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A walk outside. Cherry blossom buds peeking out on the branch. The smell of the salt air as the sun rises over the Chesapeake Bay. The warmth of a purring cat on your lap and a mug of hot tea in your hand. 

There are small moments in life that often go ignored. But they're coming into sharp focus now that many residents in Hampton Roads are home from work, from school and in some cases from their houses of worship. The coronavirus is a pandemic, and local, state and federal officials are imploring citizens to stay home as much as possible, to practice social distancing. It can be disruptive, scary and anxiety-inducing. 

We asked our WHRO audience what's keeping them afloat during this uncertain time. And they answered. And we're sharing their happiness so that it might spread to others. 

Benming And Kelsey Zhang, Williamsburg

COVID zhang cats
Photo courtesy of Benming and Kelsey Zhang

Their kitten, Sampson, stayed quiet while they told WHRO what keeps them happy. Their other cat hid altogether. Too much paparazzi.

Williamsburg City Councilman Benming "Benny" Zhang responded to our call out. Zhang and his wife, Kelsey, are working from home together with their two cats. 

They just got married a few weeks ago, so they delight in the chance to spend more quality time together. 

COVID zhang wedding
Photo courtesy of Benming and Kelsey Zhang, Heather Hughes Photography. 

What better way to spend the honeymoon period than together at home?

Hear their happy thoughts in their own words below: 

Skye Zentz, Norfolk

Skye Zentz is a musician, lyricist and music educator based in Hampton Roads. She was the first to respond to our request for buoys in this sea of uncertainty. 

Zentz says she's grateful for all the ways we still can connect while staying safe and social distancing. 

She's even putting together a virtual music and performance festival for local and national artists. It's called The Friend Jam 2020, and will be streamed via Facebook and Instagram throughout the afternoon and evening on Saturday, March 28. 

A note of transparency that Zentz has done work with some WHRO Public Media departments.

Listen to Skye Zentz in her own words:

What's making you smile these days? Be sure to include your name and where in Hampton Roads you live. Here are two ways to share your stories: 

  • Download the WHRO app on your smartphone. Open the app, and scroll to the send us your feedback section. Record 30 seconds of what's brightening your day, and send it through the app. 
  • Record an audio file on your smart phone (sometimes also called a voice memo), and email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please also consider sharing a photo of you or the thing that makes you happy. 

We might use your submission on air or online. 

You can also submit something in writing to us. We may contact you for more information.