Ray of hope

We all are fully aware that these are dark times for people around the world, as the coronavirus continues to spread. Numbers of infections and fatalities are rising, cities and even countries are shutting and many people are being forced into isolation. But amid all the worrying news, there have also been reasons to find hope.

(1) Drop in pollution:

As countries go into lockdown over the virus, there have been significant drops in pollution levels. According to meteorological reports, Pakistan also placed down in the rank experiencing less air pollution. Both China and northern Italy have recorded major falls in nitrogen dioxide – a serious air pollutant and powerful warming chemical – amid reduced industrial activity and car journeys. Nasa report shows how air pollution levels have reduced in China this year Researchers in New York also told the BBC that early results showed carbon monoxide, mainly from cars, had been reduced by nearly 50% compared with last year. And with airlines cancelling flights end masse and millions working from home, countries around the world is expected to follow this downward path.

(2) Canals go clear

On a similar note, residents of Venice have noticed a vast improvement in the water quality of the famous canals running through the city. The streets of the popular tourist destination in northern Italy have emptied amid the outbreak leading to a drastic drop in water traffic, which has allowed sediment to settle. The usually murky water has gone so clear that fish can even be seen.

(3.) Acts of kindness

There are plenty of stories of panic buying and fights over toilet roll and tins, but the virus has also spurred acts of kindness around the world. In Pakistan, various organizations are working day and night to help the vulnerable sections of society. The name of few are Ehsaas foundation, Edhi and many others. Public can contribute in large amounts into Government’s relief fund. Two New Yorkers amassed 1,300 volunteers in 72 hours to deliver groceries and medicine to elderly and vulnerable people in the city. Supermarkets in Australia are among those to create a special “elderly hour” so older shoppers and those with disabilities have a chance to shop in peace. People have also donated money, shared recipe and exercise ideas, sent uplifting messages to self-isolating elderly people and transformed businesses into food distribution centres.

(4) A united front:

Between a hectic work and home life it is often easy to feel disconnected from those around you. As the virus affects us all, it has brought many communities around the world closer together. In Italy, where a countrywide lockdown is in place, people have joined together on them balconies for morale-boosting songs. A fitness instructor in southern Spain led an exercise class from a low roof in the middle of an apartment complex, which residents in isolation joined from their balconies. People of Pakistan also not left behind in this regard. People are sharing their cooking recipes on social media to engage with others. Many people have used the opportunity to reconnect with friends and loved ones over phone or video calls, while groups of friends have organized virtual clubbing. The virus has also highlighted the importance of health workers and other people working in key services.

(5) A creativity boom:

With millions of people now stuck in isolation, many are using the opportunity to get creative. Social media users have shared details of their new hobbies, including reading, baking, knitting and painting. The DC Public Library in Washington is among those hosting a virtual book club, while Italian Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura has launched an Instagram series called Kitchen Quarantine, teaching basic recipes to aspiring foodies who are stuck at home. So, the people interested in cooking join it to have some cooking skills. Multiple top-notch universities offer online courses to assist people grabbing soft skills.

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