As the coronavirus continues spreading across the globe, bringing lives, businesses, cities, and even whole economies to a standstill, it may be hard to believe that anything good could come of this pandemic.

There are a few surprising effects of the outbreak that actually have a silver lining, and while these by no means reduce the anguish and suffering caused, we thought they might brighten up your otherwise negative newsfeed. Below, we take look at some of these unexpected results.

The earth’s skies and rivers are becoming clearer

In Wuhan, the very point of origin of COVID-19 in China, where the outbreak began in December 2019, many locals under lockdown have commented on social media that the smog-smeared skies have cleared up. With very few vehicles on the road now, blue skies have returned to a city where the levels of air pollution were once considered a public health concern.

This fact has been verified by NASA and The European Space Agency, with satellite imagery showing a sustained decrease in levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) over cities and industrial areas in the region since the beginning of the year. An analysis by the climate nonprofit Carbon Brief estimates that carbon dioxide emissions have been cut by about 100 million metric tons.

The nationwide lockdown in Italy has also had an impact on the country’s waterways. Residents have shared pictures and images on social media of clearer, more tranquil canals in Venice due to the absence of tourism and thus reduced boat traffic in the city. With less sediment being kicked up, fish are now clearly visible in the waterways.

The cost of travel is beginning to decrease

Many industries have been adversely affected by the coronavirus emergency, and travel companies have not escaped unscathed. As more European countries begin locking down, demand for holidays has dropped rapidly. This is likely to remain the case until COVID-19 is under control, after which prices are expected to drop drastically.

In many cases, flights and hotels have already slashed their costs dramatically, but travel bans and social responsibility around the world mean that very few travellers would consider taking advantage of these deals – unless it’s to fly home to their country of origin. As the bans are lifted in future and more countries begin to win the war on coronavirus, travellers are likely to find that tourism prices will be greatly reduced.

Designers making surgical masks

As the coronavirus continues to ravage parts of Europe, hospitals are struggling to get enough of the medical supplies that they need – surgical masks being one of them. Many industries are stepping up to assist, with even TV hospital shows donating their prop supplies and local volunteers home-making masks to donate to hospitals.

Now, luxury design companies, such and Gucci, Balenciaga, and Yves Saint Laurent are converting their production lines to produce surgical medical masks, while complying with the “strictest protection measures” for workers.

Other luxury groups, such as Kering, LVMH, L’Oréal, and Coty are also assisting by making financial donations, importing medical supplies, or making hand sanitiser in their beauty and fragrance factories.

Celebrities are pitching in too


NKH has always been there for kids who need them. They work tirelessly to provide food for the hungry bellys all over this country. I encourage anyone with the means to share to donate as well, any amount helps, so we can get through this together. (The reason the number is odd, is because when my kids overheard me making the donation, they asked if they could also donate the money from thier piggy bank. I couldnt have been prouder to add that extra, and important 7 dollars and 96 cents.?Y?A?Y?A?Y?A) #Repost @nokidhungry with @make_repost aƒ»aƒ»aƒ» We’re BEYOND grateful to our friend and #HungerHero @kristenanniebell for her gift of $150,007.96! Thank you for helping us send out even more grants to schools and community groups working to feed kids during the #COVID19 outbreak.

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Designers are not the only ones contributing where they can, many celebrities are making a difference as well. In America, entertainment host Jimmy Fallon, singer Justin Timberlake, and actor Ryan Reynolds have made donations to Feeding America, an organisation working tirelessly to feed those in need around the country. Similarly, actress Kristen Bell donated to No Kid Hungry, a charity working to put an end to child hunger.

Designer Donatella and her socialite daughter Allegra Versace donated €200,000 to the ICU at San Raffaele hospital in Milan, while Italian influencer Chiara Ferragni and her rapper husband Fedez donated €100,000 euros to a GoFundMe campaign they started to benefit hospitals in Milan.

The donations haven’t just been financial. In Portugal, football star Cristiano Ronaldo has donated equipment to Portuguese hospitals, providing the wards with beds, ventilators, heart monitors, infusion pumps, and syringes. While in America, Director Lulu Wang picked up unopened N95 masks around L.A. to donate to a local ER in need, and The chef and World Central Kitchen founder repurposed several of his restaurants in N.Y.C. and Washington D.C. into community kitchens for those in need.

Celebrity efforts to boost morale


Introducing The Daily Social Distancing Show: coronavirus updates and a chat with @roywoodjr

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Celebrities aren’t just making donations, they’ve also been using their time in isolation and the power of social media to help boost public morale. Actor Josh Gad, known for voicing Olaf in Frozen, did his part for the working parents by virtually reading their children books. Similarly, Amy Adams has teamed up with Jennifer Garner on Save With Stories, a spot for watching celebrities read popular children’s books.

Singer Lizzo led a mediation session for her fans, offering “a meditation and mantra to promote healing during this global crisis” while playing the flute for fans. Steve Martin, similarly, delighted fans by playing the banjo for fans.

Comedian Jim Gaffigan launched a new web series called “Dinner with the Gaffigans”, where viewers cab share dinner with his wife and five children, while fellow comedian Ricky Gervais has been “rallying the troops” in live daily videos from his home. Entertainment presenter Trevor Noah has begun filming The Daily Social Distancing Show from his apartment to keep people up to date with news in an entertaining way.

Communities coming together


Italians are singing together from their balconies to boost morale during the country’s lockdown aA¤i?A

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Celebrities aren’t the only ones trying to keep spirits up. Italians under lockdown have been singing and creating music together from balconies despite not being able to leave their homes. Once videos of the Italians singing started going viral on social media, other parts of the world followed suit, with similar videos being filmed in Lebanon, Spain, and even Wuhan in China where the outbreak first occurred.

People in quarantine have also been posting amusing home videos to make the best of a trying situation. Funny videos are going viral of people singing coronavirus-inspired lyrics to popular songs, teaching their kids dance moves, paying “air tennis” from their balconies, and much more.

Finally, as marathons and races around the world are being cancelled, people are finding creative ways to stay fit and healthy during lockdown and isolation. In China, a fanatical runner jogged the equivalent of an ultra-marathon inside his small apartment, while in France, a man ran a marathon distance on his 7m (23ft) balcony.

The virus may have the world in its deadly grip right now, but it’s certainly encouraging to see how people are able to come together and raise spirits during these trying times.


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