Some good news during scary times

With all the news focusing on the global spread of COVID-19, it can be easy to feel anxious and uneasy about the future. But it's important to remember there are great things still happening. Here are five great recent developments to hopefully brighten your day.


1. Progress is being made in the fight against HIV

Adam Castellejo, a patient in the U.K., was recently declared the 2nd person in the world to be cured of HIV following treatment. Over two years ago, Castellejo underwent a stem cell transplant as a cancer treatment, but it also cleared any detectable HIV infection from his body. It’s important to note, however, that doctors warn this is a high-risk treatment that is reserved for specific patients. But there’s hope that the science behind it will be used to create a gene therapy treatment for HIV in the future.

For a detailed explanation of the treatment and other information, check out this article and this one.


2. New South Wales, Australia has no more active bushfires

We all remember the news of the devastating bushfires that consumed parts of Australia in late 2019. While Australia is no stranger to wildfires in the summer, last season was particularly bad, with 19.4 million hectares of land being burned and large number of people and animals displaced. Now, finally, after 240+ days, New South Wales is free of any wildfires. The state’s fire service accredits the heaviest rainfall in 30 years in helping extinguish over 30 fires in a single weekend.

For more information about the extent of the wildfires, check out this article and this one.


3. Blue whales are making a comeback in the South Atlantic

In the early 1900s, the whaling industry started to boom on the South Atlantic British territory of South Georgia. The sub-Antarctic blue whale population continued to dwindle over the years, going from an estimated population of 239,000 in 1904 to just 2,280 in 1998. In efforts to save whale species around the world, an international whaling ban was set in place in 1982.

Since then, researchers have made frequent trips to South Georgia to monitor the population. While most trips have yielded few sightings, the most recent trip showed a major improvement—an astonishing 55 blue whales off the coast of the island. This news has experts excited to witness the repopulation of the species, which is expected to continue to rise steadily.

For more blue whale information, check out this article as well as this one..


4. Athletes and sports teams pitch in financial aid to arena workers

In efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, pretty much every sports league have postponed or cancelled their seasons. Among the many who are affected by these decisions are the arena workers, who are only paid if games are played. However, many prominent figures in the community have stepped up to offer their support.

The Dallas Mavericks, Toronto Maple Leafs, the Detroit Red Wings, the New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals, and the Anaheim Ducks are just a few of the numerous teams that have committed to paying workers for the shifts they were scheduled for in March.

Several athletes, including NBA players Kevin Love and Jeremy Lin, have also pledged large donations to show their appreciation for the non-salaried arena workers. As a result of these donations, these workers are now able to protect themselves and their loved ones without the worry of financial hardship.

For more info, check out this story.


5. End of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo

A few years ago, the world was panicking over an outbreak of another virus called Ebola. Early 2014 marked the start of an outbreak centering primarily in the West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. As cases dwindled and people recovered, focus shifted away from the virus to other global news. Unbeknownst to many, another Ebola outbreak developed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in August 2018. Over the last year and a half, the virus claimed over 2,000 lives across the country. However, it was announced in early March of this year that the last Ebola patient in the DRC had recovered and no new cases had been reported in 42 days, effectively ending the outbreak.

To see the community celebrate this success, check out this article.

This is only a sliver of the positive news that is happening around the world right now. It’s hard to be positive in times of hardship such as the current COVID-19 outbreak but it’s important, especially now, to take time to care for yourself and surround yourself with positivity. For ideas and suggestions for caring for your mental health in these times, check out our health and wellness articles.