More beautiful distractions to help you cope and keep you smiling during the COVID-19 pandemic

May 5, 2020
Among the beautiful distractions you can enjoy from afar: live safaris in South Africa. Photo: Getty Images.

By Kristina Paul and Katie Kerwin McCrimmon

While we cope with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, performers, artists and kind souls of all sorts are sharing good news, uplifting songs and funny moments.

Need a good laugh or a good cry? Are you searching for some beautiful distractions during the pandemic? Then, you’ve come to the right place.

Begin this week’s virtual feel-good tour now:

Greet Colorado’s newest creatures

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs welcomed new African penguins to their new pool. Lucky penguins! They get an indoor-outdoor pool with stunning Colorado views.

Watch as these mesmerizing creatures swim and get measured inside orange construction cones (just the right size!).

At the Denver Zoo, spring has been the season for new babies.

Check out the Denver Zoo’s tiny, new lion cubs here:

And you can admire the Zoo’s first one-horned rhino calf who arrived in February here:

Take a South African safari

WildEarth does twice-daily live safaris. Keep an eye out for elephants,giraffes, leopards, lions, cheetahs, hippos and more. You’ll need to get up early or stay up late to join the safaris that take place at sunrise and sunset in South Africa. And parents should join their children since you never know which animals will make an appearance.

Tune in daily at 7:30 a.m. MDT or 10 p.m. MDT. Click here for more information.

Does your world feel out of kilter? Give yourself a dose of Some Good News.

John Krasinski, star of “The Office” and “Jack Ryan” has created the breakout YouTube hit called “Some Good News.” Tune in this week and you’ll learn how Kransinski made some crabby critics laugh when he accidentally spun the globe the wrong direction in his decidedly low-tech show opening. If your world feels off kilter, do yourself a favor and check out news that will make you grin instead of grimacing. On SGN, good news is always “breaking out everywhere.”

The weather forecast is simple: “It looks pretty good.”

You can see an 88-year-old husband hitching a ride in a bucket truck up to the 3rd floor of his wife’s nursing home so he can say hello through the window to his bride of 61 years.

And if you or people in your life have missed milestones thanks to the pandemic, don’t miss the SGN graduation.  There’s not just one speaker. There are gazillions, including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Malala Yousafzai, and Jon Stewart.

Check out the newest episode below, and if you’ve missed earlier episodes, there’s good news. You can easily watch earlier episodes.

See cherry blossoms around the world

From Tokyo to Washington D.C., enjoy a virtual tour of cherry blossoms. Click here to start your trip.

Are you howling every night? See how technology has helped a Colorado boy join the nightly howl

A 10-year-old from Loveland is participating in the nightly howl thanks to a technology assist. Check out his story.  

No such thing as being bored. Push Colorado Public Radio’s “Big Fun Button” instead.

Mural on Colfax Avenue pays tribute to medical first responders 

Artist Austin Zucchini-Fowler created the mural near the Fillmore Auditorium. 

Stuck with your nearest and dearest? Dance a little with the Family Lockdown Boogie 

Cheer yourself up with “Here Comes the Sun” from Camden Voices 

These 5 National Parks Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take From the Comfort of Home 

Google Arts & Culture has teamed up with five national parks in the U.S. so people can enjoy the beauty of the natural world while sitting safely on their couch. These parks feature different climates and environments from across the country, including famous desert vistas and snowy terrains. Click here to start your adventure.

Create hope through art

Laura Thomas of Denver lost all three of her jobs within 48 hours and was determined to provide hope through her art to her neighborhood and the world through pictures of her art.

Give yourself some culture: Colorado Photography Center puts its entire 180-artist collection online 

The Center’s collection includes work by some of the world’s most famous photographers including Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Berenice Abbott and Philippe Halsman. 

Be inspired by more photos: Business owners fighting for their survival

Chris Wheeler, a retired photojournalist and documentary producer who lives in Louisville is documenting his hometown business owners who are fighting for their survival. Click here to learn more about Wheeler’s project and view his photos on Facebook.

About the author

Katie Kerwin McCrimmon is a proud Coloradan. She attended Colorado College thanks to a merit scholarship from the Boettcher Foundation and worked as a park ranger in Rocky Mountain National Park during summers in college.

Katie is a dedicated storyteller who loves getting to know UCHealth patients and providers and sharing their inspiring stories.

Katie spent years working as an award-winning journalist at the Rocky Mountain News and at an online health policy news site before joining UCHealth in 2017.

Katie and her husband, Cyrus — a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer — have three adult children and love spending time in the Colorado mountains and traveling around the world.