Alex Trebek is a national treasure. Sure, he’s half Canadian but he’s as much of a part of the American TV landscape as any person in the past half-century thanks to his multi-decades long tenure as the host of Jeopardy! where he’s helped generations of Americans grow smarter.
Alex Trebek has been battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer for over a year now and he recently gave a candid update on his condition and fight for his life. The one-year survival rate for someone with stage 4 pancreatic cancer is only 18% so he continues to defy the odds.
Now, with the COVID-19 coronavirus spreading like wildfire across the globe the Jeopardy! team is out to ‘protect Alex Trebek at all costs’ by banning the usual live studio audiences. This is being done out of an abundance of caution for Trebek and anyone else on the staff who is elderly or may have preexisting conditions (via Washington Post):
On Monday evening, “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” confirmed the shows had suspended filming in front of live studio audiences to prevent spreading the novel coronavirus to vulnerable people who might show up to a taping at Sony Pictures Studio in Culver City, Calif.
“Out of an abundance of caution due to the spread of covid-19, we have decided to cancel audience attendance for the tapings of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘Jeopardy!’ for the time being,” a person close to “Jeopardy!” told The Washington Post Monday.
The cautious approach may protect audience members as well as the hosts and announcers, some of whom belong to high-risk populations that have been issued special precautions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Jeopardy!” announcer Gilbert and “Wheel of Fortune” hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White are all older than 60, which the CDC says puts them at “higher risk of getting very sick from covid-19.”
To use you some data on our country’s COVID-19 trajectory and where we’re headed, take these case numbers into consideration:
Jan. 14 — 0
Jan. 21 — 1
Jan. 28 — 5
Feb. 4 — 11
Feb. 11 — 14
Feb. 18 — 25
Feb. 25 — 59
Mar. 3 — 125
Mar. 10 — 1,004
Pretty fucking disturbing, right? Now look at this graph of countries fighting outbreaks where the time has been adjusted to show each country’s timeline plotted across the same number of days. Based on this graph, by the end of next week, a LOT of Americans will be living under very different conditions.
You might see the phrase ‘flatten the curve’ used a lot on social media right now. The spike in cases is inevitable but the curve can be spread out over a longer period of time and thus give hospitals more time to handle the cases versus being struck with overcrowding and collapse. Wash your hands. Avoid large crowds. Don’t touch your face. Work from home if you can. Use common sense.
For more on ‘Flattening The Curve‘ just click that link. Statnews.com has all of their COVID-19 coverage in front of their paywall right now and they are easily the best source of coronavirus information on the web. You might be inclined to visit sites like the NYT, WaPo, or others but you should go straight to the scientists. Read StatNews and educate yourself on what’s coming next.