Looking out of your window, everything seems to have come to a standstill. Roads are emptier as are most public places; many of us have not heard the familiar whirr of an airplane’s engine as it passes by in weeks; and once bustling markets and malls see only a fraction of visitors in search of their essentials. It’s a starkly different world from the one we are familiar with.
Such a drastic change has been tough for plenty, we are not used to the slowness that has become our usual day and that can be trying on much of people’s mental health as well. In self-isolation, we are restricted in many ways, obviously, we are not able to leave our homes unless necessary, and so that means we are not able to see our friends in person or just get away to take a moment to ourselves in our favourite parks or cafes.
The world can sometimes feel a little smaller. But as we all experience this new form of living, we have all realised the absolute need to stay positive and connected. So, here we wanted to brighten up your day with a few stories and activities that can help lift your spirits.
As we all stay safe indoors, it’s no surprise that nature itself has benefited from our retreat. With fewer cars on the road, factories taking a break from production and so on, we have seen an incredible decrease in pollution levels.
Not only is that generally a step in a better direction for our planet, it’s even better for us within this pandemic. Just recently, it was suggested that air pollution itself catalysed the virus, making it more lethal, but with lockdowns occurring all over the world, our new, slower lifestyle has cleaned the air. In our own homebase, India, levels of both PM2.5 and the harmful gas nitrogen dioxide fell by 70 percent and clear, blue skies are becoming the daily norm.
Further on from this, what we can also hope for is that this global crisis has revealed to us what is important to focus on within our society and where our downfalls lie. Brazilian economist and former chief financial officer of the World Bank, Dr. Joaquim Vieira Ferreira Levy, expressed that it has revealed its main threats that are also in line with that of climate change:
It’s an obvious but potent warning to us all that our world needs to come together and rethink how we approach climate change, that it’s a challenge we have to all face together with unified purpose just like we are beginning to in our current global state - that we have a responsibility to take care of each other and our planet. We can only make better decisions and bring about positive change from here.
NEWS TO PUT A SMILE ON YOUR FACE:
In the US, doctors and healthcare workers work tirelessly to look after their COVID-19 affected patients, they are covered head-to-toe in their masks, scrubs and gloves, which can be intimidating and scary for many. So, in an effort to comfort their patients and make them feel more at ease, they have started attaching smiling images of themselves to their scrubs hoping it’ll bring a smile to their faces.
In India’s state of Punjab, the Himalayas have become visible from more than 100 miles away due to the reduction in air pollution caused by the lockdown. Those in the city of Jalandhar posted photos online in awe of the sight, some saying that they hadn’t seen the mountains in almost 30 years.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced this week that the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy are “essential workers” in order to comfort anxious children around the country and spark a little fun and excitement that they may have been lacking within the lockdown.
In the UK, Penguin Random House is sending free books to communities that have been greatly affected by the pandemic such as low income families and older people in isolation. They have also been livestreaming author events called ‘At Home with Penguin’ to connect beloved authors to their readers.
Last weekend, also in the UK in north Devon, villagers in Witheridge wished one of their neighbour’s a happy 100th birthday by standing at their front doors of their homes, a safe distance away, to sing ‘For he’s a jolly good fellow’.
A non-profit arts group, Superhero Me, based in Singapore, created this video with the help of some of the children they support themselves, all about how to stay safe and take care of your hygiene:
At the Chicago Shedd Aquarium, a Rockhopper penguin named Wellington got to roam the beluga whale exhibit and made three new friends:
AND A BUNCH OF RECOMMENDATIONS & ACTIVITIES:
If music is a particular interest for you, or you just want to check out some new artists and sounds, you can check out our playlists on Spotify at Green Heart Radio where we share our favourite tunes from the team!
On the 18th of April, 8PM eastern time, we can also all look forward to ‘One World: Together At Home’, a live concert hosted by Lady Gaga herself that will be shown on multiple television and digital networks around the world. It will invite an impressive line-up of artists who will also take part, including Paul McCartney, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, and Lizzo, just to name a few.
And if you can’t wait until then, we also recommend checking out a regular live session “QuartanTEA with Tori” hosted on music artist Tori Kelly’s own Instagram almost daily. Not only does the artist serenade her own music and take requests from her audience but she invites a different popular artist to join her each day to duet, some have included Alessia Cara, H.E.R and Pink Sweat$.
The Cooper Gallery, located in Barnsley, UK, has turned its paintings into online jigsaws that anyone around the world can take a go at. They encourage people to take part in these daily puzzles and compete against one another.
Yoga to the People is a donation-based yoga community based in the US that offers free classes hosted on Zoom to everyone in the world. They have always been a “pay what you can” organization so donations are welcome to continue their classes which are hosted twice a day online and three-times on Wednesdays. For more advanced students, there’s an additional Master Class available on Wednesdays too.
Here are also some recommendations from our team that you can check out.
- Business of Fashion
- Deliciously Ella
- Impact India
- Fashionopolis by Dana Thomas
- Small is Beautiful by E.F. Schumacher
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
- The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon
And, of course, you can join us online on our Instagram for discussions and activities that we will be hosting this month. Check it out: