Here Are A Few Good Things That Happened In 2020
Only three months into the new decade and 2020’s already proven itself to be more challenging than expected. With daily around-the-clock news coverage of the pandemic, of tragedies, and of various other catastrophes, it’s highly possible that 2020’s left you feeling a little worse for wear. But fear not — good things are still taking place all over the world. From practices in sustainability, to local heroes, and conservation efforts, 2020 has been giving us glimpses of hope through its cloudy grey skies.
Last Ebola Patient Is Discharged in the Democratic Republic of Congo
The end of the Ebola outbreak may be in sight as the last victim from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) was discharged last March 3, 2020. Hospital staff sang, danced, and drummed against cans to celebrate the beginning of Africa’s recovery from the 19-month-old outbreak.
A vaccine for Ebola, called Ervebo, had also approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last December 19, 2019. The Ebola virus has an average fatality rate of about 50%, which is significantly higher than that of the novel coronavirus.
Cures and Vaccines Against CoVID-19 Are Underway
While the political and social climate regarding the novel coronavirus (CoVID-19) remains relatively unstable, we must remind you that breakthroughs are occuring every day. For example, Fabian Dayrit, a Filipino scientist from the Ateneo de Manila University, and Dr. Mary Newport, from Spring Hill Neonatology have recently submitted their proposal to test virgin coconut oil derivatives as a cure for CoVID-19. Their hypothesis will be tested in laboratories in Singapore.
Countries all around the globe are racing to develop the first vaccine against the virus. Clinical trials for a vaccine currently named mRNA-1273 have been underway in the United States since March 16, 2020. China had also started clinical trials for a vaccine (called Ad5-nCoV) just one day after. Germany has also rejected a bid from the United States to buy rights for an “exclusive vaccine” being developed by a firm called CureVac. The country’s economic minister assured the global community that “Germany is not for sale” and that any vaccine found to be successful in preventing infection will be for the whole world, not for just one country.
A Few Wins For Our Animal Friends
African black rhino populations have increased and there is evidence for a comeback of the giant blue whale. Meanwhile, the first cheetah cubs born from a surrogate via in vitro fertilisation were finally brought into the world last February 19, 2020. This marks an exciting passage in conservation efforts worldwide for all kinds of animal species. With a growing global interest in sustainability and development, these breakthrough wins for the animal kingdom are just a few of the reasons we can be more optimistic for the future.
Read also: All You Need To Know About Eco-Conscious Travel In Africa—And The Best Sustainable Safari Experiences To Have In 2020
New Technologies Are Available To Help Paralysed Patients
A new system called the Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL) has recently been tested in Brooks Cybernic Treatment Center in Jacksonville, Florida. Created by Japanese roboticist, Yoshiyuki Sankai, HAL utilises actual brainwaves to create movements on cyborg-like exoskeleton. Inspired by Japan’s aging population, HAL aims to help make life easier for the elderly (of which there will be 2 billion by the year 2050) and for the sick.
People Are Supporting Each Other Through Art
As the world faces stringent lockdown or quarantine measures to control the spread of the novel coronavirus, a common theme has been emerging within the art world: a shared love. Plenty of organisations big and small have devoted their time to share art online for those under lockdown. Museums have made virtual galleries readily available and easily accessible, Broadway plays, opera performances, e-books, home concerts — everyone has been doing their part to help make these trying times a little easier.
Read also: The Metropolitan Opera In New York Is Now Streaming Free Performances Online