What Can We Do?
Watching the news can be a harrowing experience, even on a slow news day. The news biz isn’t for the faint of heart. I worked as a journalist once upon a time, and one of my first lessons was, “if it bleeds, it leads.” Murder, floods, fire, famine, and disease sell more newspapers, get higher TV ratings, and boost “hits” online. These days, it comes at you 24/7.
This week’s “bleed” of the week was COVID-19 a.k.a. THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS — dunt dunt DAH! It filled our screens and haunted our dreams. The disease spread and so did reporters. Just like preparing for a hurricane about to make landfall in OBX, a thousand Jim Cantore wannabes flew into danger zones ahead of the oncoming wave; China, Italy, and New Rochelle. Reports of the pandemic caused an endemic panic.
But the media told us to stay at home and (sad trombone – wanh, wanh, wahhhh) — wash our hands. Instead of taking this advice, America collectively ignored it and went to Costco. We bought all the things we need to fight a virus; hand sanitizer, food, water, and toilet paper. Yes, toilet paper.
Compared to other monumental moments of crisis in the last century — WWI, WWII, the Spanish Flu of 1918, the Great Depression — COVID-19 seems like something we could crush in a few months and forget about it. Case in point, no one really remembers the Spanish American War, which lasted three months, three weeks and two days — even though 385 soldiers died in combat and another 2,061 succumbed to Yellow Fever.
Americans were divided over that crisis too. Many said we shouldn’t get involved. Pope Leo denounced the war and American Catholics protested going to war against other Catholics, but after the first shots were fired, we rallied as a nation. We have a long history of coming together as a nation to face down a crisis. But this week I’ve seen some of the most bitter, divisive political arguments unfold on Facebook. Both sides blaming the other for a virus. How utterly ridiculous. Republicans don’t want people to get sick and die. Democrats don’t either. Maybe, just maybe, we can put our differences aside.
The problem is, we haven’t been given a clear national directive. “What can we do?” Here’s a novel idea to combat the novel coronavirus (see what I did there?)…buy bonds. Hey, it worked during World War II. Americans rallied together and bought $185 billion in war bonds. It helped fund the war effort, brought us together, saved the economy, and financed the Marshall Plan, which rebuilt Europe. 85 million Americans, out of 134 million, banded together and fought a common enemy by opening our wallets. Adjusting for inflation the total value of those bonds would be $2.4 trillion today and the U.N. says COVID-19 may have a negative $1 trillion dollar impact on the global economy. Why not? The stock market is down and you’re looking for a safe investment. Sure, U.S. Government Series EE Bonds only pay .10%, but that’s better than losing 10% in your 401K and you can “buy, buy, buy a bond” for a measly 25 bucks. In 20 years it’ll be worth $50. Call me crazy, but I’d rather do something other than just washing my hands and getting free samples at Costco.
Monday, March 9 – Getting Mobile
On Monday a few of the Madison+Main-iacs presented five new logos to our client All American Mobility. It was a great meeting, they liked all five, and are now tasked with the tough decision to pick a favorite. We can’t wait to hear back and move forward with designs!
Tuesday, March 10 – The Long Winding Cord
On Tuesday, the folks from Comcast climbed up a pole across the street and cut an old cable cord. They did this for no apparent reason. The cord was attached to our building. The Comast truck drove off, leaving a 200-foot-long black cord hanging from our building and laying in the middle of 1st Street. Not knowing what had happened, we called Dominion Energy and they said, “We can’t help you with this.” We called Verizon and they said, “We can’t help you with this.” Then we called Comcast and they said, “We’ll be there Wednesday.”
Wednesday, March 11 – I Scream For Ice Cream
Just like a delicious Dairy Queen Blizzard, the Madison+Main-iacs turned things upside down recently when they created these cool event banners for our udderly amazing clients at Maola Milk. These designs were eye-catchers at the DQ Expo this year in New Orleans. I suddenly want a chocolate milkshake. Anyone else? #ColdBrandsWin
Sidenote: Comcast didn’t show up on Wednesday.
Thursday, March 12 – Who Let The Libertarians In?
The answer: no one. Communication Director Kent Brockwell and I ponied up 20 bucks a piece to attend the Politics & Pints V Event last night in Innsbrook. Thanks to WRVA’s dynamic duo of John Reid and Jeff Katz for the special invite. We were excited about the event — since nothing quite goes together quite like drunk people and politics — but once we arrived at Atlas 42, we received word that it was cancelled because of the coronavirus. Instead, we went to The Beach House and rubbed elbows with dozens of other people who were drowning their sorrows.
In other news, Comcast didn’t show up on Thursday either.
Friday, March 13 – March Sadness
It’s Friday the 13th and I was supposed to be watching my beloved VCU Rams beat the UMass Minutemen in the first round of the A10 Basketball Tournament in Brooklyn, New York. The NCAA cancelled March Madness and the A10 Tournament was cancelled nine minutes prior to tipoff. I am checking with friends to find out if Brooklyn has been canceled.
In other news, Mercury in Retrograde ended this week. And as of 3 p.m. EDT, I am pushing the button on the Weekly Report and leaving the office early. I don’t have any symptoms of the Coronavirus, so I’m going to take off and fly to Vegas for $43. Wish me luck. I hear Corona is on sale there and if I’m going to take a gamble on travel then I might as well gamble when I get there. #BabyNeedsANewPairOfShoes
But first I have to wait for the Comcast guy to show up.
A Few of Our Favorite Events
Lucy Corr’s Lucy Living Lecture | Featuring Mindy Conklin
6709 Roundabout Way | Chesterfield, VA
March 19, 2020 | 2 – 4 p.m.
Mindy Conklin, Executive Director and Founder of Hitting Cancer Below the Belt (HCB2), will share effective ways to prevent diseases such as cancer by focusing on proper nourishment, movement, and breathing. Mindy’s early detection and preventative behavior insights are backed by 20 years of experience in the health industry. Call Maria Bond at Lucy Corr to reserve your seat today at (804) 425-8280!
The Omni Homestead Resorts | Hot Springs, VA
April 29 — May 1, 2020
By magnitudes, the single best conference I attend every year. Mix it up with more than 200 small/mid-sized business CEOs, enjoy the wonderful hospitality of Homestead, and prepare to be wowed by the speakers and workshops. You have to be a member to join, but I can help you with that! Call me.
1 Bowman Drive | Fredericksburg, VA
May 30, 2020 | 6 – 9 p.m.
Master Distiller, Brian Prewitt, will start the evening off with a guided tasting of rare Abraham Bowman Limited Edition Whiskies, accompanied by delectable small bites specifically selected by Chef Jessica Wilkins. Following the tasting, Chef Jessica will treat guests to a 3-course dinner served with carefully crafted bourbon cocktails. Cost for this event is $125 per person and is limited to 40 attendees. All tickets must be purchased in advance via Eventbrite and go on sale April 30 at 9 a.m.
Got an upcoming event you want to share? Can we come? Send us the deets!
“If you panic, that’s a good way to lose. You have to stay in control.”
— Ted Turner