The coronavirus will be televised

I’m watching Fox 8’s live Eric Gales concert — an incredible event for a local television station — while I write this. Gales, a Greensboro resident, is Lauryn Hill’s touring guitarist, and an unbelievable player. His connection to the community is well documented.

I’m hoping I can finish the roundup before the set ends.

The return of live television (or livestreaming video, if you prefer) is just one of the strange developments in the wake of the coronavirus, and not an entirely unwelcome one. It feels strangely familiar to have appointment television again.

And the news waits for no one.

Some news

The Numbers

  • Guilford County added five cases since last night (N&O numbers), for a total of 44, Forsyth added seven cases (county numbers), for a total of 40. No deaths yet in the Triad, but we should break 100 total cases by Wednesday.
  • Seven people have died from COVID-19 in NC. We’ve got 1,373 cases, up 186, and we have 137 hospitalizations — a new metric! — well within our resources. But we’ll be adding 200 a day starting tomorrow, probably.
  • The US continues to lead the world in COVID-19 diagnoses, by a lot, and that won’t change anytime soon. This is a big country, with a lot of humans in it. But if we all stay home for a bit — okay, until Juneperhaps we can slow it down.

A diversion

In honor of our newfound affinity for appointment television, I harken back to the 1970s and the network system that dominated the medium before cable and everything after. Back then, the networks would corral all the top talent from their biggest shows and then have them compete in games like tug-of-war, relay races and contests — and hijinks definitely ensues! It was called “Battle of the Network Stars“; it was on just twice a year and everyone who grew up in the days before cable loved it. YouTube has a bunch of old episodes, but I’m picking this one from 1983, with play-by-play from Howard Cosell, who plays it completely straight, flag football with Heather Thomas, Mr. T in a dunking booth and William Shatner leading a tug-of-war crew. This will kill a couple hours — including actual 1980s commercials — and the ensuing rabbit hole might keep you occupied for a couple days.

Program notes

  • Tonight’s featured image is “Giant Magnolias on a Blue Velvet Cloth” by Martin Johnson Heade, 1890, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art.
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