What is Steve’s Stay-at-Home Coronavirus Quiz?

Every day since the start of this whole thing—or at least the part where America really started paying attention to the coronavirus—I’ve been writing down my thoughts and observations in a blog.

My blog is written in the form of a quiz. Each quiz has a catchy title and, hopefully, a consistent theme. There’s a long and meandering preamble, filled with copious detail about a lot of little things as well as observations about how all those little things somehow fit together in the big picture.

The preamble is followed by a question—and it’s always the same, “What did NOT happen?” Five multiple-choice answers (A, B, C, D and E) follow and it’s your mission, should you decide to accept it, to figure out which one is the “right” answer.

Why a quiz?

As you sort through the five choices in the quiz and try to figure out which one thing did NOT happen, I hope your attention will be drawn to the four things that DID happen. These are sad and strange times, but there are incredible things happening every day.

I hope this quiz serves as a reminder--and record--of all the incredible things that life has to offer each one of us—even during a deadly pandemic, marked by isolation, uncertainty and anxiety. In telling you what happened to me, I hope you will be amused. I also hope you will be reminded that—despite the death, misery and, yes, despair—there are still strange and wonderful things happening to all of us.

But, I want answers…

When I first starting writing this quiz, I used a Google Form that I emailed around to a few family members and friends. To find the "right” answer, you had to actually fill out the Google Form. I set it up as a “quiz” within Google, plugged the “right” answer into the answer key and set up the instant email you’d get—IF you filled out the Form—telling you which answer was right (the one thing that did NOT happen) and which were wrong (the four things that did happen). There was even a Google Sheet which recorded and tracked your score. And yet, after just a few days, people stopped filling out the Form—even though they were still reading (or at least that’s what they told me).

Maybe they were tired of me.

Maybe they had coronavirus fatigue.

Maybe they simply didn’t have the bandwidth left to fill out a Google Form.

I don’t know—but in switching to an emailed newsletter with Substack, I changed the format a little.

At the bottom of each quiz, you will always find a link to the answer from that quiz. If you subscribe, the answer will also be emailed to you when the question is published. The answer will be marked with a big “SPOILER ALERT” because guessing the answer is half the fun.

No forms.

No scores.

No problem.

Going back in time

When I began sending out these quizzes on Substack on April 19, 2020, I had already written 30 different quizzes. Remarkable and unthinkable things happened in that monstrous month from mid-March to mid-April. If you want to get caught up on the quizzes—and bring yourself back to what one person was thinking “back then”—there’s a link to the 1st quiz at the bottom of each new quiz. I’ve also posted each quiz in the Archive on my Substack site. Each quiz is posted by date and number—and you can play along with the quiz as you go day by day, quiz by quiz with a link to the answer always provided at the bottom each quiz.

All about Steve

A husband, brother and dog-owner.

A grandfather, father and step-father.

A philosopher, photographer and Phillies fan.

Kind of a pain-in-the-ass.

If you read this quiz, you will find out a lot more about me, my people and my pets. I try not to tell other people’s stories without their permission—and my family already knows to alert me, “I don’t want this in the quiz.” Still, if you read something here about you and you don’t like it, please let me know. I’m not trying to offend.

For nearly 40 years, I have worked in TV news and I am lucky to still be employed, working-from-home as a network TV news executive for NBC News in New York.

Why Substack?

I found out about Substack by reading “Understandably” from Bill Murphy Jr—and I found out about Murphy’s newsletter from my wife, Sara (my editor and frequent character in Steve’s Stay-at-Home Coronavirus Quiz).

To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.