It's hard not to feel a sense of doom and gloom during the coronavirus crisis; with death tolls rising, fear spreading, and life looking completely unrecognisable to the way it did just a few months ago, it's a very weird time.
All this means that hearing good news is more important than ever before. Little sparkling gems of hope among the darkness now have the power to raise your whole mood, helping you to get through another day in lockdown. So every week, Cosmopolitan UK pledges to bring you some of the good news stories that may have been buried among all the sad stuff. Don't forget to come back each week to get your fix of positivity with our Good News, Gathered series.
So... this week on the good news agenda:
Holidays are back!
Sure, most of us haven't been doing much at all during the coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily relaxing. And the most common form of chill time - going on holiday - hasn't been possible up to now. But all that's about to change, because from tomorrow (4 July) hotels, holiday cottages, B&Bs and campsites in the UK are permitted to welcome visitors (staycation, anyone?!) and the government is also about to announce a list of more than 50 countries we can travel to that will no longer require quarantine on the way back.
From 10 July, the Department for Transport has confirmed that travellers to the UK from countries including France, Spain, Germany and Italy will no longer need to self-isolate for two weeks (or any specified length of time), which opens up the possibility of that beach holiday after all. The Foreign Office, although currently advising against all but essential travel to numerous countries, will change this guidance from Saturday.
So... bring on an Aperol by the sea (whether that be in the UK or abroad) ☀️
Man with 'zero chance of survival' from COVID-19 recovers and walks out of hospital
In April, the BBC did an incredibly moving interview with mum-of-two Sue Martin, who was in a desperately worrying situation after her husband, Mal, was put on life support for coronavirus. After Mal became sicker and sicker, he was put on a ventilator and into an induced coma, at which point Sue and her two teenage children were given 10 minutes to say their goodbyes. Staff advised them that Mal had "virtually zero" chance of surviving the illness.
For weeks, the family was left in limbo, constantly being told to expect the worst. "Mal remained critical with a much greater chance of him dying than pulling through," Sue told the BBC. But after a while, their luck started to turn. Mal eventually tested negative for COVID, but was still critically unwell with the damage the virus had done to his body. Weeks later, doctors were "astounded" when they successfully brought the 58-year-old dad-of-two out of his coma, and miraculously he has been able to leave hospital this week.
In moving footage shared by the BBC, Mal can be seen walking out of the Princess of Wales hospital in Bridgend, Wales, where he was treated. Here's wishing Mal and the rest of his family a happy and healthy future together - they deserve a break after the hell of the past few months.
A giraffe kisses her two-week old calf
And just because, we thought we'd bring you this adorable picture of a mama giraffe craning her long neck to affectionately kiss her two-week-old calf.
The series of pictures were taken at Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem on July 1, 2020, and show mother Maya showering her young baby female with a whole lot of love. All together now: aaaahhhh.
And now, take a look back at what made us smile last week:
Lockdown is being lifted!
If you've been struggling for the past three months, living in lockdown, then this week will have been an important one for you. On Tuesday, Boris Johnson revealed plans in the House of Commons for how lockdown restrictions will be significantly eased over the coming weeks.
Discussing social distancing, the Prime Minister told Parliament: "From now on, we will ask people to follow guidance instead of legislation." He also announced that from July 4, pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and more could reopen their doors to the public. Although there'll be a strict set of rules for businesses to follow, to ensure they're hosting customers safely and responsibly, it's the biggest shift we've had yet for moving out of lockdown. Some of Boris' announcements were even met by cheers of "hallelujah" by his fellow politicians.
Breast cancer survivor beats COVID after 89 days in hospital
It's always moving to see videos of patients being clapped and cheered as they're discharged from hospital following treatment for coronavirus. But it was an extra special moment for 63-year-old Janice Benham, who recovered from breast cancer last year but then contracted the dangerous virus.
Janice and her husband Phillip both caught coronavirus while on holiday in Morocco in mid-March, where they had gone to celebrate Janice getting the all-clear for cancer. Sadly, both suffered badly with COVID-19, and were admitted to hospital. Phillip was treated on a ward for four days before being well enough to go home home, but Janice was so unwell she had to spend two weeks in intensive care. Last week, however, 89 days after first being admitted to King George Hospital in Ilford, she was discharged.
The hospital posted a video of the special moment on Facebook, and later shared an update to say the family celebrated with a BBQ for her daughter's birthday. What a happy hopeful story. Here's hoping Janice and her family remain in good health.
Normal People is coming back into our lives
One of the things that helped most of us through lockdown was when the BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People landed on iPlayer. It was 12 episodes that allowed you to escape into the lives of normal-but-incredibly-beautiful people Connell and Marianne, and we mourned it when it was over. But this week we learned we're getting a tiny taste more from the pair - including a glimpse 40 years into the future.
It's been confirmed that Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal will be reuniting for the sketches as part of RTÉ Does Comic Relief, which will air this very evening (Friday 26 June). The two special shows will reveal more about Connell and Marianne's fate, and we can't wait.
"There’s a beautiful piece called Normal Older People, which is imagining what would have happened to Marianne and Connell 40 years from now. I promise you, these are two very special bits," Comic Relief co-founder Richard Curtis told RTÉ Radio 1.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. That is all we have to say.
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