This crisis has brought about plenty of interesting pivots.
Beloved local restaurants offering takeaways for the first time, conference centres turning into hospitals, and the police reinventing themselves as ultra-hardline exercise regulation shame enforcers.
The baton has been picked up in Ukraine, where a monastery has become a small-scale hand sanitiser factory. A room at the Vydubychi monastery in Kiev which usually houses Sunday school is now full of clergymen in black cloaks working to a WHO recipe to cook up sanitiser. It’s Breaking Bad: hygiene edition.
The product is then bottled, boxed up, and sent to areas in need across the country, after it became clear that the poor in Ukraine were struggling to get their hands on enough of the thing we all need to safely get our hands on anything else.
Roman Holodov, head of the social assistance department at the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, said to Reuters: “People are in a panic, especially poor people who have no access to sanitisers.”
Quite aside from the good deed aspect here, this feels like a very clever idea. “Made by monks” is surely a highly desirable artisanal badge? The Vyudychi lads have chanced upon a profitable new identity.
Elsewhere, the thought of being cooped up with people you’re gradually realising you don’t like in increasingly warm weather is frightening. So take some comfort from Sarah Knapton’s report that expected warm weather in May could slow the spread of Covid-19. We’ll all be outside and not acknowledging one another in no time.
And if you’re missing the essentials in life, like premium couscous, high-quality almonds and Percy Pigs you can now order boxes of household items from a number of decent supermarkets.
Here’s Harriet with the rest of the day’s joy:
- Telegraph readers have raised more than £200,000 in the first 72 hours of our coronavirus charity appeal. The charity, Turn2Us, provides emergency grants to individuals and families facing severe financial difficulties due to the coronavirus crisis. To donate please visit telegraph.co.uk/appeal
- Yesterday, for the fourth day in a row, China reported a drop in new coronavirus infections, while Wuhan, the centre of the outbreak, had no new cases for six days.
- Several shoppers lined up to pay for the food of two paramedics in a Sainsbury’s in Essex at the weekend. The pair received cheers and praise for their service as they walked around the store.
- More than £460,000 has been raised to provide hot meals for NHS workers by a non-profit set up by nine friends last week. Four thousand meals have already been delivered to London hospitals.
- British mountaineer Peter Watson is attempting to climb the highest mountains on each continent using only his staircase. He’s calculated he will need to climb 44,240 steps to scale the 8,848m height of Everest.
- A Colombian rebel group, the ELN, has declared a month-long ceasefire in response to the pandemic, calling it “a humanitarian gesture”.
- Some of the country’s best-known sporting venues have been offered to the NHS to help the battle against coronavirus. Wembley Stadium, Twickenham, Lord’s, the Principality Stadium and Silverstone could become field hospitals, provide storage or house medical facilities.
- The NHS has enlisted easyjet and Virgin Atlantic staff who are currently out of work to help with non-clinical support in the new Nightingale hospital.
- A group of four young people who live together, and who are choristers for Wells Cathedral, have been singing in their front garden for the street to hear.
- At least 59,000 lives have already been saved in 11 European countries due to the strict new social distancing measures introduced to stem the spread of Covid-19, according to a new study published in The Lancet
- Our Rome Correspondent, Nick Squires, reports that people in Italy have started anonymously leaving essential food items in public places for others in need to take. In Naples, he says, there is an added twist – the food is left in wicker baskets suspended from balconies in the city’s alleyways. On one basket someone placed a handwritten sign – “Chi puo metta, Chi non puo prenda”, which means: “Those who can, leave something. Those who cannot, take something.”
- Three gin distilleries based in Notting Hill, Haggerston and Chatham are making hand sanitizer for the Metropolitan Police, using a formula laid out by the World Health Organization. Budweiser has also agreed to donate 6,000 litres of hand sanitizer to the police force.
- China and the US have pledged to work together to fight the pandemic, in the first telephone exchange between each country’s health minister since January.
- A great grandmother aged 94 is believed to have become the oldest woman in the UK to beat coronavirus, after fighting the infection for nine days in Norfolk’s James Paget Hospital. Joy thanked the NHS staff and said she was “absolutely overjoyed at how helpful and brilliant everyone was at the hospital”. She added: “I couldn’t fault them for helping so many people”.
Warwick Castle has been donating their food deliveries to the local food banks and Morrisons has planned to give away £10 million of food to food banks, which will be delivered by their “community champions”.
Scientists in Hong Kong have been experimenting with giving a bloom serum from recovered coronavirus hamsters to non-infected hamsters, and then giving them the virus. The test has found the viral load in the second subjects has been 10 times smaller – it’s thought that doing this with humans could help them recover.
Paul Chuckle, of the Chuckle Brothers, has said he is “on the mend” after being “laid up” with coronavirus.
Three pleasant things to put into your head
Coronavirus Positive fan Melanie Nicholl shares this:
I combine my daily walk with feeding the swans, and any hungry pigeons, at the Worcester Swan Sanctuary at the South Quay of the river Severn, coordinating with the Swan Food Project.
Do you have some good news to share? What’s made you happier in the past 24 hours? Have you seen a pleasing picture of a bird? Please send it all our way, either by commenting below or emailing [email protected]
For more positive news stories, sign up for our weekly Bright Side newsletter.