Because Heaven Knows We Need Them
A British government official once famously spoke about ‘a good day to bury bad news’, but in these times of ‘Covid-this and Corona-that’ we run the risk of putting good news six feet under.
After all, it’s easy for us to get lost in a maelstrom of miserable messages, a blizzard of bleak bulletins, and a whirlwind of worrisome words; but what about the rays of light that poke through the gloom?
Here are some newsworthy gems to help you get through – as a wise person once said: be happy, it drives people crazy.
Swedish Princess volunteers in a hospital
Old-time fairy tales often feature a dashing prince coming along to save the day, but the heroic deeds of princesses have too often been overlooked.
Maybe the tide is turning. Real-life Princess Sofia of Sweden deserves her place alongside the likes of Mulan and Pocahontas for her hard work helping hospital staff during the pandemic.
After completing an intensive course to become a medical assistant, Sofia now helps out with disinfecting wards and kitchen duties—not tasks that you’d normally associate with a royal.
It makes a refreshing change from the actions of some of the world leaders during the crisis. Maybe a course in volunteer work should be a prerequisite for starting a political career?
The Himalayas become visible for the first time in years
As lockdown descended upon the world and the streets became silent, something stirred in nature. Wild animals ran through Spanish streets, air pollution plummeted in Indian megacities, and a haze lifted from some of the planet’s most beautiful places like a veil.
One of the most spectacular examples was in the Punjab region of India, where the snow-capped peaks began to poke through the horizon in towns over 100 miles away.
Countless other examples have emerged, such as the curious case of a jellyfish gliding through Venice’s shimmering blue waters – a concept that probably hasn’t been considered in the last 1,000 years or so.
Perhaps one positive result of the crisis will be a newfound emphasis on cleaner living – who knows?
Garden stroll for Colonel Tom
When World War Two veteran Captain Tom Moore set out to complete 100 laps (2.5km) of his Bedfordshire garden on his zimmer frame, he set a target: to raise £1,000 in sponsor money for the UK health service, a fine amount in itself.
Little did he know that he’d raise that amount in no time. And, as the 99-year-old walked, the donations kept coming, and coming…and coming. By the time the pensioner reached his 100th birthday several weeks later, he had raised an incredible £30 million as the world took the story to their heart.
Captain Tom has now been made an honorary colonel, with Queen Elizabeth II among the 125,000 people sending him a birthday card. He even recorded a charity single with Michael Ball that immediately hit number 1 in the UK chart, making him the oldest person ever to do so.
Three cheers for Colonel Tom!
Celebrity classes with the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is an institution in the UK, providing top-class TV, internet and radio content to its nation, as well as the rest of the world via its website.
A tiny (or bite-sized) example of this is a host of online classes for kids, given by celebrities via BBC Bitesize. Wildlife expert and national institution Sir David Attenborough leads the way with an insight into the natural world, and the series even has footballer Sergio Agüero teaching youngsters how to count in Spanish.
Free Mental Health Support in New York
Many people speak of the obvious physical effects of the virus, but less attention is given to its effect on mental health, whether it be relatives of those infected or people who are simply scared to go outside.
For this reason, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced that over 6,000 mental health specialists had registered with a programme offering free online consultations to those who need it.
The workers offer a wealth of background experience, from helping people deal with insomnia to behavioural problems like gambling addiction, and Governor Cuomo praised their compassion, calling it a ‘beautiful’ thing.
Everybody needs good neighbours
One of the big fears coming out of the pandemic is that barriers will be put up between countries; strictly controlled borders and heightened security at airports, for example.
But the crisis has also brought out the best in some nations. As Italy struggled through its worst period, neighbouring Germany and France decided to pitch in, offering to take in Italian patients. There were even cases of people being air-lifted over the border for treatment.
It offers a heartwarming glimpse, along with the other pieces of news in this article, of what can be achieved if we work together—rather than put up walls and barricades.
Maybe if we do that then more good news stories will follow.