There is a lot going on in the world right now and the news can be downright depressing. From the global health crisis and a looming economic depression to the effects of social distancing and the loss of life around the world, the reality of our situation weighs heavily on us all.

And while staying informed and following CDC, state and local guidelines and directives are important, immersing ourselves in the negative effects of the coronavirus can take its toll.

To help counterbalance the scary headlines and onslaught of negative news feeds, here are three positive effects of the coronavirus.

Happy Feet

Zoos, aviaries and aquariums around the world are closed to the public until further notice, which has resulted in some amusingly candid moments and unusual activities to keep both the animals and their keepers healthy, happy and entertained during the quarantine.

Our favorite? Wellington the penguin has made friends with the beluga whales at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium.

The Himalayas Come into View

For the first time in decades, residents of Jalandhar (Punjab), India can see the Himalayan mountain range from more than 100 miles away. A common site 30-plus years ago, a whole new generation of Indians are experiencing the majesty of this iconic mountain range.

Photo credit: @parasrishi

Thanks to the nationwide lockdown, India has seen a drastic improvement in air quality in direct response to the decrease of human-caused pollution. According to CNN, Delhi experienced a 44% reduction in PM10 air pollution on the first day of the lockdown and 85 cities across India reported a decrease in air pollution over the first week.

Yosemite Goes Native

Over the past 30 years, Yosemite National Park has been closed five times – in 1990, 1995, 2013, 2019 and now. And while the first four closures ranged in length, this closure is projected to be the longest closure in the park’s 130-year history.

The result? The animals have reclaimed the park as their own.

To be clear, the bears, big cats, coyotes and other human-shy inhabitants of the park have always been there – they just keep to the shadows and the edges while the park’s 4.6 million visitors marvel at the valley’s beauty every year.

Now with less than 200 park employees occupying the 7.5-mile stretch of park, the bear population has quadrupled and the animals have reclaimed their home.  

Bonus Coronavirus Good News

One often-overlooked positive effect of the coronavirus is the renewal of our social and familial connections. While a global pandemic is an unspeakable tragedy for families around the world, it also reminds us all of what’s truly important.

As we all social distance and live under various levels of quarantine, we have found ways to connect, to reach out, to express our love and appreciation to the people in our lives. From Zoom happy hours with friends near and far, to neighbors enjoying each other’s company from a safe distance, to drive-by birthday celebrations and a 35% – 50% increase in voice calls and Wi-Fi-based calls, we’re reconnecting like never before.

So, take heart. Even when things appear to be bleak, there is always a silver lining to be found. Take care, stay inside and stay safe.

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