Good News Monday #19: Camping, Plague, and Pestilence

First, a nod to Memorial Day. On most Memorial Days, our local paper prints a pull-out section with the names of service members lost in battle from all USA wars. The Civil War has, by far, the most losses. This always touches my heart because we live far north of any slave-holding State. Yet, families here lost so many during that war.

This year, the local paper cut costs and did not print a Memorial Day edition. The New York Times printed 1,000 names of those who battled COVID-19 and lost. That touched my heart.

Now for some Good News.

On a Local Level: Drive-by Dining

Loved-One and I miss dining out. Sure, we can get take-out. But it’s not quite the same. A local couple came up with a solution. They drive their Camper to the restaurant, get curb-side take out, and eat in the camper. They sit and talk, and watch people go by. Almost like being in the restaurant, but not quite. Kinda makes me wish I camped with a camper and not a tent.

This won’t work for drive-by dining

On a Global Level: Africa’s coronavirus success

Early on, I heard the pandemic would rage like a wildfire in Africa. So far that hasn’t happened. That is really good news.

According to Afua Hirsch, a writer at The Guardian, it’s because of early prevention and some low-tech solutions. She uses Senegal and Ghana as examples.

Senegal started their effort in early January by closing the borders. They offered a quarantine bed for every single patient with COVID-19 and did extensive contact tracing. Senegal, so far, has 30 deaths in a population of 16 million.

Ghana has a similar deathtoll with a population of 30 million. Besides extensive contact tracing, health authorities there came up with a way to do”pool testing.” They pool multiple blood samples and only go back and test individuals after a positive result. The advantages in this approach are now being studied by the World Health Organization.

Some Africans rely on an herbal remedy from a sweet wormwood plant. Before you dismiss this out of hand, clinical trials are underway on a more potent version of the plant grown in Kentucky.

The reason you probably haven’t heard about this is because of patronising attitudes towards African innovation. “If it was a European country that had actually discovered this remedy, would there be so much doubt?” [the president of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina] asked on French TV. “I don’t think so.”

The Guardian, May 21, 2020

Wormwood is a plant in the daisy family. Wouldn’t it be good news if daisy tea is the answer to COVID-19?

On a national level: The Cicadas are coming.

From NPR.org

Okay, a lot of people think this is bad news. I think this is a bit of a miracle. Think about it. Living as nymphs underground for 17 years, only to emerge in one giant chorus of insects flying on gossamer wings and singing day and night. These amazing creatures are packed full of protein and birds love them.

Loved-One is very excited to try a variation of Cicada Stew he found on the internet. Should I tell him we will probably need to travel to North Carolina or the Virginas to get enough for a stew? I think I’ll keep that part a secret. Oh darn. Not enough of a harvest here in Northern Illinois.

What’s on your good news radar this week?

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