A round of applause and a happy birthday: The glimpses of light from around the world.

As we wake up each day in a time of immense uncertainty, where news updates are frequent and increasingly grim, the world can seem bleak.

Whilst many of us grapple with our new normal, we push through the long, repetitive days and try to remain somewhat level headed, but for reasons we all understand, the underlying anxiety just doesn’t seem to go away.

So when we come across glimpses of light in a time of darkness, they make all the difference.

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I’m talking about those little moments of happiness. A note from a neighbour offering to buy an elderly woman her groceries. Seeing a young couple bite the bullet and get engaged. An entire street singing happy birthday to the young girl from the terrace down the road.

Moments like those remind us why we should remain hopeful.

So from cities and neighbourhoods around the world, here are just some of the glimpses of light we need right now.

London, England.


To thank all the incredible healthcare workers on the frontline of COVID-19, at 8pm on March 26, England clapped for the National Health Service.

Paris, France.

France has been doing the same for days now. At 8pm on the dot, the round of applaud begins.

Kensington Palace, England.


And this morning, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis clapped for NHS too.

Southampton, England.

In a small street in Southampton, England, neighbours sang happy birthday to an eight-year-old girl.

New York City, New York.


Over in America, a young couple got married.

Sharing a video to Instagram, Reilly and Amanda went to get married at the courthouse but arrived moments after the mayor announced its temporary closure. So instead, they walked over to their friend’s apartment who is a celebrant and got hitched below his fourth storey window, as their neighbours and best friends watched.

Rochester, Minnesota.


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In Minnesota, two doctors performed John Lennon’s Imagine. 

Shawmut Ave, Boston.

And in a neighbourhood in Boston, residents sang Lean on Me. 

Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra couldn’t get together to practice and perform. So instead, they played Ode to Joy from home.

Brisbane, Australia.

And lastly, closer to home, the Pub Choir asked people on the internet to submit themselves singing The Carpenter’s Close To You. They received over 1000 submissions from 18 countries in just two days.

Have you spotted any others glimpses of light that we missed? If so, let us know in the comments.

Feature image: Twitter/@robthomas_1 and Instagram/@reillyjennings.

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