An irreverent and snarky look at what makes America great!
Do Wearing Face Masks Need to be Political?
Recently, it appears that some American citizens think wearing a mask or not wearing a mask is a political statement. From online reading, Democrats are more likely to wear masks in public, and Republicans are less likely to do so. There are some reports of people being harassed in public places for wearing a mask. You read that some people are labeled as ‘afraid' or 'scared of something so benign' so it's sometimes becoming political. I'm leaning towards putting some blame on our POTUS who ridicules reporters who wear masks, saying it's politically correct to do so. Mr. President, this is not as political as you’d like to make it out to be. It’s not politically correct, perhaps merely a safeguard to the new normal. Again, and as I’ve said in past blogs, we still don’t know many things about the Coronavirus as of early June. As we obtain more scientific information and data, informed citizens will adjust accordingly. I will applaud the Republican governor of North Dakota, who empathically stated at a news conference that this is not a political act. Recently, he said, “urged residents to be “empathetic” towards those who decide to wear face masks.” He also said that someone wearing a mask is not done to necessarily identify with a political party, they might may be caring for vulnerable adults with a compromised immune system or their 5-year old child is going through cancer treatments. This is not about any political statement but rather a way to protect yourself and others during a pandemic.
Put Yourself in Other People's Shoes
My wife and I spent about 3 weeks in Florida in late May and found many Floridians have a much different view about our current pandemic. Talking to several people there who have significantly downplayed the Coronavirus. They don’t understand the hysteria in New York, California, Illinois, etc., about the health risks with Covid-19. It's not a big deal here, not sure why some states are freaking out about it. Indeed, Florida may have many fewer cases than NY or California but several news reports are saying the cases in Florida are under-reported. If that's true, people here are behaving based on false information. Regardless, the strong sun and high humidity certainly may lessen the chance of contracting the virus but is there a consensus among scientists about that scenario? Also, New York City and New Jersey rely on public transportation and have the highest population density in North America. Most New Yorkers know someone who got sick or passed away due to this virus, that's sobering and will make most in that area very careful concerning social distancing and wearing a mask in public. Many Floridians (besides the Miami metro area) don't have the same conditions to contend with. Just because your conditions are not like other areas does not mean you can't have empathy or a little understanding of what others are dealing with. Does there have to be a pandemic that significantly hampers Florida before they have a different perspective? Is it necessary that they have to experience something before their perspective changes? Is there an empathy gene missing among some in the Sunshine State?
Hey Professional Sports in America, Why Not Think About the Fans During These Challenging Times?
The German Soccer League (Bundesliga) has been playing the final games of the 2020 season for about 3 weeks now without fans. I’m sure fans are not happy that they are unable to attend in person but the majority realizes the uncertain times we’re in with Covid-19. As a consolidation, the fans can watch the games on TV so all is not lost. The restart of the Bundesliga has been a success so far.
Moving on to the USA, we still don't have the majority sports yet playing and one wonders how things will look in the next few summer months and then into early and late fall. About a week ago, the over-under for MLB was 75.5 games that would be played in '20. As of today, they're talking about a 50 game even that might not be a reality. The players blame the owners for this impasse and the owners blame the players. Player salaries are public information and yet fans and players don't know how lucrative owning an MLB team is. When information is not disclosed, trust between both parties is eroded. One more thing about professional basement, they've not yet established safety guidelines if/when they begin the season. Perhaps another impediment to this situation.
Will the NBA play this summer? A few weeks ago, the NBA seemed to have things organized and coordinated about playing the remaining games of the season and playoff games at Disneyworld. However, this week, several players deviated from this message and wondered publicly if they will participate. I initially thought their balking had to do with health concerns but as I dug deeper, some African-American players want to 'opt-out' of this season to protest social injustice, particularly in the black community. On the other hand, an NBA star could claim that playing this summer will give them more of a platform to voice their concerns about social injustice. They'll have plenty of time to provide interviews and the way it looks now, the limited amount of announcers will be thrilled to have opportunities to talk to players on several topics. Getting back to the safety concerns, one wonders if players will be able to stay safe in Orlando for conceivably 3 months or so. One also wonders if they’ll be closure to this current season.
We all know these are difficult times but having some professional sports broadcast soon will add a little normalcy to our lives. It won't fix many of our societal problems but the diversion is something we may just need in 2020. If the Germans can figure things out, then it's up to our collective sports' mentality to do what it takes to bring a little more joy back to many sports fans and sport junkies.