Due Diligence Or Dumb? One Man’s Opinion
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com
Okay, that’s it. I’ve had it.
I’ve been sitting by, sighing and posting straight-up news articles on events being canceled or postponed – South By Southwest, Coachella and even empty arenas for minor basketball league tournaments – but since the NCAA has announced March Madness will be played without fans, oh wait the entire tournament is canceled, the gloves are coming off now.
And no sooner did I write this lead then the NBA suspended its season – note to headline-hungry people who don’t actually read the stories, the season is suspended until further notice and not canceled – and all college conference commissioners announced the remainder of their basketball tournaments will be played with no fans.
No wait, in the there’s-always-an-update coronavirus world, there ARE no conference tournaments now; they have all been canceled. So, too, are St. Patrick’s Day parades around the country including the place I used to live, Savannah, GA. I never would have imagined anything that would cause Savannah to cancel its biggest annual party.
I want to make it clear early on that I respect the concern people and organizations and even governments are taking regarding the coronavirus situation.
But I also want to state that taking actions such as canceling concerts, removing fans from sporting events and suspending seasons is an over-reaction that defies all reasonable logic.
With little information beyond speculation and rumors, people are treating it like the Great Bubonic Plague, which wiped out an estimated 75 to 200 million people from 1347 to 1351.
The spread of false and misleading news and particularly click-bait headlines on social media is growing at faster rate than the spread of the actual disease. What to believers or what not to believe? It’s all in the minds of the believers.
Someone posts one thing – real or made up – on social media and the next thing you know people are emptying grocery store shelves of toilet paper and pouring $30 bottles of Tito’s vodka into buckets to make homemade hand sanitizers. By the way, that’s just a waste of good vodka.
And all the while the media – hungry for page views on websites and for viewers on TV – feeds the machine.
Meanwhile, concerts, festivals and sporting get postponed, suspended or even canceled. As well as conventions and conferences, which are the lifeblood of hundreds of thousands of workers.
I’m not saying we should not take precautions. What I am saying is that there is a big difference in being diligent and being dumb. And in my opinion, we are being the latter.