"In 2020, a devastating virus officially disappeared from the continent it had once ravaged -- a remarkable public health achievement that followed decades of work. But you may have missed it," CNN reports. Though this past August will inevitably be known for the coronavirus pandemic, that was the month that wild polio was eradicated from Africa -- a development celebrated by the World Health Organization and public health officials around the globe. Their work complete, the team of scientists combating wild polio in Africa quickly repurposed their operation to tackle Covid-19. In another recent medical milestone that was publicly announced in March 2020, in 2019 a team of doctors cured HIV in a patient for the second time ever. The first time was almost a decade ago, and people had begun wondering if it was a one-time fluke. "In a world with a lot of problems, you're kind of banned from talking about good things," says Ola Rosling, co-author of Factfulness, a 2018 bestseller that generated awareness of under-appreciated improvements in global poverty, health and wellbeing. The pandemic has triggered vaccine development faster than ever before, a realization of the profound importance of everyday heroes -- essential workers -- who keep society running, a renewed appreciation for scientific work and so much more.

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