• Penguins are offering reprieve to those in self isolation. (Shedd Aquarium)Source: Shedd Aquarium
"I think my soul is about to explode from pure wholesomeness."
Samuel Leighton-Dore

17 Mar 2020 - 2:33 PM  UPDATED 19 Mar 2020 - 11:56 AM

Once again, penguins have offered a brief reprieve from the overwhelming deluge of bad news, exploring the empty corridors of the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago with a likely combination of curiosity and existential confusion.

The aquarium has closed to members of the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Writer and ABC News social media manager Evan McMurry shared the heartwarming footage on Twitter, writing: "Oh my god, the chicago aquarium closed due to coronavirus, so they let the penguins run around and check out the other exhibits."

McMurry clarified that aquarium staff members were present at the time of filming.

"This morning, Edward and Annie explored Shedd’s rotunda," the aquarium wrote in a caption for the the video.

"They are a bonded pair of rockhopper penguins, which means they are together for nesting season. Springtime is nesting season for penguins at Shedd, and this year is no different!"

"While this may be a strange time for us, these days feel normal for animals at Shedd," the aquarium's official Twitter account tweeted.

"Our caregivers are constantly providing new experiences for the animals to explore and express their natural behaviours with. Let us know what penguin activities you would like to see!"

Needless to say, the wholesome clip was just what the doctor ordered for many in self-isolation.

"I can’t handle the way this is making me feel," one viewer tweeted.

"I think my soul is about to explode from pure wholesomeness."

"I'm crying, what is wrong w me," another social media user responded.

A slightly more cynical (or creative) viewer wrote: "Yeah 10,000 years from now when The Great Penguin War of Independence is over, they'll probably make our descendants watch this clip that they'll call The Awakening."

Naturally, we've reached out to the Sea Life Aquarium in Sydney to seek an update on Australia's gay penguins, Sphen and Magic, along with their chick, Sphengic.

As of Tuesday afternoon, only people who have recently travelled from overseas or have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case and experienced symptoms within 14 days are advised to be tested.

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor, don’t visit, or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.
Coronavirus symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia, according to the Federal Government's website, and can include a fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath.

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