COLUMN: Finding the right sound

Life has certainly taken a turn for the interesting in the past several weeks, and it looks like it'll continue to be that way for the foreseeable future.

By now, everyone knows about the COVID-19 pandemic, so there's no point in going into any further details about the virus itself.

Plus, this is an entertainment column.

However, count me among the many people who initially were upset and frustrated that so many of our national sporting events, as well as events and businesses on the local level, were canceled, postponed and temporarily closed. I definitely fall into the category of someone who thrives in the "normal" flow of everyday life.

That said, now is not the time for selfishness, and there are two main reasons why.

One, not everyone lives with the same life circumstances you have. I am in my mid-30s, have no children and am not in constant, everyday contact with the elderly or high-risk individuals. Does that mean I should take the coronavirus any less seriously? No, not really. I may believe I am personally very healthy, but that doesn't mean I couldn't accidentally pass it on to someone of higher risk.

But there will be plenty more stories and columns from others on that, and I'm not going to steal their thunder.

Speaking of thunder, there is another reason why us Oklahomans shouldn't pout about there not being any basketball or baseball on TV.

Wait, did I just call myself an Oklahoman?

Unintentional, of course.

Starting about now and running through late spring (and perhaps later), there is a greater form of entertainment theater that pops up on broadcast stations the state over. I'm talking, of course, about severe weather season.

I always tell people moving to Oklahoma from the North (Nebraska, then Indiana) was a bit of a culture shock because of some of the food and language. From a food standpoint, the transition was a terrific decision. The other big change to life was the wall-to-wall coverage of severe weather all over TV during peak storm season.

Don't get me wrong, in Nebraska I remember evenings when our eyes would be glued to the TV screen as big blobs of red, orange and yellow swarmed the Northern Plains. The big difference is that in Nebraska, there wasn't really intense coverage until severe weather was in the county over and was headed your way. And if it was just a severe storm, no big deal, really. But if there was a threat of a tornado, the seriousness ramped up pretty significantly. I knew to be scared when the TV weathermen didn't cut back to "Wheel of Fortune" after 5-10 minutes of coverage.

In Oklahoma, the TV stations are always ready to go at the first sign of severe weather. Tornado or not. And that's not a bad thing, because even though in Oklahoma we are hyper-aware of severe weather conditions, we still enjoy being informed of imminent threats — in town or even a few counties over.

Severe weather coverage really is must-see television for some. Coverage from some of our local weather personalities has inspired bingo, drinking games and the like. It is truly an event, for lack of a better word.

So while Oklahomans might not be able to watch the Sooners in the NCAA Tournament or Oklahoma State (probably) in some other tournament, or the Thunder vying for playoff position in the Western Conference, we will likely soon have exciting television off and on for the next several months.

So stay healthy, remember to wash your hands and enjoy some good ol' Oklahoma reality TV. In groups of 10 or less, preferably.

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Malan is entertainment editor and astronomy columnist for the News & Eagle.

Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for Joe? Send an email to jmalan@enidnews.com.

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Entertainment Editor | Copy Editor | Astronomy Writer

Hi, I'm Joe. I've been with the Enid News & Eagle since June 2009. I design many of the pages you see each week in your newspaper. I love writing and talking about space, and I love listening to and writing about music as well.

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