COVID 19: 8 Pieces of Positive News Amidst The Chaos
COVID 19 has caused significant damage around the world. It has put most us in scenarios which were unimaginable and the virus is not stopping. In India, the case count is increasing and the people are afraid.
During the lockdown, most of us have been bombarded with bad news. We have heard so much of it that we expect it every day. However, some positive things are happening and are a sign of improvement.
Here are 8 pieces of positive news amidst the chaos
New Zealand and Other Corona Free Countries
On 8th June 2020, New Zealand reported that the country had zero active cases of the coronavirus. It became one of the first countries to win against the virus.
The country followed a strict lockdown with rapid testing resulting in eliminating the virus.
The country is set to reopen with some minor restrictions with the hope of getting to the pre coronavirus normal. Along with New Zealand, the following countries are also corona virus-free:
Papua New Guinea
Saint Kitts and Nevis
The smaller size of these countries along with the implementation of effective policies has allowed them to control the virus.
The countries provide hope to everyone in the world that the virus can be defeated.
The Vaccine Front
Many pharmaceutical companies and research laboratories have been working hard to get a quick vaccine for COVID 19. One of these vaccine trials has taken some big steps forward. Research being conducted by Oxford University has reached the stage of human trials. A British-Swedish multinational company AstraZeneca, has partnered with the research team and have stated that if the trial is a success they will produce 100 million doses in the coming months.
The company aims to produce 2.2 billion doses by mid of 2021. This news gives hope to people in the world as other vaccine estimates were further away. The company has announced it would partner with Serum Institute of India to mass-produce the vaccine.
The pandemic has brought a significant change in the world of education. School going children as well as college students are confined to their homes which have rapidly increased the demand for online education in India. E-learning has increased in two specific modes.
The first one is the shifting of educational institutes to online teaching. Schools and colleges have been conducting live as well as recorded classes online. Some prominent universities have also announced that exams will be conducted online.
The second aspect of the rise in E-learning is that of voluntary courses. Various websites and apps provide courses that can be accessed online. One Indian company udemy has reported a 425% rise in course enrollment since the lockdown began.
The concept of E-learning is increasing rapidly in India with more courses being made available online every day. These online courses provide opportunities for people to enhance their skills. The E-learning industry and its customers have benefited in this period.
Caption: Online learning has increased massively in India
Alt text: A man reading on a tablet.
Stock Market and The Economy
The stock market in India, as well as its Asian counterparts, is gaining. Various Indexes which had record falls have now turned green and are providing investors confidence.
The rally of the stock market comes with a rise in oil prices. Oil prices are increasing due to various agreements between the O.P.E.C. countries. The growth rate for the economy also determines the number of jobs available in the country. A rise in stocks and commodities indicate that the economy is growing which reduces the unemployment rate. These are signs of recovery for the struggling economy.
Caption: India’s stock market is showing signs of improvement.
Alt Text: A stock chart.
Studies With Positive Outcomes
Recent studies about the effects of coronavirus in monkeys have shown positive outcomes. These studies suggest that being infected from coronavirus can result in developing immunity from reinfection. This essentially means that you can only be infected from the virus once. The studies are in very early stages and require further research but the signs are positive.
Another positive outcome observed is that vaccines are showing results in monkeys which is a boost to all searching for it. The studies are preliminary but show positive outcomes.
Caption: A study conducted in monkeys has shown antibody development against COVID 19.
Alt Text: A monkey sitting on a branch.
India’s Low Death Rate
One of the parameters which is being widely used to monitor the progress of the coronavirus is the number of deaths per lakh population. It measures the number of individuals that have died due to COVID 19 per one lakh people.
India has a death rate of 0.49 deaths per lakh whereas the United Kingdom has 59 per lakh and Italy has 58 per lakh. It is significantly lower in India.
The lockdown imposed in the country brought India’s industries to a standstill which resulted in a decrease in emissions. This decrease combined with the lack of humans has brought some benefits for the environment.
The air quality index which measures the quality of air in the country has been well above safe range in many cities. If we take the example of New Delhi, the average AQI was about 200 and in extreme scenarios, it soared past 900 as well. During the lockdown period, the AQI reported is 20 which is good quality air. Besides the improvement in air, various animals have also found it easier to live with the absence of humans. These signs are viewed positively by environmental enthusiasts across the world.
Getting Closer to The Cure
A drug by the name of Remdesivir has been approved by the Indian regulatory authorities to be used in the treatment of the COVID 19. The drug has also been approved to be used in South Korea, Japan and the United States.
It has shown positive results so far and further research is being conducted. Various other companies have also started clinical trials to obtain a drug that can be used to treat the coronavirus.
Most of us have been subjected to a lot of negative news in the past few months, so much that we have forgotten about the positives. There are some positive things which are happening in the world. These positives can be used as motivation to get through these tough times.