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Diff Blog

Good News to Make your Day Brighter

As the coronavirus crisis evolves, most of our lives are rapidly changing. Many Canadians and Americans have transitioned to working from home full time, and practising social distancing. While no one can be sure what fresh hell tomorrow’s news might bring, we know that through community and compassion in the workplace, we’ll pull through.

To help spread positivity during these tough times, we at diff are keeping an eye out for good news. And there’s lots of it! From vaccine progress to stories of human solidarity, we’ve compiled an ongoing list of uplifting news to help us all keep things in perspective. We'll be adding new positive stories to this list every week. 

Here are our positive news highlights to keep your spirits lifted.

Several distilleries in TO are making hand sanitizer which they are selling to the public for a few bucks. Spirit Of York is one of those distilleries. They've been selling their hand sanitizer for $2.95, and giving it away for free to those who can’t afford it. According to the company’s Instagram, proceeds from the sales are going to local food banks.  

Swimwear brand Summersalt has opened up a free text message hotline—which it’s calling a “Joycast”—that will allow people to reach out if they need something to lift their mood. In response, someone from Summersalt’s “customer happiness” team will send over a 10-minute meditation video, self-care ideas, or a puppy GIF.

The World Health Organization has reported that there are now 20 coronavirus vaccines in development around the world. One of these vaccines has already gone to human trial.  

The Washington Post analyzed data this week from the European Space Agency which shows that between Jan. 1 and March 12, concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, or NO2, have fallen drastically in Europe.

Facing the largest epidemic outside of China, South Korea reported more recoveries from the coronavirus than new infections on Friday for the first time since its outbreak emerged in January.

Coronavirus is becoming under control in China, and as a result parks and tourist attractions have started to reopen across the country, alongside loosened travel restrictions. "The National Health Commission said on Thursday that the outbreak had passed its peak, and the figures appear to support its claim," said one local newspaper, "On Friday, authorities in mainland China reported just 11 new COVID-19 cases, of which four were in Hubei.

A couple in Washington Heights, NYC had an impromptu wedding on the street. Their friend officiated the wedding from their fourth floor window while bystanders (keeping a healthy distance!) cheered them on. 

Textile companies in the USA are now pivoting to manufacture masks. Parkdale Mills Inc., one of the country’s largest yarn spinners, is working with companies like Hanesbrand, Fruit of the Loom, and six others to build a manufacturing supply chain for the masks, and they’re aiming to make up to 10 million face masks per week.

Love in the time of corona: Canadian Ian Karleff and Mexican Lucia Sol got married in the garden of their home in San Juan Cosala, Mexico in front of a judge, two witnesses and a computer. Around 300 of their friends and family tuned into the wedding from the comfort of their own homes!

Readers are looking for lyrics for their ‘hand-washing song’. They prefer to sing the lyrics of their favorite songs instead of counting to 20 or singing the Happy Birthday song hundreds of times. Wash Your Lyrics is a great website to make a handwashing poster to your favorite song lyrics of your choice! 

A breathing aid that was designed and built in less than a week to keep COVID-19 patients out of intensive care has been delivered to London hospitals for clinical trials.

A couple whose wedding celebrations were cancelled due to the coronavirus donated the food they had ordered to healthcare workers. The donation resulted in over 400 hospital staff being fed over one weekend.

The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago has closed because of the coronavirus outbreak. Since there are no visitors to the aquarium, staff at the centre decided it was a good time to show two of their penguin residents - Edward and Annie - the grounds. The two penguins roamed the aquarium for the first time! If you head to the aquarium's Instagram, you'll see they've now posted new videos almost daily of their penguin residents on adventures. 

NYC's governor Andrew Cuomo announced 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.

In Massachusetts, USA, before the mandatory shut down of shops came into effect, a 'mystery man' bought all the flowers in one florist shop and distributed them to the town of Needham's inhabitants.

Three Michelin-starred restaurant Eleven Madison Park, known for providing luxurious and unparalleled dining experiences is reincarnating itself after briefly closing because of the pandemic. Starting Thursday, April 9, it will use its resources to become a food commissary to support New York City's first responders and others in need.

In Montclair, New Jersey, neighbours bought $1,200 in food from a struggling restaurant, and then donated the food to a local soup kitchen. The community of neighbours pooled their money to purchase frozen meat from a local grass-fed frozen meat shop.

Austrian officials say that they are planning to reopen smaller shops just before Easter weekend. The European country will be taking their first steps towards loosening the lockdown that’s been helping to slow the spread of coronavirus, by reopening non-essential shops that are less than 400 square meters, followed by all shops and malls on May 1.

Millions of Italian families were quarantined inside their homes on Easter Sunday, but were able to enjoy a live-streamed concert from the famous opera singer Andrea Bocelli. As a means of respecting social distancing, Bocelli was filmed singing to an empty Duomo di Milano, the largest cathedral in the country, accompanied by one organist. The concert is available to watch on YouTube.

Two giant pandas in Hong Kong’s Ocean Park Zoo have mated for the first time in over 10 years. This news is being celebrated by conservationists around the world because giant pandas notoriously evade naturally mating, which has put their species at risk.

Dave Puente, a photographer from Minneapolis, Minnesota has over the last two weeks driven 1,365 miles to 146 different homes to take photos of families on their portraits as part of his “Porchtrait” project. His goal is to document families  in the midst of a lockdown, as a testament to community. He's put special effort towards documenting milestones - couples that were meant to be married during this time, or couples that are pregnant. He’s taking the portraits free of charge while respecting social distancing guidelines.

Kroger, one of America’s largest supermarket chains, is thanking their employees for their essential work during the COVID-19 outbreak by giving a “hero bonus” to all of their hourly workers. All hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy, and call center associates are being given a temporary raise of $2 premium above their standard base rate of pay, and the bonus will be applied to hours backdated to March 29th.

Zermatt Matterhorn, a village in Switzerland, has been paying homage to their international neighbours struggling with COVID-19 by projecting different world flags onto the front of one of their iconic Alpine mountains. They've projected the flags of the USA, China, The Netherlands, Sweden, India, and more. 

The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, has issued an Executive Order allowing New Yorkers to obtain a marriage license remotely and allowing clerks to perform ceremonies via video conference. This means that despite social distancing, New York couples can still tie the knot by having a #ZoomWedding!

To boost the morale of healthcare workers, American hospitals are playing celebratory music and applauding every time a recovered COVID-19 patient is discharged. Baystate Health in Massachusetts, for example, plays the Rocky Theme, calling it "Code Rocky."

Tyler Perry surprised seniors and other at-risk shoppers at Kroger stores across Atlanta by paying for their groceries. He picked up the tab for every shopper participating in the senior shopping hour at 44 Kroger locations and 29 Winn-Dixies across Atlanta.

On Mothers Day, May 10, Lowe's and Uber partnered to deliver $1 million worth of flower baskets to moms in some long-term care and senior living facilities. The home-improvement retailer worked with small business growers and nurseries to have the flower baskets delivered to more than 500 long-term care and senior living facilities in cities like New York, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Houston, Miami and more. 

Did this good news brighten your day a little bit? Check back weekly as we add more positive news stories to this growing list.  

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