1st May 2020
3 Things we learned this week - Friday 1st May 2020
April has come and gone in what feels like the blink of an eye. And while the danger and fear of COVID-19 remains high, countries around the world become increasingly optimistic as to when life may begin to return to some kind of normal, allowing us to step back and reflect on some of the better things in life. With this in mind, here are 3 things we learned this week.
Following the news of testing positive for the coronavirus, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent several days in hospital intensive care, followed by weeks of self-isolation to recover from the effects of the virus, leaving to several of his senior ministers taking up the mantle of speaking to the public, press and medical experts as the outbreak continued to spread hitting all corners of the UK.
Monday marked his return to normal duties, although these were again put on hold as he and his fiancee Carrie Symonds celebrated the birth of their son, name still unknown, becoming only the third child sired by the incumbent Prime Minister in UK history, after Tony Blair and David Cameron also welcomed new life while in office.
Finally though, on Thursday evening, Boris announced to the press that the UK is now past the peak of the outbreak and talks will begin next week to lay out plans to restart the economy and reopen schools in the coming weeks. While it is stressed we are not completely out of the woods yet, as the world has now passed one million virus recoveries recorded, we can begin to feel slightly optimistic.
As the rates of cases continue to fall and recoveries continue to rise, many more businesses are taking it upon themselves to begin to trial reopening stores and factories in certain areas and under social distancing rules in order to begin the slow return to normal. Following on from B&Q, Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover last week, several companies including fast food outlets like McDonalds and KFC are beginning to plan for the future.
While this is a promising trend, many people, including Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, are concerned that it is still far too early to begin returning town and city centres to how they used to be, fearing the increased numbers of people in small spaces will lead to a second spike in cases. The next review in Scotland takes place next week with Sturgeon remaining firm on the need for virus levels to slow and stay consistent as well as strong testing.
While there is no definitive answer given the scale of the crisis and the fact it is so rare in our lifetime, in a recent interview, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres stated that it was due to the lack of a comprehensive worldwide strategy for tackling the outbreak, leading to countries to take very different approaches, that has led to the virus spreading as far as it has and taking so long to cure and recover from.1
A story that has warmed all of our hearts, Army Captain Tom Moore, who at the beginning of April set out to raise money for the NHS by walking laps of his garden, celebrated his 100th birthday on Thursday 30th, receiving thousands of well wishes and messages from around the UK, an RAF flypast, a UK number one single and on top of the traditional message from the Queen, has also been made a Colonel for this extraordinary efforts.
The war veteran’s initial goal was to raise £1,000 via a JustGiving page by completing 100 laps of this garden before his 100th birthday. He completed his journey two weeks early, with the total raised standing at £17 million, the largest single campaign in the site’s history, however the total has now officially reached almost £33 million with over 1.5 million donations as the campaign closed.
As a result of his efforts, several more people are taking to charity sites to become more active and raise money for causes desperately in need in these hard times. Meanwhile, the now Colonel Moore, who’s duet of You’ll Never Walk Alone’ with Michael Ball sold 82,000 copies and recently reached number one in the UK singles charts, explained on Twitter that he was looking forward to putting his feet up for a long rest after his great accomplishment.
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