Carl Goldman’s Journal – Day 56
The coronavirus, COVID-19 has taken another toll. April Fools’ Day is officially postponed to a later date.
With so many of us quarantined, businesses closed and over 2,500 deaths in the United States, April Fools’ would be in poor taste.
In the past, KHTS has made April Fools’ Day an annual tradition. You may enjoy many of our April Fools’ classics.
The fun part of April Fools’ is fooling the reader by printing a story that’s a little believable but gets more absurd as the reader gets deeper into the story. In the case of KHTS, we can add to the fun by involving our key local politicians and community leaders into the story, giving them fake edgy quotes that complement their personalities.
My favorite joke was the year we created a virtual tollbooth outside our former KHTS studios on Soledad and Camp Plenty.
On the morning we posted the story and announced traffic jams on the radio, one of our city councilmembers called our radio station to have us look out our window to see if there was really a toll booth since he was receiving a number of complaints.
How the city could have erected a toll booth over Easter weekend would have been a California miracle. How city staff would have implemented it without city council approval remains a mystery.
KHTS took a lot of heat since drivers going from Canyon Country to Valencia had to pay $10.00, but no one had to pay to go from Valencia to Canyon Country. For those who don’t know our valley, Canyon Country has always been the stepchild of Santa Clarita.
Since Jeri and I live in Canyon Country and our radio station studios and transmitter were also in Canyon Country, we thought we could make fun of ourselves. We were wrong. People were upset even after the joke was over.
My two all-time favorite April Fools’ jokes were created by the BBC and parking attendants at Walt Disney World.
On April 1, 1957 the BBC ran a 2 1/2-minute documentary on the “Spaghetti Harvest” in Ticino, Switzerland. Mind you this was many decades before misinformation began spreading over social media. Also, it was the BBC, the most respected media entity in the world.
After airing the documentary showing spaghetti growing on trees and being picked by local peasants, polls were taken throughout Great Britain. Most people got sucked in, like Orson Welles’ classic, “War of the Worlds” in 1938. Communication classes have studied the harvest for many decades. It’s worth watching.
In the mid-’70’s many compact rental cars were red. Parking attendants at Disney World directed all red compacts to one area. Hundreds were parked together. This is also long before we had clickers on our keys or cellphones with cameras to capture whether we parked in Goofy six or Minnie seven. After a long Disney day parents dragged their kids back to their cars. Almost all red ones were rentals so even the state of the license plate was useless. No one knew. Did we rent a Toyota, Datsun or VW? It was not a happy moment at the Magic Kingdom.
With so many of us now quarantined and the Federal Government providing temporary financial support to businesses and individuals, it is important we remain in isolation and keep our social distances to slow down the spreading of the novel corona virus.
An article on CNBC news says that according to new data published by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) COVID-19 RNA was found on surfaces in Princess Diamond cabins 17 days after all passengers had disembarked. This means the virus can live outside our body a lot longer than first suspected.
Our “ground zero” passenger onboard the ship who exited in Hong Kong and didn’t realize he had the virus until four days later could have left germs all over the Diamond Princess. During the many days we had full reign of the ship, we probably picked up the virus touching a hand railing on the stairs, an elevator button, or doorknob. That’s how the ship became a floating petri dish. Many of us spread the coronavirus, COVID-19 without any contact with other passengers or crew.
That’s why it is so important we follow official guidelines, keep our social distance, don’t touch our face, wash our hands frequently and remain quarantined for at least the remainder of April.
Jean Harris shared another article about a study in Germany showing the coronavirus, COVID-19 is much more contagious during the early stages of infection. It states we are emitting high amounts of virus early on during our infection, which also contributes to the virus spreading so rapidly. However, the study also shows while we are still testing positive and shedding toward the end of our illness, we might no longer be contagious. That may explain why I tested positive for 29 days yet felt fine for weeks.
Our radio station, KHTS has been devoting our programming to the latest virus information in Santa Clarita as well as nationally. We’ve created a Facebook page devoted to nothing but coronavirus updates.
While we had a doozy of an idea for this year’s April Fools’ joke, we chose to take the safe, responsible route and not add to the stress. We’ll save our idea for April Fools’ 2021. Meanwhile, we hope memories of previous April Fools’ will act as a fun diversion and put smiles on many faces.
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