So after New England Patriot quarterback, Cam Newton tested positive for the coronavirus the Pats game at Kansas City was first canceled, then postponed, and then they ended up playing the next day.
Je ne comprends pas!
Newton was later reported to be symptom-free and hoped to get two negative test results so as to return to the playing field.
COVID-19 involves serious health risks but fit young athletes needn’t be treated like frail octogenarians. Relevant data exists. According to the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services COVID Dashboard, as of October 5 (when the Chiefs and Pats actually played—as opposed to October 4) only one Granite Stater under the age of 40 had died from the virus.
Claims of over 200,000 American COVID deaths also need context. Elderly folks account for most deaths. And most of them had concurrent health issues. Why is the death of a COVID-positive 85-year-old with emphysema, kidney disease and cancer listed as solely due to the coronavirus?
Can you say “comorbidity?” (The simultaneous presence of several chronic diseases or conditions in a patient.)
Elderly folks with other afflictions are most at risk from not only COVD-19 but also from the flu, the common cold or whatever. Yes, we need to take measures to better protect those most at risk. But does that mean we earlier needed to stop people from golfing? That we needed to cancel youth sports? That we needed to postpone Big Ten football?
Was it truly necessary to dash countless sports dreams while breaking countless sports hearts?
There are no definitive answers, but there’s certainly a spectrum/range of thoughts as to how best to deal with the coronavirus. Think of personal responsibility vs. government responsibility.
Catholic schools have been open all fall while families in places like Nashua are stymied by risk-averse officials and administrators who’ve kept youngsters out of classrooms and off playing fields.
When I was a kid we all had to deal with mumps, measles, chickenpox, and more. Schools remained open.
Indeed, ponder what our forebears had to contend with: Smallpox, Influenza, Bubonic plague, Diphtheria, Typhus, Cholera, Scarlet fever, Yellow fever, Malaria, Lyme disease, Q-fever (bacterial disease carried by cattle, sheep, and goats), Leishmania (parasitic disease), Whooping cough, African sleeping sickness (parasitic disease), Filaria (parasitic disease), Dengue, Septicemic plague (one of the three main forms of the plague), Schistosomiasis (parasitic disease), Anthrax, Botulism, Tetanus, Toxoplasmosis, Taeniasis (tapeworms), Staphylococci, Streptococci, and Mycotic Diseases.
Many died. But great achievement and acute risk avoidance are incompatible.
And make no mistake that there’s also a political factor in the COVID equation. Opponents of the current presidential administration were not pleased with the booming 2019 economy, record employment, or a record stock market. So some shamelessly exploited COVID-19—not for health reasons but as a means to hurt the economy and thus the president.
Expect COVID concerns to significantly abate after the November 3 elections.
Football pileups have long been known for groin grabbing, spitting, biting, and transmissions of who-knows-what over the many years of gridiron battles. It goes with the turf. I trust Cam and company to take their chances on the gridiron while maintaining proper prudence elsewhere.
And let me and my ilk take our chances on the golf course or at a 5K race. We’ll still mask up afterwards, as necessary. Fearfully hunkering down while minimizing risk is not a strategy for greatness. That mindset would have precluded conquering the wilderness. Or going to the moon.
Or going the Super Bowl.