Good news during COVID-19

The current pandemic can make it emotionally exhausting to stay informed. Here’s some good news that has occurred while we’ve been trying to flatten the curve.

 

A second person has been cured of HIV.

Stem cell transplants have cured a second person of HIV and he shows no signs of the active virus more than 2 years after his treatment. The transplant was originally intended to treat the patient’s lymphoma. However, his donor carried a mutation that causes resistance to HIV and it appears to have cured him. Doctors caution that the intense nature of the treatment means it should only be used as a last resort according to CNN.

 

An Indiana zoo announced the birth of two Chacoan peccaries.

The animals are originally from South Africa and are endangered. They look similar to pigs but are from a different family of animals and have a different skeletal structure. Little is known about how the animals breed and raise offspring in the wild and now that it’s able to be studied, it may help the species survive in the wild according to WNDU.

 

Two cheetah cubs were born in an Ohio zoo.

The cubs were conceived through in vitro fertilization. It is rare for this procedure to work in large cats. The Columbus Zoo says that improvements on this method could help prevent the species from becoming extinct according to Cleveland.com.

 

Virginia has become the first southern state to ban conversion therapy for minors.

The bill was signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam on March 2. The practice of conversion therapy is widely discredited. Conversion therapy is the practice of trying to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity through procedures like shock therapy. However, Virginia is the twentieth state to enact such a policy according to the New York Times. Illinois banned it in 2015, the fourth state to do so.

 

The Olympic Games plans to plant an Olympic Forest.

This is part of the International Olympic Committee’s plan to become climate positive by 2030. They are partnering with the UN Environment Programme to combat desertification in Africa. Desertification is typically caused by deforestation and is the process of fertile land becoming desert. The forest is a step in the IOC’s plans to minimize their carbon emissions and hope that the trees will use more carbon dioxide than they create according to a press release from the IOC.

 

The Metropolitan Opera is streaming a show every night during the stay-at-home orders. 

The Met will be streaming an encore from a show in their “Live in HD” series for free each day. A new show comes out each night at 7:30 p.m. EDT. They will be available for 23 hours. The shows are available for streaming on their website as well as the Met Opera on-demand apps for Apple, Amazon, Roku and Samsung Smart TV according to the Met’s website

 

An Australian teenager created a new kind of plastic that breaks down in 33 days.

At 16, Angelina Arora created the biodegradable plastic out of shrimp cells. She said she had the idea after looking at shrimp and seeing how their shells looked like plastic according to National Geographic.  

 

New York offers free mental health services to people struggling during the pandemic.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced March 18 the state will provide free online mental health services to those in need. They can now call a hotline to schedule an appointment over phone or video chat. Over 6,000 mental health professionals have volunteered to provide this service according to Time Magazine.

 

A 99 year-old British veteran raises $33 million for the National Health Service.

Tom Moore set up a fundraising page for the NHS and vowed to walk 100 laps around his garden. He planned to complete them by his 100th birthday but finished two weeks ahead of schedule according to the Washington Post

 

Others are sharing good news as well.

“The Office” actor John Krasinski has created a YouTube channel where he shares good news he has seen. His content ranges from small acts of kindness in the world to surprise performances from celebrities on his show. He also hosted a live prom for the class of 2020 with appearances by Chance the Rapper, The Jonas Brothers and Billie Eilish

 

For more good news, check out Krasinski’s show “Some Good News”.

 

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