Heather Large: Heart-warming tales boost our morale

Social media certainly has it disadvantages but during times like this it is also helping to bring some light relief when we need it the most.

Heart-warming tales boost our morale
Heart-warming tales boost our morale

I've seen some plenty of sharing heart-warming stories from all over the world being shared on Facebook and Twitter as people try to lift each other's spirits.

And one of the videos being retweeted that made me smile the most was a video of a gang of rockhopper penguins waddling around Chicago's Shed Acquairum which had been forced to close following the coronavirus outbreak.

There is just something lovely about penguins anyway but seeing them exploring different exhibits that normally just humans would see cheered me up when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by everything that is going on at the moment.

The aquarium shared videos on Twitter of three penguins checking out exhibits from the other side of the glass.

In one video, a rockhopper penguin named Wellington visits the aquarium's Amazon Rising exhibit, which features creatures from the Amazon River basin.

In another video, a pair of bonded rockhopper penguins named Edward and Annie waddle past a tank full of sharks and rays. Eventually, they wander all the way toward the information desk.

It was a wonderful and funny sight as they went about their field trip as if they were like any other family enjoying a day out at the aquarium.

Amidst the worry over older relatives and what all this means for our futures, we need lighter moments like this that offer a much-needed break.

Another lovely tweet doing the rounds was a perfect example of how easy it can be to look out for each other.

It was from a young woman who had seen a lady in her 80s clearly struggling while out shopping and was determined to look after her.

She wrote on Twitter (sic): "I’ve just adopted an 84yr old woman called Jackie from the Co-Op. She was looking bewildered and I asked if she was ok. Turns out she’s all by herself, her family all live in Holland and she lives around the corner from me."

"We’ve decided to be Coronavirus buddies. I’m going to call her and get her shopping for her, and basically be her person if she’s feeling alone. We’ve just got to be kind," wrote the woman, named Izzie.

It was great reminder that just a simple gesture like this, ensuring someone has a person to talk to when they're feeling lonely, can mean the world to those who need it.

Reading her messages amongst a sea of images of empty supermarket shelves was a nice reminder that there is still plenty of good in the world.

Acts of kindness are being shared all the time and it's these that will continue to warm the heart and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

There were two young girls, aged 10 and 12, in south London were delivering handwritten notes to neighbours offering to help if they were in self-isolation.

There was a man who is self-isolated and is missed going for a coffee with his wife – so she made their very own café in the garden - Caffe Ner'ome

We've also seen from this newspaper's Star Neighbour campaign how the community has rallied around during this difficult and uncertain time.

And thanks to social media we also get to see this happening up and down the country as well across the globe reminding us there is plenty of good in the world.

Videos were shared of Italian citizens singing and dancing from their balconies and windows in an attempt to boost morale during a nationwide lockdown. There were also police officers entertaining people stuck indoors from the streets with a guitar and songs.

There were also stories of dog owners lending their beloved pets to their animal-less neighbours so they could enjoy some much-needed fresh air as dog walks were a permitted outdoor activity.

As well providing light relief, social media is also helping to keep people - especially those in isolation - connected with each other and the rest of the world.

And it's providing a useful service in reminding people where they can get expert support if they need it.

While there are many downsides to social media during a crisis like this such as the spreading of misinformation and negativity - scenes of panic-buying at supermarkets are not going to doing anyone's mental health any good.

There are many positives too as it helps to stay connected as a society from a distance.

And if you're feeling sad or frightened about the current situation, it can help remind you that we are all in the same boat together.

So if you can find a way to ignore or filter out the negative stuff, these heart-warming gems can give you a lift when you're feeling down.

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