Search icon


08th May 2020

#UpBeat: Banksy and students in Wuhan – 5 good things that happened this week

Jade Hayden

Good news, everyone.

It can sometimes be hard to remain upbeat, especially in the midst of a global pandemic.

Every day, we’re reminded of the negatives – the deaths, the new cases, the worries, the fears – but what about the good things that have happened this week?

What about the recoveries, the heartwarming tales of community, the wonderful solidarity among people as they band together while staying apart?

Lots of good things have happened this week, so let’s talk about them.

1. Students in Wuhan, China return to school 

For the first time since a monumental lockdown saw the Chinese city shut down entirely, children living in the centre of the Covid-19 pandemic have finally returned to school.

Students in Wuhan went back to their classrooms earlier this week, the first time they will have set foot in school since the 76 day lockdown was lifted.

Senior students are observing social distancing measures and will continue to wear face masks while studying for their state exams. It’s not yet known when junior students will return to school in the city, but the move remains an incredibly positive push forward for Wuhan.

2. Banksy donates artwork celebrating healthcare workers 

Artwork has very much been a staple of support during the Covid-19 pandemic, as many artists around the world turn their talents to paying tribute to those most deserving of support.

This week it was Banksy, who donated a new piece of work paying tribute to the UK’s healthcare workers.

The gorgeous piece is called ‘Game Changer’ and will be on display on Level C of Southampton General Hospital, England.

3. Carbon emissions set to plunge 

We may not be able to leave the house, but the recent sudden absence of travel has had a staggeringly positive effect on the environment.

Similarly, it was predicted this week that the global fall in energy demand will lead to a record annual decline in carbon emissions of almost eight percent.

According to the International Energy Agency: “The plunge in demand for nearly all major fuels is staggering, especially for coal, oil and gas. Only renewables are holding up during the previously unheard-of slump in electricity use.”

4. Irish people are getting on better with their families in lockdown 

No, really, we are.

A new survey has shown that almost half of Irish people report having better relationships with their friends and family since the pandemic began. 

The study showed that 47 percent of Irish people report having better relationships now, while 66 percent of 1,000 respondents said that they are currently enjoying the simple, everyday pleasures of life.

Every silver lining, and all that.

5. Shops reopen in Germany 

One of the many European countries to continue easing its Covid-19 restrictions this week, Germany led the charge with the reopening of shops and museums.

Residents have been asked to continue to wear masks out and about, but the country’s leaders appear confident that despite the “large challenge” ahead, they will not see a resurgence of the virus.

“We have the very first phase of the pandemic behind us.” said Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“We were led by the thought that it’s better to move ahead and give a perspective, than not to move forward at all.”

This is #UpBeat: a rundown of positive, heartwarming, and generally good things that happened during the week. It can sometimes be difficult to see beyond the doom and gloom of the current news cycle, but it’ll do us a world of good to remember that great things are still happening.