Guest Essays

Essays as heard on WSCL and WSDL 

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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.

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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.

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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 


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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.


With WWIII entering its 13th week, most of WE THE PEOPLE  are POWs in our own homes.    So let’s reflect on how we got here.

We have all committed to “flattening the outbreak curve”, a new moniker for hiding at home, and vegging out on Netflix.

This time, our Pearl Harbor occurred in China, and was so sneaky, we didn’t even realize there was a problem until weeks later on January 10th.  Since then “a state of war has existed”.  Haven’t we heard these words before?

Essay: Coronovirus Has Many Sides

Mar 24, 2020

Complexities of the Virus

by Steve Plotkin

You have been feasting on endless news, regarding the coronavirus pandemic, mostly scary statistics.  But there are other sides, some good, some bad.

Just look at how fragile the greatest country in the world is.  In 11 weeks some

unsee able threat has neutered and rendered our civilization inert with amazing speed.   And we are still just mobilizing to fight WWIII.

Essay: A Good Marriage

Feb 28, 2020
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What makes a good marriage? Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill writes it is a combination of being one and yet a part.


The recent House impeachment and Senate acquittal of President Donald Trump has put some of the deficiencies in our constitutional structure on full display. Delmarva Public Radio Essayist Steve Plotkin writes that perhaps it is time for some soul searching by the American body politic.

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We spend much of our golden years extending life. But Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill writes that we should also concentrate on its meaning.

Essay: A Little Kindness

Jan 31, 2020
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It is easy to get irritated at the little things in life. But, Delmarva Public Radio Essayist found a little kindness can break the day's frustrations.

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There are many doors in life. Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill writes as we go through them we take their stories with us.

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Courtesy is something that can get lost in these divisive days. But as Delmarva Public Radio Essay George Merrill writes it is not just a social gesture but can be a spiritual one.

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As we age we put things away, save them, as part of a lifetime. But, Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill writes comes a time to give them up and to be left with the stories that they once told.

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Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill recently went to check the shore line of his property as weather reports indicated it could be stormy day. It wasn't just the wind and rain but the rising water line produced by climate change that made him ponder the propsects for our the home we call earth.

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The older we get birthdays become more and more a time of reflection. Delmarva Public Radio's George Merrill writes it is in those latter years that the meaning  of our lives take on a sharper focus.