I had thought about writing about the latest Morning Consult survey numbers regarding those who are thinking about concert going. It shows that 47% of those surveyed say it would be in more than six months and 26% that they don’t know or have no opinion. As you can see, that means it is a big “not good,” with 73% looking out at the future, or not looking much at all.
In addition to which, Morning Consult pollsters found that 22% of Republicans are ready to go to a concert right now, and just 11% of Democrats, so you might have to rethink your political orientation.
Then I thought about some further bracing information that I read in Spiegel International with a German virologist, Christian Drosten. (No, I don’t know why I am reading Spiegel International, nor do I know why I read an interview with a German virologist whom I’ve never heard of, but I do know that there is something that I think is worth sharing, especially if you’re thinking about going to a concert in six months or more.)
Drosten said that he is “quite apprehensive” about what might happen in the spring and summer. Now while he was specifically talking about Germany, it isn’t too far a leap to apply some of this to the U.S. (which, I’m guessing, is where most of you who are reading this reside, and for those of you who are, say, in Germany, Schönen Tag):
“Once the elderly and maybe part of the risk groups have been vaccinated, there will be immense economic, social, political and perhaps also legal pressure to end the corona measures. And then, huge numbers of people will become infected within just a short amount of time, more than we can even imagine at the moment.”
Imagination is boundless. That’s clearly a big number.
Kicker #1: “It will, of course, be primarily younger people who are less likely than older people to have severe symptoms, but when a huge number of younger people get infected, then the intensive care units will fill up anyway and a lot of people will die. Just that it will be younger people.”
Youth may be wasted on the young, but COVID doesn’t care.
Kicker #2: When asked if he thought that as winter turns to spring and spring summer there would be a reduction in the number of cases (i.e., in about six months, when those people might be ready to attend concerts): “I am afraid that it will be more like in Spain, where case numbers climbed rapidly again after the lockdown was lifted, even though it was quite hot. In South Africa, too, where it is currently summer, case numbers are at a high level.”
Speaking of concerts, I thought about writing about the cancellation of this year’s Glastonbury Festival: “In spite of our efforts to move Heaven & Earth, it has become clear that we simply will not be able to make the Festival happen this year.”
The festival has had a run since 1970 (“it began the day after Jimi Hendrix died,” which I suspect is more coincident than causative), though not straight through. There was a festival in ’71, but not one until ’79, then a skip to ’81. There was a consistent run to 1990, when there was a year off. The organizers, to their credit, determined that it was valuable to create “fallow” years, in order for the festival grounds, the surrounding area and the people working the show time for recovery. The most recent fallow year was 2018. With the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 shows, the enforced fallowness is truly a pity.
Then I thought that something of a more positive nature would be better.
And so I turned to former President Donald Trump.
[I’ll pause here for a moment to allow you to absorb that, unless, of course, you are part of the aforementioned 22% and can’t imagine why there would be any issue.]
On July 3, 2020, Trump, reportedly pissed off that statues of Confederate heroes (a.k.a., those who took up arms against the United States of America which, last I checked, is a definition of “treason”) were being taken down announced, during a superspreader event at Mount Rushmore, that he was going to crate, by executive order, an outdoor park with statues of “the greatest Americans to ever live.”
There was an original list of 31 that was expanded with 213 more names on January 18, 2021. Yes, two days before he took off for Mar-a-Lago.
Surprisingly, his name isn’t on the list of 244. Many, many people, many really, really smart people, are surprised that the stable genius, the man with all the right words, the man who predicted the coronavirus would “just disappear,” isn’t on the list. That’s what many people say.
(One of the people who didn’t say that is presidential historian Michael Beschloss, who told Axios, “No president of the United States or federal government has any business dictating us citizens who our historical heroes should be. This is not Stalin’s Russia. Any American who loves democracy should make sure there is never some official, totalitarian-sounding ‘National Garden of American Heroes,’ with names forced upon us by the federal government.”)
Anyway, there are musicians on the list, which is an interesting collection:
• Louis Armstrong
• Johnny Cash
• Ray Charles
• Nat “King” Cole
• Miles Davis
• Duke Ellington
• Aretha Franklin
• Woody Guthrie
• Billie Holiday
• Whitney Houston
• Elvis Presley
• Frank Sinatra
• Bessie Smith
How many graveyards do you think had the sounds of spinning going on January 18?