Cities all over the world continue to enforce social distance in one way or the other. But while the authorities are trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the pandemic and all the problems that have come with it are taking a real toll on people. So, to cheer themselves and their communities up, some of them are putting their Christmas lights back on.
“My youngest son was bored today and said, ‘Can we put Christmas lights on our tree outside to cheer us up?'” Twitter user Mike Griffin wrote. “Great idea, buddy. Lights are on tonight as a sign of hope and the sweet mind of my 10-year-old.” The Griffins and many more families are turning to social media to share photos of their resurrected holiday displays. Driveways, rooftops, and entire backyards have been illuminated, making the quarantine a little bit merrier.
As of today, there have been 228,000 global coronavirus cases, while US cases soared by more than 40% in just 24 hours. The pandemic has been shaking financial markets, upending local economies and resulting in over 900 deaths worldwide. It’s easy to give in to fear in the face of this crisis, full of uncertainty and unpredictability
However, there is some good news as well. For example, China has reported no new locally transmitted coronavirus cases for the first time since the outbreak, marking a major turning point in the global battle against COVID-19.
In the weeks following the early spread of the virus, its government enacted draconian quarantine measures and travel restrictions affecting hundreds of millions of citizens. In some cities that were hit especially hard, people were unable to leave their apartments for more than a month, while transport was limited or halted altogether. The country really struggled to get where it’s at now. But it did.
Also, researchers from McMaster University and the University of Toronto have isolated the agent within the novel coronavirus, and this should help us to develop better diagnostic tools and, eventually, a vaccine.
A better future is within reach. We just have to work hard to get there. So why not do it under dangling Christmas lights?
Nadine from Saskatchewan, Canada, is very familiar with this initiative. “It was brought on by one of our neighbors, suggesting it on our neighborhood’s Facebook group and then others followed,” she told Bored Panda. “A lot of us can’t turn [the Christmas lights] on because we had a bad hail storm come through two summers ago and we’re still getting work done on our houses. We’d all have them on if it was not the case.”
Nadine lives in one of these houses. But it didn’t stop her from contributing. “I did, however, put on my white LED tree in the front,” she said. “We have a tight-knit neighborhood here. We call ourselves The Cove. We look out for each other and this pandemic will be no different.”
The woman is married to a doctor, so their family is well-aware of the tough situation. “For us, in our house, it’s not a matter of if this virus will get to us, it’s more a question of when because [my husband] may already have unknowingly exposed me and the kids. We have been self-quarantining ourselves since the first case was announced in the province,” she said.
“Neighbors have already offered to get us anything we need. We are now in a state of emergency in the province, with cases doubling overnight. It’s been pretty grim, to say the least in our house. We’ve had tough conversations as to what we are about to face. How we are going to deal when [my husband] gets sick, when I get sick.”
Nadine said her husband is sad for all the patients he’s likely going to lose. So the lights came just when everyone needed them. “When I saw the lights on, it brought me back to Christmas. It brought me back to a time where none of this was happening, a time where we weren’t afraid of what’s to come. It brought me back to the birth of Jesus and the reassurance that he has this under control. It’s in his hands.”
Pam Swan said the coronavirus outbreak has been the most devastating event she has ever lived through. “Seeing what’s happening around the world over the past few months, and the pandemic has now reached my country, province, and city,” she told Bored Panda. “My heart is broken, I’m worried for my friends who are doctors and nurses, and my anxiety level is very high. I’m worried and scared, but trying to stay positive and hopeful.”
Naturally, Pam felt that she needed something to cheer her up and others probably did, too. Since her Christmas lights were still strung on her balcony, she simply decided to plug them back in. “I live in a condo building that faces four other buildings (we all make a big U shape). My lights are strung on the balcony railing. It’s definitely helped, it’s bright and cheerful, and a reminder of good things.”
Pam lives in Calgary and her small neighborhood is called Bridgeland. It’s also a wonderful, tight-knit community, just like Nadine’s. “We have a Facebook page called Bridgeland Love, where people can post positive things that are happening in the neighborhood. I posted a picture of my balcony there (as well as on Twitter). I got a reply from a neighbor in one of the other buildings about a block away that she could see me, and she has purple lights on her balcony, I looked out the window and could see her too,” Pam said. “I replied with a Forest Gump wave gif. I think that moment lifted my spirits more than the lights. It’s a sense of community, we are all here for each other during the worst thing any of us have ever lived through.”