The day after it reports that the Solid Rock Church (of “touchdown Jesus” infamy) is still holding services despite requests from the Health Department, on the same day that it reports that DeWine might issue more strict isolation orders, the Dayton Daily News’ contractors are going door-to-door selling “Coronavirus fundraiser” subscriptions.
It’s true. I answered the door.
The guy standing there was older than I, thinner, and was not wearing a mask. He did have some stuff identifying him, but he didn’t have much of a chance to get his speech out. I am usually polite but extremely firm with telemarketers and door to door salespeople, and told him to just move on.
As he did, though, I realized exactly how bad door-to-door sales are in the middle of a pandemic. I urged him to go home. When he told me he was a contractor – and therefore would not get unemployment – I empathized… but it ain’t gonna help if people die.
Yes, I suspected it might be a scam. Of course I did. Considering the ordeals – both times – it was canceling a subscription to the Dayton Daily News in the past, I also thought it might be real. I mean, who the fork goes door-to-door during a pandemic? Can you think of a better way to spread a disease? Hell, it could almost be seen as profiteering, with most people obeying the orders to stay home. Surely nobody would think selling newspaper subscriptions door-to-door was an “essential business”.
Yeah, nah. It was legit. I later spoke to Mike Burlingame, the Sr. Director of Newspaper Operations at Cox Media. Mr. Burlingame confirmed both that they were contractors of the Dayton Daily News and that it is running this fundraiser.
Mr. Burlingame also said that the contractors were supposed to have a “no touch” sales policy and to practice social distancing during the transaction, and made sure the one I met had followed those guidelines.
I urged Mr. Burlingame to both stop door-to-door sales and to make sure the contractors were taken care of so they didn’t feel compelled to do something so risky to themselves and others.
And that’s really the rub.
Because, yes, I hope this will get some traction and convince the Dayton Daily News – and Cox Media – to stop their contractors from going door-to-door during a pandemic.
But more to the point, I hope everyone who reads this stops and thinks for a moment.
Think about what this says about our society and way of life.
This is just one more example showing that we live in a society where the values we hold force people to make money however they can, even if it endangers themselves.
Even if it endangers us all.
When this is over, is that the society we want to go back to?
 Keep in mind that six feet is not some magical force-field distance. Everything in medicine is about percentages.