Good News Monday #16: Kiwis, Antlers, and Vintage Corona

Ella Fitzgerald sings in my head this morning:

Blue skies
Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see
Singing a song
Nothing but bluebirds
All day long
Never saw the sun shining so bright
Never saw things going so right
Noticing the days hurrying by
When you're in love, my how they fly
Blue days
All of them gone
Nothing but blue skies
From now on...

CoCo seems to be finally on the mend. Two days with a normal temperature. Fingers crossed and prayers said that this is the beginning of the end. The grass is growing, the birds are singing and the clouds promise to leave for a few days.

That’s the personal good news for me.

Halfway through this post, my internet crashed until this morning. Drat!

Kiwis eliminated Coronovirus

I don’t know why, but it tickles me that New Zealanders are called Kiwis.

I don’t know why, but it tickles me that New Zealanders are called Kiwis. 

While many countries foundered on the ways and means to isolate and quarantine their citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand was unwavering.

Of course, Kiwis already knew the importance of quarantines to thwart crop, wildlife, and farm animal diseases. They have one of the most stringent fumigation measures for travelers to stymie tiny interlopers like insects, fungi, and bacteria. So Kiwis were ready to lock it down.

Under stringent lockdown orders, the lights were dark and patios empty at every pub, café, and business in downtown Wanaka, and yellow police tape sealed off the skate park and playground, where the swings were zip-tied out of reach to snuff out temptation. Not that there was much risk of transgression: other than the occasional jogger or couple out for a bit of air, city streets were as abandoned as a set from The Walking Dead.

National Geographic, May 2020

Beginning mid-March, all visitors must quarantine for 14 day. At that point, New Zealand had only six cases of COVID-19.

National Geographic’s Aaron Gulley said the most striking thing was how Kiwis got on board. He credited Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s leadership. 

On day one of the lockdown, the streets and highways were empty, the shops were closed, and everyone stayed home. “I think it’s easier for us Kiwis to fall in line because we trust our leaders,” Sue Webster, the owner of the Airbnb where my wife and I holed up for almost four weeks, told me.

National Geographic, May 2020

New Zealand had a total of 19 deaths. As of April 28, Arderne announced that the virus is gone from New Zealand. Of course, that means that until a vaccine is available, Kiwis must remain diligent.

Antlers and cancer are connected.

Here’s another super-interesting bit of good news from this months National Geographic.

The same kind of gene that leads to uncontrolled growth in cancer cells also make deer antlers grow nine inches in two weeks and sometimes weigh over 60 pounds. The genes of the antler cells are very similar to osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. And, guess what? Deer have 1/5th the cancer rate of other animals. That might be because deer also have some strong cancer suppression genes. Researchers think if they can understand how deer do it, they might discover solutions to cancers. (from May National Geographic.)

Tom Hanks gives away a typewriter to fight bullying

Okay, I admit that sounds a little peculiar. While Tom and his wife Rita Wilson were quarantined in Australia with COVID-19, he got some fan mail from a little boy named Corona. Corona wrote about being bullied because of his, now unfortunate, name.

Tom gave Corona his vintage Corona typewriter.

It’s not just any typewriter either – but a ‘Corona’ brand antique. The very same device Hanks took with him into the isolation ward at Gold Coast University Hospital following his COVID-19 diagnosis.


Tom advised Corona to ask a grownup how to use the typewriter. (Maybe he better ask his grandparents. I haven’t seen a typewriter since I was an undergraduate.)

Tom signed the letter with something Corona is sure to understand, “You’ve got a friend in me.”

Here’s a screenshot of Corona and Tom’s letter. I got it from the 9NEWS clipping.

What did I miss?

Last night CoCo’s temperature went back up. I turned on the news and over 69,000 people died in America. Because I had no internet until this morning, and I can’t go hang out at a coffee shop or library or bookstore with free WIFI, I miss something that cheers me up every week. John Krasinski and Some Good News. Yesterday’s episode brought tears to my eyes.