2021 ends with COVID craziness in sports and politics |

The Star Tribune newspaper studies:

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is on the COVID-19 reserve listing after testing constructive for COVID-19 and can miss Sunday night time’s sport in opposition to the Packers. …

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From the Star Tribune web site


Cousins, who’s unvaccinated, was positioned on the COVID-19 reserve listing as a detailed contact early in coaching camp after (one backup quarterback) examined constructive for the virus. After coming back from a five-day quarantine, he declined to debate his choice on whether or not to be vaccinated, calling it a private alternative and saying his focus was on avoiding being a detailed contact.

He had averted being positioned on the reserve listing all season. However after (one other backup quarterback) examined constructive, Cousins admitted staying away from the virus earlier than the Vikings’ most necessary sport of the season could be robust.

Throughout the sphere for Sunday’s Vikings-Packers sport, one other unvaccinated quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, continues to make headlines about feedback he makes criticizing Nationwide Soccer League COVID-related insurance policies.

You could not care about soccer or about unvaccinated however extremely paid athletes.  There aren’t any winners on this matter.  How should Cousins’ vaccinated teammates really feel about their “discipline common” leaving them within the lurch on the eve of a sport that would decide their season’s success or failure. And if failure, it could influence the roles of some gamers and coaches.

It’s, certainly, a private alternative for Cousins and Rodgers. However their private alternative has far-reaching implications due to their position on these groups and the pedestal on which some followers place professional athletes.

A lot for sports activities.  Subsequent, politics.

I stay in Plymouth, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis with about 80,000 residents.  I’ve been right here lower than a yr.  This week I had my first contact with town council member representing my native ward.  The subject was COVID and he made it an unpleasant first encounter.

This week town of Plymouth began selling a Viva Las Vegas occasion for January 21, one of many first large occasions to open town’s newly expanded group middle.  The advertising messages acknowledged:

Attendees can sit up for a night of Las Vegas type video games, a catered Italian-style dinner, music and drinks on the new Lively Wing of the Plymouth Neighborhood Heart. A money bar will likely be obtainable. … Organizations might sponsor a desk on the occasion for $250. Sponsors will see their identify and brand posted on the desk and displayed on signage on the occasion.

Video games, meals, drink, music, alternatives for sponsors to place their identify in entrance of native residents.  However not a single phrase about COVID precautions.

That’s why I wrote my issues to the division managing the occasion, with a cc to town council member for my neighborhood.  His response to me, a taxpayer and voter in his district, was insulting, inflammatory and wildly inaccurate.  Some excerpts of what he wrote me:

“After 2 years of worry induced destruction of our civil society, it’s previous the time for us to maneuver on and return to our lives. …It is going to be a perpetual flu and every pressure will doubtless be much less virulent then (sic) the earlier one. When the shutdowns began in March 2020, I predicted accurately that this won’t finish till people determine it’s going to finish.  Some in authorities don’t ever need it to be over. It gave them extraordinary energy. They abused it within the identify of security. They’re despicable. … For individuals who insist on spreading worry, I say keep house. You aren’t useful any extra.”

We’re accustomed to pandemic polarization and politicization (PPP) from what usually seems like far-away Washington, DC.  But when I wanted any proof of how the PPP has trickled right down to even the native ward politics of native authorities, this blast of bile from my council member delivered it.

I’m a voter and taxpayer in his district.  I raised questions and issues respectfully. I used to be floored and saddened by his response.

I’m certain the Viva Las Vegas occasion will go on.  However I reminded metropolis officers that their occasion is being promoted whereas New 12 months’s Eve celebrations across the globe are being curtailed resulting from COVID issues, whereas many venues regionally had been cancelling upcoming occasions resulting from omicron issues, whereas our native hospitals are overloaded with COVID sufferers, whereas native well being care staff are overworked and harassed by the calls for of what they’re seeing and treating on daily basis, and whereas even some sports activities venues require followers to indicate proof of vaccination and/or mandate masks for all attendees.

It’s troublesome to cause with a neighborhood politician who believes that the pandemic will finish when “people determine it’s going to finish.” He – and possibly others in native authorities right here – are actually saying the pandemic is over, and so gosh darn it, it’s over.  It’s time to occasion.

Will a few of my neighbors get sick in the event that they attend town’s Viva Las Vegas occasion?  I hope not, however there’s a threat of that.

Will the house owners of the Minnesota Vikings do something about their quarterback, who makes about $35 million a yr?  I doubt it.

After two years of the pandemic, are we getting any smarter about threat communication? Are we getting any higher about our means to speak with one another thoughtfully and respectfully about our views of vaccination and public well being precautions?

I’ll finish 2021 with these questions, hoping that we will give you higher solutions in a brighter, more healthy 2022.

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