Last week we promised you that each week we will be sending you a fresh newsletter with some tales of optimism and communities coming together during coronavirus.
By doing that, we wanted to bring some sunshine and offer comfort to those who need it the most.
Time and time again we see that during times of fear and uncertainty, the very best elements of human nature can prevail.
These tales of optimism and goodness come from all around the world to demonstrate the power of community, care and kindness.
#1 Letters with a soul
A doctor at the Princess University Hospital in Madrid set a heart-warming initiative in motion to help all those patients who are hospitalised and isolated by the coronavirus. The citizens of Spain were asked to send ¨letters with a soul¨ expressing their support and also stating their name, age and profession. The doctor explained that because of the obligatory isolation, all infected patients only receive a daily visit from the attending physician and that the isolation in many cases can cause post-traumatic stress. As a result, more hospitals joined the initiative and tens of thousands of letters were sent by well-wishers.
#2 Amancio Ortega and Zara donation
Last Wednesday, the owner of Inditex and the retail store Zara, Amancio Ortega, announced that it will donate masks to coronavirus patients and health officials in Spain. The company is also looking into converting factories to manufacture hospital gowns. Inditex is also planning on letting the Spanish government use its logistics teams to help deliver the medical supplies amid the national shortage.
#3 Marbella – support for maintenance workers
In Marbella, people were seen to cheer from their windows for the cleaning and maintenance workers driving through the streets. People all along the route were cheering and clapping to show support and gratitude to those, who despite everything, are out there doing their work.
#4 NHS – half a million volunteers
In the UK, the number of people who have volunteered to help the NHS in its fight against coronavirus has passed half a million, double the government’s recruitment target. About 11,000 former medics have also agreed to return to the health service and more than 24,000 final year student nurses and medics will join them.
#5 – Tutto andrà bene – everything will be alright
With social distancing and lots of places closing, children are connecting by painting colourful rainbows and putting them in their windows for others to see. The rainbow trend started in Italy but has rapidly caught on in other countries including Spain, the US, Canada and the UK.
#6 Germany helping Italy
Germany is using its military Airforce planes to fly in 50 Covid-19 patients from Italy’s worst-hit region to Germany for treatment. Germany has taken in patients from hard-hit Eastern France as well, offering up over 120 ICU beds between Italy and France.
The Italian hospital system has faced challenges in keeping up with the number of Covid-19 patients. “We stand by our Italian friends. We can only manage this together,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement.
#7 Sir Elton John
To keep spirits lifted, Sir Elton John hosted a live concert – from his living room – to raise money for charity and keep those on lockdown entertained. Joined by Billie Eilish, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Lizzo and more, the concert was streamed live on TV and YouTube on Sunday.
#8 101-year old survivor
A 101-year-old Italian man, identified as ‘Mr P.’ is recovering from Covid-19 in the Italian city of Rimini. Mr P., a Holocaust and Spanish Flu survivor, was admitted last week to a hospital in northeast Italy after he was tested positive for the Coronavirus. According to Gloria Lisi, Vice-Mayor of Rimini, as the patient began to recover, it became “the story everyone talked about” in the hospital.
#9 China reopening
Wuhan – the Chinese city where the Covid-19 virus began, is slowly going back to normal after several months in lockdown with the train station reopening. The country’s capital Beijing has also slowly started to reopen with tourist hotspots the Great Wall of China reportedly back open.
#10 New York – Mental Health Support
NYC’s governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that 6,000 mental health professionals had signed up to volunteer for a new programme aimed at supporting the city’s mental health amid the pandemic. New York residents can call the hotline and schedule a free virtual session with one of the mental health professionals volunteering.
#11 Croatia – help for the tiniest people
Zagreb has recently felt the largest earthquake in 140 years. More than 1,000 members of the soccer club ‘Bad Blue Boys’ quickly coordinated and risked their own lives to help — they escorted women in the pregnancy ward and newborns to safety.
#12 World’s billionaires donations
Google is donating $800 million in cash and advertising to help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus and ease the impact on small businesses. Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, former hedge fund manager George Soros, and Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-Shing have collectively pledged over $100 billion towards various efforts to help alleviate the coronavirus outbreak. Facebook has said it will donate $20 million to support coronavirus relief efforts, while Apple is committing $15 million.
#13 IKEA – the Netherlands
IKEA in the Netherlands closes and is delivering all their plants and flowers as gifts to senior living communities, elderly homes under quarantine.