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Light at the end of the tunnel: good news about the coronavirus

These positive updates about the Covid-19 pandemic will lift your spirits

25 March 2020 - 09:20 By Paula Andropoulos
Medical scientists around the world are rallying to fight the coronavirus.
Medical scientists around the world are rallying to fight the coronavirus.
Image: 123RF/Jozsef Bagota

We can all agree that being over-inundated with bad news is, well, bad news. It’s not good for our mental health, it breeds hysteria and it overshadows the fact that good things are happening every day — even in the midst of global uncertainty and fear.

Simultaneously, though, while it might be tempting to latch on to every whisper of good news that wafts your way, it’s important to verify the facts before you take them as gospel. The fact is, at a time when our wellbeing depends on our adherence to some very specific health and safety protocols, a wealth of misinformation is the last thing we need.

That said, in the spirit of boosting your spirits, we have verified some upbeat rumours about the fight against Covid-19:

1. Wuhan in China has shut all of its makeshift coronavirus hospitals because there aren't enough new cases to support them.

The last of these sixteen makeshift health care facilities, which were converted from public buildings to deal with the outbreak, closed on March 10. It's since been reported that the city will come out of lockdown in early April.

As Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), said at a virtual press conference on March 20, "[Wuhan provided] hope for the rest of the world that even the most severe situation can be turned around” — if we all play our part to flatten the curve by listening to the advice from officials, of course.

2. Some old people have recovered from Covid-19

Given that elderly people constitute one of the populations most at risk of being seriously endangered by Covid-19, it's wonderful and reassuring to learn that some are beating the odds.

According to The Independent, a 95-year-old has become the oldest known woman in Italy — the country outside China that's been hit hardest by the pandemic — to recover from the coronavirus.

Earlier this month, CNN reported that 100-year-old Chinese man with several underlying medical conditions had recovered after being infected.

Heartening though this is, it's important not to think of the coronavirus as “just an old person's disease”. Ghebreyesus has warned the world's youth that they're “not invincible”, adding “this virus could put you in hospital for weeks or even kill you”.

3. Trials for coronavirus vaccines and treatments have started

AFP reports that “China has started the first phase of a clinical trial for a novel coronavirus vaccine” and that “Russia has started to test a vaccine on animals”.

The WHO has meanwhile announced that SA is one of 10 countries that'll be taking part in a global trial to identify the most effective treatment for the virus.

Even if these trials are successful, it may take a long time for such treatments and vaccines to hit the market.

That said, it’s good to know we’re making headway in the fight against Covid-19.

Additional reporting by staff reporter.