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Guest opinion: Welcome back, my friends

As an at-risk individual who tested negative for COVID-19, I’m grateful for the precautions my community members have taken — and that will continue.

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Dan Bammes set up to go live on KSL Newsradio from his home in Bountiful.

Dan Bammes

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends. 

Those lyrics begin “Karn Evil 9” from Emerson, Lake and Palmer. They come to mind every time I have to deal with multiple myeloma, the incurable cancer I’ve been living with for 17 years.

This time, though, as I begin a new treatment regimen, I’m mindful of the debt I owe the community for the favorable position I’m in. The drug treatment I’ll be getting reduces the body’s ability to fight off infections. But as I started, I was tested for COVID-19 and that came back negative.

There are lots of reasons for that. One is just good luck. But I’ve been mostly sheltering at home since the beginning of March, going out only rarely to the grocery store or for medical appointments. I wear a mask (to protect others as well as myself) and I practice good hand hygiene and social distancing. The fact that I haven’t yet caught the virus shows that other people have been similarly conscientious, and that’s where I need to say thanks.

I’m grateful to my employer, KSL Newsradio. I had been anchoring weekend newscasts in the studio, but my assignment has been changed to weekday reporting, which I can do at home. I appreciate the efforts of those who are still in the newsroom, wearing masks and sanitizing surfaces, as they coordinate the work of my colleagues who’ve also found themselves spending many more hours at home. I have the technology I need to take care of business right where I am.

As one of those high-risk people you hear about, over 60 with underlying health conditions, I have to depend on more than just my own efforts to stay safe. Maybe it was when you washed your hands an extra time, or when you went out of your way to find a mask, or gave up our church choir practice that’s kept the virus away to this point. All I can say is thank you — and please keep doing it.

Maybe you won’t see me on the street quite as soon as some other folks. I have the cancer to deal with, after all, but this new treatment has a good track record, and I can reasonably hope this most recent relapse will fade in time. The longer I can go without encountering COVID-19 only improves my chances.

Thanks again, and stay well.

Dan Bammes is a longtime veteran of radio news in Utah, currently working as a reporter and news anchor for KSL Newsradio. He’s also been a multiple myeloma patient at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital since 2003.