It’s easy to look at the past year and only see the negative impacts of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, but 2020 has given us a lot to be thankful for too.
Here are a few stories that brought us tremendous joy this year — and gave us hope when we needed it most!
1. “Principal mom’s” embarrassing online school announcements had thousands cracking up.
“Just a reminder: Lunch today is whatever you make yourself,” Deb Plafker, a mom from Danville, California, said into her home’s announcement system in the early days of her kids’ remote learning. While her teenage son wasn’t nuts about her new (self-imposed) role of “principal mom,” even he agreed that her morning announcements were too funny not to share!
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Check out her pithy observations about life in quarantine here.
2. Carpenter builds tiny homes for homeless community to save lives during long Toronto winter.
Khaleel Seivwright of Toronto, Canada, knows that the small shelters he’s building won’t solve his city’s housing or poverty problems; he simply wants to use his talent as a carpenter to help people survive the long winter ahead.
When his work dried up at the start of COVID-19, Khaleel gathered spare supplies and started making large rectangular boxes lined with fiberglass insulation and wheels to make them mobile. Each tiny shelter can stay warm using only body heat in temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit!
3. Quarantined family goes viral with hilarious “Lockdown Boogie” video.
Jack Buchanan found a funny way to spread some cheer during quarantine. Somehow, he convinced his entire family of adults to dress up and perform a choreographed dance to a song he wrote called “Family Lockdown Boogie.” The resulting video has been viewed over 3.5 million times.
4. Principal’s “Can’t Touch This” COVID-19 parody has everyone cracking up.
As the principal of Alabama’s Childersburg High School, Dr. Quentin Lee understands how stressful it was to return to in-person learning in the midst of a pandemic. That’s why he decided to tackle those anxieties head-on using humor. He put together a clever parody of MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This,” and the internet couldn’t get enough!
“Stop! Sanitize!” and watch the video here.
5. Doorbell camera catches Amazon driver stopping to pray for high-risk infant.
When Derek and Raquel Pearson of Nampa, Idaho, reviewed security footage from their Ring doorbell camera, they spotted Monica Salinas, an Amazon delivery driver, standing on their front porch with her head bowed. They quickly realized she had seen their sign and was praying for their high-risk son Lucas.
6. Bored sports announcer captures dogs’ lives in hilarious commentary videos.
Andrew Cotter of London, England, is a freelance broadcaster who found himself out of work during the pandemic. One day out of sheer boredom, the man who usually comments on events like Wimbledon and the Olympics decided to use those talents to narrate the daily activities of his dogs, Mabel and Olive. The resulting videos are so funny that it’s easy to see why they went viral!
7. Teacher cares for newborn after student’s family contracts COVID-19.
Teachers always seem to go above and beyond for their students, but Luciana Machado Lira of Connecticut took these efforts to an extraordinary level. Luciana is bilingual, so when she received a call for help from a Spanish-speaking student’s family, she rushed to the hospital to translate for them.
Luciana helped them communicate with the doctors, and when the desperate family asked her to take their newborn home because they’d been diagnosed with COVID-19, she didn’t hesitate.
8. Woman surprises sister after 15 months apart and her reaction is everything.
Deidra Rasmussen got the best surprise of her life when her sister, Cami Ogden, flew to New England to see her after 15 long months apart. Not only that, but Cami also brought along a very special person to meet his new aunt: her newborn son! Watch Deidra’s fabulous reaction here.
9. Dad can’t be with his son during chemo so he dances outside his window instead.
Chuck and Lori Yielding of Fort Worth, Texas, wanted to spend every second with their 14-year-old son Aiden as he battled leukemia. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 restrictions at Cook Children’s Medical Center said only one parent could be inside the building as Aiden received chemotherapy.
That’s when the clever dad found a fabulous way to be with his son from afar. Every day, Chuck stands in the parking lot below his son’s window and dances his heart out!
10. Long-lost sisters find each other in hospital after 53 years because of the pandemic.
If it weren’t for COVID-19, Doris Crippen might never have been reunited with the sister she had only met once before. The 73-year-old was taken to Methodist Fremont Health after she fell out of bed and broke her arm while suffering from the virus. It took her a month in the hospital to recover.
While she was there, an employee named Bev Boro recognized her name and realized they were long-lost sisters! Read about their serendipitous experience here.
11. Cancer patient gets sweetest delivery from caring Amazon driver.
Carlos and Denise Pagan of Charleston, South Carolina, posted a special sign on their front door warning everyone that Carlos is immunocompromised. Carlos has been fighting blood cancer, so it was especially important for him to remain isolated.
When an Amazon driver named Antonio spotted their sign, he couldn’t stop thinking about them. A few days later, he went to the Pagan’s house on his day off with a special delivery that moved the grateful family to tears.
12. Kindergarten teacher spreads hope and joy with high-energy virtual lesson.
When many schools turned to remote learning at the start of the pandemic, teachers had to change their entire way of operating practically overnight. Mackenzie Adams of Lake Stevens, Washington, is a kindergarten teacher who suddenly had to work even harder to keep the attention of her young students.
She shared a video of herself teaching an online math lesson on TikTok, and let’s just say it’s impressive!
13. FedEx driver starts taking pups with him on deliveries after their doggy day care closed.
Daniel Nava usually takes his adorable 2-year-old dachshunds, Chorizo and Cocoa, to doggy day care three times a week while he delivers FedEx packages in Oceanside, California. But when the facility closed, he devised the world’s cutest plan so they could spend time together!
14. Inventor of N95 filter comes out of retirement to become worldwide hero.
Back in 1992, scientist and inventor Dr. Peter Tsai led a research team at the University of Tennessee that pioneered the filtration technology used in N95 masks. Even though he retired in 2019, when the novel coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S., he immediately started looking for a way to make these important pieces of the PPE puzzle reusable.
He wouldn’t even take a salary as he worked around-the-clock to develop a solution that would help millions.
15. “Romeo and Juliet of lockdown” find love across their balconies in Italy.
Shakespeare’s play about star-crossed lovers in the city of Verona got a modern update during the COVID-19 lockdown. Michele D’Alpaos and Paola Agnelli live in the same apartment complex, but it wasn’t until Paola’s sister played her violin on their balcony one day that Michele noticed Paola.
After doing some internet sleuthing, the two of them connected over Instagram and spent the next 10 weeks getting to know each other from afar. Once they were finally able to meet face-to-face, they knew they were meant to be!
These stories are a powerful reminder that 2020 was full of light and beauty! No matter how gloomy the skies may be, there’s always a silver lining.
Share these moments with your friends to brighten their day.
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