We all know that it’s a good idea to unplug from the no-good, very bad, borderline apocalyptic news cycle. But that’s much easier said than done. It’s a human instinct to want to know what’s going on, and for many of us, our internet connection is a lifeline to the world outside our own home.
We want to bring you some of the good news that’s happening right now. Even though the vast majority of this week’s headlines have been about the coronavirus pandemic and homicidal insects, there are good things happening all over the world right now.
To balance out all the heavy news we’re all trying to deal with, here are some of the happier developments from the last week.
Musicians in Nigeria are maintaining physical distance as they play outdoor shows for healthcare workers and patients
Last year, the health commissioner for Lagos, Nigeria’s capital, launched a project to add art, music and poetry to medical facilities. During the coronavirus crisis, that means outdoor concerts at COVID-19 treatment centres.
Peter Oluwadare, a 23-year old violinist, told Reuters it was scary to be so close to the pandemic, but he was glad to have been there.
“It was refreshing to see the affected people and healthcare workers, you know, revitalised with the music,” he said. “I feel so honoured to play there.”
Read more at The Chronicle Herald.
Frontline workers in Michigan can get free university education
The full plan hasn’t been released yet, but last Wednesday, Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer said the state will launch an initiative to fund education for the frontline workers.
Hospital staff are included, but so are people who work at nursing homes and grocery stores, child care workers, people making PPE, delivery workers, and people who collect garbage.
The program “is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to those who have risked their lives on the front lines of this crisis,” Whitmer said.
Read more at the Detroit Free Press.
Ryan Reynolds bought pizza for every graduate from his old school
The actor, who’s proud of the fact he was born and raised in Vancouver, delivered an at-home commencement speech for students graduating from his former high school, Kitsilano Secondary School last Friday. (Don’t @ us, Prince of Wales Secondary School — we know he attended Grades nine and 10 there before graduating from Kitsilano, and yes, he mentioned that in his address as well.)
The speech is very sweet, but he caps it off with a pretty killer ending: an offer to buy pizza for the school’s 385 grads.
The restaurant in question is Nat’s New York Pizzeria, a local spot close to the high school. The restaurant’s owner, Nat Bastone, said Reynolds gave him the heads up on Thursday. The next day, when the video went out, Bastone said he was inundated with media requests.
“I texted [Reynolds]. I said ‘Holy shit, it’s going off!’ He texted me back and just said ‘haha.’ He thought it was funny,” Bastone told Daily Hive. “He just wants us to continue to stay in business.”
It turns out Nunavut never actually had a coronavirus case
Last week there was a report that one person in Nunavut had tested positive for COVID-19. But on Monday, the territorial government announced that a flawed test had yielded a false positive. When the re-tested, it came back negative. Nunavut is now back to having zero coronavirus cases. It’s the only province or territory in Canada to have so far avoided the virus completely.
Read more at Nunatsiaq News.
Scientists may have discovered a hangover cure
Some brave souls in the U.K. were willing to get drunk and brave hangovers in order to test a variety of cures.
The outcome: the people who fared the best were the people who took a supplement that included extracts from plants such as prickly pear, ginkgo biloba, willow and ginger root. They reported that their headache intensity was 34 per cent less, nausea 42 per cent less, feelings of indifference fell by an average of 27 per cent. and restlessness by 41 per cent.
Read more at HuffPost UK.
Pakistan is hiring out-of-work labourers to plant billions of trees
Tens of thousands of the country’s labourers are out of work as the pandemic rages on. But the government is giving many of them a different job: planting trees as part of an initiative to fight climate change.
The “10 Billion Tree Tsunami,” as the government calls its program, was announced in 2018. Pakistan is a “forest poor” country, meaning that trees cover only a very small part of its total area, Al Jazeera reported. But it’s looking like this year will bring some progress.
Many of the workers planting trees aren’t making as much as they would at their regular jobs, but it’s a pivot that has helped a lot of them stay afloat.
“All of us now have a way of earning daily wages again to feed our families,“construction worker Abdul Rahman said.
Read more at Al Jazeera.
A 101-year-old woman who survived the Spanish flu just recovered from the coronavirus
Angelina Friedman was born on a ship transporting migrants from Italy to New York in 1918, right in the midst of the Spanish flu. Her mother died giving birth, so her sisters had to take care of her until they reunited with her father in the U.S.
She’s faced some difficulty in her long life: she and her husband had cancer at the same time. He died, but she lived through it. Her relatives told CNN that Friedman’s very happy and active for her age, and was crowned prom queen at an event at her nursing home last year.
“She has superhuman DNA,” her daughter told the outlet.
Earlier this year, Friedman tested positive for COVID-19. She isolated in her room for weeks, until she finally tested negative at the end of April. She said she’s been doing great since her recovery, knitting things to give to visitors.
“It also just goes to show how much the world needs hope that you can beat this at 101,” an administrator at the nursing home where she lives said.
Read more at CNN.
A giant tomato from an Ontario East Side Mario’s that mysteriously disappeared years ago is back
This story still has a lot of unanswered questions, but it’s still undoubtedly a happy ending.
In 2016, for reasons unknown, someone stole a 50-pound, four-foot decorative tomato from an East Side Mario’s in Peterborough, Ont.
“It was my tomato,” owner Matt Kraft told CBC News. “It was pampered. It was loved by many and there are a lot of people who are rejoicing this week.”
Since then, many people have called with tips, which all turned out to be either fake, or just lookalike tomatoes. Despite the reward offered — free dinner — the tomato known as “Little Brother” was missing, and there were no solid leads.
Last week, a morning runner spotted the tomato in a park, and called Kraft to let him know. He was thrilled, naturally.
Just try not to be charmed by this man happy to be reunited with his tomato. Just try.
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