Coronavirus: time for some positive news
It sure is difficult trying to escape the regular updates of COVID-19 as it is plastered all over the news. Whilst it is rightly at the heart of daily discussions in the media, information regarding the pandemic can induce a wave of anxiety and uncertainty amongst people across the country. To brighten up the mood and bring some light into your Saturday evening, we have dedicated this post to good news concerning the coronavirus to spread some positivity!
UK’s lockdown could be shortened
Professor Neil Ferguson from Imperial College London predicts social distancing measures could be relaxed in a matter of weeks, subject to the public’s compliance with the government’s rules. Having advised the government on their response to the outbreak, Ferguson stresses the importance of reducing the number of new cases before any positive changes can occur, despite expecting a plateau in numbers within the next seven to ten days. He also emphasises how it will not be a complete return to “normal life” but rather gradual steps back to normality. How long lockdown lasts ultimately comes down to how closely the public complies with the rules, to ensure the number of new cases remains as low as possible.
The elderly fight back
Since the virus outbreak, the vulnerability of the elderly and those with underlying health conditions has been highlighted in the media, with the government advising people in these categories not to leave their homes for up to three months. However, heart-warming stories have emerged of those considered ‘high risk’ beating the virus. The recent news of a 98-year-old British World War II veteran, a 99-year-old man from West Vancouver and a 101-year-old Italian man all beating coronavirus is sure to bring some hope and happiness to all.
Declining rates of new cases
Italy, the country hit hardest by the virus outside of China, has reported declining numbers of new cases. In the country where more than 10,000 deaths have been recorded as of 30th March, their slowing rates have demonstrated progress in healthcare responses and the success of their three-week lockdown. The number of new patients taken into intensive care dropped from 124 on the 28th to 50 on the 29th, and new cases dropped to 5,217 on the 29th from 5,974 on the 28th. These figures highlight steady progress rather than sudden improvement, but it certainly demonstrates positive development in Europe’s most affected country.
Additionally, with the closure of their last temporary hospital on the 14th March, cases in Wuhan have also stalled. This is a monumental moment for the city where the virus originated. On the 2nd April, Harvard Publisher’s faculty editor, Robert Shmerling MD, wrote that no new cases had been detected locally since the outbreak of the virus and any new cases tended to be brought in from travellers.
Slow virus mutations
All viruses tend to mutate over time, however scientists believe that this coronavirus is not evolving as quickly or significantly as they had first feared. This means the virus won’t become any more or any less dangerous any time soon, meaning a vaccine, when it is developed, may be a longer lasting one. A molecular geneticist from the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Peter Thielen, told The Washington Post that the vaccine could be like measles or chickenpox, providing life-long immunity.
Most people recover!
Just a positive reminder to finish, that amongst the 1,141,190 confirmed cases* around the world, most people do recover! With the confirmed number of deaths reaching 60,959*, there have been 223,534* confirmed cases of people who have beaten the coronavirus. When following the government’s guidelines to stay at home and keep our distance from others, it is important to remember that this situation is only temporary, and that our response to the measures has a direct impact on how long they last.
*all figures correct as of Saturday 4th April
Featured image: © PickPik