Good News Monday #42: COVID, COVID, COVID

artists rendition

The best way to dominate and gain control over people is to spread despair and discouragement…

Pope Francis

There’s no significant voter fraud, two m-RNA-based vaccines look promising, and CeCe and her family are almost recovered from COVID-19. (They still can’t taste anything!)

Thanksgiving Day is looking up for me. Maybe Chocolate Friday will be a 2020 thing.

Here’s a little more Good News I found this week.

The Calvary is coming

Things are looking bleak where Covid-19 is concerned. But, there is good news:

  • Two companies (Pfizer and Moderna) promise 90% or greater effectiveness for their vaccine. My fingers are crossed because these results are waiting for peer review.
  • Corticosteroids are proven effective in treating COVID-19. Generic versions are inexpensive and readily available.
  • Healthcare providers have learned a lot about how to treat critically ill patients. Plus, transmission precautions are better known, so healthcare providers are better protected.

Still, we need to be vigilant. First, no one wants to get sick. Duh! Secondly, even fewer people want to die. I found a great site that helps us weigh the risk of getting together with friends. Right now, there’s a 52% risk in a crowd of 15 and a 95% risk if the crowd goes up to 50 people. I’m staying at home.

Check it out here.

The COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool is a collaborative project led by Prof. Joshua Weitz and Prof. Clio Andris at the Georgia Institute of Technology, along with researchers at the Applied Bioinformatics Laboratory and Stanford University, and powered by RStudio. Description of the method and analyses available at Nature Human Behaviour.

We’re all in this together

“Climate extremes, the pandemic, and police violence all lead us to become aware of the same feeling: vulnerability,” writes Robert Kunzig in November’s National Geographic

The cleaner air is estimated to have reduced deaths in China by 9000 people! The birds began to sing louder and with more varied voices.

Robert Kunzig:

The pandemic has reminded us of the urgent need to stop abusing the planet. It could inspire us to prevent the looming climate disaster—if we can resist a return to business as usual.

Many cities closed streets to open more space for outdoor dining. People chose close-to-home outdoor activities in 2020 like bird-watching and bicycling.

“The first terrible revelation of this unprecedented crisis is that all the things that seemed separate are inseparable.” -sociologist Edgar Morin

Now, if we can just all remember the lessons we’ve learned during the pandemic and carry it forward, we could all have a cleaner, healthier lives.

To read Robert’s entire article (really worth the time, believe me) go to “Let’s not waste this crucial moment.”

Recovering to a different economy

I first heard this from Wrestler #1. He’s an IT Guy. Not just any IT Guy, he’s a big shot.

“I’m never going back,” Wrestler #1 said.

“We’re recovering, but to a different economy,” said Jerome Powell

About 60% of the people who were forced to work from home when the pandemic started want to continue. This changes things.

Just let your imagination run wild for a moment. Working from home, may change the type of home you work at, increasing the housing market or the industries supported by remodeling. It may increase career mobility (my friend has worked at firms in Seattle and New York, while she lives near Chicago.) It will change the local hospitality market, as lunches out will be closer to home. It may even have a long-term effect on the environment.

I wonder if parking lots will turn into paradises!

So remember, don’t despair. Good things are happening.

The Calvery is coming; the air is clearer, the birds are singing and your home may be more than where your heart is.

In the meantime, practice the four Ws:

  • Wear a mask;
  • Watch your distance,
  • Wash your hands, and Work together.

What’s on your good news radar this week? I’d love to hear. More is always better.

*Since I began writing this, I discovered that another member of my parish succumbed to COVID-19. My niece and nephew are sick with it. I, in no way, intend to diminish the impact this disease has physically, emotionally, and financially. I’m just trying to stay positive.