The day the Earth stood still

gary_s_tackle_box_image.jpg

Independent shop owners, like Gary Simpson of Gainesville, Florida, are either temporarily closed or offering curbside service in order to survive the corona crunch.

Perhaps some of you remember the movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still — the 1950s science fiction thriller that became a classic. It’s one of my all-time favorites. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the film, here’s the gist of it.

During the Cold War, a UFO lands in Washington D.C., and an alien in human form exits the spaceship to deliver a stern message to the world’s political leaders: Learn to live in harmony or suffer complete annihilation.

The plot thickens as the spaceman “Klaatu” is mistakenly shot and wounded. That’s when his oversized enforcer robot “Gort” comes to life — obliterating everything posing an immediate threat, at least until Klaatu orders him to stop. Klaatu is then taken to a hospital, where he recuperates.

Through a string of events, Klaatu escapes from the hospital, befriends a young boy and his mother and meets a prominent scientist. The scientist helps Klaatu assemble the Earth’s greatest minds so he can try to reason with them. 

The professor suggests that Klaatu perform a harmless but overwhelming demonstration of power for the world to see, so that his message will be taken seriously. Ingeniously, Klaatu disables all electrical equipment worldwide (except for hospitals and airplanes in flight) for 30 minutes, at high noon. Hence, the title of the movie.

COVID culture

Imagine Times Square, London, Hong Kong and other parts of the globe at a complete standstill, without power or transportation. Those scenes in the movie remind me of the world we’re experiencing today … one that’s on lockdown. 

Like most of you, I’m sick of putting life on hold — watching depressing news and daily coronavirus updates. I’m ready to go back to work. 

As of this writing, B.A.S.S. has postponed three Elite Series tournaments, as well as some Opens, College and Nation events. Countless boat shows and tackle promotions were cancelled as well. Our industry is at a standstill. And what’s worse is that it’s happening during the most productive time of the year — spring — when the bass are shallow and feeding aggressively.

I can hardly wait until the Elite Series resumes. I want to be out there, competing and representing my sponsors … just like every other professional angler on tour. But, for now, it’s a waiting game. We all have to do our part to help end this crisis. 

Good with the bad

Sadly, many lives have been lost and families crushed because of it. Those on the front lines have been working tirelessly.

With non-essential businesses closed, many people are out of work, unable to earn an income for their families. Transportation is functioning at minimal capacity. Restaurants, movie theaters, shopping centers, all temporarily closed.

Some of them will never reopen. 

Kids are forced to study online, rather than in classrooms with their teachers. There are no sports for them to watch or participate in. It’s a sad time but, in spite of it, some good things are happening. People are spending more time with their families … hopefully reconnecting and reflecting on what really matters.

And now, with government approval, many tackle shops and marinas are reopening, to give families who fish a chance to practice their social distancing on the water. Fuel prices are the lowest in decades, and interest rates are at near zero. It’s the perfect time to refinance a home, boat or tow vehicle. 

Although the road ahead is uncertain, I believe things will improve sooner than later. I certainly hope so. And I trust our leaders will find ways to restore commerce and jumpstart the economy, so the country is back up and running again.

Like the message in the movie, it all depends on us. We can either work together to battle through this, or we can suffer the consequences. It’s up to us.