Monday, June 22, 2020
Getting Comfortable Feeling Uncomfortable? -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
IS THE RISK WORTH THE REWARD?
Across a number of college campuses, the results are discouraging. No, not game results or team record results...but the results of college student-athletes testing positive for COVID-19. Especially here in the south, where voluntary workouts have been suspended at some schools because of the testing results revealing that student-athletes are testing positive with the virus.
The old explanation of "yes, cases are up because testing is up" doesn't make me feel anymore comfortable. Thankfully, in the vast majority of the college testing, the teams appear to be asymptomatic -- but that doesn't make it "O.K."
Not by any means.
Not everyone has the immune system of the college athlete. A Donovan Mitchell may show no symptoms, but what about a student who doesn't either but spreads it to a "60-something" administrator or trainer who ends up in the hospital or...worse.
Fall sports? The optimism of having them a month ago has done a 360. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina all reporting the highest numbers they have seen since the outbreak.
Do you want to be the college athlete that catches COVID-19, quarantines, shows no symptoms but then finds out "uncle Dave" contracted it at a family gathering a month ago where you made an appearance and died? I sure wouldn't want that on my conscious.
I had my scare with it. Fortunately, I didn't acquire it. I know others who also have gone through quarantine because of fears of having it because of being in contact or near someone who had it.
At UofL, there is no word about the numbers, or if there are student-athletes who may have contracted it. A lot of Power 5 Schools have come out with information. I understand the rationale of not making numbers and results public, though. But, did anyone really ever think that 100+ individuals would show up, all would go smoothly and no cases would be discovered?
I went on vacation last week. It's awfully good to be home after a week that, at times, scared and shocked me.
The wife and I like to explore the remote, forested places in the vast space that is the Great Smokies. Taking in the fresh mountain air. Enjoying the peace, quiet and solitude. That part went fine. We saw way more wildlife that humans.
The drama was dining. Going to places for breakfast and supper that did not observe 50% capacity. Being in places where servers and waitresses wore no masks. Going in and out of these places where throngs of people had gathered to do the same as us -- dine -- but were not wearing masks and not social distancing. some even staring at us, because we were "masked".
I'm sure Jared, our wonderful writer and photographer, who was down there as well with his gal Katy, could tell similar "in public" stories. The difference being...they're "20-somethings" in good physical health. We're senior citizens.
Our meeting for dinner last Monday night was enjoyable and a good, in terms of the fellowship, fun and conversation. But, inwardly, I was freaking out at the wall of humanity surrounding us, long lines to be seated, no spacing and very few masks. At least the four of us were masked. We were a huge minority.
So, it was five days of a lot of hand sanitizer and hot water hand washing for us, when we ventured out of the forest and into public. A lot of nervous time for me. I'm not a young man, my wife is not a young woman. If we got sick, would we remain asymptomatic? And our travels were in a car, not going in-and-out of airports...like so many student-athletes have done.
So, the time away was nice -- in terms of "getting away" from the "everyday" and the pressures of life. Playing Russian roulette with a deadly and silent killer was abysmal and scary though.
I hope sports can happen down the road. I hope that all the people who are in the high-test positive areas do the right thing and stay safe and sanitize. I hope for good things but I also am fully aware that COVID-19 has no emotions, feelings, viewpoints, discretionary strategies or game plan.
It just gets people sick and hospitalizes and kills some of them. I feel fine after my dalliance with potential danger. I hope I still feel fine next week. I hope you stay safe and feel fine, too.
And, please do what you can to avoid the silent assassin. Maybe I'm being over-dramatic about all of this, but, I feel like I cheated the hangman and I'm not ready to dance with that devil in the pale moonlight again anytime soon.
I'm not getting comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. This deadly game is nowhere over. This virus isn't going to just go away. It's going to spread without proper precautions.
If this article scares or upsets you, so be it. I just hope it re-awakens you to be cautious, do the simple things -- like washing -- and wearing a mask.
If you don't want to think about yourself, please consider the health of others. It's the right thing to do.