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Friends band together to highlight good news in midst of coronavirus pandemic

New website brings sense of community back during COVID-19


Juliana Lee, Sophia Shim and Leo Zhu are on a mission to help others, while spreading positivity along the way. 

“My friend actually messaged me one day, asking how my mental health was doing because I didn’t even realize I was posting [so much] negative news online,” Lee said. 

"So then I started actively looking for posted news online that talked about vaccines and recovery stories and then I realized there’s actually quite a lot of stories out there,” she added. 

The three friends - all in their early 20s - wanted to create a positive online space that shares hopeful updates and news stories with the world during the pandemic. 

While one of their main goals was to help ease the stress and uncertainty of others, Shim, Lee and Zhu found that what they were doing was also having a beneficial impact on their daily lives as well. 

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“The idea that we can really get some positive news and give them hope in a really challenging time, I think yes - it’s definitely made us feel better… mentally for ourselves,” Shim said. 

“It’s actually something that I look forward to doing every morning when I wake up,” Zhu added. 

The COVID-19 Recovery website includes several elements, such as community hopeful and vaccine development news, Spotify playlists, binge-worthy Netflix lists, memes, blog posts making sense of science related to the novel virus and more.

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Since launching late last month and branching out on other social media platforms, Lee said the feedback from others has been both uplifting and strong. 

“We actually receive one or two emails almost every day from people all over the world saying, ‘Hey I really like your website!’,” she said. 

Despite the day-to-day uncertainties others are facing during COVID-19 pandemic, they do want others to know that this too, shall pass. 

“I think it’s the first time that I’ve seen humanity working towards one goal, which is beating this virus,” Lee said. 

“I just want everyone to know that everyone is working hard to fight this, together,” she added. 

More about Juliana, Sophia and Leo: 

  • Juliana Lee, 23, is in charge of updating the daily recovery stats on the website, sharing uplifting news, maintaining the website quality and more. She is a MSc by Research Candidate in Clinical Medicine at Jenner Institute, University of Oxford and is currently undertaking a thesis project on researching malaria using CRISPR-Cas9. She has plans to apply to a PhD program to study vaccines. 

  • Sophia Shim, 23, is currently an academic tutor for students (elementary to university-level) for science and math subjects, as well as a figure-skating coach. She’s responsible for updating the website’s #StayAtHome page, creating weekly newsletters and is the ‘Making Sense of Science’ blog writer. She plans on applying for graduate school. 

  • Leo Zhu, also 23, maintains the website’s Instagram and Facebook accounts. Currently, he’s undertaking a thesis project on modeling human physiology and pharmacokinetics. He plans on applying to a MD/PhD program in the future.  

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information. 

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information.


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