Guest Essays

Essays as heard on WSCL and WSDL 

Essay: Animals Around Us

Feb 19, 2021
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We live surrounded by a world of creatures - some of whom we keep as companions but others in our laboratories against the diseases that plague us. Delmarva Public Media Essay George Merrill ponders the wonder of these creatures.

Essay: Isolation

Feb 5, 2021
Don Rush

With a long winter and the coronavirus pandemic an edginess fills the air. Delmarva Public Public Media Essayist George Merrill ponders the isolation as he watches the snow fall to the ground.

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The 2020 election is over. President Joe Biden has been sworn in pledging to work toward unity. For Delmarva Public Media Essayist George Merrill there is calm and relief with this final act.


The vivid images of the takeover of Capitol Hill this week has stunned the nation and for some has produced a little soul searching. Delmarva Public Media Essayist George Merrill says an immediate reaction was one of anger and a clinched fist but he argues we must go beyond that emotion.

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It is the holiday season. But, this year it is chastened by the losses left behind by the coronavirus pandemic. Delmarva Public Media Essayist George Merrill writes it is often a season that mixes joy with sadness.

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This Christmas will be like few in recent memory. And, many will only be seeing their loved ones via Zoom. Delmarva Public Media Essayist George Merrill notes that how we have had to reduce such gatherings while pondering his Christmas tree.

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The chaotic year of 2020 is coming to a close. It saw a divisive presidential campaign amidst a pandemic with a rising death toll. Delmarva Public Media Essayist George Merrill writes that he still sees hope as this year passes into history.

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The presidential election is now over. Joe Biden is set take the oath of office on January 20th. But, the Trump era will not soon be forgotten. Delmarva Public Media Essayist George Merrill believes that while government agencies have been battered over the last four years, they have survived.

Essay: The Din of Election

Oct 30, 2020
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The nation is coming to the end of one of the most tumultuous election seasons. Delmarva Public Media Essayist George Merrill wonders whether we have lost our ability to communicate with one another amidst the loud voices that have dominated the last year.

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For human beings clothes are an obsession. And, Delmarva Public Media Essayist George Merrill notes even our pets get into the act.

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At any stage in life we may ask ourselves, "Who are we? Is it, who we imagine? Or is it someone else." Delmarva Public Media Essayist George Merrill suggests that we may be both.

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One day a Cardinal came tapping at his window. And, Delmarva Public Media Essayist George Merrill writes discovered he only had eyes for his own image.

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Green can be an ubiquitous color. And, so it was with Delmarva Public Media Essayist George Merrill as he spotted a frog amidst the lush greenery of a countryside walk.

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We seem so polarized these days. But, Delmarva Public Media Essayist George Merrill reflects on acceptance of one another as he gazed at wren who had landed on his porch.

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It seems that we live in a maelstrom of events that keep unfolding before our very eyes. Delmarma Public Media's essayist Steve Plotkin writes there doesn't seem to be a moment to rest against the overwhelming tide.


This week there are so many problems on so many fronts, my
pen experienced sensory overload and simply shut down,
leaving me speechless.

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The smallest of creatures can often teach us the bigger lessons in life. Delmarva Public Media Essayist George Merrill pondered such a revelation while casting his eye on his marigolds.

Don Rush

The nation appears to be in crisis. The coronavirus has taken more than 145,000 lives while protests have rocked the country's streets in the wake of the death of George Floyd. And, this week has seen the passing of a generation with the death of civil rights leader and congressman John Lewis. Delmarva Public Media Essayist Tom Hehman writes these crises may also be a moment for progress.

Essay: A Walk and A Cane

Jul 17, 2020

Despite the passing of years we often forget their impact on our lives. Delmarva Public Media Essayist George Merrill had one such experience while taking a walk with his cane.

With the number of coronavirus cases now topping three million in the U.S with over 130,000 deaths, many states and local government officials are scrambling to keep up with the spreading pandemic. Delmarva Public Media Essayist Steve Plotkin writes it's time to be angry.

Our American Infodemic        

Our response to the pandemic is faltering, and already a world-class failure.  It is so bad that the EU and the world is placing America in quarantine and closing its borders to U.S. visitors.  Isn’t that incredible?

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The coronavirus has left many families mourning the loss of loved ones and a yearning for a return to life as they knew once it. But Delmarva Public Radio's George Merrill writes unlike other pandemics uncertainty clouds what will become the new normal.

Don Rush

Protests over the death of George Floyd have continued for weeks as many local jurisdictions begin to approve police reform measures. Delmarva Public Radio's Essayist Steve Plotkin observers these demonstrations are part of the American tradition.

Peaceable Assembly


Mass Protests 


Don Rush

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has sparked protests across country that has led the nation to focus on racism in America. Delmarva Public Radio Essay George Merrill writes we may be seeing a turning point for the country.

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The photo op of President Trump with a bible in his hand has sparked outrage among religious leaders in the country. Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill was taken by that act and what it symbolized about the president.

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Five Months of WWIII

By Steve Plotkin

Welcome to almost 5-months of WWIII Bioterrorism.  We had many casualties this week.

Isn't it ironic that our muted 75th celebration of WWII VE day would be held while our own war is well underway? 

But our war is different.  There are no Geneva rules of war, nor accepted rules of engagement or prohibition on use of biological weapons.

Although the battle of NYC has gone badly, America stands 5th in the highest per-capita death rate.  Yet a rolling cease-fire and fragile truce is emerging in many quarters.

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With the coronavirus pandemic many feel lucky to be on Delmarva which is less populated and away from the cities that have been effected. But, Delmarva Public Radio Essayist questions whether that is a good way to feel.

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Welcome to week 17 of WWIII Biological Warfare.

Breaking all records, The U.S. took merely 3 months to reach

1,000,000 cases.

WWIII has killed 60,000 Americans in just 100 days. 

It took a decade in Vietnam to approach numbers like that.

I wonder where they will place the public memorial for this war?

Coronavirus Spring 2020.

Many can see the end of the war, without claiming victory.

Battlefront, by battlefront, they slowly return back to pseudo-normalcy. 

Essay: "Week 15 Of WW III Bioterrorism"

Apr 24, 2020
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We are in Week 15 of WW III Bioterrorism.

By Steve Plotkin

There is talk of a unilateral, rolling, cease-fire among the 50 combat zone commanders, governors.  However, this involves 50 separate negotiations and certifications.

A decade of job growth has been destroyed in one month.  And there is rising impatience with the medically induced economic coma.  It boils down to balancing the financial threat, vs. the medical threat.  

But there is a major glitch.  There are very limited measurements available for a data-driven decision process.

Essay: Day 103 of Biological War

Apr 14, 2020
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Welcome to day 103 of WWIII - the Biological War. 

by Steve Plotkin

Sadly, we have reached the national level 2,074 dead per day, now the leading cause of death.  A vast number of citizens qualify for Purple Hearts, and this war has surpassed 9/11 as having a profound effect on our society.

The Virus

Coronavirus is a large family of viruses of which 7 can infect people.  Humans have been treated to one bad coronavirus every 10 years, since the turn of the century.

Think of SARS (2002) and MERS (2012). 

Essay: The War on Covid-19 Continues.

Apr 8, 2020
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Welcome to the 14th week of WWIII's germ warfare.  Worldwide fatal casualties are marching toward the number of American deaths in Korea and Vietnam combined.  

By Steve Plotkin

Remember January 2020 when we started the decade with a hopeful bang?

But now we are in a different sort of place.


This is a peculiar war with no central command.

We are fighting on 50 battlefields, with 50 field commanders - governors, in charge of 50 fractured forces.  We are also fighting a quiet war of competition for resources among the 50.

Essay: Good News Despite the Bad

Mar 31, 2020

We have all made it to the 14th week of WWIII, with no cease fire on the horizon.

By Steve Plotkin

Three themes are reverberating just now regarding the coronavirus, lack of testing, shortage of protective equipment, and shortage of medical ventilators.

Looking backwards, there is now sufficient evidence that the richest country in the world, with abundant scientific and medical specialists, simply squandered a full month in preparation for this devastating pandemic, which is now engulfing major sections of America.