Magazine News Volume 69, Issue 8

The Good Stuff First

So far into lockdown, it can get harder and harder to find the good things happening around us; restaurants already closed down, company after company takes action, and people manufacture home-made masks globally. However, if someone knows where and how to look, they can always find something–and I’ve done just that and compiled a list for your good news pleasure.

  Although the good news is starting to thin out the farther we get into lockdown, it also means that scientists are getting closer to medications used to prevent, treat, and cure the virus. When you recover from an illness, it leaves behind antibodies much more effective in fighting the illness than your regular white blood cells. Doctors throughout history have been using recovered patients’ plasma to treat the sick, with varying results, and COVID-19 is no different.3 A few weeks ago, scientists here in the US got approval to start performing trials with COVID-19-positive patients and convalescent plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients. The treatment is still experimental, but hundreds of patients and donors alike are all lining up to participate. 

Across the Atlantic, in Bedfordshire, England, 99 year-old WWII veteran Tom Moore started a fundraiser for an NHS charity. As it says on the fundraiser’s website, Moore aimed to “walk, raise money for our NHS heroes, and spread some cheer around the world whilst doing so.” He planned to walk across his garden 100 times–split into 10 laps–in the 3 weeks before his 100th birthday, all the while hoping to raise £1,000 ($1,243). Instead, he raised it all in 24 hours–and reached £1 million the day before he finished his laps. Rather than stopping there, he continued to walk and raise money, and as of April 28th, he raised £29,353,267–the equivalent of $36,495,504! Thousands of people clamoured for Moore to be knighted, and the people working for the Prime Minister promised to bring the issue to the PM’s attention once he recovered from COVID-19. Dogs have had many uses throughout history, from loyal companions to sniffing out drugs, weapons, and even malaria. The charity that trained dogs to sniff out malaria, Medical Detection Dogs, started to train dogs to sniff out COVID-19. It attempts to train six dogs to recognize the scent of someone infected with COVID-19, asymptomatic or not, the same way they trained dogs to sniff out malaria. Its goal is for the dogs “to be used to identify travellers entering the country infected with the virus or be deployed in other public spaces,” as it says on its website.