In Australia, previously mundane chores are being turned into a fun public outing in the midst of self-isolation.
Just scroll down the Bin Isolation Outing Facebook group to see. Originally begun as a joke between friends, the page now has half a million members and counting -- and is filled with photos and videos of folks around Australia (and, increasingly, the world) taking their bins to the curb in fun costumes.
Danielle Askew created the page two weeks ago, after a friend jokingly wrote on Facebook that she was excited to take the bin out because it gave her a reason to leave the house.
So Askew, who lives in Hervey Bay, Australia, dared her to get dressed up for it. She did, as did Askew, who then started the Facebook page as a way to have a laugh with her friend group.
But that page quickly went beyond the group and Australia, reaching folks as far away as the US. What was supposed to be a private joke has turned into a source of joy for people everywhere, as more and more people find themselves stuck inside.
Group is full of ‘love and support,’ one member says
That's what happened with Sarah Jane Hurn, who lives in Derbyshire, England -- quite a ways away from Australia. She's been stuck at home for almost four weeks now. She found the page Monday, after a friend in Wales shared it with her. As soon as she started scrolling, she burst out laughing.
"I was so impressed by how creative the outfits were. And the comments section is the best bit. People are commenting such lovely and supportive things. And the puns are on point," she told CNN.
The day after Hurn found the page, her swimsuit arrived, one she booked for a vacation that got canceled because of the pandemic. She hung it on her clothes rack, but then the idea, inspired by the page, hit her.
"That swimsuit made me feel amazing," she said. "So I had to take it out for a spin at least once. Otherwise it would have stayed on its hanger till next spring."
She put the swimsuit on, took out the trash and put the video on the Facebook page.
"Seeing the massive love being sent my way was just amazing. Every comment was full of love and support. I felt so happy, having made others laugh. It has completely recharged my soul and lifted me out of my funk," she said. "It's been wonderful experience, connecting with so many people during a time when I feel so cut off and alone."
Demi Mutch, who lives in Toowoomba, Australia, echoed those sentiments. She's been isolated for about three weeks, and originally filmed a video of her dressed up as Voldemort for her small group of friends. It was just a way to bring some joy, she said.
She'd heard about the Facebook page on the news and decided to post it there, too, after a suggestion from a friend. She called Askew a "genius" for making the page.
"It's somewhere where you can go and forget about all this virus stuff, that's all that's playing on our news at the moment," she told CNN. "So to be able to go and watch some funny creative clips and photos of people taking out their rubbish is the best thing in my day to have a quick scroll."
If she, or anyone else, could simply bring a smile to someone’s face in this “not-so-normal” life, Mutch continued, that’s a win in her books.