Need to smile? 7 heartwarming ways Bay Area communities are coming together during the coronavirus pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's a cliche, but that's because it's true. In dark times, people find a way to come together, support their communities and - even in times of social distancing - lean on each other to get through challenges.

This coronavirus pandemic is no exception. Folks around the Bay Area have risen to the unprecedented occasion to help each other look on the bright side.

The existence of these happy stories doesn't negate or overshadow any of the sorrow and anxiety people around the Bay Area are experiencing right now. But perhaps, after days or even weeks of sheltering in your home and isolating yourself, you're seeking a small bit of relief. Or a glimmer of hope.

If you're in the mood for a little joy, read on.

Social distancing parade

A group of Livermore elementary school teachers put on a parade for their students they missed so much. (See the video at the top of this story.) The teachers drove through the neighborhood in their cars, waving at their students who stood outside their homes.

Spirited singalong

A group of musicians headed to Opera Plaza in San Francisco to serenade nearby apartment buildings with a rendition of "This Land is Your Land." One resident came out to her balcony and responded with an a capella opera performance. Check out the video here.

Teddy bear hide and seek

Next time you take a neighborhood walk, take a close look at the windows you pass by. There's a movement of Bay Area residents putting teddy bears in their windows to bring a little more joy to the streets for kids.

Thanking medical workers

People everywhere are finding ways to thank medical workers. We've seen signs posted in windows around San Francisco.



Breathe easier

One happy side effect from the statewide shelter in place order: Pollution has dropped dramatically. Parts of the Bay Area saw nearly perfect air quality Thursday. Everyone can enjoy the cleaner air on their daily walks, but it's extra helpful for those with respiratory conditions.

"There's not much bright sides these days, but this is one of them," said Kristine Roselius, a spokesperson for the BAAQMD

Local authors feed hospital workers

Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon have started a program to feed hospital workers by ordering food from local restaurants - a big help to both. Read the full story here.

Finally, a good viral challenge

You've probably seen it on your social media feeds. People are challenging each other to hit the ground and knock out 10 push ups. Lots of folks are having fun with the viral challenge and getting a little exercise in, too.

And if nothing else will soothe your soul in these anxious times, you likely have a stimulus check to look forward to soon.

To stay looped in on all things coronavirus - good news, bad news and everything in between - see our full coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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