The Coronavirus on Smart Talk Thursday: Blood needed, impact on restaurants, funerals

A look at many angles of coronavirus pandemic each day

  • Scott LaMar

While the number of cases of the COVID 19 or the coronavirus pandemic continue to grow in the U.S. and Pennsylvania, WITF’s Smart Talk focuses on many aspects of the illness and the nation’s response to it. Smart Talk is committed to providing context and answering questions during these extraordinary times.

On Thursday’s Smart Talk, we’ll discuss the critical need for blood from donors, how Pennsylvania’s restaurants that are shutdown, except for pick-up and delivery are faring, and how funerals are different due to the outbreak and social distancing.

Across the country, more than four-thousand blood drives have been canceled, resulting in some 130,000 fewer blood donations due to the coronavirus concerns. That’s according to the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank, which supplies blood to 23 hospitals in 10 counties.

We’ll learn more about the need for blood on Thursday’s program with Patrick Bradley, President and CEO and Jay Wimer, Director of Community Relations  with the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank.  For information about how you can donate blood call 1-800-771-0059 or visit

Also, nearly all of Pennsylvania’s restaurants and bars are closed under the direction of Gov. Tom Wolf, to keep people from coming into contact with someone who may be infected with the coronavirus. It will create a financial hardship for business owners and the thousands of workers who have been laid off from their jobs.

Meanwhile hotels have fewer overnight customers.

Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association President and CEO John Longstreet is on Smart Talk with details.

We’ll also hear from Mandy Arnold, co-owner of The Left Bank restaurant in York about her coronavirus plans.

Finally, one of the most sacred of rituals — funerals — are being affected by the coronavirus precautions.

Appearing on Thursday’s Smart Talk is David Peake, Jr., President of the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association and a licensed funeral director with Robert L. Mannal Funeral Home in Philadelphia to explain.

Smart Talk broadcast on March 19, 2020, with Host Scott LaMar and Engineer Craig Rhodes.

Smart Talk

Smart Talk broadcast on March 19, 2020, with Host Scott LaMar and Engineer Craig Rhodes.

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