You can now go to the Dior Designer of Dreams exhibition from home

We’ve rounded up all the positive and uplifting stories from the past week related to coronavirus. Because we all need a little bit of a break from the doom and gloom, don’t we?

by Roisin Lanigan
20 April 2020, 2:36pm

This past week has, unsurprisingly, been chocca with gloomy news stories about all of our least favourite people. There was the story about Boris Johnson sacking off meetings about the threat of coronavirus until it was too late. There was the story about Donald Trump withdrawing funding for the World Health Organisation in the middle of a pandemic. And then, the icing on the cake: rumours of how, thanks to Ms Rona, pubs and restaurants might not reopen until the end of the year. It’s all a bit grim out there. But there are glimmers of hope in the hellfire that is our current global pandemic. 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 close Twitter for a second 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!

Dior’s Designer of Dreams exhibition is back! On the internet!
If like us, you filled your diaries with fun, non-socially distant things to do when the weather got better, and now you’re bored out of your mind and missing those fun things, then here’s some good news: Dior have announced that they will run their hugely successful Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition online. The exhibition, originally held in Paris in 2017, will be hosted on the brand’s YouTube channel and Instagram so you can wander through the history of Dior -- from Christian to Yves to Maria Grazia Chiuri -- all without leaving the safety and the comfort of your own home. You don’t even have to get out of your jammies. Who needs to barge past tourists in galleries, eh?

Remdesivir is showing promise as a treatment for coronavirus
It’s early days in treating those with serious illnesses caused by the novel coronavirus, and understandably people are confused and worried, particularly with the possibility of a vaccine still so far away. But doctors and researchers are cautiously optimistic about a drug called Remdesivir, an antiviral medication which scientists in the US have claimed helps rapid recovery in patients who are on ventilators. In an (admittedly small) trial of 125 patients at the University of Chicago, most had recovered from COVID-19 in under 10 days after being prescribed the drug, with some off ventilators within 24 hours. In the past week, experimental treatment with Remdesivir has also taken place at NHS hospitals, with doctors hopeful it will help in the fight against the disease.

Sarabande online talks
If a digital jaunt around the Dior exhibition has whet your appetite for more mind-expanding fashion experiences, there’s yet more good news from the Sarabande Foundation. Artists tied to the charity founded by Alexander McQueen have banded together to present a programme of creative workshops for everyone stuck at home, adding a selection of new fashion, art and practical talks to their free online talks programme. The workshops, which began late last week, include everything from book-binding and self-portraits to more digitally focused skills, such as drawing on Adobe Illustrator. In addition, Sarabande Sessions talks will continue to stream for free during lockdown, with an impressive list of visiting digital lectures over the next four weeks, featuring the likes of Matty Bovan, Grayson Perry and Stephen Jones. Perfect for anyone sick to death of baking and doing puzzles tbh.

World’s biggest drug trial began on Friday in the UK
While Remdesivir is showing promise, it’s also encouraging that scientists aren’t putting all their hopes on one treatment for coronavirus. This Friday, the world’s biggest ever drug trial to treat the illness began in the UK. The “Recovery” trial, as it has been dubbed, is unprecedented in its speed and scope, with 5,000 patients at 165 NHS hospitals signing up to take part. The trial will test a variety of touted treatments for coronavirus, including hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, as well as various combinations. While it’s early days, the researchers hope to have definitive data by June, if not sooner.

Beauty brands are donating skincare to NHS frontline staff
If your own hands are cracked, sore and dry from constant hand-scrubbing, then imagine how bad it is for frontline medical staff, who are working round the clock shifts trying to battle the epidemic. As the whole nation has rallied behind doctors, nurses and other medics, beauty brands have thrown their hats in the ring to try to do their part in protecting their skin while they protect us. Cosmydor, for instance, are donating essential care products to hospitals across France and the UK to help staff suffering from over-use of hydro-alcoholic gels and industrial soaps. Jurlique, meanwhile, have donated hand creams and face products to NHS trusts in England, for staff suffering while wearing PPE and facemasks for long hours.

Paris to exit lockdown with free masks, hand gel and mass testing
While London is still under lockdown, things are looking more promising in Paris, which is beginning to prepare for an exit to lockdown. The French capital, which has been quarantined for eight weeks, is preparing to issue all citizens with free face masks and alcoholic hand sanitisers to prepare them for life in the new-normal, mayor Anne Hidalgo has said. The Parisienne mayor says that everyone in the city can expect to have a mask by mid-May. The city also aims to screen 1,000 people a day and distribute hand gel free in public places and in vending machines along the streets. However the French epidemic is still ongoing, and many fashion brands have joined the fight against coronavirus in the capital. A.P.C., for example, have announced a partnership with Fondation De France, whereby they will be donating 15 EUR from every order to the philanthropic agency who are helping relieve the effects of coronavirus to vulnerable people in France.

Ralph Lauren is helping immunocompromised cancer patients
Coronavirus is scary for all of us, but for those who are immunocompromised, particularly because they are battling cancer, it can be particularly bad. The Ralph Lauren Foundation is trying to help those suffering this week with a donation to London’s Royal Marsden hospital, which specialises in cancer care. The donation comes in the form of a specialise machine which tests patients for coronavirus on-site, which can be vital in deciding whether treatment can go ahead for those who vitally need it, and for staff to confirm whether they should be at work or isolating. The innovative testing is being tested at the Marsden but should also roll out across the capital in coming weeks.

New York seems to be flattening its curve
Highly populated cities across the world have understandably been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, but none quite as catastrophically as NYC. Since the virus hit the city over 134,000 have contracted coronavirus, and over 10,000 have sadly died. However things are beginning to slow thanks to social distancing, and yesterday New York recorded its lowest daily death rate in a two week period, with 540 people passing away in one 24 hour period. While politicians are -- understandably -- not even beginning to think about life going back to normal within the state that continues to fight its epidemic, the numbers are at least positive in that they illustrate the effectiveness of effective social distancing. Let it be motivation if you need (we feel you) to stay in and continue to flatten the curve, wherever you are in the world.

Gareth Pugh is helping young LGBTQ+ people affected by the pandemic
While the world has slowed down, the work of charities and organisations to help young queer people has not stopped. And they need support now more than ever. That support is what designer Gareth Pugh and husband Carson hope to provide with the Selfridges Creativity Is Not Cancelled. This week they've released a short film to raise funds for two vital organisations in the UK: The Outside Project, a homelessness charity that has been hosting weekly Queer House Parties on Zoom, and The 343, a Belfast-based queer arts space. Selfridges' project will be raising money for both initiatives, as well as signposting young queer people to a host of other Mutual Aid groups that are in desperate need of financial assistance. It’s a heartwarming reminder that while borders are closed and physical contact is impacting us all, there are always ways to stick together.

Ralph Lauren
Gareth Pugh