The Covid-19 pandemic has been sweeping the earth for the past four months causing devastation and destruction. But we are now seeing the light appear at the end of the tunnel. Lockdowns are gradually lifting, restrictions are easing and, slowly but surely, fear is being replaced with hope.
We bring you the positive news from across the globe.
LOCKDOWNS ARE LIFTING
The lifting of restrictions on children has come into effect – after just over six weeks of complete lockdown in their homes children are now permitted to go for a walk or do exercise outside for one hour within a one kilometre radius of their home. From May 11th hotels, restaurants and bars can open (restricted to 30% capacity) and from May 26 cinemas and theatres can open their doors, although restricted to 30% capacity. The government unveiled it’s full plan for coming out of lockdown on Tuesday 28 and over the course of the next month, restrictions will slowly be lifting until June 25 when Prime Minister Sanchez declared that Spain will be back to a “new normal” and fully functioning.
The number of new cases each day in Spain has been dropping for the last week – the graph below shows the evolution of daily cases in Andalucia – the largest autonomous region in Spain and where Bright has its headquarters.
Lockdown is due to ease on May 11th when people will be required to wear masks when out in public, especially if using public transport and attending schools. Some non-essential businesses will gradually be permitted to reopen as will schools.
France’s oldest doctor, 98-year-old Christian Chenay, is still managing to make house calls to a local retirement home during the coronavirus outbreak. Ignoring the big risks that face the elderly, Dr Chenay will not be kept down and remains adamant that he must continue to help his country’s people during this difficult time. Read the full story on the BBC here.
One of the hardest hit nations in Europe is currently reopening some of its factories, allowing people to walk in parks and visit relatives. Businesses will start to gradually reopen over the next three weeks and schools are due to open again in September.
With a very low number of cases nationwide and zero cases being recorded now per day, the restrictions are relaxing considerably. As of Friday May 1st, people (two adults) will be allowed to visit other people’s homes and beaches are beginning to open up across the country. Non-essential movement restrictions are also relaxing.
After around five weeks of lockdown there have been no more reported local transmissions of the virus and so some businesses have been permitted to resume and reopen meaning that around 400,000 people are now heading back to work.
Guy Fieri, the American restaurateur, author, and Emmy Award winning television presenter, has helped to raise over $10 million to provide funding for unemployed restaurant workers in the country. He teamed up with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to try to help the three million people in the hospitality industry whose jobs have been cut due to the virus.
With only 300 cases recorded to date and zero deaths, the last seven days have provided no new virus victims and so lockdown has been lifted.
Captain Tom Moore has raised a phenomenal amount of money for the NHS (over 30 million pounds!) by walking around his garden. Not only this, but today (April 30) he turns 100 years old, the Royal Mail are helping him celebrate by adding a birthday wish to their envelopes. In a local school hall there has been a collection of around 120,000 thank you and birthday cards for him and his family have said that he’s received over 1,000 gifts already. As well wishers reach out to to the veteran from Bedfordshire, he asks them to donate to local care homes and the NHS.
On top of this Captain Tom has become the oldest artist to reach the top spot of BBC Radio 1’s The Official Chart with a rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone alongside Michael Ball and the NHS choir, he has won two Guinness world records, and will be honoured with a RAF flyover for his birthday. Watch the RAF flypast here.
Portrait artist Tom Croft has launched a campaign whereby he and 500 other artists are creating free portraits of health workers on the frontline. Follow the hashtag on instagram #portraitsfornhsheroes. Once the pandemic ceases the work will be displayed in a huge and powerful exhibition. Watch the video about this great initiative here.
Leonardo Dicaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, Apple and the Ford foundation have teamed together to create ‘America’s Food Fund’. Lady Gaga and Oprah Winfrey made donations as well as Jeff Bezos of Amazon who pledged $100 million to the cause that aims to help feed those in need in America.
People all over the world are dedicating their own time and money, and food, to providing for those less fortunate, those who cannot get out to buy their own, those who cannot cook for themselves, and essential workers who need the support. It is a true testament to humanity seeing people caring for their fellow people for the simple reason that they need it and it can be done.
Here in Marbella, the community is pulling together to feed the elderly, the homeless and medical staff. Last week three teenage volunteers, Nellija Sjoberg, Caroline Holm Egeskov and Evie Thomas baked 100 Swedish cinnamon rolls, 100 fairy cakes and 100 lemon drizzle slices for local elderly, homeless and medical staff. Our faith in humanity is being restored on a daily basis!
On April 23rd the first Covid-19 vaccine trials (on humans) went underway in Oxford, England and things are going much better than expected. The Oxford University’s Jenner Institute believes it has produced an effective vaccine, and plans to carry out clinical tests on 6,000 people before the end of May. There could be millions of doses of a Covid-19 vaccine available by September – they are expecting an 80% chance of success, which seems very positive!
Yesterday (April 29) in Washington DC, Dr. Anthony Fauci discussed the positive results for a drug trial on remdesivir, claiming the results were “opening the door” to possible coronavirus treatments. You can watch the 4-minute video here as he shares the initial good news.
Italy: a 102-year-old lady has survived and fully recovered from the virus.
Iran: a 103-year-old woman has made a complete recovery after a week in hospital.
USA: In Oregon a 104-year-old war veteran, William Lapschie, recently made a full recovery from Coronavirus.
Pollution levels continue to plummet worldwide due to the lack of human activity and industry, wild animals continue to roam the streets and take over areas previously only inhabited by humans. Los Angeles, the city of smoke, usually caked in smog has clear skies.
Delhi pollution levels dropped by a huge 71% within the first week of lockdown as traffic become almost non-existent.
As the spiritual advisor and guru Sadhguru suggested recently – perhaps if humankind took a three week break, every year, from polluting technologies and machines they could use the time to “upgrade themselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and in terms of their competence, we would be living in a fantastic world”.
Stay safe, stay home, stay happy and healthy. This soon will pass, the future is BRIGHT!