New York City reports zero new coronavirus deaths for the first day since the pandemic began
Photo by tom coe on Unsplash

UPDATE: Back in early June NYC reported zero coronavirus deaths, a number that unfortunately was updated as new information came in. This latest update appears to represent a more certain statistic. Even if there's an adjustment, it's clear that New York City has made an incredible evolution from the world's epicenter of the virus to one that has become America's shining light for paving a path forward to all other major cities and locales in how to combat this deadly disease.

According to Bloomberg News, NYC coronavirus deaths peaked at 799 in one day back on April 9th.

"New Yorkers have been the hero of this story, going above and beyond to keep each other safe," City Hall spokeswoman Avery Cohen said in a statement emailed to Bloomberg.

Original story begins below:

New York State reported five deaths statewide on Sunday but didn't specify where those fatalities occurred. The highest number of deaths statewide was reported on April 9, at 799.

New York City has reported a total of 18,670 confirmed Covid-19 deaths and 4,613 probable ones.On Wednesday, for the first time since early March, New York City logged its first day with zero confirmed deaths from COVID-19. For a city that became the nation's biggest coronavirus hotspot by far, with a daily peak of 590 deaths on April 7, that's wonderful news.

There is one caveat, though. According to the New York Daily News, records released by the city showed three "probable" deaths from the virus, which may very well end up being confirmed. Even at that, though, the milestone of zero confirmed deaths in a 24-hour period was met with celebration by officials in the city, which has seen nearly 17,000 confirmed deaths and more than 4,700 probable deaths in the past three months.


Mayor Bill De Blasio also explained in a press conference that the city had also reached three key reopening thresholds on Wednesday in hospital admissions, ICU admissions and testing. According to the New York State website, New York City will begin phase one of reopening on June 8.

"That is very good news," De Blasio said. "Whatever else we're fighting, whatever else we have to overcome, this is what is going to allow us to move forward."

Of course, the virus hasn't disappeared, so this milestone is not a mark on a linear timeline. Public health and infectious disease experts have prepared us for the idea that the pandemic will come in waves, with peaks and valleys and hotspots invariably popping up in different places.

But in some way, that's all the more reason to celebrate when we do have a big dip. We need moments of hope to break up the long battle we're fighting with this virus. After the intensity of lockdowns and the tragedy New York has experienced, having some space to breathe and something to feel happy about feels like a much needed—even if temporary—relief.

If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

The Maori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and their language and customs are an integral part of the island nation. One of the most recognizable Maori traditions outside of New Zealand is the haka, a ceremonial dance or challenge usually performed in a group. The haka represents the pride, strength, and unity of a tribe and is characterized by foot-stamping, body slapping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic chanting.

Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

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True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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via WFTV

Server Flavaine Carvalho was waiting on her last table of the night at Mrs. Potatohead's, a family restaurant in Orlando, Florida when she noticed something peculiar.

The parents of an 11-year-old boy were ordering food but told her that the child would be having his dinner later that night at home. She glanced at the boy who was wearing a hoodie, glasses, and a face mask and noticed a scratch between his eyes.

A closer look revealed a bruise on his temple.

So Carvalho walked away from the table and wrote a note that said, "Do you need help?" and showed it to the boy from an angle where his parents couldn't see.

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via Good Morning America

Anyone who's an educator knows that teaching is about a lot more than a paycheck. "Teaching is not a job, but a way of life, a lens by which I see the world, and I can't imagine a life that did not include the ups and downs of changing and being changed by other people," Amber Chandler writes in Education Week.

So it's no surprise that Kelly Klein, 54, who's taught at Falcon Heights Elementary in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, for the past 32 years still teaches her kindergarten class even as she is being treated for stage-3 ovarian cancer.

Her class is learning remotely due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, so she is able to continue doing what she loves from her computer at M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minnesota, even while undergoing chemotherapy.

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