The Times West Virginian

Opinion

June 29, 2014

‘Don’t borrow grief’ always good advice

Shortly before he left, the Times West Virginian’s former sports editor Mike DeFabo send me a panicky text message about the strong possibility of baseball games being cancelled.

It would turn into a logistics nightmare, he explained. If just one game were rained out, staffing would become impossible. Matt Welch, our current sports editor, was on his honeymoon, and Mike was trying to get to his little sister’s college graduation out of state.

The forecast and the radar were the sources of the anxiety. There was a 100 percent chance of rain predicted each day.

“Don’t borrow grief,” I texted back.

I think I got a series of question marks as a response.

“If a game is rained out, we’ll figure it out. Don’t worry about it until that happens. Just plan on covering the games like there’s not a series of big green globs coming our way.”

If Mike learned one thing during his time at the newspaper, it was just that. Don’t borrow grief. Though forecasts said 100 percent chance of rain on each scheduled game day, not a drop fell, and the games were played on the days and times they were scheduled for. Mike covered the games and made it to his sister’s graduation, I didn’t have to call Matt back from his honeymoon or hire some stringer to cover the biggest games of the season.

I’m a planner by nature. But there are certain things completely out of your control — the weather, for one example. There is nothing on Earth you can do to change what falls from the sky, or doesn’t fall, for that matter. You can’t control how warm it is or whether it will freeze. And though forecasting improves on a daily basis, the flap of butterfly’s wings on one side of the world could shift the weather pattern right here in West Virginia. Like it did in May during regional baseball.

And while you can’t control some things, you can plan and prepare for them.

All of this comes to mind because of a slight bit of panic over the possibility that a mosquito-borne virus may have made its way to West Virginia. Bugs, like the weather, are a force of nature that you cannot stop. But like carrying an umbrella, packing an emergency change of clothes and having a pair of galoshes handy, you can minimize your exposure to contracting chikunguny.

I’m big on bug spray anyway. I have a family of five, and we spend quite a bit of time outdoors anyway. A mosquito bite is irritating for most, as your body reacts to the bite. You want to scratch until scratching hurts and your skin is damaged. For most, that is.

Poor Jay has pretty lousy reactions to mosquito bites. She gets bright red lumps wherever bitten, the size of silver dollars. So bug spray is something we stock up on. And because she gets sprayed down during outdoor adventures, I line everyone else up, too, for a coating of bug repellant. And honestly, it works wonders. Mosquito bites are few and far between for us.

So I’ve decided not to borrow grief over chikungunya, or other viruses like West Nile, La Crosse and eastern equine encephalomyelitis, even though it’s a strong possibility that West Virginia is the next of 18 states where the virus has appeared in residents.

We’ll just keep doing what we can to keep the pesky bugs bugs away from us. In the battle of man versus nature, nature almost always wins. Unless you’ve got a mom who plans for everything from bright sunshine, torrential downpours, buggy situations and bug bites, if they happen to happen.

Misty Poe is the managing editor of the Times West Virginian and gas be reached by email at mpoe@timeswv.com, by phone at 304-367-2523 or on Twitter @MistyPoeTWV.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Prevention must remain focus when dealing with cruel black lung disease

    “Preventable, but not curable.”
    That’s how Joe Main, assistant secretary of labor for Mine Safety and Health, describes black lung disease.
    He could also use the word “deadly.”
    According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, black lung has killed more than 76,000 miners since 1968.

    August 1, 2014

  • If something seems too good to be true, then assume that it is

    Scam. noun. A confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
    This is a word that Marion Countians have heard a lot about in the past few years. And the problem appears to be one that is getting worse every day.

    July 31, 2014

  • State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core

    It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
    So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
    Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.

    July 30, 2014

  • Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway

    U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.

    July 29, 2014

  • United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project

    The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
    That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.

    July 27, 2014

  • COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard

    I love to talk to readers.
    I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.

    July 27, 2014

  • Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial

    NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
    And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads