How long will I do the morning show? Better yet – how long can I wake up this early? It’s Sunday. I should be sleeping. Instead, I’m programmed to read news, take a shower, grab a cup of coffee and start talking into a microphone. It’s a beautiful way to welcome the world, but after a while you just wanna sleep.
Coronavirus Halts Public Gatherings – Daily life ground to a halt as… governments and businesses put further constraints on travel, shopping, elections and even religious services. – Wall Street Journal
It’s crazy out there. Normally, we would be going to high school Regional games and watching the Big Ten tournament. Our kids would be picking up candy at St. Patrick’s Day parades and eating at fish fries. All canceled. Where does it go from here? How many people will die?
The US now has 2,800 cases and 58 deaths. – CNN
Before bed, I texted with Munster police chief Steve Scheckel and North Township Trustee Frank Mrvan. There are plenty of rumors about confirmed cases of coronavirus in Lake and Porter. But that’s all they are right now – rumors. We have heard of no confirmed cases, although another local official texted me late last night.
“Jed, it wouldn’t surprise me if we have our first reported case in Lake County by morning.”
That’s part of the reason I’m paging through my phone – is there a case of corona virus in Lake County, Indiana? If so, I’ll put on some jeans, drive to the station and go live on AM and FM radio and do a video that can be shared around Facebook. The one thing we learned in the flood of 2008 is that people need to know what’s going on.
“Finally, the blog is back. The two responses to your blog were a little rough on you. I don’t have Facebook or I would have told them to fuck off!”
This is another late night text waiting for me when I woke up. There is hate in the world, lots of it. And some of it is directed at me. That, like having to run down to the station to report the first case of coronavirus, is part of the job. Discord runs especially high with a contested congressional race all around us. There 20 candidates fighting to go to Washington. If you strongly support one of the 20, there’s a good chance that by the end of primary season you will hate my guts… if you don’t already.
France is imposing a shutdown of all restaurants, cafes, theaters and nonessential shops, and encouraging its citizens to stay home. – New York Post
It’s a curious thing to be able to roll over, turn on your phone and seconds later you’re reading from the London Times. You used to have to go to the periodical section of a big city library. They’d have week-old papers from far away places on bamboo rods. You’d spread them on a table and lose yourself in the vastness of the world. Now, you roll over and press Google.
Retailers across the nation are trimming store hours to focus on deep cleanings and to restock store shelves. Some are simply closing. – USA Today
Once I got my driver’s license, I would drive to the Hammond Public Library and spread those newspapers on bamboo rods across one of the big wooden tables. I would lose myself in stories of the city council in Los Angeles and of rampant murder on the streets of New York. Then, and now, I devour news. Every morning I spit it back out and get paid for it… kind of.
Coronavirus Update: 156,885 cases and 5,839 deaths from corona virus worldwide. - Worldometers.info
You look at that number, 156,885, and you accept it. You can know it. There is a number for sickness and death. Then, as you think about it further, you have questions.
Total positive cases – 15. Tested for coronavirus – 89. – Indiana Department of Health website
Is this a joke? There are 6.7 million people in Indiana and only 89 have been tested? How does that happen?
We have very few testing kits in this state. I know this because I have sat through meetings with officials and I just shake my head. We can do whatever we want to help get information out… but what if that information doesn’t keep up with what’s really going on.
Indiana's top public health official… said she agreed with the Ohio health commissioner, who said up to 1% of Ohioans likely already have the virus…
If accurate, 1% of Indiana's population of 6.7 million people means 67,000 Hoosiers already might have COVID-19. – The Times of NWI
Do you understand the discrepancy in state information? The official number on the website is 15 people out of 6.7 million. But Dr. Kristina Box, also of the state of Indiana, says it could be 67,000? What are you to believe? What should we report? Are we absorbing numbers from bamboo rods?
The challenge is that tons of people are walking around with sniffles and body aches. It’s cold and flu season. According to the blond woman standing next to President Trump yesterday - 96% of people with flu systems who get tested don’t have coronavirus. So what the heck? I’m gonna listen to some Jean Shepherd from 1964 and try to go back to sleep. 15 or 67,000 – you decide.