a little less confident in your ability to hang out of a window (me!), you could always head to the balcony for a musical moment.
All over Spain and Italy, apartment complex residents have taken to their balconies, instruments in hand, to blow off some steam, create something beautiful, and connect with the people around them. This rendition of “My Heart Will Go On” is one of our favorites.
During the quarantine, a pianist in Barcelona went to his balcony to play “My Heart Will Go On” for his neighborhood.
After he started, a sax player in the building next door joined him.
I’m here for all of this…🌎❤️pic.twitter.com/3utPYfDbua
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) March 18, 2020
Hollywood Has Lost Its Damn Mind
Celebrities, they’re just like us–they too are not handling self-isolation well. Kristin Chenoweth, star of the stage and screen, has joined TikTok to create videos that are making everyone wonder, “Is she okay?”
Whether she’s singing while she cleans:
Kristin Chenoweth shares TikTok disinfecting her house while hitting high notes amid coronavirus outbreak. pic.twitter.com/IuYykgR4Zf
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) March 16, 2020
Or singing while she struts out of her room in (let’s be honest) the best WFH outfit we’ve seen so far:
just fyi kristin chenoweth has joined tiktok and so far her account is just 2 coronavirus updates and this pic.twitter.com/v9P4B7qtDy
— nicole boyce (@nicolewboyce) March 13, 2020
She is keeping us on our toes and, seemingly, found the key to entertaining herself.
Judi Dench, on the other hand, is taking a much milder approach to communicate with her fans (though definitely still weird) in a PSA wearing an outfit that says “please take me seriously.”
Message from Ma… pic.twitter.com/3ExqvA5tvY
— Finty williams (@finty_williams) March 18, 2020
Chicago Is Having Its Own “Night at the Museum” Moment
Chicago’s Museum Campus, to the disappointment of many with now ample free time on their hands, has closed for the time being. In a series of videos that have gone viral, Shedd Aquarium’s penguins can be seen touring the different exhibits, walking freely through the now empty halls.
my favourite consequence of the covid-19 societal lockdown is aquarium penguins roaming around freely and when this is all over I for one welcome them as our new overlords pic.twitter.com/jRAQsF9nqm
— sloane (sipihkopiyesis) (@cottoncandaddy) March 17, 2020
Some even got a chance to meet the other animals that call Shedd their home: Wellington, meet your neighbors.
Wellington meets the sea otters! 🦦🐧 Wellington the rockhopper continued his field trip around the aquarium by visiting the Shedd otter habitat. #WheresWellingtonWednesday (1/2) pic.twitter.com/VlEeDzSoIV
— Shedd Aquarium (@shedd_aquarium) March 18, 2020
Not to be outdone, Chicago’s Field Museum responded with a hilarious video of their own: the city’s beloved Sue (one of the largest and best-preserved T-Rex’s ever found) coming to life–well sort of.
— Field Museum (@FieldMuseum) March 18, 2020
Coronavirus Is Taking on…Pollution?
All SoCal residents rejoice, for you can now breathe without wondering, “What percent of this air is actually oxygen?” With a week’s worth of rain and fewer cars on the road than ever before, the air quality is actually… dare we say… good?
I know we’re all contemplating the pandemic, but check this out. Air quality in SoCal right now isn’t good. It’s incredible. Like numbers from another era. It’s not just the rain. Having less traffic is making our city more livable. Think about it. pic.twitter.com/GPNIzDnmXj
— Peter Flax (@Pflax1) March 18, 2020
Meanwhile, in Venice, a notoriously stinky city, Facebook user Marco Capovilla shared Marco Contessa‘s photos of the shockingly clean canals in the Facebook group VENEZIA PULITA (Clean Venice). Look at the color of the water!
An unexpected victor in the coronavirus pandemic: planet Earth!
Check-in every day for an update on the wonderful and weird things happening in our current coronavirus world.