🗞 COVID heroes: solutions no problem for our winners

As the world eases up on lockdown, we say “well done!” to people who helped.

The world has gone through a strange few months. We’ve loved hearing about people who have come up with solutions to new problems.

Remember we talked about how we were winning against corona virus. Well, here now are the winners of WoW!’s “COVID Heroes” ranking.

Who’s yours?

1. Steve, the water engineer

Steve is 9. He heard that washing our hands is the best way to stop viruses. But…

Problem! People share an outdoor tap in his village in Kenya. If someone had the virus on their hand and turned the tap, the virus would get on the tap. And then it could get on to other people’s clean hands when they turned the tap off.  Steve had a think.

Solution! Turn the water on and off with your feet! Steve made a gadget to put water and soap into your hands when you stand on pedals. People in the village were amazed. So are we! Good ideas start young…

Watch Steve’s invention in action and here him explain his idea!
2. Paige, the hug inventor

Staying apart helped us stay healthy. But one of the hardest things for many of us has been not seeing friends or family. Paige, who’s 10 and lives in California, really missed hugs with her gran. She could stand at their door, but – problem! – they couldn’t touch. 

Then Paige had a brilliant idea. She asked her mum to get an old clear plastic shower curtain. With some plastic plates and rubber gloves, scissors and glue, she came up with this ingenious solution

No touching! Paige gets a virus-free hug from her gran.
Credit: Lindsay Okray/ABC News
3. The letter-writing cousins

Old people in retirement homes stopped getting visitors.

Problem! Many got lonely and sad. Mathilde and her cousins, who are aged from 14 to 24, had a solution – write letters to them. And not just letters from 10 cousins. They set up a website and got thousands of people to write lovely letters.

More than 400,000 letters! Even though they don’t know each other, just to get a letter from someone who says they care, makes the old people smile. The cousins say they spread “the virus of love”. It makes the letter-writers feel better too.

The cousins’ website: “Love in a few clicks”
4. The hero bikers

Nurses couldn’t get to the hospital to help the sick people because there were no buses. Problem? Not for the folk at The Bike Station.

They sell used bikes. Solution! They gave bikes to people like nurse Erin for free. Erin said took a free “Hero Bike” to get to work, even though cycling in the cold and rain didn’t sound very nice. But Erin got a surprise: “I didn’t think I’d love it as much as I did. It’s amazing!” she said.

A good solution doesn’t just help with one problem. Erin’s bike gets her to work. But she also found that it’s FUN!

A nurse with her “Hero Bike”  
Credit: Murdo McLeod/Guardian
5. The road chefs

Other important people, who keep us all fed, are lorry drivers. They didn’t need transport like the nurses. But who fed them as they spent all day making long journeys? Cafes were all shut. Problem?

Not for Serge and Chantal. They had to close their café in France, which is popular with truckers, and all the cooks and waiters went home. But Serge and Chantal weren’t going to let their friends go hungry.

Solution! They cooked up hot meals themselves – served to drivers in their cabs, with a smile. “They are there for us,” Serge said. “We should be there for them.“ Serge and Chantal show how happy it makes us to be able to do something to say thank you.

Serge & Chantal loved doing something to say ‘thank you’

Who was your hero during the shutdown? Do you have a good story to share? Let us know!


The virus has caused lots of different problems: how to stay healthy, how to feel close to other people, how to show we care, how to say thank you…


The crisis has shown us how inventive all of us can be, especially when we listen to our need to show we care about others.

Grown-ups’ follow-up

You can watch the ABC News report on Paige’s hug curtain here.

The Guardian report on the Hero Bikes is here.

Alastair editor of WoW!

Reporting by



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