#HappyHeadlines: 8 Positive news stories you may have missed this week

#HappyHeadlines: 8 Positive news stories you may have missed this week

Happy hour

Text: Kelly Lim

Image: Reuters/Brian Synder
Image: China Daily

Your weekly dose of optimistic news stories from around the world in a time of panic and pandemic

With the impending reports of new COVID-19 cases around the world, things don't look good. The situation changes every hour, and in the age of the Internet and the smartphone, breaking news updates are constant. Though it's important to stay updated with the latest developments of the pandemic, getting too caught up into the coronavirus news cycle can also be detrimental on your mental health.

With so much going on, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and miss out on the more positive stories that are still taking place around the world. Here, we bring you a good news round-up from around the world to cheer you up and remind you that the best of humanity can still prevail in times of crisis. 


While many of us have been designated to WFH status during the MCO period, medical staff are obviously not. Healthcare workers all around the world are working around the clock to treat and provide care to those affected by the coronavirus. In small yet meaningful gestures, people around the world have come together to express their gratefulness for those among the medical frontline by co-ordinating mass applause from their balconies and windows. From Malaysia to the UK and the U.S.  to Israel, communities are showing their thanks and support from their homes and cheering them on together.


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Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Things are slowly going back to normal in Wuhan, the city where the virus is believed to have originated and the centre of China's outbreak. According to the BBC, Wuhan has partially re-opened after more than two months of lockdown as the government rolls back curbs across the country to revive their economy with the number of new local cases falling dramatically each day. Meanwhile, in the capital of Beijing, a small section of the Great Wall of China and the city zoo has reportedly reopened to visitors who book in advance.


From 103-year-old Zhang Guangfen in Wuhan who spent just six days in the hospital to 101-year-old Spanish Flu survivor Mr. P in the Italian city of Rimini, elderly patients around the world are beating the coronavirus, despite higher fatality rates for older age groups. South Korea also saw its oldest survivor in the country, who is reportedly from Cheongdo (a city not far from the worst-hit area of Daegu), make a full recovery at the age of 97.


Since the closing of the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago due to the outbreak, staff at the centre decided to let their penguins—Wellington, Annie and Edward—explore the grounds for the first time. The penguins have been going on field trips every day to different areas of the aquarium to visit the other animals in their habitats, from neon-coloured cardinal tetras in the Amazon Rising to northern hemisphere belugas—an encounter that never would have happened in the wild!


On Monday, the announcement came that University College London and Mercedes F1 have made a device that keeps coronavirus patients out of intensive care. Bridging the gap between an oxygen mask and full ventilation, the breathing aid delivers oxygen to the lungs without needing a ventilator. It has been used in hospitals in Italy and China and has since been recommended for use by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

BBC reports that the device was created in less than a week, while other companies including Rolls Royce, Siemens and Ford have pledged to produce ventilators as well. 


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National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-Rocky Mountain Laboratories

Abbott Laboratories announced it will be unveiling a rapid diagnostic test that can reportedly detect positive coronavirus cases in as little as five minutes and is planning on supplying 50,000 tests a day starting on Wednesday. This comes just after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its approval under the Emergency Use Authorisation for use by authorised laboratories and patient care settings. This is a significant leap forward for the U.S. as the nation has struggled previously to supply enough tests to detect the virus, as cases continue to overwhelm hospitals in New York, California, Washington and other areas. 


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Shenzhen just became the first Chinese city to ban the sale and consumption of cats and dogs, BBC reports. The new law will come into force on May 1. This comes after China pledged to enforce stricter wildlife trade laws in late February since the emergence of the new coronavirus. 


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Facebook/ Lionel Keith Vytialingam

A man from Ipoh shared on Facebook how he stumbled upon a seemingly lost dog in the middle of Jalan Canning Estate road while out getting groceries on March 29. Upon reading the folded soggy note tied around her neck, Lionel said that he broke into tears. Instead of the owner's contact or address, the note wrote that Siggy, the 5-year-old Goldendoodle, had been abandoned and urged for someone to "Please let me be a part of your family. Please love me." Without thinking, he took Siggy home to feed and shower her. By the next day, the good samaritan announced that he found a home for the little dog: “Yesterday’s tears and fears have brought me to squeals of joy today! My brother is taking her in after the MCO. Till then, she’s all mine!”