Post by Sheriff John Stone on Mar 13, 2020 1:20:36 GMT
I noticed that this unfortunate topic is relevant to several threads on the forum. In trying to read everyone's thoughts, feelings, and important information regarding COVID-19, I thought it might be easier to redirect everything to one thread.
Good idea, Sheriff. Here in NL, all gatherings of more than 100 people have been prohibited from today until the end of the month. This means no concerts (including the one my grandson had been rehearsing all year to take part in), no sports events and mass cancellations at airports, travel agencies and restaurants.
Schools are being kept open (for the moment at least), the argument being that many parents are needed to perform important duties in society and basically keep it up and running. This is controversial but the government's argument is understandable. And the thought of organizing childcare services for untold thousands of pupils is a pretty daunting prospect.
Unfortunate is the operative word. To be continued, no doubt.
We're largely in the same boat re schools, jk: while many colleges and universities are closing or going to remote-only classes, elementary, middle, and high schools are mostly staying open (with some exceptions). The evidence shows that people 19 and under seem least likely to get, and least likely to be seriously ill if they do get, the disease. And in the U.S., many adults are not able to take time off to care for their kids without risking losing their jobs or missing important paychecks. So sadly our schools are almost also daycare centers. (Many children get the bulk of their nutritious food from schools, not just lunches but breakfast and sometimes even dinner.) If that evidence begins to show kids are actually at a higher risk than thought, things could really go crazy.
But mostly I think we are looking at broad economic risks and less--but of course serious--health risks. It's a very disconcerting situation now, that place where you ought not ignore it and do nothing, and yet you ought not panic. I don't think the human mind is great at walking that middle path.
As noted in another thread, everyone at my company who is able to do so (including me) is encouraged to work from home at least through the end of the month. And while I'm usually not one to give these things much thought, even just running some rough numbers on likely infection rates (and death rates) has me more cautious. I'm more concerned about my parents, both well into their 70s (and my dad with a laundry list of health issues over the years, some of which are directly relevant), but thankful they're in a rural area where they are less likely to be in crowds.
Keep safe, everyone. Don't ignore it, and don't panic. And if you need toilet paper, I can sell you some at a dramatic markup!
To add something tangentially relevant, this morning our esteemed sports columnist Sid Hartman wrote some interesting tidbits in his column. For context, Hartman turns 100 this weekend. He has been doing sportswriting since the mid-40s. (He also was de facto general manager of the Minneapolis Lakers and was instrumental in bringing them here.)
Hartman's first column was published one week after WWII ended. He compared that horrible time to this scary one.
And while there may not be a comparison in terms of the war and this health scare, the fact is that during the war years sports proved to be a key factor in keeping people together and bringing the country back.
My first column in the paper started like this:
“Ticket Manager Marsh Ryman reports that the football ducat sale is the highest since the start of the war. Mail order for season tickets closed Saturday. The estimated sale is around 9,500. This is far from the 17,000 that were sold in 1937, but a lot better than any of the war years. Incidentally the University of Minnesota is protected even if it can’t replace the Seahawk game. The season-ticket book clearly states more than one game must be postponed before a refund is necessary.
“However, this doesn’t mean the boys aren’t trying to get a game. They want one and are doing their best to line one up.”
Everyone impacted The rest of the column featured updates on players who had been impacted by the war.
The great Pat Harder, who played running back at Wisconsin and made the College Football Hall of Fame, was waiting on a discharge from the Marines after a knee operation. His teammate Elroy Hirsch, one of the best football players ever, was also in the Marine Corps.
I also had an item after talking with Bob Hanzlik, another Wisconsin football standout who had enrolled at the University of Minnesota following the war.
“Bob Hanzlik still is getting back letters that he wrote to his Wisconsin teammates, Dave Schreiner and Tom Baumann, who were killed at Okinawa,” the column read. “Hanzlik wrote to Schreiner every week during the 18 months he was overseas. … Incidentally, Bob thinks Wisconsin got an awfully tough break when they lost backfield coach Howie O’Dell in 1942. Hanzlik says the Badgers were crazy about O’Dell and he had plenty to do with developing the ’42 club. O’Dell coached in the spring and then left in the fall to take a head coaching job at Yale.”
Even then, in the most difficult of times for someone like Hanzlik, football was a way to not focus so much on the difficulties of the war.
Of course, the current situation around sports doesn’t have the gravity of those days in the 1930s and ’40s, but you can still feel how the loss of sports signals that the country is in a difficult position.
But it’s also true that when games are played again, it will bring a lot of comfort to teams and fans.
With all of us being big music fans, I'm sure we'll be very interested to see how COVID-19 affects artists' tours. I have tickets for The Beach Boys on 4/8/20 at The Hershey Theatre. I'm not optimistic right now.
I'll just bring this up. If anybody wants to comment, please jump in, but if you don't feel like getting into "all of that" again, I understand. I can only imagine if Brian Wilson cancels his tour - and Mike Love doesn't.
Many tours are being postponed and canceled over the next couple of months. I think it's only prudent, frankly. And especially if I were advising a legacy artist, I'd damn near insist they cancel for the audience's safety as well as their own: Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, and Bruce Johnston should NOT be in close proximity to hundreds or thousands of people a night until this cools off.
Here is a sobering but important look at projections for the disease in the US. It's not the model whose numbers got me taking things more seriously (which I heard third-hand, from Yale's Nick Christakis as a guest on Sam Harris's Waking Up podcast, but quoting some Harvard expert), but what I had heard fits into the ranges shown here.
In short, though, we can expect 50 million to 100+ million people to be infected within the next year or so; 2.4 million to 21 million to require hospitalization (there are fewer than 1 million hospital beds); and 200k to 1.7 million to die. (The numbers I referenced from the podcast were assuming the low end of a 20-60% infection rate, which is 60 million people, and then a 0.5% death rate, which is 300,000.)
Where I work, we haven’t yet been encouraged to work from home, though I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. Perhaps we’ll get a notification today.
However, coronavirus is starting to impact the company in other ways. A lot of the projects we were about to kick off have been put on hold, because our clients are hesitant to commit payment for our services in the current economic situation. This includes the project I just helped land. And apparently a key stakeholder on that project is now in isolation or quarantine, I’m not sure which.
As a result of a slowing of work, two valuable employees were laid off this week. Obviously, it’s creating an uncomfortable feeling around the office.
Saw that. Good for him. I read that the Mavericks are looking at paying everyone throughout the shutdown, too. (Not sure if it's final or just being looked into.)
There are going to be a lot of people with temporary loss of income. Hopefully businesses will be as charitable as possible in paying people despite lack of revenues, and the government and charities will pick up the slack. I saw that the president announced an emergency to free up some money, and Speaker Pelosi announced she and the the president reached a deal to help people with free testing and to compensate for loss of income, so hopefully that goes through the House and Senate quickly.
Post by Sheriff John Stone on Mar 13, 2020 23:34:21 GMT
Every owner of a professional sports team is a billionaire or multi-billionaire. When you consider the salaries, or actually just the hourly wages of the arena and stadium staff, I think the owners - and many of the players - could contribute to a fund to pay those workers (if they can't file for unemployment or some kind of insurance). Look at what Mike Bloomberg basically threw away in a couple of short weeks. That should put things in some kind of perspective.
Couldn't agree more. I am a capitalist, but also believe anyone fortunate enough to make a billion dollars (or two, or five, or ten) would hopefully have the decency to go above and beyond from time to time, when it matters so much to people with few to no other options. (I also believe in a government safety net, knowing we can't count on people's generosity, unfortunately.)
But really, it is an amazing and wonderful thing for someone to rise to such heights and then pay it back or forward. Hopefully we'll see a lot of it in these next months. It is a chance for people to live up to their best potential and do what they can do.
jk: That's good news, Sheriff. And good news from you too, Cap'n.
Sept 21, 2021 10:12:14 GMT
carllove: Sheriff and Kapitan, totally understand! Just let us know when there is an update. I am enjoying both! I really appreciate both of your efforts!
Sept 21, 2021 13:44:37 GMT
carllove: Looks like Sheriff has already added to the Sparks history! Yay!
Sept 21, 2021 13:46:01 GMT
Kapitan: Shamed, I began a new Prince thread post. But work rudely interrupted by wanting me to, you know, work. So it'll have to wait.
Sept 21, 2021 19:31:50 GMT
jk: Ooohh, we need a new "year" -- preferably from someone who hasn't chosen one yet...
Sept 22, 2021 9:59:24 GMT
Kapitan: Yes, let's keep it going. If you're not sure which years we've covered, check the first post of the thread: I've edited it to list each year we've touched upon.
Sept 22, 2021 13:10:08 GMT
jk: If no one jumps in soon, I'll go for 1997, which is 13 years back from 2010. Fact is, we haven't had a '90s year yet.
Sept 22, 2021 13:46:32 GMT
Kapitan: No, but we do have a whole '90s thread that covered a lot of that territory. (In fact, that's what inspired the idea, to some extent)
Sept 22, 2021 13:52:28 GMT
Kapitan: Not that I'm opposed to a '90s year, mind you
Sept 22, 2021 13:52:58 GMT
jk: I see where you're coming from, Cap'n. I even did a double-take when looking through 1997 albums and songs (these look familiar!). My next suggestion is that we go back 13 years from 1972 to 1959.
Sept 22, 2021 17:04:34 GMT
jk: OK, it's one of the "doldrum years" but it was crammed full of goodies that even register with folks who weren't born for another 20 years. Of course, if anyone has a better idea, I'm all for it.
Sept 22, 2021 17:05:59 GMT
Kapitan: That would make sense; we also haven't really touched the early to mid 80s, which I'm sure people (mostly) recall. And of course EVERY year in the '60s seems loaded...
Sept 22, 2021 17:06:53 GMT
jk: Yes, the early-ish '80s also came to mind. But let's see who else joins in...
Sept 22, 2021 17:08:04 GMT
Kapitan: So far we've had me, jk, kds, and carllove choosing years. Would love to expand that circle.
Sept 22, 2021 17:13:20 GMT
Kapitan: Which, I guess with four of us so far, is more a square.
Sept 22, 2021 17:13:38 GMT
jk: Ha, yes. Sheriff? B.E.? sockit? The Kid?... We'll see.
Sept 22, 2021 17:16:41 GMT