Wollongong, Ballarat would you join forces against COVID-19?

The UK will mobilise hundreds of thousands of volunteers. Photo: Shutterstock
The UK will mobilise hundreds of thousands of volunteers. Photo: Shutterstock

Imagine all Wollongong and all of Ballarat agreeing to do something ... in one day, without hesitation.

It's kind of special. And it happened overnight in the UK.

A whopping 405,000 people responded to the call to volunteer for the National Health Service in just 24 hours after the appeal was launched.

They'll be helping the vulnerable - bringing patients home from hospital, visiting pharmacies for medicine, and making phone calls to check on people staying at home.

In another "massive moment", a deal called the 'largest rescue package" in history received the nod from Democrats and Republicans in the US, they just need to vote on official legislation. How much? Just the odd $2 trillion.

It would authorise direct payments to taxpayers, loans to small businesses and create a $500 billion corporate bailout fund. But still, it might not be enough.

Meanwhile, southern Europe remains at the epicentre of the pandemic. Spain's death toll has surpassed China's, where the virus originated, and Italy reported another 683 deaths.

The tragedy unfolding in Spain plumbed new heartbreaking depths when news the army found elderly residents dead and abandoned in care homes was revealed.

Australia's restrictions ramped up overnight. But know you're not alone (though, of course, you might be) - about a quarter of the world's population is now living with lockdown conditions.

Did you know you can receive this digest twice a day by email. Sign up here.

More coronavirus stories you need to read