The Old Coot wants a day off!

One day a week! One day without any COVID-19 news. Is that too much to ask? Nothing in the newspaper, not a word on the radio, and especially nothing on TV! I know the news media has to focus on tragedy; that is news; it’s our fault, our human nature; we can’t help but rubberneck as we pass by an auto accident, a house fire, a mob of protesters. If media only covered good news they would go out of business. But, one day free of coronavirus hysteria wouldn’t hurt readership, wouldn’t hurt TV and radio ratings. 

Do we really need a daily tally of deaths? New cases? Overcrowded hospitals? No! No! No! We need a day off. And, not just old coots like me. Everyone needs a break. The virus has hurt us; the media is finishing us off with their overkill.   

They once kept us focused on ongoing tragic events by marking the number of days. “Day 128 of the hostage situation in Iraq,” – “Day 6 of wild fires in California.” It’s day 277 of the pandemic in America as I write this, but marking the day isn’t on the media agenda; daily hysteria is. They’ve been effective in making us afraid of many things, even the weather, even normal weather like cold spells in winter, hot spells in the summer, wind, rain and thunderstorms. They’re now feasting on the coronavirus.  

We don’t need the hype; we need a mild-mannered spokesperson like Smokey the Bear used to be when he said, “Only you can prevent forest fires.” That was before they ramped up his message and changed forest fire to WILD FIRE! The Corona the Bear version could avoid the hype and simply say, “Only you can prevent the spread of the coronavirus; please wear a mask.” That would work for me. Especially, if the media gave us a day off.

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