Here are five mini-stories to show that even during an unprecedented global pandemic, there are signs of hope.
Water (and water engineers) are even more critical
Governments, health agencies and global institutions around the world have been advising for some time that frequent and thorough hand washing is crucial to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Covid-19.
As a result, the delivery of clean water is being seen as even more critical.
Water utility staff, often operating behind the scenes are being seen with renewed respect as keyworkers, along with healthcare workers, delivery drivers and teachers.
Reports emerged of volunteers sheltering in place at the Carlsbad Desalination plant in San Diego County to keep the water flowing.
Elsewhere, more than 100 utilities in over 30 US States agreed to halt the practice of cutting off water supplies to homes that fail to pay their water bills.
Meanwhile, the South African government announced plans to set up an additional 41,000 water supply points to assist communities across the country with water challenges.
- 5 water engineering firms pivoting into Covid-19 supplies
- Coronavirus and water/wastewater: a round-up of global advice
- How water utilities are communicating on Covid-19
Less travel; cleaner skies
As travel bans and lockdowns have kicked in, airlines have been forced to ground aircraft fleets. Couple that with a vast reduction in car travel due to government-imposed lockdowns, and images started circulating of clearer and cleaner skies for the first time in years.
As a result, images captured by the European Space Agency (ESA) have shown reductions in nitrogen dioxide concentrations across several European cities.
One animation from the ESA, using data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, revealed the decline of air pollution, specifically nitrogen dioxide emissions, over Italy. This coincides with the nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.