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The Midweek Motivator – the Virus

A longstanding Navy shipboard saying heard countless times on deck reminds, “When in trouble or in doubt…run in circles, scream and shout!” It has some application in the expanding Coronavirus reportage. 

Before we disenfranchise you, be assured no one in our office is making fun of the pandemic. Yet at some point reality and darkest fears must necessarily intersect. After all, since 2000 we’ve lived through “Bird Flu” (H5N1), SARS, MRSA, and other predatory invasions. 

Last Thursday I was waiting in the Delta Sky Room in Nashville, coincidentally sitting next to an impressive guy who is among the preeminent Sports Marketing people in the country. His company finds sponsorships for the NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA tournaments and Bowl Games, not to leave out March Madness, PGA and more. It was approaching 10:00 AM Nashville time, and we talked about the potential-slim as it seemed at the moment-various NCAA and Pro entities might shut down for the remainder of their season. “Well, if that happens we’ll be out of business for most of the year!” he said. 

I casually remarked I hoped it wouldn’t and questioned those organizations would go that far, this soon. Well, within a few hours, they did. Gone are the epic traditions of late winter and early spring. Risking appearing unfair and off-target, while I’m not a Doctor of Infectology, it seems reasonable to point out that as of this writing, the number of deaths in the US appears minimal; as of late last week, the number of fatalities in the disease’s epicenter (Washington State) rose to 31 to be exact. Is it serious? Without question, but does that mean a vast expanse of fatalities for thousands of Americans? It seems unlikely using past invasions as benchmarks. 

Consider the word “Pandemic” since when introduced a couple of weeks ago, it cast an alarming shadow over the days and months ahead. But wait: “Pandemic” infers a disastrous geometric spread of a fatal disease, does it not? Incorrect! Pandemic carries no valuation of the severity of a disease. None! From Greek origin “Pan” the term refers to geographic spread; “pandemic” signifies something that has migrated across boundaries or borders. Again, the term itself doesn’t infer severity. 

For every one of us in Broadcasting we have an obligation to balance our coverage; calmly, evenly measured with facts versus hyperbole. As well, each of us needs to be alert, practicing common sense cautions as we monitor ourselves and our family. 

We’ve seen it before, several times in fact since the early 2000’s. We took those invasive and potentially harmful invasions seriously. We must do it today though stopping far short of a comparison to the plagues that engulfed London in the 1500’s! 

Circling back to your role influencing countless listeners every day, you’ll report responsibly with accurate terminology and relevant, actionable advice. This is where and when Radio matters most. And stay safe.