Good news coronavirus stories you might have missed this week

by Thomson Reuters Foundation | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Friday, 3 April 2020 11:20 GMT

From a belly dancer entertaining Tunisians from her living room to businesses switching to make face masks and food for health workers, here are four good news stories regarding the coronavirus that you might have missed this week:

From birdsong to cheers, sound map shows how coronavirus is changing cities

From an eerily quiet Times Square in New York to cheers for healthcare workers, a website is collecting sounds to document how coronavirus has transformed spaces around the globe.

Dozens of people from more than 25 countries have shared audio recordings from their daily lives during the pandemic for the #StayHomeSounds project by the sound mapping website Cities and Memory.

"The way the world sounds has changed really dramatically in just a few weeks," said project founder Stuart Fowkes in a telephone interview from his home near Oxford in England.

"It's really important that we recognise that and record it for posterity, but that we also get the stories as well – what people are thinking and feeling at the same time."

Belly dancer keeps Tunisians entertained through coronavirus lockdown

Tunisians stuck inside through a coronavirus lockdown have in large numbers been watching a spangly-costumed actress belly dancing in her living room with the message: "Stay at home and I'll dance for you".

Clad in a figure-hugging dress, with a gauzy veil over her legs, Nermine Sfar shakes her hips and twirls to Arabic pop music in front of an incongruous brown sofa.

Some 130,000 people watched one video live on her Facebook page and on one occasion she donned a surgical mask and gloves over her dancing costume.

Sfar was already popular on social media before the outbreak, but her social media show has proved the light entertainment hit of the pandemic with her pledging to provide a nightly "corona dance".

As her popularity grew, a male dancer, Rochdi Belgassmi, started to perform his own home routines, saying: "Wait for me tonight, Tunisian women!" and attracting tens of thousands of viewers.

From masks to meal boxes, businesses step in to help medics battling coronavirus

As the coronavirus epidemic stretches health services around the world to the limit, businesses for good are stepping in, providing everything from protective masks to meal boxes for frontline staff.

From the Spanish shoemakers producing facemasks to the Malaysian social enterprise hiring refugees to make meals for hospital staff, businesses with a social conscience have been scrambling to help.

Mashghal al-Omm, a Lebanese social enterprise that employs widows and women with no income to sew garments for retailers, has asked its workers to switch to making protective suits and masks for local hospitals.

"It's the least we can do," said Lucia Cáscales, a nursing assistant who is making masks in Alicante in the south of Spain, one of the countries worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic. "You have to help people at this very serious time." 

Goats in a ghost town - animals take over deserted Welsh resort

A herd of Kashmir goats invaded a Welsh seaside resort after the coronavirus lockdown left the streets deserted.

The animals, who normally roam free on a nearby headland jutting out into the Irish Sea, instead wandered into Llandudno where they have spent the past three days feasting on garden hedges and flowers.

"I think they're probably feeling a bit lonely and they have come down to have a look around," said town councillor Carol Marubbi, adding the goats didn't normally come into town unless the weather was awful.

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