I’m running out of time.
I love baseball. The smooth stylings of Giants’ announcers Mike Krukow, Duane Kuiper, and Jon Miller provide the soundtrack for my summers. I know it’s not in vogue to say it, but I love football, especially college football; a passion my son and I bond over. Krukow’s health has been failing in recent years, and he can’t keep up a fulltime baseball schedule forever. In the blink of an eye, my son will be out of the house and watching sports with his peers. I’ll be lucky to get a text during a game.
I spend my life absorbing and regurgitating the relentlessly depressing news of America’s precipitous, soul-crushing decline. There’s nothing I’d like more than to crack open a few hundred salted peanuts and change the subject to split fingered fastballs or escape into a discussion about how the Cal Bears’ defense can best adjust to the challenges presented by their next opponent.
So like millions of Americans, I feel the urgency to play ball. But bringing back sports, even in unrecognizable fan-less forms, adds to the mixed messaging that is literally killing people. The same is doubly true when it comes to Disney’s decision to re-open amusement parks. Disney World re-opened on the same day Florida set a national record, adding more than 15,000 news cases to an already horrific week.
Magical thinking is reckless even in the Magical Kingdom.
Are empty stands and sparsely attended outdoor amusement parks going to meaningfully add to our disastrous Covid19 numbers? I’m not sure. But moving forward with even abnormal versions of normal life in the midst of America’s exceptional crisis adds to the confusion of where we are right now.
And where we are is terrible.
Where we are right now is in a country where it took 3.2 million positive tests and more than 134,000 deaths for the Donald to finally don a facemask in public. Where we are right now is in a country where a young man’s dying words after attending a “Covid party” were, “I think I made a mistake, I thought this was a hoax, but it’s not.” Where we are right now is being submerged ever deeper into a cesspool of lies and viral spread. Every sane political or corporate leader needs to lock virtual arms and deliver a unified message: We’re not OK. We need to do better. This is no time for games.