Taking out the bins is not usually something that brings much joy. But for Dean Synnerdahl, a young man with autism from Hervey Bay, Queensland, it has become the highlight of his week - thanks to the kindness and outpouring of support from all over the word.
Thousands of strangers in Facebook group, Bin Isolation Outing, have applauded Dean in response to his videos posted to the popular page, seeing him dressed up as different characters while taking his family’s bins out. Videos of Dean’s outings are shot by his mum, Jenny, and brother, Kye.
The Facebook group was first created by Hervey Bay locals to add light to the coronavirus situation and celebrate one of the few occasions they could leave the house during mandated isolation. Now with over 1 million members, the Bin Isolation movement has gone viral around the world with thousands of people posting their creative costumes and themed bin-wheeling walks to the page.
While Dean, 20, does not fully understand the coronavirus situation and struggled with the fact that he was not able to cuddle family, Jenny said the light-hearted movement has helped her son understand isolation and the need to do things at home.
“It’s made him think ahead more, he now needs to plan what he is going to do each week and what he will need. His regular supports were cancelled due to COVID-19, so it’s given him something to focus on and look forward to each week” Jenny said.
Steve Irwin, Ghostbusters, Monsters Inc, Lion King are among the different characters Dean has dressed up as in his videos, which have amassed thousands of likes and comments from people around the world.
“He loves getting the messages, especially from people he knows. Last week he got a message from someone who recognised him from the gym. They commented that they missed seeing him there”
“The overwhelming positive feedback he got from his Steve Irwin video meant for the whole week he wore his Steve Irwin t-shirts and re-watched his favourite Steve Irwin movies”.
Dean’s videos have been such a hit, he is now fielding requests from people who have ideas for his next videos. “There have been so many people telling him to keep up the good work – it’s been overwhelming. His last post got over 5,000 likes and close to 1,000 comments. In all that, I think there has only been one negative comment.”
“It’s really nice how many people also acknowledge his brother who helps him with the videos each week. It helps Kye feel good about his support as well”.
But even with all the newfound attention, Jenny said her son just loves the fact he can get dressed up and feature in videos. “He’d be just as happy with two likes and comments as he is with a thousand”.