Panicked or prudent?
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Man walks into bank wearing a mask and everyone panics until he announces, “I’m not sick. This is just a stick-up.”
I would tell you a joke about Corona virus but you probably won’t get it.
Parents worried they’ll have to raise their own children as schools shut down. — Babylon Bee.
Was Blessed Eusebius of Esztergom, the 13th century Hungarian, onto something when he founded the religious order of “Saint Paul the First Hermit?” Then why did Herman’s Hermits give concerts?
Is the Coronavirus, COVID-19, aka the Wuhan Woo Woo going to mark one of those unintentional pivot points? Will the pandemic hasten retreat from the public square? Why engage with other people when they’ll just make you sick? Physically, as well as psychologically.
We can remember Mom and Dad getting a babysitter so they could go into town to watch Uncle Miltie on the TV at the local tavern, where they could meet friends and hoist a few Schlitzes. Dad belonged to VFW, American Legion, Lions Club, Catholic Foresters, Holy Name Society, Farmers Union, Dane County Democrat(ic) party — all of which had meetings, get-togethers. Civic clubs are shriveling away and we’re poorer for it.
After the raucous presidential debate hosted by CBS February 25 in Charleston S.C., pundits demanded live audiences be done away with (prepositional ending of sentence be damned!). Bernie and Biden will go at it Sunday in the studio, thanks to the Wuhan thing. (Then again, the three JFK-Nixon debates were conducted without a live audience.)
⇒ Still hoping for a canned laugh track at Sunday’s Democrat(ic) debate.
The world will come to you
Why go out to eat when GrubHub will bring the food to you? Why go shopping when Amazon and FedEx deliver? Woodman’s and Pick n’ Save will deliver your groceries. No need for movie theaters with NetFlix, Hulu and 54-inch, high-definition screens. Martin Scorsese’s latest movie went almost directly to subscription TV. Download your books. Do the U.S. Census on-line. Banking, too.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is falling back to on-line learning as a result of the latest pandemic. Madison Civic Center is cancelling shows.
Will public transportation recover? Will our churches shut their doors? Even Donald Trump has canceled the Catholics for Trump rally in Milwaukee next week. Mayor Tom Barrett insists the Democrat(ic) national convention will carry on five months from now. Lot could change in five months. In the meantime, stay away from Chinese and Italians.
Skepticism has curdled into cynicism
It is a mark of how little the news media is trusted that many of my conservative friends are pooh-pooing the risk involved. Indeed, COVID-19 may peter out. (Let’s hope.). Our liberal-progressive-socialist acquaintances attach the word “crisis” to every micro-aggression. They fanned the Russian conspiracy hoax, after all.
It should be remembered that the 1918-19 “Spanish Flu” killed more than all the military deaths in World War I and World War II combined. It lasted just 15 months but was the deadliest disease outbreak in human history, killing between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide — 670,000 in America when the nation’s population was 106 million — less than one-third of today’s. My aunt Evelyn (born 1910) told of being sent to the neighbors’ farm to live.
Blaska’s bottom line: If you want to downplay the risk today, go ahead. Book that cruise, rub elbows. But there’s a reason wildlife experts ban baiting deer — the spread of diseases like chronic wasting chief among them.