For whatever reason, I had March 12th in my mind as the day that the coronavirus officially became real, became something that we both needed to take seriously. I think it was because on that date I realized personally that I hadn’t been giving it enough credit, and it was then that the falling dominoes finally began to help it sink in.
I’ve learned a bit about using Twitter’s advanced search option lately. It has helped in trying to keep a bit of an online journal/timeline of events in this, the year from the forty-fourth layer of hell. March 12th was a full four months (and a day) ago, so I thought it worthwhile to look back on the events of that week and see just how short we’ve evolved in that time despite periodic quarantines, lockdowns, and copious amounts of human lives lost.
Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita, had just tested positive.
BREAKING: Tom Hanks and his actress-singer wife Rita Wilson have tested positive for the coronavirus, the actor said in a statement Wednesday. https://t.co/dVjw813Ieg— The Denver Post (@denverpost) March 12, 2020
Total cases out here in Colorado had jumped to...27.
UPDATE: 10 new coronavirus cases reported in Colorado today, bringing total to 27 https://t.co/mygIR7XJQe— The Denver Post (@denverpost) March 11, 2020
We learned that the virus could live in the air for ‘hours.’
The new coronavirus can live in the air for several hours and on some surfaces for as long as two to three days, tests by U.S. government and other scientists have found https://t.co/zQw0fW0gC4— The Denver Post (@denverpost) March 11, 2020
Four months ago. Four entire months. We’ve known for four full months that we breathe and cough and sneeze and spit and spew this thing into the air, and it can live there for hours. We knew that when 10 new cases in a day was front page news, when total state positive counts were below 30.
Four months later, and we just saw Florida report over 15,000 cases in a single day alone. That piggybacked a day where the total number of positive cases topped 70,000 across our country. And still, we somehow manage to get smacked in the nose almost daily with things like the video linked in this tweet from Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones:
I understand many people disagree with the Governor’s mask mandate and that is totally fine— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) July 12, 2020
But I don’t think If I did that I would handle it the way this bar in Florence, Ky did
Feels like asking to get a response.... pic.twitter.com/p28dJURmT7
This isn’t a political site, nor is this article politically charged. This is a sports blog, and this article is sports-centric. How, you ask? Because if we don’t begin to ever start acknowledging what this thing is, how it spreads, and how to curb that, we aren’t going to have any sports any time soon. That those words in that sentence even need to be typed four full months after the above series of tweets is physically making me break out in anger sweats.
Major League Soccer has begun the process of trying to play again, even though their testing process has still resulted in multiple delays. Major League Baseball is going to try to follow suit, though it is doing so absent dozens of current players who are out after testing positive. College sports will require college students to be on-campus, and the idea of throwing thousands of teenagers together in dorms while this this spreads unchecked sure doesn’t seem to be congruous in the slightest.
Four months in, and it feels like we’re just as close to actually addressing and curbing this problem as we were four months ago. The two month stay at home orders seemed to begin the process of suppressing the spread, and we simply abandoned that. And if the single best defense mechanism for this - staying the hell away from everyone - isn’t what we’re able to follow as a collective, the least we should be willing to try is the next best thing, and that’s wearing a damn mask to keep the junk flying out of our mouths contained and to keep the junk that flew out of other people’s mouths from getting sucked in.
Until there is enough buy-in, we’re all hostages at this point.
I am well aware that there are many standing on the deck of this Titanic saying to themselves ehh, I know how to swim. There are a ton of folks on this boat that cannot swim, however. Burn a lifeboat because you don’t think you need it, and you give up the spots where a dozen folks that did need it could sit. And, in the process, continue to kick the idea of watching sports as we’ve always known them further and further down the road towards oblivion.
Two ear loops and a bit of fabric. Not 24 hours a day, just when you know you’re going to see people. Fewer transmissions, fewer positive tests, fewer horrendous cases filling hospital beds, and a greater chance we can begin to get back to normal.
That’s it. Just wear a mask here and there.