Quarantined elderly man shares sweetest poem about ‘infecting’ the whole world with a smile

Ever since the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) emerged, it seems like there is nothing but negative news everywhere we look. Our televisions, radios, and social media feeds are full of disheartening updates about the situation in the country and other parts of the world.

Sometimes, we can’t help but wish that this virus was just the seasonal flu so we can know for sure that it’ll go away soon. Unfortunately, however, this isn’t the case. We are living in uncertain times, and there is no way of telling when this disaster will end.

This elderly man understood that there are many people who are feeling hopeless and anxious because of the current situation. So, he decided to recite a poem to ease people’s worries even for a while. The verse’s original author was the late Spike Milligan, an English-Irish comedian, writer, poet, playwright, and actor.

In the poem, the unnamed man spoke of “infecting” the whole world – not with a disease, but with joy.

“A smile can be very contagious,” he began. “You can catch it like the flu. Someone smiled at me today, I started smiling, too.”

“Then I got to thinking just what a smile is worth. A smile like ours could travel all around the earth. So if you feel a smile coming on, don’t keep it undetected. Smile at someone next to you, and we’ll get the whole world infected,” he ended.


Shannon McCluskie uploaded the inspiring video of the man reciting the poem on TikTok, a short-form, video-sharing application that allows its users to create and share 15-second clips on any topic they wish.

“I think we all need to hear this. Its back! Lets keep this #smilemovement going! #foryou #fyp #smilepoem #inspiration #healthcare,” she captioned the post.

At the time of writing, the video has garnered 465.4k likes and 8,636 comments on the platform.


“Literally the cutest thing I’ve seen all day. I needed this and shared it on every social media platform I have,” commented one user.

“Love, love, love the beautiful way he tells this. Got me smiling for sure. Thank you!” wrote another.

“This made me cry at first, but then I did it! I laughed! You infected me!” said another.

It’s unclear how Shannon and the elderly man are related. But it looks like the video was shot in a hospital as the man was wearing a patient wristband.


The elderly are advised to practice strict self-isolation as their weakened immune systems puts them at the highest risk of being infected. COVID-19 is a hundred times worse than the seasonal flu and has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization last month.

As of April 8, almost 1.5 million people have been infected by the coronavirus worldwide. There have been 86,750 deaths and 318,875 recoveries.

Watch the video below and prepare to be infected with joy.

The poem carries a simple yet beautiful message: that humans through the power of a smile have the power to spread joy no matter what the circumstance. We may be living in times of uncertainty right now, but smiling and keeping a positive attitude goes a long way!