13 inspiring sights from coronavirus lockdowns around the world

With COVID-19 lockdowns now in place across most of the world, many countries are spreading inspiring messages of hope. From lit up landmarks to singing police, here are some of our favourites...

5 mins

1. Christ the Redeemer was turned into a doctor in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

A few weeks ago, the most famous monument in Brazil was lit up with the flags of the world, to show unity during the COVID-19 outbreak.

More recently, the statue got another new look, when a spectacular light show transformed Christ the Redeemer into a doctor, as a way to thank health workers that have been on the frontline during the outbreak. 

2. France shouted 'merci' from the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Brazil wasn't the only country to say thank you to the health workers by lighting up a landmark.

Over in Paris, the Eiffel Tower was emblazoned with the word merci (thank you) as a way of honouring the nurses and doctors dealing with the outbreak. The light display also reminded people to stay home to help slow the spread of the virus. 

3. Iran showed solidarity through Tehran's Azadi Tower

Iran decided to show its solidarity during the coronavirus outbreak by lighting up its iconic Azadi Tower.

The tower in Tehran is a symbol of freedom, and the light show projected the names of affected countries around the world, surrounded by red love hearts to show Iran stands with them. 

The message 'We fight against, we stand together, we stay strong' was lit up in huge white letters before the tower was covered with the world's flags. 

4. The police sang to isolating residents in Mallorca, Spain

A group of police officers in Algaida, Mallorca clearly saw it as their duty to cheer up the local residents - and they certainly succeeded in their mission. 

Arriving with their sirens blaring, the police jump out of the car enthusiastically, one of them clutching a guitar, and are greeted by a cheering audience hanging out of their windows.

The police then lead a heart-warming singalong of a popular Catalan children's song, before jumping back in their cars and heading to the next street to put smiles on more faces. 

5. And other Spanish police thanked people by performing 'Baby Shark'

More performing police! This time in Andorra, where officers decided to blast the hit children's song Baby Shark from their cars and dance along.

Not just to make onlookers laugh, but to thank them for following social distancing rules and agreeing to stay inside during the coronavirus outbreak. 

6. The Empire State Building turned into a heartbeat in New York, USA

The Empire State Building has been keeping hope alive by providing a beacon of light across the dark New York skies each night. 

The top of the building has been throbbing red to resemble a heartbeat, as a way of paying tribute to the city's first responders. 

In another show of creativity and positivity, the Empire State Building has been collaborating with radio station iHeart Radio each evening, with the radio station playing a song at the same time the Empire State Building does a bespoke light show to the beat of the song. 

With a multi-coloured display for Easter, a light show to a medley of songs from The Beatles and its throbbing heart, the Empire State Building has promised to continue offering light every night until the coronavirus crisis is over. 

7. The Matterhorn showed us hope in Zermatt, Switzerland

The Matterhorn's message of hope (Shutterstock)

The Matterhorn's message of hope (Shutterstock)

Usually a destination bustling with skiers this time of year, the village of Zermatt in Switzerland has been making the most of the quiet period brought on by COVID-19 by spreading messages of hope to the rest of the world. 

It's famous mountain - the Matterhorn - is being used as a star-surrounded canvas on which to project the positive messages each night, showing the world that Switzerland stands with them. 

Each evening is dedicated to a different message. On 3 April, the mountain urged people to stay at home, while on 6 April, the Matterhorn was simply lit up with the word 'hope'. 

Certain evenings have also been dedicated to individual countries. For example, 10 April was dedicated to the United Kingdom, with the Union Jack being projected on the peak.

The night before that was dedicated to Germany, showing the German flag. Portugal, Spain, Italy and Japan have also all been honoured individually by the Matterhorn. 

8. Opera singer Maurizio Marchini performed from his balcony in Florence, Italy

Italian tenor Maurizio Marchini wanted to play his part in providing some joy during these bleak times.

And he delivered on his promise tenfold, by belting out the famous opera song Nessun Dorma from his balcony for those lucky enough to live near him.

He chose the song wisely. The final lyrics translate to 'with the dawn, I will win' - a reminder to us all that these difficult times will not last forever. 

9. Andrea Bocelli gave a free Easter concert in Milan, Italy

Another Italian opera star also wanted to make the world smile with a performance. Andrea Bocelli gave an uplifting and tear-jerking performance at the Duomo Cathedral in Milan on Easter Sunday. 

The free concert was livestreamed on Youtube for the entire world to enjoy. The tenor concluded his performance with a powerful rendition of Amazing Grace, offering a much-needed glimmer of hope to the entire world. 

10. Egypt said thank you from the Pyramids of Giza

Despite being closed due to coronavirus, the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt shone brightly on Monday night with messages for the world to read.

A projector brightened the sandy walls of the ancient pyramids with flickering words and images, urging the world to stay at home and stay safe, thanking the people working hard to fight the virus, and reminding those watching that the world is 'all united' in the fight against COVID-19. 

11. Actors performed Shakespeare from their windows in London, England

Actors Ruth Gibson and Ché Walker made the most of the lockdown when they performed Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to their neighbours in Hampstead Heath. 

The impressive performance saw the pair playing the star-crossed lovers, hanging out of their upstairs windows and shouting their lines to each other across the street.

They were even accompanied by an NHS worker playing the flute. The audience, who watched from their front doors, were delighted by the performance. 

12. Rainbows have brightened windows and pavements across the world

A rainbow brightens a balcony in Italy (Shutterstock)

A rainbow brightens a balcony in Italy (Shutterstock)

Whether they are drawn on a piece of paper and stuck in a window or chalked across a wall or on a pavement, chances are, you've seen a rainbow somewhere since the start of COVID-19. 

It is thought that the rainbows started in Italy, where they are often paired with the message: andra tutto bene, or 'everything will be fine'.

The colourful messages have since caught on in Spain, Canada and the UK, where people have been cheering up passers-by with rainbows in their windows.

Some come with a message to stay home, others thank key workers, but all of them act as a symbol that that brighter days are on the horizon.

13. The whole world claps for carers

In another powerful show of positivity and solidarity, almost the entire planet has been erupting in rounds of applause to show health carers the world over how much their hard work on the frontline is appreciated. 

Clapping, car horn-honking, saucepan-banging and even fireworks have rung out from front doors, windows and balconies across the world to say thank you to doctors, nurses and key workers everywhere. 

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