Regal Owner Cineworld wrongly believes, “There is no argument that the big screen is the best way to watch a movie”

Bloodshot is showing as part of the “Theater At Home” VOD (or PVOD, if you want to call it that)

Ah, but there is.

Confidence in business is good. However, speaking in absolutes in a world of people can be fraught with perils.

I’m still siding with Universal on the ongoing brouhaha over Trolls World Tour not showing in theaters. The truth of the matter is if the theaters had been open, Universal would have screened Trolls in theaters as expected. It’s not Universal’s fault that the theaters had to close.

Instead, the pandemic hit and Universal had existing advertising and promotion $$$ spent and chose to go the VOD route, They keep calling it PVOD which I guess stands for Premium Video On Demand. Whatever, it’s still a movie being streamed at home for paid rental. Let’s just keep it simple. VOD/PVOD = the same thing.

Cineworld/Regal, there is an argument to your statement.

The theatrical window does not make sense for every movie. Why is it so difficult for movie theaters to understand this?

In fairness, Cineworld is responding to the whole Trolls World Tour dustup a little more carefully, but I emphatically disagree with the bolded sentence at the end (emphasis is mine)

Cineworld’s policy with respect to the window is clear, well known in the industry and is part of our commercial deal with our movie suppliers. We invest heavily in our cinemas across the globe and this allows the movie studios to provide customers all around the world to watch the movies in the best experience. There is no argument that the big screen is the best way to watch a movie.

Regal Owner Cineworld Chimes In On ‘Trolls World Tour’ Controversy – Deadline

Sorry, Cineworld/Regal, but you’re bolded statement above is wrong.

There are several very logical, reasonable, practical arguments that the big screen is not the best way to watch a movie. There are some movies that people would rather watch at home and that is the “best” way for them.

The most successful businesses change with the times. This is 2020. A lot more people have very high end 4K UHD or better big TVs at home. Some have full on Dolby Cinema surround sound theaters in their dens, living rooms, man/woman caves and the like. Some have super luxurious recliners setup. Tell any of these people that their experience is inferior to watching a movie on “the big screen” and they’ll laugh in your face.

But I’ll agree not everybody has this kind of technology setup at home. I’ll also admit that I prefer to watch new movies in the theater over watching them at home. So, for me personally, I agree that the movie theater experience is superior. Just because I think it’s better for me, doesn’t mean it’s better for everybody reading this.

Still, the theaters should not continue to perpetuate the myth that it is undeniably a better experience. I cringe whenever I see theater chains and NATO perpetuating this myth. It’s not a fact that watching movies in a theater is the “best” way to watch movies in 2020. It is the best for a percentage of the population, but not everybody (see: Where Do You MOST Watch Movies? (Theater, TV, Computer, Tablet, Phone))

Is this statement false? Yes, I can prove it with just one situation for us.

Example. Taking our grandchildren to the movie theater is a hassle. They aren’t old enough — nor patient enough — to appreciate the movie theater experience. We also have to worry about them being kids, which means they are loud and can be disruptive to others trying to enjoy the film. We would like them to enjoy the wonder and splendor of watching the movie on the “big screen” but the truth is they don’t care that much about it. They get just as much, if not more, enjoyment watching this type of movie at home on their big screen TV.

Not good times arguing with 3-5 year olds.

A movie like Trolls World Tour is better seen at home for some young children. Just saying that’s a fact.

Do we as grandparents want to encourage them to explore the movie theater experience? Absolutely, we do, but Universal made the right decision to release the movie the way they did. All this BS talk about underhanded tactics is just garbage drama talk. They didn’t do anything underhanded getting a movie released to an audience that wanted to see it.

NATO and these movie theater chains fiercely holding onto their stranglehold on new movie distribution via the 90 day theatrical window (see: Collapsing Theatrical Windows Are Not The End Of Cinema Life As We Know It) need to remember this is 2020 and it’s us — the moviegoers — that ultimately get to decide what is “best.” A little more humility would be the best medicine right now.

Hunker down, reopen your movie theaters when it is safe to do so.

(seems like they might be targeting July 2020)

We’ll let you know what’s best by when and where we spend our hard-earned money. A lot of moviegoers really like watching movies at home. It makes more sense trying to find out how to entice them to come to your theaters over staying at home. Just saying there is no argument when there is, doesn’t work.

After The Coronavirus Ends, 49% Poll Respondents Say They Won’t Immediately Return to Movie Theaters, “possibly never”

We can’t wait to fill these comfy recliners at the movie theater again … but some others disagree

Never say never.

Once the pandemic ends better than half polled said their attendance to movie theaters won’t change, but that’s not the troubling data in this poll.

The news for movie theaters was particularly grim, with 49% of respondents saying it would take “a few months” to “possibly never” for them to return, and 28% saying they will attend movie theaters less often once they’re safe. While 15% of respondents said they plan on going to the movies more often post-pandemic (and 58% said their attendance won’t change),

Coronavirus Pandemic Could Erode Movie Theater, Concert Turnout – Variety

Hey, it could be worse. 72% of sports fans polled say they aren’t coming back to stadiums until there is a coronavirus vaccine.

Back to the moviegoer poll. They’re saying the margin of error is ~3%, but I don’t buy how 1,000 people polled can be that accurate of the larger population.

Our behavior almost certainly will not. We’ll (hopefully, if still available) have our unlimited monthly movie passes reinstated (come to think of it, what if those are no longer available when the theaters reopen???) and return to watching all wide releases in the movie theater, as we were before this craziness began.

The S&P recently downgraded AMC’s rating and there is speculation they may never open again (I think that’s unlikely — somebody probably buys out the theaters at least — but the longer this drags on, the more leases won’t get renewed and theaters will continue to close).

If AMC is success in gaining financing through the CARES act, they may be able to keep their doors open. However, that will all depend on when everything is able to get back to some form of normalcy. For now, it doesn’t look good, which means everybody may have to stay indoors for a lot longer than expected.

AMC Theatres May Never Recover and Shut Down for Good – MOVIEWEB

How, if at all, will your behavior change once the movie theaters reopen?

What will you do when the movie theaters reopen? Will you attend more movies, less, or about the same amount? Will you go at different (perhaps less busier) times?

Quibi “accelerating” engineering roadmap for cast to TV feature, was “always” planned, says Whitman

Meg Whitman addresses the lack of cast to TV option in Quibi, it was “always planned” just not at launch

Didn’t expect to be talking about Quibi so soon here again, but when it seems those of us who were upset that there is no cast to TV option now have a definitive answer on the subject.

Meg Whitman was interviewed on CNBC and said it was always a planned feature to cast to TV, just not at launch. She also admitted that had they known about COVID-19 they would have launched with this feature.

Regardless of COVID-19 situation, I find it strange that this major feature wasn’t planned for the launch, but I guess that goes back to their hubris that it wasn’t a major feature. Um, yes it is!

She added that they’re working with the Quibi engineering team to accelerate the process of the cast to TV functionality. Will it arrive within the free 90 day trial period? Don’t know, but maybe when that feature launches they’ll give new subscribers — or returning subscribers — another free lunch.

Quibi is being sued for infringement by Eko for another phone-based feature: when you turn the phone it identifies the orientation (landscape or portrait) and reformats the video playing automatically.

Need to modify something else in my original post (see: Quibi is the Cats of streaming services)

When I outlined my frustration using Quibi, the Google Play store was showing “100,000+ downloads”, but that is just one download platform. According to Meg Whitman, they actually had 1.7 million downloads across all platforms in the first week.

New mobile streaming service Quibi saw 1.7 million downloads in its first week, CEO Meg Whitman said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” Monday.

Meg Whitman says Quibi reached 1.7 million downloads in first week

Will update my earlier post comment that I was surprised they couldn’t amass at least 1 million downloads.

Google Play as of this update (4/13/2020 @ 9:53 AM PST GMT-8) shows “500,000+” downloads

Meg Whitman seemed very pleased with the first week release download numbers, citing it as “the most successful launch.” It doesn’t sound like they expected even this many downloads. She also spoke about their elation over how much the service was used the first week. They expected people would watch it more sporadically, but instead they are watching it for longer periods of time.

(gets back to my point that people don’t want to watch movies or TV in pre-selected 6-10 minute chunks, they want to use the pause/resume functionality that’s been around since, well, forever)

I’ll revisit Quibi when their cast to TV function is implemented.

Indiana Jones and the Temperamental of Geriatric Doom

Harrison Ford won’t say it, he will never say never, just like Sean Connery’s too old final Bond title role, so somebody else needs to say no — never again — for him. As much as I’d love to see another Indy movie, really it kills me to dump on one of my all time favorite action franchises and favorite actors, I don’t ever want to see a CGI de-aged Indy movie.

I’m painfully reminded of Ford’s last movie where he was upstaged by a CGI dog (see: Behind the Tennis Ball Man playing Buck the CGI Dog on The Call Of The Wild)

Is that what we’ll get in Indy 5? Or perhaps a ton of stunt doubles? I imagine it will be something like Babe Ruth in his final plate appearances seeing Harrison Ford at age 80 up there huffing with the fedora and whip. Please, no.

If Indy 5 does come out and it’s good, I’ll gladly eat these words. I’m old too, not as old as Ford, but getting older by the year, and some places consider me a senior citizen. I’m not about to root against seniors in acting roles, but am worried for Ford doing this kind of physical role at 80. It’s not like he’s acting in a reboot of On Golden Pond. Dude could get seriously hurt in this type of role. I’d like to see him acting in movies for another 20 years, not getting his back broken running, jumping and wrestling.

Of course Ford will be up for playing Indy and will undoubtedly be on the ball, but… but… he’s just too old. Nobody wants to see Jones with a zimmer frame. We don’t want to see him become a side joke. Jones shouldn’t become like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator in the last two films. A walking joke, a constant stream of ironic OAP reference.

Please, can we just scrap Indiana Jones 5?

Pondered this a month ago, so here we are again more passionately, see: Should Indiana Jones 5 be Harrison Ford’s last action film? As more time goes by, and some of the delays — maybe most of them — aren’t Ford’s problem, but the ever-ticking clock of life gets all of us sooner or later. I’m worried that Indy 5 will suck. Will it stain Ford’s legacy? No. Will it mean there can’t be an Indy 6 after Ford is gone with a different Indy? No. The franchise will survive regardless what happens with Indy 5. If they can keep cranking out sequels to low budget horror movies, Indiana Jones the franchise will outlive everybody reading alive at the time this was posted.

Can it be better than Indy 4? I rewatched that recently — but didn’t write a review — it wasn’t as bad as I remembered, actually. Doesn’t mean I liked it as well as the first three, but it had moments that it was decent. I liked seeing Karen Allen return as Marion Ravenwood from the original movie (1981!).

1981. 1981. 1981.

In 2022, when Indy 5 is now teasing to be released, that will be 41 years ago. Raiders of the Lost Ark ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ is one of the greatest action movies ever made (1981!), but to think the lead star can return 41 years later to be the lead again is likely asking too much — even for an amazing actor like Harrison Ford.

Do you want to see Indy 5 with Harrison Ford in the lead, regardless how old he is at the time?

Who knows if it will be delayed again. Before the current crap hit the fan, Ford was planning to get started filming, so production was halted. If they have a script and are ready to film, then there is a strong chance we will see this film in the future … but should we be looking forward to it?

Quibi is the Cats of streaming services

All too happy to cancel Quibi — this streaming service is definitely not for me

Quibi wasn’t created for my demographic.

Not sure what demographic wants movies and TV shows cut up into 6-10 minute chunks. If it’s yours, more power to you. I previewed it last week (see: Quibi Streaming Service for Phones Launches April 6 – Will You Check Out The 90 Day Free Trial?) and it was like a scene in A Quiet Place: nobody made noise over this service.

You know your service sucks when there is a 90-day free trial, billions have been invested, and can’t even get a million people to download. (as of this writing: Quibi launched on Monday and they have 100,000+ downloads on Google Play)

Me? It’s something I tried multiple times to get into and just can’t get even a little excited for two huge reasons:

  1. I don’t like the format — at all. The phone screen is too damn small — I have a Galaxy Note 10+ and, despite a gorgeous display, it’s not optimal for watching movies and TV shows. I don’t even like watching YouTube on it (I use the computer or watch on TV through Roku). My eyes suck. When you get older, some/most of yours probably will, too. What strikes me as odd are the founders are in their sixties. Do they like watching movies and TV shows on their phones? Just an awful, terrible format — in my opinion. If you love watching movies and TV on your phone, then maybe Quibi will work for you. It is just plain not functional for me. If I can’t watch it, then I can’t even get into the content.
  2. I don’t want to see movies and TV shows in chunks. I’m not someone who is going to try and watch an entertainment experience in 5-10 minutes waiting in line at the grocery store. I’d rather watch as much of a movie or TV show as I can see hit the — shock! — pause button, then — shock! — resume watching when I have more time. Whoever thinks this idea of watching movies and TV shows like this must have a real problem with patience. Learn what the pause button does. A terrible idea. Really, I don’t follow tech much any more, but at one time I followed tech ideas and Quibi in 2020 is one of the worst tech ideas I’ve ever seen executed at a time that nobody needs or wants it. Almost two billion dollars in financing? What are these people smoking?

Does Quibi have any good movie or TV shows on it? Honestly, with the two above reasons for trying and strongly hating it, I don’t care about the content.

They could have 5-star movies and TV shows on there and it’s all irrelevant if I can’t enjoy the format and way it is presented. It’s like going to a movie theater and the screen is out of focus.

Who is Quibi for?

But people who have time, don’t want to watch TV six minutes at a time. They certainly don’t want to watch it six minutes at a time while holding their phone in their hand. And they super, duper don’t want to watch TV six minutes at a time, while holding their phone in their hand, while they could be using that same phone to play Angry Birds while watching something on their actual TV (or computer.)

What is Quibi, and Why is it No Match For the Quarantine? | IndieWire

I’m trying to think of something this bad and only Cats comes to mind. Those awful CGI cats slinking around. That movie was an abomination. Is Quibi this bad for two billion dollars spent?

Yes. Somebody let me know when Quibi let’s us experience their movie and TV content on a bigger screen. I find it maddening that they don’t even allow screen mirroring from my phone. That tech has been around for a long time. Nope, we’re Quibi and forcing you to watch it the way we want!

Screw you, Quibi. Out.

BFG to Blow Up ANOTHER Rumored Doom Reboot, PLEASE

Doom: Annihilation ⭐️

On Netflix streaming as of this posting, and good luck getting through it, unscathed. That’s not a recommendation. Despite loving the original VIDEOGAME and being just so-so on the original movie, I found this reboot completely uninspired and unnecessary.

But it gets worse.

From the dumbest idea for a reboot rumor department, comes another possible Doom reboot. Yes, we need another ID Software Doom movie — a reboot, nonetheless — about as bad as a 12-gauge shot to the face.

How can there be another reboot talk a year later?!?!

Personally, we’re a little skeptical about another Doom adaptation – after all, the games have often prided themselves on prioritizing gameplay over story – but we hope Universal will find a balance that’ll appeal to general moviegoers and longtime fans alike. And if they do indeed manage to snag Cena to star, that’d certainly be a big step in the right direction.

Doom Reboot Reportedly In The Works, Fast & Furious Star Eyed To Lead

With John Cena in the lead? Sure, why not. Do we need another Sarge? The Rock has been there and done that. Guess it’s Cena’s turn. Vin Diesel turned down starring in the original one.

I get that studios (some/most/all?) are desperate with their IP, but the world doesn’t need another Doom movie. Especially another reboot. The first Doom picture was a bust and lost money and I don’t know the finances on Annihilation, but guessing that’s not been a huge moneymaker. Who thinks another reboot will do something the other two movies haven’t done?

When stupid project ideas are floated my go-to response is: can’t we just pick any other bestselling book and make a movie from that instead of another cash grip reboot? Moviegoers are smarter than this. Seriously, we are.

Now, before anybody jumps on me for bashing a movie I haven’t seen (it’s not even a movie yet, though, it’s a rumor of another reboot). We don’t need to see this, that’s the point. This project should be dead on arrival. Whomever is thinking about it at Universal needs to get the memo that Doom is not a viable movie reboot property any time soon.

In some weird, surreal way it’s like we’re inside the game, geared up, and from out behind a maze comes a reboot sequel, tentacles, teeth, ready to rip moviegoers to shreds.

We’re all doomed.

CBS, please scrap Star Trek: Picard Season 2 and give us Star Trek: Next Generation Titan

I give up, replace me with a real crew exploring the universe, that’s Star Trek that you deserve!

CBS won’t listen to some lowly blogger, but hey, I’ll put my request on the web for all of virtual eternity.

Don’t want to rehash my dislike of Star Trek: Picard, but the show described in the paragraph below sounds like the Star Trek I’d still love to watch … if only it existed.

“Assuming that the Titan is still in service — probably a reasonable assumption — she’s nearly a decade in Riker’s rear-view, and he in hers,” Chabon says. “It’s off somewhere in the galaxy exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life, etc. This brand new Curiosity-class ship was freshly crewed up and ready to go.”

Star Trek: Picard Showrunner Explains Why Riker Wasn’t on the Titan in the Finale

That’s right (bolding in quote above is mine), you can keep Picard. Thank goodness Patrick Stewart is lobbying against a pandemic plotline for season two (Star Trek: Outbreak!).

Give me Riker before he was retired in charge of the Titan. Give him some synths, perhaps Brent Spiner as some other Data-relative or having his memories implanted, Worf at tactical, Geordie Laforge as the Scotty of the engine room, Counselor Deanna Troi as the new Number One, Dr. Crusher in charge of medical or as a hologram assisting a new doctor. Send this crew out into the great unknown.

There we go. That’s the series that, with the right humanity and solid writing and acting, would be worth seeing. Those of you reading that stayed with Picard longer than me, what do you want to see happen for the next Star Trek?

Go ahead. We can always dream.

Frozen Wages – Disney’s Executives Take Salary Cut During These Difficult Times

Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Maybe these big companies are learning from the economic meltdown of 2008 and wanting to show us that the generously compensated executives are also feeling the pain of the employees far down the company chain. Most of these lower level employees have had their incomes reduced to $0, no thanks to layoffs.

It is probably not how the company’s leadership had planned to mark the one year anniversary of the $71.3 billion Disney-Fox merger, which was 10 days ago, on March 20. With Hollywood production shut down, theatrical releases on hold and amusement parks closed, Disney’s incoming CEO Bob Chapek this morning announced a salary reduction of 30% for EVPs and above, 25% for SVPs and 20% for VPs “until we foresee a substantive recovery in our business.” Chapek himself is taking a 50% pay cut, while executive chairman Bob Iger will forego 100% of his salary. All reductions are said to apply to base pay.

Disney’s Executive Pay Cut Threatens To Deepen the Divide Between The Two Sides Of The Merged Company

This is good in theory, but not as applicable in reality. Salary is somewhat irrelevant for executives who make their lion’s share of wealth through stock options. Yes, they can lose millions of dollars on paper with stock price fluctuations, but they also can gain them back as the market juggernaut regains. Take a look at the Dow Jones historic trend over the last 40 years.

It goes up, dips a bit, goes up, dips, but overall it’s ascending over time. The precipice at the far right is where we are right now: economic uncertainty. Many businesses are closed, millions out of work, shelter in place everywhere, everybody knows it seems like we’re all doomed. This illustrates market reaction to falling off the mountain peak. You can see a similar dip near 2009 when Wall Street needed a bailout. The market might just tank to those levels or lower again. Time will tell.

I’m not trying to be snarky, but still stinging from articles that came out after the Wall Street bailout of the financial markets about executives getting golden parachutes and making double digit millions in severance packages, while their companies were saved from financial ruin by taxpayers. Why were we ever bailing out these rich executives? There needs to be provisions in place for companies which cannot award high level executives from cashing out on the taxpayer’s pocketbook.

Am hopeful, but wary, that a lesson has been learned and government bailouts when we’re essentially broke as a country (see: $2 trillion deal stimulus package receives bipartisan support, movie theater chains likely included) will not lead to more of these stories in the coming days, weeks or months when life starts returning to normal.

$2 trillion deal stimulus package receives bipartisan support, movie theater chains likely included

The world debt clock is a pretty sobering reminder of the money America does not have

As stated before, I prefer to stay out of politics here on this blog, however, the crossover with the pandemic, financing and government is nearly impossible to avoid.

The full details have yet to be released. But over the last 24 hours, the elements of the proposal have come into sharper focus, with $250 billion set aside for direct payments to individuals and families, $350 billion in small business loans, $250 billion in unemployment insurance benefits and $500 billion in loans for distressed companies.

Stimulus package: White House, Senate reach historic $2 trillion deal amid growing coronavirus fears – CNNPolitics

There has been some bi-partisan support in the U.S government for a $2 trillion dollar deal that will provide support for “distressed companies” presumably movie theater chains will be on this list.

Those couples with adjusted gross income of $150,000 or less will get a check for $1,200 each and $500 per child. Our national debt will soon rise to over $25 trillion dollars. See the debt clock linked above.

I get why we’re sending stimulus checks to people, not so sure about all the businesses getting help, but that’s a rabbit hole I probably shouldn’t get into. It’s not like these businesses are going to be out for a long time, and the fact that we setup bailouts for businesses under the fear of them not wanting them to go out of business is a bit vexing to me.

I’m all for helping individuals, families and small businesses, but less interested in helping big businesses (most don’t need the help, although they are opportunistic and holding their hands out). Especially when we’re bound to see executive golden parachutes and high salaries continuing to permeate the headlines.

Not even sure how I feel about helping out the movie theaters. Is this something a country deep in debt should be doing?

If you’re business is failing and you’re an executive or high level senior manager you shouldn’t be getting some multi-million dollar deal, you should be worried about keeping your job. Instead, it’s the lower level employees getting laid off, the business gets bailed and the executives get raises. That’s a pretty broad sweeping comment, so it obviously doesn’t apply to every business, but that’s my take from watching time and again the government screw over the regular workers and the corporation gets “help” from taxpayers. That’s all of us helping the wrong people.

Look at the debt. I’ll be dead and gone before that 25+ trillion dollars is likely the major issue it should be, but for my children and grandchildren, we’re leaving an awfully big bill they will need to worry about paying.

Forget the pandemic, the real disease is financial. It’s called debt and interest. And it’s just a matter of time before there is 100% infection in every taxpayer’s bank account.

Will Social Distancing by Movie Theaters Truly Provide More Protection Against Viral Infection?

Will admit that I kind of laughed when I first learned abut “social distancing” by the movie theaters.

I mean, really, it’s like people going into a frenzy over buying toilet paper and water at the grocery store. They are putting themselves at greater risk by shopping where there are tons of people. The more people you’re around, the greater chance you’ll encounter someone infected, therefore increasing the chance you’ll be infected.

CEO and President Adam Aron said, “With this action, we are facilitating the ‘social distance’ between guests who still want to see movies on a big screen.”

AMC capping ticket sales in effort to prevent spread of COVID-19 | Coronavirus | kctv5.com

Theory is nice, but that’s about it for practicality. If we’re using common sense, anyway.

Come on, if someone coughs into the air somewhere inside the theater … the particles will circulate throughout the theater (we saw this graphically depicted on film in the movie Outbreak, see: Outbreak (1995) Trending on Netflix). What we need is some sort of self-contained suit when we enter the movie theater to truly, fully protected against infection by an infected moviegoer.

Yeah, i know, not practical to have a containment zone, spray, then climb into a suit breathing only air from a tank, but that would be the only way virtually guaranteed not to catch an airborne virus.

(still have risk of hole in suit)

I’m no expert, but putting two seats between each moviegoer to protect against an airborne virus inside a room is like using a broken condom and hoping you’ll have some added protection.

Fresh air and not being in the proximity of anybody who is infected is the only thing that protects us against being infected. When they quarantined all those people on the cruise ship, those who weren’t sick were almost certainly guaranteed to get sick breathing all the same reconstituted air of other infected passengers.

I like the Wynn Casino idea of thermal scanning of anybody entering the casino. Those with an abnormally high body temperature — a known virus symptom — will be discreetly asked to leave. Now, that is protecting other patrons and a smart use of technology.

When we visit movie theaters, even when there was no virus threat (let’s face it, in flu season that has never been a reality), we typically attend during off busy times (besides opening nights of course). Matinees, day time, when traffic is reduced. This does more to protect us from infection than social distancing.

We’re still going to see movies, regardless the risk, because if we catch the virus, we’re both healthy and don’t have any major illnesses. If I was a little older and had some health issues I’d stay home, stay away from people in gathered locations as much as humanly possible. Wouldn’t go shopping (I’d have it delivered and left outside) then when the delivery person is gone, I’d pick it up. I would go into hermit mode, which would be my advice for anybody old and sick. But then I’d give those people the same advice during any flu season. Stay away from others as much as possible.

People die every day for a wide variety of reasons. This particular virus outbreak is being handled with a degree of panic never seen before. Panic will not help anybody. Calm, reasonable response to the situation will. Take a deep breath, the experts will find a vaccine and in a few months — hopefully — this will all be behind us.

Meanwhile, stay vigilant. That’s great advice no matter what is going on the world around us.