All the positive coronavirus news stories you probably missed

We’ve rounded the most uplifting developments and initiatives from the past week. Because we all need a little bit of a break from the doom and gloom, don’t we?

by Roisin Lanigan
19 May 2020, 1:17pm

This week the UK will hit temperatures of 27 degrees. That qualifies, in case you weren’t already aware, as the hottest day of the year so far. But lockdown is in place and as you may or not have realised, the coronavirus pandemic is still raging on. So we won’t judge you for feeling a little bit gloomy as cabin fever well and truly creeps in. Add that to the anxiety of missing your friends and family and you’ve got a bad news cocktail. We get it. It’s horrible out there. But there are still glimmers of hope in the hellfire. We’ve been keeping a close eye on everything to be cautiously optimistic about, and we’re here to share the good news with you all.

So remain off Twitter for a second longer and read this instead. Here are all the good things about coronavirus that you may have missed this week -- it just might help you get through the day. Stay safe and stay inside!

Vaccine development is still going strong
While politicians keep cautioning us that a vaccine for coronavirus might not be found for years (or ever) we’re crossing our fingers and keeping an eye on researchers at Oxford University who’re saying that, all being well, their drug combination could be ready by September of this year at the earliest. Recent trials on macaque monkeys were optimistic, with scientists reporting that it stopped the animals from contracting a deadly pneumonia. It did not, however, stop infection -- meaning that people could theoretically still contract the coronavirus -- but it would ensure it behaves more like a seasonal flu than a deadly virus. And more good news is coming out of Moderna’s similar vaccine trial in the US. In a small human trial, all of the 45 people injected with the vaccine developed antibody responses. Science! It’s mega!

Art Partner announce initiative to get volunteers sewing sustainable masks
With the news that we should all be wearing face masks, at least in some closed or crowded settings, many people are looking into how they can be safe but also sustainable. Disposable masks are in short supply and should be prioritised for healthcare workers and realistically, it would be devastating for the environment if the general population started using them every day. So initiatives like this one, from Art Partner and UpMask, are leading the way in finding an alternative. The organisations have teamed up with designers including Simone Rocha and Isabel Marant, and schools including the RCA and Parsons, to turn deadstock and cut-offs into protective coverings. In the past week the initiative has doubled down on mobilising their volunteer sewing force to distribute the masks to at risk or vulnerable communities across the world.

Twitter has announced it will allow employees to work from home forever
Miss Rona has undeniably changed the way we see our professional lives, possibly forever. As many companies across the world adjust to working from home, Twitter has become the first big organisation to announce it will embrace the change not just for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic but indefinitely. The move will be welcome news to those looking to cut down on commuting times. “Twitter was one of the first companies to go to a work from home model in the face of Covid-19, but we don’t anticipate being one of the first to return to offices,” the company said in a statement.

This charity is delivering bags of fruit and vegetables to overworked healthcare workers
Unsurprisingly, as stay at home orders came into place across the world, it quickly became damn near impossible to order groceries. Healthcare and medical staff were particularly affected by the sudden rush for home delivery slots, particularly as they were working long hours on the frontlines of the pandemic. A new charity, Feed the Frontline, is attempting to alleviate that problem by delivering thousands of bags of seasonal fruit and veggies to hospitals every single week. After launching in April, the organisation donated 23,000 food parcels to seven hospitals across the UK, and they’ve now set a £250,000 target to keep those deliveries going through May, with 100% of donations going straight to frontline workers. “Food is at the heart of this nation and helping sustain those heroic healthcare workers that are risking their lives for us is a small way of us giving back and showing our appreciation,” said founding member Anna Prior.

Beyoncé has launched a huge testing campaign in her hometown
While some celebs are holing up in their mansions for the duration of the coronavirus crisis, others are using their means and platform to help people hit badly by the pandemic. It will come as no surprise to the Beyhive that Beyoncé is one of the latter. After launching a relief effort through her BeyGOOD foundation, Queen B has now launched a mobile testing initiative which will provide 1000 test kits as well as face masks, gloves and household supplies to in-need Houstonians. “The virus is wreaking havoc on the Black community so we need a movement to prioritise our health,” Bey and her mama said in a joint statement. “It is critical that we stay vigilant with social distancing, wearing a mask, and most of all getting tested.”

Art Partner