Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, April 19, 2020
ISSUE #1013
Are you optimistic, pessimistic or realistic?

What’s your feeling about this coronavirus and its effect on the US and the world? Are you optimistic that life can return to “near normal” by July? After all, sunshine and life outdoors in warm weather should kill off the virus.

Or are you pessimistic? Do you expect most of the country will stay shut down until sometime next year? No baseball or football games, or at least no fans in the seats? November voting only by mail? Celebrating Christmas with the family on Zoom?

Or are you realistic? That’s the option in the middle. Instead of placing bets on either an early or late resumption of business, take it one day at a time. Maybe most folks can go back to work but the old folks and anyone with lung problems remain cautious. Many will continue to work from home. If you’re in a crowd, on a subway or airplane, wear a mask and don’t touch anything. Just be glad that, unlike after 9/11, everyone can keep their shoes on. Masks won’t do anything for smelly socks.

Don’t compare this coronavirus to previous coronaviruses or other major causes of death.  This one from Wuhan is more contagious and easily passed along, even by a person with no symptoms. The good news is that a lot of people have already had Covid-19 and didn’t know it. And once you’ve had it, like mumps and German measles, you probably won’t get again.

Do you remember a couple of months ago the medical professionals predicted between one million and two million would die? That estimate may seem like many moons ago. Unless too many of us start disobeying the recommended practices, we may get by with fewer than 100,000 this year.

You probably agree that President Trump is an optimist. He would like the parts of the country with few cases to go back to work next week. A previous president, Franklin Roosevelt was also an optimist. When President Roosevelt was inaugurated in March 1933, the country had gone through more than 3 years of ‘Don’t rock the boat.’ Will Rogers described the attitude of the country on his first day in office, “Just so he does something. If he burned down the Capitol we would cheer and say, ‘Well, we at least got a fire started anyhow.’”

Did you hear that President Trump considered a regular radio talk show from the White House? He probably got the idea from President Roosevelt’s Fireside Chats. FDR had 30 radio broadcasts over 12 years. Trump would burn through 30 in the first month.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“Mr. Roosevelt stepped to the microphone last night and knocked another home run [his first so-called Fireside Chat]. His message was not only a great comfort to the people, but it pointed a lesson to all radio announcers and public speakers what to do with a big vocabulary: leave it at home in the dictionary.” DT #2061, March 13, 1933

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