We’re happy here at 1812Blockhouse to again share with our readers a round-up of recent stories about the COVID-19 pandemic from around the world and shared by the Solutions Journalism Network. Today, we share a collection written by Michael Davis, the Network’s region manager for the South.

This grouping of posts looks at some more positive aspects of how people, science, and ideas are coming together to address unparalleled challenges.

Welcome to the Everything Old is New Again edition of the feel-better round-up.

Victory gardens sprouted across the continent during World War II, encouraging Americans to grow their own food. But as the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, a pandemic-related seed shortage has inspired a 21st-century reimagining of the concept. Activists are distributing millions of heirloom and organic seeds to would-be gardeners, and bi-weekly conference calls are drawing coast-to-coast participants eager to get the real dirt on growing their own.

Twentieth-century science fiction presaged an age when robots would serve humankind for the good. A recent NPR report hails the emergence of a robot that could help doctors provide remote treatment to COVID-19 patients. Meet Spot, a four-legged achievement in robotics popping in on patients at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

There’s no business like show business…until a pandemic means no business for show business. But in California, COVID-19 resilience gave new life to another show-biz chestnut — the show must go on – by offering theater patrons the chance to see archived videos of closed productions – for the cost of a theater ticket.

Surely during the long stay-at-home you’ve seen photos of cakes decorated as toilet paper. Well, a life hacks reporter they call Jill of All Trades at FOX 2 in Detroit provides DIY instructions for making one at home.

Business Insider reports that a service called Goat 2 Meeting is offering to supply animals to make guest appearances during video conference meetings. As of mid-April, an animal sanctuary in Silicon Valley has fielded 300 requests for cameos by llamas, goats and other farm animals. Farm co-founder Anna Sweet said the appearance fee – something less than $100 – will provide a revenue stream to replace income lost during the pandemic.

Finally, this, a feel-good story for doomsday preppers. Yes, those Eeyores millions ignored or mocked for so long are now being hailed as visionaries. San Francisco-based Nellie Bowles of The New York Times gives props to Silicon Valley preppers with a story that vindicates people who keep “bug out” emergency supply bags in their homes and vehicles. Vindication is theirs!

This column comes from the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous reporting about responses to social problems.

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