Good News Monday #46: TikTok Ratatouille, The Fauci Effect, and Boxed Lunch

First, I must acknowledge the bad news: Yikes! Three thousand deaths a day! Remember when the President said we might get to 100,000 American’s dead and that seemed shocking? We’re now at 300,000 and counting.

I never thought we’d get here.

A vaccine is our cavalry, and it is on the way. The first person post Emergency Use Authorization got the shot this morning. Still, it will be a long while before most of us can get the vaccine. So in the meantime: take cover and stay safe.

While we wait, here’s some good news I found this week.

The Fauci Effect

After 9/11, we had a huge uptick in the number of people joining the military. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s happening for medical schools. Sam Smith, 25 years old, is one of those people.

The experience of the past year makes me think, there’s probably going to be another pandemic in the future So I want to be on the front lines of the next one.

Click here to read or listen to NPRs complete piece.

Medical school admission personnel are starting to call this the “Fauci Effect.” As for Dr. Fauci, in his typical modest manner he says its flattering, but it’s probably more to do with other the other medical professionals they see fighting the good fight.

At any rate, the number of applicants is up an unprecedented 18% this year. And that’s at a time when overall college applications are down.

Dr. Fauci has devoted his life to fighting diseases in what appears to be a low-keyed, science-focused manner. When I listen to him, I feel like I’m listening to the voice of reason. Maybe that’s just the scientist in me. Do you feel that way, too?

Taking a bite out of sandwiches

Not too long ago, CeCe told me that when she was a little girl, she felt sorry for her friends. No other mothers took a bite out of their school sandwiches. You see, for as long as she remembered, when I packed her sandwich, I took a bite of the sandwich before I wrapped it. “Just checking for poison,” I joked. I thought of it as a little I love you mid-way through the school day.

It turns out that Tracy Howell thinks in the same way as I. She and her husband, Clifford, often got together for lunch early in their marriage. When he lamented that he missed those lunches, she decided to take a bite out of the sandwich she packed for him every day.

I told him that since I couldn’t join him for lunch, I took a bite so he knew I was joining him. I continue to do this frequently (unless it’s tuna or pimento cheese) and he still says, ‘saw you joined me for lunch today and it sure was good.’

Fox News

Clifford and Tracy have been married for 41 years. It’s nice to get a secret little sign of love in the middle of the day. Don’t you think?

TikTok Ratatouille

Yes, I do have a TikTok account. Why? My granddaughter convinced me it was a good idea.

The movie “Ratatouille” has a special place in my heart. First, I love the magic of animation. Second, as Loved-One and I watched the credits roll, we heard applause in the back of the theatre. It was one of the animators and his family. We got a rare chance to talk to him about the process.

Yes, rats still creep me out. The animator said they worked really hard at trying to create authentic rat movement without the creep-factor. Still, when I saw the rats in the farmhouse, I wanted to bolt. (For every rat you see, there are ten you don’t, and then there’s the story of the farmer who cornered a rat in the silo room, only to have it run up the inside of his pant leg. Shudder!)

Okay, back to the good news. Well, at least uplifting and fun news. A bunch of young people got together and “Ratatouille the Musical” using TikTok. It’s completely crowd-sourced. Here’s a fun video of some of their work. I saved this for last because it’s a bit long, but really fun to watch.

Okay maybe I did go down an entertaining rat hole for 20 minutes. Was it wasted time? Not if it makes you smile. Ratatouille the Musical.

If that’s not enough to give you some hope, CNN has its 2020 Heroes show this week. Here’s a link to their inspiring moments page. Warning: When Loved-One and I saw this last night, he turned to me and said, “Are they going to make us cry all night?” Click here to read more.

This weeks stories made me feel joy and hope.

So remember, don’t despair. Good things and fun things are happening every day.

Those good things could be where you least expect them. Maybe even from a rat?

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.

Remember as you plan your holiday shopping, get-togethers, and other festivities, there’s a tool to help you figure out whether travel is worth it.

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.