This week's positive news stories to smile about

Your news apps may be inundated with the C word at the moment, but it is important that you are keeping up to date with the large number of positive stories that might not always make it onto your news feed.  So, we’ve done the internet digging for you and have found this week’s positive news to bring a big old smile to your face:

Popular Liverpool and Manchester-based bar brings joy through intimate livestream gigs 

Missing the adrenaline rush of seeing one of your favourite bands live? Want to get the front row without having to queue for approximately 65 hours? Jimmy’s, a live music-themed restaurant and bar based in Liverpool and Manchester, is doing a lockdown-themed Instagram Live every evening from 21:00, with musicians throwing gigs right from their living rooms. Featured artists so far have included indie favourites, Red Rum Club, and Jerry Williams. Even if you don’t know the featured artist, it’s a great way to find new music and an even better excuse to blast some tunes from your speakers every evening. Find out more on their Instagram.

Wisconsin throws social distance dinosaur parade - yes, you read that right 

The Good News Network has reported that a Wisconsin community has come together in this social-distancing time and have found themselves getting down and prehistoric for a dino-themed parade. Keeping the Wisconsin-instructed six feet distance from each other, dozens of people in T-rex themed costumes took to the streets to have a good gallop through their neighbourhoods. Watch the hilarious video here.

OAPs get their hungry hippo on in Welsh care home 

Now, we’re not talking about the popular board game here. We’re talking real-life OAPs as hippos, enjoying some ball pit camaraderie. The result is a whole lot of bellyaching laughter, some well-deserved smiles on their faces and a genius game idea for your own household. You can watch the video and have a good grin here.

Jimmy Fallon's #MyQuarantineInSixWords brings some #relatable quaran-tent 

At the tail end of last week, Jimmy Fallon asked his millions of Twitter followers to offer their quarantine experience in just six words. Using the simple hashtag #MyQuarantineInSixWords, millions took to Twitter to offer a little inside insight into their quarantine lifestyles. The result was some rather #relatable quaran-tent - (let us have this one) – such as: ‘Expelled my kid from home school’ and ‘There’s not enough wine for this.’ Head to Twitter and get scrolling on the hashtag now.  

People are stocking Little Free Libraries with essentials for vulnerable people 

There are 75,000+ Little Free Libraries across the world. It’s an initiative whereby members of the community can help stock up these community libraries with books they’ve finished and swap out a new find for themselves. Now, these libraries are being converted into Little Free Pantries in the US to help the most vulnerable in the community. They’re now being filled with toilet paper, hand sanitiser, non-perishable foods and more to help support those most vulnerable. Find out more here.

Monterey Bay Aquarium offers up some zen-points with this jellyfish livestream 

Feeling a little overwhelmed or stressed out? Just head to Monterey Bay Aquarium’s website - before you let the overthinking begin - and stick on their jellyfish livestream. Set to calming music, this is one zen video and not only can we get up close and personal with these wondrous creatures, but we can relax our busy minds in the process. We recommend spending approximately two hours a day on this one.

UK launches ground-breaking Covid Symptom Tracker app 

Available to any smartphone user in the UK, this clever little app designed by those at King’s College London allows us to track our symptoms daily, even if we’re healthy. This information is then fed back to researchers, meaning we can all play a big part in fighting this even whilst in self-isolation. This technology will enable scientists to learn more about how the disease spreads and manifests – getting us one step closer to squashing the pandemic. Find out more here.

Huge drop in air pollution documented 

It’s been recorded that air pollution has plummeted over the last six weeks, as there’s been a significant decrease in worldwide nitrogen dioxide levels. The Guardian has reported the dramatic fall in a series of illustrations – and knowing the planet is having a chance to relax is something we can all smile and feel grateful about.

From Sofa Singers to "modified block parties", joy is being spread in self-isolation 

This BBC video travels from the UK, to Israel, to Portland, Oregon and further afield to bring some of the joys communities are finding in self-isolation. There are group video call singing sessions, social distance block parties and more! Seeing humanity finding new ways to be social during this time is heart-warming to see.

More than 500,000 people sign up to be NHS volunteers 

The Government issued a call-out for volunteers to join the fight against the coronavirus in the NHS on Tuesday, and the target was 250,000 people. Instead, this incredible figure has doubled, with nearly five people per second enlisting just hours after the campaign was put together. To volunteer, you must be over 18, fit and healthy and able to pass a DBS check – and roles are integral to supporting the NHS at this time, such as patient transport drivers and community response volunteers. Check out this article for more information, and if you’re interested in volunteering, you can sign up here.

So, there you have it. 10 positive news stories to smile about this week. We’ll be bringing this positive news to you on a weekly basis, so check in every Friday for more. If you’re struggling at this period, please know we’re here to help. Our Advice Centre is operating an email service at advice@uwe.ac.uk and you can find out the support available to you through UWE Bristol here.