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We all agree that right now is a difficult time with coronavirus. It really sucks. However, there are some positives to it! We’ve got some good news to get you through self-isolation and social distancing. Enjoy these cheerful events taking place in the world currently.
1. Air pollution is decreasing all over the world
The less we travel, fly and drive the more air pollution levels drop. And with large chunks of humanity now stuck at home, our planet is getting a bit of a breather.
In Israel, for example, pollution levels have dropped by 30 per cent over the past few weeks. Between January 1 and March 11, the average concentration of harmful nitrogen dioxide was 35.5 Mcg/m3, and between March 12 and March 16, it dropped to an average concentration of 25 Mcg/m3.
NASA recently released stunning satellite images of pollution in China, showing how large areas of the country are now much clearer of nitrogen dioxide.
In Milan, which is under corona lockdown, the average NO2 concentration these past four weeks was 24% lower than four weeks earlier. Shuttered Barcelona saw NO2 levels drop by 40% from one week to the next.
2. You can see the stars more clearly
Less air pollution means fabulous stargazing — no trips to clear but distant desert spots required. Which is just as well, considering that we can’t actually travel anywhere at the moment.
As well as enjoying the night sky with the naked eye, thousands recently joined the Israel Space Agency’s live stargazing session on Facebook.
3. People are getting very, very creative
Being cooped up at home all day sure brings out our creative side. With plenty of time to spare and kids and adults to entertain, arts and crafts are enjoying a massive revival.
Perhaps COVID-19 has inspired you to make your own organic soaps. Or maybe you’re wondering what to do with the corks from all that extra wine you’ve been drinking. In any case, the Internet has got you covered.
4. Life is slowing down
Being stuck at home all day sure makes life slow down, and we mean this in the most positive way. With no running around to do, we can sit back and do all the things we always wanted to get to but never had the chance.
Now, for instance, would be a great time to pick up a good book. Or, if you’re looking to tear your kids away from the screens, consider reading the classics together with them.
Another great upside to having all this spare time is that we can really get cooking. Shakshuka, hummus and cheesecake – check out our recipes here and treat yourselves and your loved ones to some delicious home cooking.
5. Nature is returning to the spaces we have evacuated
Social media has been ablaze in recent weeks with amazing images of nature reclaiming its rightful place in the world in the absence of human intervention.
While we’re sorry to be the ones to tell you that the posts about dolphins swimming in Venice are fake, the city’s deserted canals are indeed enjoying this quiet moment, as can be gathered from photos showing the usually muddy water turned crystal clear.
Or there’s the town of Llandudno, in North Wales, which has been invaded by a herd of Great Orme goats who are running riot in the deserted streets.
6. History and art are free for all
The Met, the British Museum and the Israel Museum are some of the world’s finest museums. And now they’re also completely free – just check out their websites for virtual tours that provide hours of fun and engagement for the whole family. Remember, there’s more to life than Netflix.
7. People are coming together to help each other
It’s during difficult times that humanity really shows its better sides, and this coronavirus crisis is no different. Kind deeds are happening across the world.
In Israel, people are helping each other in the most magnificent ways, whether by running errands for those confined at home, volunteering to test blood samples for the virus or sending food over to exhausted hospital staff. Medical staff, in particular, are being lauded across the country for their hard and courageous work in keeping us safe and sound.
8. Phone calls are back in fashion
Do the effects of technology on our interpersonal communication leave you feeling desolate? Well, you must be thrilled at the return of the simple phone call.
With time to spare and worries abounding, people are now actually picking up the phone and holding real conversations with their loved ones.
Sure, text messages and chats are still as convenient as ever, but in these troubling times, there’s nothing better than hearing a real voice on the other end of the line. For a limited amount of time, that is – we still hate the way the phone makes our ear warm up.
9. Silence is the new normal
Have you noticed? In cities, towns and villages all over the world, things have got really quiet. There are no planes, no cars, sometimes no buses or public transport, and definitely no rush hour. There are also very few people on the street, and no cafes or restaurants buzzing with life. The impact of all this is a new sense of quiet, even in the busiest cities – that constant hum of noise has just disappeared. We can hear the birds sing, crickets chirp, and our neighbours play with their kids.
Studies show that noise pollution is associated with several health conditions, including cardiovascular disorders, hypertension, high-stress levels, tinnitus, hearing loss, sleep disturbances, and other harmful and disturbing effects. So just think how this new silence is helping improve our health.