5 Good News Stories Bound to Boost your Spirits
IN SOCIETY – The difference of a deed
It is said that small ripples can make big waves. And so proved the case with Amy Gledhill’s landlord, who contacted the award-winning comedian and pride of Hull to tell her not to worry about rent as chaos continues to reign. Amy’s landlord – who is called Chris Landlord (yes, really. Amy isn’t joking) – fully appreciated that with no work on, there would be trouble keeping up with payment. Making this stellar piece of good news even more heart-warming, Chris even signed off with: “We’re living in a crazy time so take care of yourself and your family.”
Amy shared the landlord’s good deed on Twitter and, more than 170,000 likes later, the impact of Chris’s good deed would prove profound: multiple landlords reached out to say the good news story had proved so inspirational that they were doing similar with their tenants. And Amy tells BALANCE: “The sheer relief of receiving that text amongst countless work cancellations made me well up with gratitude. He is a true legend and I hope other landlords take note of how it should be done.#ChrisLandlordForPM”
Next time you think twice about sharing a good deed, remember what an impact it can have. And, yes, his name REALLY is Chris Landlord. Talk about nominative determinism (and, Amy, if the election was tomorrow, we promise Chris would have our vote).
IN SPORT – A truly beautiful game
It all started with Southampton Football Club. The Premier League club’s social media team were possibly a little bored (aren’t we all?!), given the lack of football due to you-know-what (can we call it the C-word? Let’s call it the C-word) and so reached out across Twitter to Norwich City to see if they fancied a game of Noughts & Crosses, using the club’s respective badges in lieu of X and O. After all, the Canaries were the Saints’ next league opponents and so what an amusing way to find an unofficial winner. Perhaps surprisingly, given their reputation as such a warm and friendly club, there was silence from Norfolk.
But then, who’s this? Reigning champions Manchester City stepped into the breach and so a Noughts & Crosses slugfest occurred as the two teams traded blows. It might have ended in a tense stalemate, yet was a reminder as to why football is called The Beautiful Game. Yes, us football fans may often find ourselves defending it from time to time but, ultimately, it can be such a force for good – and in this case, good news at a much-needed time.
It didn’t end there: Hull City and German club Wolfsburg were next, with Connect 4 getting an airing much to the delight of many across the globe. For many, boredom and staying sane is a huge challenge as the C-word continues to ravage the planet; the fact four football clubs were prepared to show a lightness of touch would end up entertaining millions. More, please!
IN FOOD – Watching our waste
We believe that, once you read this, you’ll take that little extra care when it comes to preparing food. That’s because a new food waste reduction initiative – called 86 Food Waste – has been set up through a partnership between the National Restaurant Association and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
The findings were collated into a report called Managing Food Waste in Restaurants: How Small Steps can have a Big Impact on Reducing Waste and Protecting the Planet. “According to research, the restaurant industry has the potential to gain $1.6 billion in unrealized profits annually by implementing food waste reduction tactics,” explains Jeff Clark, director of sustainability and nutrition for the National Restaurant Association.
“The problem is, making these commitments, training staff, and running a profitable restaurant can be exceedingly difficult, especially if an owner or manager tries to take on the issue of food waste all at once. This partnership with WWF gave us the unique opportunity to create and pilot real-life food waste reduction efforts that can help restaurants start making small changes across how they order supplies, prepare foods, plan menu concepts, and donate or divert unused food.”
The real good news is that one restaurant which piloted the scheme found that something as seemingly small as being more efficient when chopping peppers had a remarkable cumulative effect: the restaurant had an increased yield of 9.5% – that’s the same as two pounds of pepper per case.
IN THE ENVIRONMENT – Good news in the air
Telling you that pollution levels are improving due to the coronavirus might feel reminiscent of the old joke about the man who loses both his feet, but is told to think of the money he’ll save on slippers: technically, there is good news in there, yet the cost feels seismic.
Pollution levels, however, seem to be improving across the globe as we all stay indoors and don’t use transport. “New York has had exceptionally high carbon monoxide numbers for the [past] year and a half, and this is the cleanest I have ever seen it,” says professor Róisín Commane of Columbia University. “It’s less than half of what we normally see in March.”
Meanwhile, as Europe also sees improvements, the European Public Health Alliance says: “Covid-19 has also highlighted the need for a long-term EU strategy to address Europe’s invisible epidemic of non-communicable diseases, and measures to tackle air pollution.” The European Commission says that “more than 400,000 people in the EU die prematurely due to the consequences of air pollution: this is more than 10 times the toll of road traffic accidents.”
IN GEOGRAPHY – Woohoo for Wuhan? Let’s hope so
We’re not saying the end of this epoch-changing global pandemic is in sight (even though we all obviously hope it is…). But the fact Wuhan, China, reported no new cases for 24 hours building up to Thursday 19 March is enough good news to offer hope – even if it’s only a glimmer right now. After all, Wuhan is the epicentre of the pandemic; there was a time when the city was reporting thousands of new cases each day.
So it was good news when, of the new cases reported on Thursday 19 March, they were all from those arriving from abroad (and, yes, it does make you think, “Who was arriving from abroad?!”). And Li Lanjuan, director of China’s State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, explains: “If no new case of the coronavirus has been reported for 14 consecutive days in Wuhan following the last reported case, we believe it will be the time when the lockdown can be gradually lifted. We expect new cases will cease to appear in mid or late March. After the lockdown is loosened, we still need to strictly carry out routine measures to prevent and control the virus to prevent a possible rebound of the outbreak.”
Does crossing fingers actually work? We’re going to try.