Dating back to the first article I wrote for my middle school newspaper, I have spent the better part of three decades as a journalist.
During that time, I have spent many hours inside bustling newsrooms pounding out columns and other articles at deadline. I even lived every print journalist’s dream and got to yell, “stop the presses” once when I was working as a sports editor at a daily newspaper.
Okay, it was more like, “Hey, Bob we need to redo the front page, so can you stand down for a bit?”
But in my mind, I ran in there like Michael Keaton in The Paper with Glenn Close chasing behind me trying to stop me from bringing those mighty offset presses to a halt by pressing the kill switch like a crazed Guttenberg.
For the record, that would be like a crazed Johannes Gutenberg, and not like a Police Academy alum Steve Guttenberg.
There is an electricity in newsrooms that is hard to duplicate. So it is that lack of electrical energy that I will blame for my malaise when it came to deciding what I wanted to write about today.
I certainly tried to think of something clever to write. Instead, I spent most of the day staring at a blank computer screen when I wasn’t making homemade tacos, or blueberry pancakes, while watching documentaries and flipping between baseball and hockey games.
So, it is with my sincere apologies that I must announce that today’s column has been canceled due to a lack of subject to write about.
Sure, I could write about the fact that COVID-19 cases continuing to soar out of control like a bus being driven by Sandra Bullock on a deserted California interstate.
If I were to write about that, I would be sure to point out that at the time of this writing over 162,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 as the virus continues to speed along killing about 1,000 people a day without showing any real sign of stopping.
I would also be sure to point out that more and more students and teachers are raising concerns about the patchwork of rules being implemented for returning kids to school.
Many schools seem to be treating back to school like some sort of demented science fair project where the students left standing get ribbons, and the rest of the students and staff risk long-term health effects that could dog them for the rest of their lives.
But hey, just open it all up and hope that fortune favors those who fail to follow the science. Spoilers, it doesn’t.
I could write about that, but it would be too easy to say that cases of COVID-19 are rising because of a lack of a central plan to combat the virus, and that nationwide testing needs to be increased in order to fully get a grasp on the virus before trying to reintroduce people to large indoor spaces like schools and whatnot.
Were I writing about concerns pertaining to back to school, I would also be sure to point out that despite what you may have heard, kids can catch and spread COVID-19 as well as adults.
If I was so inclined, I could even write about how instead of tackling real issues about how to encourage people to take the virus seriously, the President of the United States is holding press conferences where members of the public are not abiding by the few guidelines his administration has actually given out regarding COVID-19. You know that whole wear a mask, stay six feet apart, and avoid large indoor gatherings thing to stop the spread.
No, that would be too easy to write about.
Oh, I suppose I could even write about the expected 250,000 people heading to South Dakota this weekend for the largest gathering that has taken place since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But if I were to write about it, no doubt I would point out that it will be interesting to see whether cases spike across the country as a result of the large gathering that 60 percent of the locals in the community asked be cancelled out of concerns for their health.
It seems like every day we plunge further down the rabbit hole. Meanwhile, our elected officials stick their heads in the sand like ostriches clicking their heels together and trying to just wish the virus away.
I could even write about how much enjoyment watching three bubble hockey games a day is giving me. But that would be unfair to Major League Baseball (MLB) to point out that bubbles work and trying to play ball outside a bubble leads to COVID-19 outbreaks.
You know, like the current outbreak that has caused a weekend series against the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs to be cancelled.
Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot MLB refuses to use the word cancelled. Let me try again, a series against the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs that was postponed to some future date.
While I am in no way going to write about the Cardinals, if I were to write about their situation, I would likely point out that with the latest series “postponement,” the Cardinals will have gone at least 12 days without playing a game.
Thanks to two COVID-19 flareups, with nine players and seven staff members testing positive for the virus, the Cardinals have only played five games this season.
Assuming they are given the all clear to resume play on Monday, they will face the task of needing to play 55 games in 49 days just to complete their 2020 season.
To be totally clear, I won’t write about the uphill climb faced by the Cardinals. But if I did, I would once again have to point out the total lunacy of MLB’s tunnel vision of playing a 2020 season despite the risks, and despite having multiple teams unable to compete. If MLB is not careful, sudden death will take on a whole new meaning this season.
I could even write about the foolish push to try to play football in the fall were I so inclined. Were I to tackle that issue, pun intended, I would be sure to note that if we were able to get the infection rate down to a manageable level than perhaps playing football would be a nice reward for a functional society.
But, plateauing at 1,000 people dying a day does not really sound like something to celebrate by tossing the old pigskin around.
Some college football conferences as well as some individual teams have agreed that playing football in the middle of a global pandemic is not smart. As a result, they cancelled their 2020 seasons. Time will tell if others follow suit.
So, with nothing to write about today, I guess I will just have to go back to trying new recipes for poutine as I continue to watch the quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I am off to ponder what I will write about Monday.
Copyright 2020 R. Anderson