Attending the Bassmaster Classic, I had no idea that I was attending what appears to be the only major sporting event of the spring.
When I went to Birmingham, there was a long list of sporting events on the calendar.
Now, we’re more concerned with bread than circuses.
With the COVID-19 pandemic progressively closing down everything but non-essential services (except the battle to place blame on someone) we’re more closely aligned to our grandparents core values.
They were far more concerned with keeping their families safe than worrying about sports.
Yesterday, Nashville’s mayor issued a third emergency order, closing down all non-essential businesses. Not long afterwards, the governor issued similar statewide guidance.
Fortunately, some of the preparations (above) like this drive-in location hasn’t yet been called into service. This sign at the headquarters of Stones River National Battlefield (below) brings home the reality that the government isn’t taking Coronavirus lightly.
The volunteer state, it seems, doesn’t voluntarily follow anyone’s orders.
I’ve never been (nor wanted to be) a medical reporter. Once, I thought I wanted to be a doctor. Even went so far as to get started studying medicine. That’s when I discovered that I didn’t want to be immersed in an endless loop of malady.
Despite what anyone might think about doctors, there’s a special quality to people who are willing to deal in the process of healing. They willingly deal in human suffering on a daily basis.
That having been said, I’m a skeptic by nature -and training. I don’t accept anything I’m told about Coronavirus as inarguable fact. Instead, I do what reporters, lawyers and policemen do: read the faces and expressions of the people who are giving the briefings.
At this point, I’m convinced they’re taking this very seriously. Consequently, I’m treating it with more seriousness. My wife and I are working from home, ordering home delivery of groceries, and limiting our contact with others.
For me, working from home is nothing new. Adjusting to another worker in my office, is a different story.
When I’m working in the field, I can tune out everyone and everything around me. I focus on what I’m doing. That doesn’t work so well if your office cohabitant is your wife and she’s asking a household question.
So we’re adapting by setting aside segments of time when we’re taking breaks. Taking walks, going outside, taking time off the computer, telephone and disconnecting from the bombardment of information that causes some people to dismiss the whole thing as “just more media hype.”
For some people, it doesn’t matter whether it’s hype or not. The threat to their lives is real. If you’re reading this, you know someone whose livelihood is on the line.
Tomorrow, we’ll have a feature telling how fishing guides are suffering because people are canceling trips. The trickle-down from those cancellations impact everything from gas stations to bait shops, restaurants and hotels.
One of my friends in Oklahoma summed it up pretty succinctly: “Gas is $1.40/gallon. And there’s no place to go.”
There are also some of those encouraging signs that despite the division in our country, there are still people who want to help.
Yesterday, a message from Harbor Freight owner/founder Eric Smidt informed customers that the company was donating their entire supply of N95 masks, face shields and 5 and 7 mil nitrile gloves to hospitals with 24 hour emergency rooms.
While some stores are taking advantage of the opportunity to increase prices, others are letting their customers know they’re more important than profits.
If you know a business that’s hiked up prices, I hope you’ll tell all your friends. Then encourage them to tell all their friends. Avoid those businesses like the plague they are. Maybe then they’ll lower their prices - for their going-out-of-business sales.
Tough times are when we see who’s really worthy of our support.
We’ll keep you posted.