By Holland Cooke
WASHINGTON, DC — COVID numbers are undeniable, and anti-vaxxer soreheads are dug-in. So, if you liked April, you’re going to love October. Yet despite the cabin fever that erupted into all those Walmart shouting matches – and that Nebraska woman coughing on masked supermarket shoppers — and the in-flight incidents we see on YouTube, many of our listeners are hooked-on staying-home. Google “Cave Syndrome.”
We’re told we will not reach herd immunity.
There are too many undaunted unvaccinated. On my TV show, progressive talker Jon Elliot reported that “here in Orlando the biggest hospital chain is ‘Code Black,’ which means that nobody comes in unless they’re ER, because they’re full of COVID cases. They’ve ordered 14 morgue trailers.”
Also appearing, WPG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley, who calls this “Bizarro World,” asking “How is a life-and-death pandemic political? How did we let it come to this?” He predicts that “the 30% of the unwilling will be very uncooperative. They’ll test every limit, they’ll fight every mandate.”
So here we are. And that’s just fine with many Americans. Per Harris polling data: Half surveyed say that – unlike those bikers in South Dakota — they’re uneasy about in-person interaction, even when/if the pandemic ends. And, statistically, that fear is the same for those who’ve had the jab as those who haven’t. And nearly half of us feel uncomfortable living life like before the pandemic, even if vaccinated.
One of the surprises – or was it? – during the shutdown was how much MORE productive many are telecommuting, 13% per some studies we’ve seen. So, unsurprisingly, many want to stay home.
Survey data from GoodHire Inc.:
- 68% of USA employees prefer working at home;
- 45% of respondents say they’d either quit their job or search for a new one that offered remote work benefits if their employer ordered them to return to the office.
- 61% would take a pay cut up to 50% (a 10% haircut being the most common response);
- 70% who would forfeit benefits (retirement accounts, health insurance, paid time off, gym memberships).
See a great call-in topic there? But so much for “morning drive,” eh?
Talker Clark Howard is among many employers that have closed offices entirely, instant substantial overhead savings. Digital.com survey: Nearly 70 percent of American businesses have abandoned at least some workplace footprint since the COVID-19 pandemic began; more than a third have shuttered all office space.
The good news: We know how to do shutdown
Netflix stock has nearly doubled in two years. Radio already knew how to remote; and smart stations train listeners to find them on Alexa, and program to listeners’ changed circumstances.
Also appearing with Jon and Harry: New York psychotherapist Nancy Colier, who, unsurprisingly, hears lots of fear. And relief too, from people who found peace during #StayHome. “Be in the present moment,” she urges. Since the pandemic hit, “we have no idea — less than we even normally do — what will happen in a month, in a week, in the next ten minutes. That has forced a lot of people to be where-they-are, gratefully.”
Harry Hurley is “so sad to see six American radio hosts die, unvaccinated. And they also encouraged people to not be vaccinated, so there’s a ripple effect to that; so God rest their souls. And almost every one of them — when it was too late — wished they took the vaccine. So let’s learn from that.”
Holland Cooke is the author of the E-book “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” which the author humbly describes as “a riveting page-turner,” available from Talkers books (click the banner on this page). He is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. And HC hosts “The Big Picture” TV show Friday nights at 7ET on RT America. Follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke