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.
- Gov. Roy Cooper’s statewide stay-at-home executive order went into effect at 5 p.m. today.
- At least 30 states and Washington DC have all implemented similar orders, meaning that two out of three Americans are living under these rules.
- And if you just can’t stand the sight of people blatantly gathering in groups of more than 10 anymore, Guilford County made a snitch form where you can report violations online.
- Sen. Richard Burr is under investigation by the SEC and the Justice Department for unloading more than $1 million in stock before the crash — and after receiving security briefings as the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
- The State Dept. of Revenue has closed its Raleigh headquarters after another employee tested positive for COVID-19. State Treasurer Dale Folwell and two other treasury employees had tested positive for the disease.
- The UNC System will implement new admissions policies after this year’s SAT and ACT test were canceled.
- Jordan and Sayaka broke three news stories on the website today:
- A judge decided that the family of Marcus Smith can go ahead with their lawsuit against the city after his death by homicide in GPD custody.
- Forsyth County libraries are still lending books, using curb service for pickup and drop-off. But some employees don’t feel safe.
- Several more arrests were made at a Greensboro abortion clinic after protestors defied the stay-at-home order.
- COVID-19 cases are escalating in North Carolina, and elsewhere.
- 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 June — perhaps we can slow it down.
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.