10 Good Things Happening in the World Right Now

Warning! I cried tears of joy while doing research for this article. To be fair, I cry easily, but still! There is good in the world! There are still reasons to smile and be happy!

In the past month or so, the coronavirus has completely taken over the world. Officially declared a global pandemic, we’ve been forced to stay inside to prevent the spread of the virus.

I know, this isn’t news to you—you’re living it. We’re all living it. We’re constantly hearing about it, about the death toll, that these next couple weeks are supposed to be the worst, etc., etc. Let’s be honest: while it’s important to stay updated, it’s draining. Humans aren’t supposed to hear so much bad news in such a short period of time. News outlets have stopped reporting on anything else, and I understand why, but I hate it. I need different news. I need better news.

Some days, the fear of what’s happening is paralyzing. I wonder what the point of continuing school or even getting out of bed is. On those days, good news is what keeps me going, so here it is. Little reasons to celebrate, smile, and keep going.

  1. 1. A 15-year-old cancer survivor was welcomed home after completing her last round of chemo by all her friends, family, and neighbors!

    Usually, when someone finishes chemotherapy, they’re surrounded by their family and sometimes friends as they ring the bell to let the floor know: they did it! They finished chemo! Unfortunately, hospitals aren’t allowing visitors on the chemo floor right now, which means Courtney Johnson only had her mother and her nurses to watch her ring the bell. When they drove home, Courtney was surprised by her friends, family, and neighbors lining the street to congratulate her on finishing chemo. The love in the video is overwhelming, and the entire video is a good reminder that even now, people are surviving. Cancer patients are still becoming cancer survivors. (Watch both videos in the link for some extra feel good content.)

  2. 2. A 5-year-old asked for only bedding for his birthday so he could donate it to Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

    In January, 5-year-old Tyler Silz asked for bedding and only bedding for his birthday. He made it clear that if any toys were brought to his party as gifts, he wouldn’t play with them. Tyler is a kindhearted kid who loves to work on carpentry projects with his dad and knew he wanted to help Sleep in Heavenly Peace, an organization that delivers beds to children in need, in every way he could. Sleep in Heavenly Peace requires their volunteer bed builders to be 12 years or older, so Tyler found a way around this restriction. If he couldn’t build the beds, he would donate all the other material needed to make a bed. After Tyler’s birthday, he donated 125 pieces of bedding.

  3. 3. Vans has released sensory friendly sneakers for people with autism.

    The sneakers, designed with autism spectrum disorder in mind, are “ultra-comfortable” and have been crafted with “sensory-inclusive elements,” including the color palette (!!) which is made up of calming blues and greens. Parents of children with autism have expressed how much their kids love it, as it offers them more comfort and independence.

  4. 4. The Hamilton cast reunited to surprise a 9-year-old fan on Zoom.

    You’ve probably already heard of this, but I just had to include it. Nine year old Aubrey was supposed to go see Hamilton for her birthday with her mom, but the show was cancelled because of the coronavirus. On John Krasinki’s new Youtube channel, Some Good News, Krasinki surprised her with the original cast of Hamilton, who sang songs from the Broadway musical. Aubrey was then told she would be flown to New York to see Hamilton on Broadway once it reopens. I’m as jealous as I am excited for her.

  5. 5. A 13-year-old in Canada created ear guards to ease the pain masks create for healthcare workers.

    When a hospital in Canada asked people to help create a design that would eliminate mask pain, Quinn Callander used his 3D printer to create a simple design that would keep face masks from digging into the back of people’s ears, which healthcare workers have said eventually create cuts that only get deeper as they continue to wear masks day in and day out. To make it even better, Quinn uploaded the template he was using to make the ear guards for free so that anyone with a 3D printer could print them out. In conclusion, kids are awesome.

  6. 6. The second person (ever!) to be cured of HIV has finally revealed his identity. Also, two people have officially been cured of HIV!

    Adam Castillejo was diagnosed with HIV in 2003. In 2012, he underwent a bone marrow stem transplant to treat advanced Hodgkin lymphoma. The donor cells contained a mutation where the white blood cells they produced were resistant to HIV, and Castillejo has been HIV free for 31 months now. Obviously, a bone marrow stem transplant isn't a feasible cure for HIV, but scientists can agree that it’s very, very promising.

  7. 7. 3D printing is being used to fight homelessness in Mexico.

    Yes, you read that right. In Tabasco, Mexico, the nonprofit organization New Story has teamed up with a 3D printing company to print out homes for a community living in extreme poverty. The houses are 500 square feet each, with two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom. They’ve even been designed to withstand seismic activity! New Story plans to create 50 houses in that neighborhood, and they hope to use 3D printing to combat homelessness worldwide.

  8. 8. Stanford University has discovered a magnetic brain treatment that relieves depression in 90% of participants.

    This is huge. The treatment, called Stanford Accelerated Intelligent Neuromodulation Therapy (SAINT), uses magnetic pulses that target a person’s neurocircuitry. Treatments like this already exist, which happens to mean this treatment is FDA approved. However, SAINT increases the number of magnetic pulses, speeding up the treatment and making it more efficient than previously. In the original study, all 21 participants were severely depressed, some contemplating suicide. After the treatment, 19 of them scored in the non-depressed range on diagnostic tests. The only side effects found with SAINT were fatigue and mild discomfort during the treatment, which means SAINT could very well be on its way towards a cure for depression!

  9. 9. Music is beneficial to our health; in 13 minutes, music can help us relax, and in 9 minutes it can improve our mood.

    How many times have we said that we can’t live without music? Well, a new study from the British Academy of Sound Therapy has proved that music can be prescribed to help with certain moods. To relax, music with a slow tempo, simple melodies, and new lyrics have helped listeners relax in just 13 minutes and reduce symptoms of anxiety up to 65% by reducing muscle tension, decreasing negative thoughts, feeling more content, and sleeping better. To feel happier, music with a fast tempo, driving rhythm, and happy lyrics helped listeners improve energy levels, laugh more, and feel happier in just nine minutes.

Perhaps the most personal thing to celebrate is that you are alive. You are breathing and thinking and being. You are important, loved, strong, capable, worthy. You will get through this.