Hello and welcome to your weekly fill of GOOD news during this most unsettling and stressful time. The headlines are so jammed with worrying and, let’s face it, negative information that it is really important we lift our spirits with some of the positivity that is occurring globally.
MEDICAL ADVANCES & RECOVERIES
The World Health Organisation has stated that there are around twenty different vaccines being developed and tested globally in a huge and rapid effort to protect us against COVID-19.
We are generally overwhelmed and bombarded with numbers of cases of the coronavirus as well as the staggering number of fatalities caused by it; it often gets overlooked that people are recovering from it too. Lots of people.
It is reported that over 156,838 people have been tested positive for COVID-19 and subsequently made a full recovery (as of March 30th). This number also includes elderly patients over the age of 90!
Italy Some amazing news from Rimini where a 101-year-old man (known as Mr P.) has recovered from Covid-19. Not only that but he is a WWII holocaust survivor and a Spanish Flu survivor! Read the full article here in Forbes.
China: have stated that in major cities they are experiencing less than ten new cases per day and feel that they have the situation under control. They are slowly and carefully beginning to lift certain restrictions on public life.
UK: Following a call from the Prime Minister regarding the urgent shortage of ventilators in the UK, the vacuum company Dyson got to work and in just ten days managed to design and manufacture a new easily replicable ventilator, 5,000 of which they donated to international hospitals in need.
UK: In just under a week a breathing aid that can keep coronavirus patients out of intensive care has been created. University College London engineers have worked together with clinicians at UCLH and Mercedes Formula One to build the device. It amazingly delivers oxygen to the lungs without the need for a ventilator! Called Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices they are less invasive than a ventilator and were used in China to help Covid-19 patients. They are already used in hospitals in Europe but are in very short supply. If trials go well up to 1,000 of the devices can be produced in a single day by Mercedes-AMG-HPP, starting in a week’s time.
Spain: Spain’s Foreign Minister, Arancha González, has said that the country’s latest national figures (Monday March 30th) show the virus’s upwards curve appears to be flattening out and the number of new confirmed cases is the lowest reported for the last week.
The air quality in all cities currently under lockdown has improved dramatically. Following positive reports of the air pollution across China, Spain and Italy, having been reduced by incredible amounts, the USA are now following suit as their major cities shut down. Specialists suggest that this plummet will help to prevent thousands of people from dying prematurely from poor air quality.
Humans are displaying kindness and care for one another worldwide. The gratitude felt by all for those in the medical industry is being portrayed all over the world with daily mass applause taking place from behind closed doors, on balconies, and from the rooftops. People are volunteering, they are giving, donating, sharing and showing all the best signs that humanity has to offer.
Some of the big names in show business have dug deep and handed over donations of up to $5 million! Kylie Jenner gave $1 million to hospitals in Los Angeles, Donatella Versace contributed $200,000 to a hospital in Milan, Rihanna sent $5 million to various charities and the World Health Organisation, Blake lively & Ryan Reynolds donated $1 million to food banks, NBA star Steph Curry sent $1 million to children in need in California, Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift are sending individual donations to fans in desperate need of help with rent, food, and loss of salaries. Britney Spears has been sending groceries to those in need, and several UK football clubs have donated all the food and supplies from their stadiums to local food banks as well as large monetary donations, to name just a few.
The NHS in the UK has been overwhelmed by the volume of unpaid volunteers that have stepped forward to help out during this crisis. Requests to help with medicine deliveries, helping the elderly, collecting and dropping off patients, and offering support has been answered with a rapid response of 170,000 applicants! Now, a few days after the request they have almost 600,000 volunteers!
Whether it is the local applause for everyone helping to treat victims of the virus, singing from the rooftops, or communal workouts on balconies, there is no shortage of positivity amongst our fellow people giving us faith in humanity and a show of how we come together during a crisis, even when we have to stay apart.
The masses are finding innovative ways to entertain themselves and each other. Take locals in Seville for example who are playing bingo on their balconies using a loudspeaker to hear the calls! 🙂
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QUARANTINE BINGO (Sevilla, Spain): This building in Sevilla plays Bingo together from their balconies using a loudspeaker during the COVID-19 #quarantine! #ingenuity Estos sevillanos juegan bingo desde sus balcones usando un megáfono durante la cuarentena por coronavirus. Que ingeniosos!! Credit: Sofia Franco
Australian supermarket Woolworths announced on Monday that 7-8 am would be a ‘dedicated shopping hour in our stores to help support the needs of the elderly and people with disability in the community’.
Last week the iconic statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro; Christ The Redeemer, was fully lit showing flags from all over the world to represent countries suffering from the Coronavirus pandemic.
FREE MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT
New York has pledged to offer free mental health treatment to anyone in need. The effects of the COVID-19 stretch much further than the physical and financial with people being left full of anxiety and depression. Our natural reaction to stress is either “fight or flight”, however during lockdown we can perform neither of these instinctual reactions, rendering us confused and unable to relieve the pressure. The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that 6,000 mental health professionals had signed up to volunteer for a new programme aimed at supporting the city’s mental health amid the pandemic.
A mystery shopper bought every single flower from a florists in Massachussets, just before they were forced to close, giving them one last influx of income. He then had the flowers delivered anonymously to people in the town to spread some kindness and positivity. WOW!
Many well known artists are performing for the masses from the confines of their own homes to help keep the world entertained and in good spirits. Chris Martin from Coldplay performed a free concert taking requests from attendees via Instagram live TV. Andrew Lloyd Webber performed some of his stage classics at his piano, and John Legend and Elton John also followed suit.
BOOKS: Amazon are offering free books and audio stories for children. During the closure of schools the online platform Audible is open and free for all to access. Just follow this link.
ART & ANIMALS: Thousands of art galleries around the world are offering free, virtual tours, as are plenty of zoos and aquariums to keep people stimulated and mentally well-fed!
FITNESS CLASSES: Jo Wicks the ‘Bodycoach’ from the UK is offering fitness classes for children from 9am Monday to Friday via his YouTube account.
THEATRE: Due to the shutdown of theatres around the world and our isolation we cannot of course see live productions at this time. Or that’s what we thought! There are various online streaming sites that are showing Broadway and West End productions for free! Live opera streams can also be heard daily from the Metropolitan Opera.
LEARNING: Online language app Babbel are offering six months free membership to encourage people to learn a language and keep their minds active.
Stay positive everyone, stay home, stay well and stay safe.