There were cheers around the world when two groups of scientists announced that they have found vaccines that should protect people from catching coronavirus COVID19.
Now, it’ll take at least some months yet before lots of people can get protection and life can go back to normal, but the vaccine news was especially good.
For one thing, there won’t be just one or two vaccines for COVID, but dozens – and they should be shared out among people all round the world. It just shows how creative people can be when they work together.
But we think one of the best things to come out of the battle against coronavirus is all the other great ideas that have been dreamed up or speeded up and which will go on helping people long after COVID is just a bad memory.
Here are our top picks:
Do you know how long it has normally taken to develop a vaccine – the medicines that we take to stop us falling sick in the future?
About 10 years or more. Now, just think, the first COVID vaccine tests have taken less than 10 months . That’s partly because people have put in so much effort to stop a bug that has messed up all our lives.
But it’s also because scientists have been perfecting new techniques, tinkering with genes, to make vaccines – and the result means that it’s likely we can react fast in future, too, to other new viruses.
Keep your distance, Doc!
Because it’s so easy to catch COVID, doctors have had to come up with ways to see their patients without getting sick themselves. Many more doctors – and patients – have become comfortable meeting and talking over the Internet. And experts say that this could improve everyone’s access to medical care by making it cheaper and easier to see a doctor. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll see a robot nurse, like this one in Belgium…
One of the big problems for people with COVID is trouble breathing. When the virus appeared, doctors, scientists and engineers started building lots of machines, called “ventilators” to help people breathe. Quickly.
Some of these new machines are much simpler to make than what we had before – and up to 40 times cheaper. So, when COVID is over it will leave us with more ventilators in countries that couldn’t afford them before. More air for all!
Fighting COVID has given a big boost to companies that are developing cloth that kills off viruses and other bugs. In fact, it’s pretty unlikely to catch the coronavirus from clothes, even normal ones. But more and more fashion firms are offering shirts, jeans and so on made of “anti-microbial” material – or proposing to cover seats with it, in public places, like buses.
This is treated with special chemicals to stop bugs hanging around in the cloth. So, even after COVID, we could all benefit from a cleaner future.
Finally, it doesn’t always take a clever technological invention to make us healthier or happier. We’ve all learned to wash our hands to stop COVID.
Many of us have also learned about ways to stay healthy and happy without being able to go out and do all of the things we like. Good habits will go on helping us long after the virus pandemic is forgotten!