In a disaster situation, the process of demobilization relates to coming back to a normal steady state. Some disasters are relatively short-term events such as a multiple car crash on a roadway. The current pandemic is one of the longer term events.

I end up looking at things from a bit of a narrow angle when it comes to economic impact right now. In part this comes from my present isolation. Of course, this isolation is expected to be extended for an unknown period per Ohio’s Governor.

Newspapers and radio stations across the country are collapsing financially right now. Big chains like Lee Enterprises and Gannett are laying off personnel to the point that their newspapers are unable to function. In Gannett’s case they could conceivably swap customers of their local titles over to receiving USA Today for the duration of the emergency but Lee Enterprises doesn’t have such a readily apparent fall-back. Radio stations have been applying to the Federal Communications Commission for “special temporary authority” to go silent due to advertising disappearing and some are going out of business entirely such as WTME and related stations in Maine.

Why on Earth does this matter for somewhere like Planet Ubuntu? In this time of crisis while so many are confined inside it means everything. We’re not going to be moving to a streaming-only world as we are finding just how much throughput the world’s networks happen to be able to handle. Radio New Zealand reported that New Zealand measured 2.82 terabytes of data transferred per second on the first day of their lockdown.

Today’s infrastructure has trouble handling capacity surges. Those aren’t going away any time soon. We have to plan for what we want our world to look like on the other side of this crisis. Building up things undergirding Ubuntu Studio would be great as we’ll likely need ways to reboot newspapers and radio stations or create new ones. There is at least one random list of station automation software out there that I found to evaluate for packaging. Prior to the current unpleasantness packaging such software would’ve been thought of as an exercise for setting up a streaming audio service but with the number of broadcast radio stations going dark there is a market niche possibly opening up.

None of us knows how this crisis is going to play out. It is never too soon to plan for life on the other side of it. As my streaming television services end up buffering even on the ads and downgrading video to unintelligible messes I can only hope regular mass media survives in some form. The constant COVID-19 PSAs across all platforms are driving me batty…