Professor questions whether Big Ten needed to shut down fall sports

In late June, University of Illinois professor Sheldon Jacobson was sounding an alarm too jarring not to hear.

A computer science professor with an extensive background in risk assessment, Jacobson modeled the possible spread of COVID-19 in college football programs. Out of 13,000 players nationwide, he predicted between three to seven would die. It was a stunning headline for CBS Sports, catching the attention of Cal lineman Jake Curhan, who spearheaded the Pac-12’s “#WeAreUnited” movement.

But that was late June, when Jacobson expected something along the lines of a 30-to-50% infection rate in football programs. These were 18- to 24-year-old men, in tight quarters, with a highly infectious virus.

“If you have a 50% infection rate, yeah, there’s a great risk. But we don’t. And we aren’t going to,” Jacobson said. “Things change. And if we continue to walk the same path, where we know that path is not the right path … we are going to make bad decisions.”

If the data still predicted what it did in June, Jacobson may be in agreement with the Big Ten and Pac-12’s decisions to halt fall sports. But the data, as he sees it, has changed.

On Aug. 3, Jacobson was again interviewed by CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd and offered a revised estimate of 0.59 to 1.68 deaths in FBS football due to COVID-19. By Tuesday morning, hours before the Big Ten and Pac-12 opted to delay fall sports, his estimate was closer to .18 to .37, which means more likely to be zero deaths than one.

But those numbers didn’t generate as much buzz.

It turns out, from the data Jacobson has collected, football players did a relatively good job keeping infection rates low following an initial surge in June. According to a report from Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger, at least 800 football players have contracted COVID-19. But if that’s a near-accurate total, it’s an infection rate of 6 to 7 percent, around the national average for that age group.

“To everyone’s pleasant surprise, the athletes were responsive, and they actually followed the directions. They wore masks. They maintained their bubble. They washed their hands, and you saw a precipitous drop in positives,” Jacobson said. “That’s when I realized that we are not going to see 50%. We aren’t going to see 30%. I don’t think we are going to see 20%.”

“I’ve never, personally, in my life, made a good decision in the grip of fear. I’m concerned that’s what happened in this particular case. People have assumed they cannot control it. And if you can’t control it, you’re scared of it. And if you’re scared, you’ll make a bad decision to avoid it.”

Jacobson’s critique: the Big Ten may be taking opportunities away from student-athletes before it was necessary.

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren cited continued uncertainty about the virus after Tuesday’s announcement. For one, there are worries about possible aftereffects in the heart and lungs linked to COVID-19. In the coming days, universities are also inviting students back to campus, changing the equation for potential infections.

Jacobson admits, he doesn’t have enough data to model the risk of student-athletes contracting myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart. And yes, the return of students to campus will inevitably increase infection rates. For instance, if 15,000 students return to campus, there are likely to be 450 who return with COVID-19, Jacobson said.

“If you catch them before they go grocery shopping and hang out with people, then you’re fine,” Jacobson said. “If you don’t, those 450 will spread to 2,000 within a week.”

That would obviously be a terrible scenario. But if universities can control that initial influx of infected individuals, and athletes continue to be rigorously tested, the COVID-19 infection rate climbs toward the low teens. It isn’t until 15% that Jacobson would forecast significant problems for football teams.

Every sport is different, according to his models. Infection rates would need to be around 70% for the risk of death to be significant in women’s volleyball, for instance, because the roster is much smaller, and the data shows that women are just a lower risk group. Women’s soccer is similar.

He thinks the Big Ten and Pac-12’s presidents and chancellors pulled the plug before it was necessary.

“They don’t know what’s going to happen on campus, and since they can’t control that, they will do everything they can to control the things they do have control over,” Jacobson said. “And one of the things they have control over is intercollegiate sports. I think it’s symptomatic of fear.”

Jacobson notes 42 FBS football players have died of various causes, some off the field, in the last 10 years. It’s horrible to believe anyone could die of COVID-19 — and, more likely, coaches in the at-risk population — but Jacobson isn’t convinced student-athletes are more likely to contract COVID-19 by participating in football.

Granted, most college athletic departments have not been overly forthcoming with their COVID-19 test results, opting to reveal only the number of tests administered and the positives that followed. It’s not clear if certain individuals were tested multiple times.

Jacobson doesn’t know, for sure, the positivity rate for football players nationwide. But he has no reason to believe it’s higher than the national average. He did have access to more granular data about Illinois’ football team — via press reports — and the infection rate was, again, average.

“I think my initial report scared enough people, that the only people I’ve talked to consistently over the last month have been reporters. Administrators do not want to talk to me,” Jacobson said. “I’m a data scientist, I dig into data, and I’m able to tease out insight that maybe they don’t want to see.”

A scientist who was at one point raising a red flag of caution is now flummoxed by an overabundance of it. Instead of attempting to “bubble” athletes like the NHL and MLB, college sports are just shutting down.

He compared the Big Ten and Pac-12’s decisions to airlines, a sector he’s spent a lot of time studying. What happened with fall sports, Jacobson said, is like if airlines refused to fly because they couldn’t guarantee a plane would never crash.

“I’m optimistic the ACC and the SEC and the Big 12 will come to their senses and realize the risk they are perceiving and the risk they can’t see are manageable,” Jacobson said. “Does that mean games won’t be canceled? No, games will be canceled. Does it mean that it’s possible a team might have to shut down for the season? It’s possible.

“To simply run away from the risk rather than manage it, I don’t understand that.”

(above photo courtesy of IU Athletics)

45 comments

  1. A professor with sense to change and look at new data. College Presidents didn’t do that and only decided on their fears not reality just as some here have. I am the high risk class and yet I am not afraid of this virus as I do what it takes to avoid it. Players have learned from the ones that got it and took proper steps to not get the virus. Reasonable people do what they need to do to avoid the virus. Players and coaches wanted the season to start and college presidents didn’t listen “because they know better” than the ones in the arena.

    I don’t have a very good attitude about college presidents based on how colleges are today loaded with far left profs. Now I have an even lower regard for them. The presidents have been years away from a real job or never had one outside of academia. They don’t associate with regular people and have no idea what they have done by cancelling the season. I hope the ACC, SEC, and Big 12 have great results this season to embarrass B1G presidents. If those conferences fail then I will admit I am wrong but will others admit they are wrong.

    1. V13- I know you have a lot of emotions invested. I think your expectations for IU Football are pretty fair. You are not an apologist and you understand where true measures of improvement need to start manifesting.
      Uncharted territory. I think there were just too many unknowns.

      Just read some comments from Bobby Bowden:

      Bowden agreed. Even though he sympathizes with the current crop of college football coaches who are witnessing their seasons get canceled because of COVID-19, Bowden said any games that are played this fall should have an asterisk next to the final score.

      “The thing about it, let’s say they finish the season and they declare a national champion — it won’t mean a darn thing,” Bowden said. “There’s too many teams that can’t compete.”

      Bingo. And how much of that “meaninglessness” will settle into the hearts of those going forward? Demonstrating such an inflated view of themselves in this current state of affairs probably isn’t the best mindset or medicine in maintaining protocols to keep Covid at bay. Nebraska football threw around a lot of bravado before meeting little old wimpy IU football last year. Obviously, as evidenced by there recent poundings on their chest, they did not learn their lesson. You don’t defeat anything or anyone with tweets and bravado….Not even a harmless China virus no worse than a seasonal round of flu. Remember, that quiet little virus that was only going to kill half a dozen “meaningless” old folks locked up in a poorly managed senior living center in Seattle? The virus that was supposed to go poof into harmless dust as it met its maker by Easter Sunday?
      We’ve seen a lot of it in Hoosier Football. Been served 50 years of that bravado dinner. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on the Nebraska coach selling it too? I get the frustration….but it’s misplaced outrage. Bravado is why we’re here. It’s the easiest damn thing to sell to our emotions and desires. It’s hiding in your own family and riches in a personal white house bubble while telling everyone else to “open the doors” and march your families into the darkness of the unknown. Bravado takes you to the doctor for very expensive multiple bunions diagnosis ….while the quiet brave head to the jungles of Vietnam.

      Bravado. It’s what’s for dinner. When will anyone hold the standard of “admitting when you’re wrong” at the doorstep of our fearless leader? Locate the right doorstep to place the outrage of a fumbled drive full of all bravado and no real substance or fight against the Covid opponent.

  2. How many college FB players will die because the 2020 FB season is cancelled? How many will die in car accidents? How many of them will get COVID-19 because they’re not being watched over in a highly structured environment that is a college FB program? I have no idea, but I’ll bet the number is greater than one!

  3. I’m worried about the coeds brutalized by temperamental football players now more temperamental. The football players weren’t the only ones safer in because of the nearly locked down controlled environments. We just made a lot of ex-girlfriends far more at risk of assault or violent intimidation.

    I can only hope this extra times means abusive players (still highly monitored for “their own safety”) harboring extremely crude and immature attitudes of force and intimidation toward women use this extra time to get the full slate of counseling they need.

  4. V13, Nebraska’s President may be an exception. He, his AD and his FB coach are considering defying the Big Ten and scheduling games this fall. Their collective disdain for the Big Ten’s decision has been made very obvious. Nebraska has about 85 million reasons why they want to play this fall and a very low rate of COVID-19 infection throughout the state. I would not be surprised if Nebraska decided to leave the Big Ten after this and join the Big 12 Conference.

    Who knows what will come of this decision, but I have a feeling that the Big Ten is going to regret it. But will the Presidents ever be held responsible for their decision? I think I can guess the answer to that one?

    1. I’m kinda liking the MLB attitude and approach. Try to make the season work. Feel your way through it. Adapt, improvise, overcome. It’s what Americans are famous for. IF a student/athlete doesn’t want to compete, ‘no problem’ retain his eligibility for the future. Academia just laid down.

      1. The PGA has done the same thing. When they started to see cases increase, they changed their protocols and made adjustments to their requirements of everyone involved and cases went back to zero.

    2. I believe that the B1G should insist that NE fire it’s football coach, for cause, without pay, and ban him from coaching in the league for 2 additional years. If NE wishes to leave the B1G, that is fine, just pay the money first! There are substantial monetary penalties involved. NE is showing that they are a “football first” institution. So much for academics!

  5. We can only hope Penn State, OSU, Michigan and Penn State are so pissed off that they leave the BigTen to start their own conference. Rather than meaningless Oaken Buckets, we could be playing for top spots in the standings once every 10 years. We could call it ‘The Leftover Ten’ Conference. Bring in Butler, Loyola, Illinois State…and Dayton as Midwest replacements into the ‘Leftover Ten.’ Now our football team gets to push somebody around for 5 decades!
    We could beat three of the four newcomers in football while keeping the hoops image of the new and improved conference an increasingly exciting niche.

  6. oops..

    We can only hope Penn State, OSU, Michigan and Penn State [Nebraska]…

    You’re from Nebraska?
    Sorry I had to ask ya….

  7. March Madness still has a very slim chance of happening….if we can change the leadership of the country in the fall and begin to approach this pandemic without the casual flippancy which has led us to this worst-case scenario as distant from a Covid-free Easter Sunday as Venus is from Pluto.

    It was only a few weeks ago when I read nothing but ill-regard for the Nebraska coach football coach (something about lack of respect…Was that from V13 ..or was it Pothunder?)….Now he’s our hero.

    https://saturdaytradition.com/indiana-football/indiana-ad-fred-glass-on-gratifying-win-over-nebraska-they-had-no-respect-for-our-program/

  8. YOU all are missing the point. Its NOT just the “football players”; Michigan’s Big House holds 109,000 fans, Penn State: 106,000 and Ohio State 102,000. Take ALL the Big Ten Stadiums filled and then send those fans out into the communities …there is MORE at risk than JUST 22 players running around on an open ground. If the Schools deny Fans into stadiums then its STILL the ECONOMIC DISASTER. Either way its a lose, lose and MORE loss if the 100,000 + fans run loose thru communities.

    1. TJ you’ve missed a few past posts on here. Your topic has been understood here for some time. None of us have advocated max stadium capacity. We all know accepted protocols would be required. If a few 1000 bastards are welcome to riot and terrorize in the streets of US cities every night arguably 12-15,000 can set peaceably in MS 1 afternoon a week.

  9. A rare contributor who gets it…No snide or bravado required.

    But you are missing the potential bright side in the myriad of inconsistencies and policies to accept or not accept fans in bubbled vs. no bubble vs. some bubble environments…along with all indeterminate or non-existent tracing measures of potentially dangerous virus spread converging from one area of the country to another via fans traveling with their teams. I know, it doesn’t sound like much bright side still coming….
    Bright side? This would have been the only year in the history of college football when Memorial Stadium’s average attendance dusted Happy Valley’s numbers. One season where we our hungry zombies tired of being locked up at home fill seats at Memorial games and Happy Valley is the repeated ghost town for every kickoff. Life just isn’t fair. What could have been…? What could have been?

  10. Penn State was initially going to mist their stadium with a sanitizing agent called Lysol Jerry…..Governor decided on alternative plan.

    1. I generally refrain from commenting on other’s posts, as a firm believer in freedom of speech…. but that Lysol Jerry one…..Wow, IMHO, what a poor taste low blow that is hard to find the humor in.

      1. It was….and so intended because we’re talking about a college football program which put its precious bottom line ahead of compassion and acknowledgment of a monster inside their walls.
        What did they learn as they now bitch and whine again with the same abandonment of decency …along with the absurdity to play a game in the same empty stadium that was empty while Jerry was kept in his bubble and “privately” showered.

        So, you know, sometimes it needs a bit of shock to absorb the gravity. My apologies.

  11. Reality: Like a mouse running around in a maze looking for water and food until he finds it or drops dead from thirst and starvation.

  12. I have echoed V’s comments several times about college presidents and others in a variety of upper echelon positions. They just walk around high on life.

    1. We all have agreed with V’s position about upper echelon at some point….Even at this point the President of the United States is pushing to send your children back to school, while his own kid is in a protective bubble…will his kid be forced to go to public or private school and exposed himself to Covid-19 (I doubt it). Lets all go out and get a shot of Hydroxychloroquine (are drink disinfectant) shot to protect ourselves from Covid-19. The problem is nobody knows what is to come with this pandemic, but speaking as a parent, grandparent, etc. I would hate to loose a family member or any person to this infections. The President of the United State stated that 150000 plus immigrant is too many to enter this countr, but yet it is okay for 160000 plus US citizens to die is okay.

  13. Like I pointed out on the other post, the BIG will regret retreating into oblivian while (as I predicted) other conferences were kicking off on Satudays. Masks, sitting 3 seats apart, mostly students in the stands, limited concession sales, limited band activity etc would have worked just fine. No more dangerous than a normal trip to the store. Finally, the proven death rate for younger people, in particular, is about the same as the Hong Kong flu. As for Nebraska, you only accepted because of the $ and because you couldn’t compete successfully against Oklahoma, Texas and A&M at the time. You found trying to deal with the OSU’s, Mich, PST’s and the rest of the conference for that matter, is even tougher….buh-bye.

  14. BP, on what grounds should Nebraska’s FB coach be fired and banned? Sounds like you’ve become part of the cancel culture.

    If they fire their FB coach, they’ll also have to fire the AD and the President of the University. They all stand together in criticizing the Big Ten’s decision. Nebraska will leave the Big Ten conference before they fire anyone who has spoken out against this decision. And they’d have legal justification for electing not to pay any money on the way out. I would love to see the Presidents of the Big Ten Universities on the witness stand, trying to explain the science that lead them to make that decision. They’d get eaten alive by any lawyer worth his/her salt.

    Anyone believe the Big’s decision was in part motivated by politics? “Maybe, if we make life just a little more miserable for the people in these swing states (WI, MI, PA, Ohio), we can have an impact on the election.” Should be very interesting to see how things change after November’s election.

  15. PO if the decision is motivated by politics ; it’s probably motivated by the politics of Liability Lawsuits ( as in the health issues of Feeney).165,000 dead and here in Texas a Positivity result of 20%. The texas State fair has been cancelled BUT the Oklahoma v Texas football game still on. The ONLY businesses closed in Texas are the bars because our Trump-sucking Gov. says the drunks cant maintain social distancing. Even with reduced attendance, how many will drive the distance to support local businesses?? Po its NOT about the politics as much as the “Politics of Money”

  16. TJ on point…again.

    Cancel Culture? I prefer Pandemic Apologists. It’s very difficult to not call this pandemic politicized when the leader of the free world was denying it and just playing the blame game. He politicized it here. He politicized it on the world stage. He was mixed message every step of the way. Masks became an insult to his title on his desk. We can’t even unite in a fight against a tragic WORLDWIDE disease destroying lives and families.
    It was all going to be flicked off like a flea by Easter Sunday. When he didn’t like what his team of scientists and disease experts were communicating, he simply removed them from pandemic press briefings (his version of putting earmuffs on a country in dire need of sound leadership and unified plans/goals). He did what he’s always done on the job. He abandons contractors and leaves them hanging out to dry. Declares bankruptcy with zero concern or conscience for those he’s harmed along the way. Steals land via intimidation tactics to build golf courses. Sure, we’ll get through this…..We’ll get through it in the same fashion a Trump Tower, casino, or golf course goes up. His name will be gigantic on the outside wall/signage while those he harmed and stole from will simply be disposable as the leftover rubble of a replaced building. Does the same with precious protected lands. Destroyer in Chief.
    A man who is a complete void and bankrupt of any moral fiber. His existence is in a wealth bubble. He’ll die in a bubble with greed being his only motivator.
    Chances to unify at every turn of every crisis and his ‘go-to’ choice is to divide. He divided and started the ‘Birther Movement’ to secure those who choose to hate their way to the top. Four years in and he’s still taking shots at Obama instead of at the pandemic nearing 170,000 deaths.
    It’s sort of like a national strategy of leadership akin to the very shrunken down version we witnessed in our own basketball program. Four years into his “job”, Crean was still chasing down Jeff Meyer instead of simply possessing the character/fiber meets expertise to move forward and tackle the job at hand. Holding himself up with biblical quotes while in attack mode. Trump? Holding up a bible upside down while in attack mode.
    He’s simply the same animal. Opportunist. Divider. Inability to lead due to social and mental ineptitude. Driven….but for a myriad of dysfunctional and repressed reasons. Now we’re finally being shown cue cards with cute little sketches of friendly faces wearing masks four months and a 100,000 more disposable names past Easter.

  17. Translated (brevity version): Place the outrage for no football where it belongs. The ball was fumbled for two months long before it reached the desk of any university president. It was first and goal in February. We played to lose and milk a clock.

    We all love our sports and football, but at the end of the day haven’t many families paid a tragic price a little bit higher than losing a game for few months …or even a year? Thank the heavens above that the BigTen wasn’t so completely tone deaf to a very simple fact. There is a point when so much loss must be acknowledged. There is a point when you must come to your senses and absorb the gravity. There is a point when empathy and compassion should supersede your own bubble protection.
    There is a point when you actually put lives ahead of games and stock market gains. There is a point. We’re at that point. It’s not about proving who was right or wrong. It’s simply about finding enough humility to possess an ounce of compassion and acknowledgment outside your own fortunate age or stage in life… or fortunate circumstance. The finding of some compassion is the only thing that can unite us. I’m hoping that was the main motivating factor in those who decided to pause on college sports.

  18. TJ, I agree with your point about the fear of litigation. I think that’s the primary reason these mamba pamby academics made the call. But a large number of people believe that many of the shut-down decisions were motivated by politics. Why? Because so many of the shut-down orders simply didn’t and don’t make sense. You couldn’t go to church in several states but you could ride a crowed government bus around town? You were allowed to participate in a huge demonstrations with thousands of people packed together and screaming political slogans, but in Michigan you couldn’t be on your boat by yourself? You could buy weed and alcohol but they closed down gun stores? In California, some state employees are required to ware a face mask while participating on a video conference even though they’re working from home? I can go on describing many more such idiotic shut-down orders, but I’ve made my point. We’ll never really know if the Big Ten’s decision was based in part on politics, but given the stupidity of many of the shut-down orders handed down, it is not unreasonable to be suspicious.

    As for the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19, even if you take the number of deaths you referenced at face value (it is well documented that the number has been inflated), look at the ages of the people who have died. Consider that the majority of the people who died were either very old and/or had serious underlying health conditions that made them highly vulnerable. The chance of a young, world-class athlete dying from COVID-19 is virtually zero. But as I asked before, how many of those same young athletes will die as a result of not being supervised and cared for by their highly structured college FB program?

    As for social distancing, no one’s talking about fans attending these college FB games. You can play the games without packing fans into the stands, just like soccer, NBA, MLB and a bunch of other sporting events being held around the world. And as of today, it appears the NFL is going forward with games without fans in attendance. So how do you square that with the decision of the Big Ten and PAC-12 to delay the season until after January? And what’s going to be different in January, February or March? Is the coronavirus simply going to disappear over the next five months? Are they counting on a vaccine being available to 340 million people by then? It ain’t going to happen! So to many people whose brains have not been paralyzed by fear, it appears the decision is “delay” the FB season is either irrational or politically motivated. As Professor Jacobson points out, it’s clearly not based on the science.

    1. There are plenty of medical experts claiming the numbers are actually severely under-reported (especially in the early stages of the pandemic).

      https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/07/about-30-covid-deaths-may-not-be-classified-such

      RESULTS There were approximately 781 000 total deaths in the United States from March 1 to May 30, 2020, representing 122 300 (95% prediction interval, 116 800-127 000) more deaths than would typically be expected at that time of year. There were 95 235 reported deaths officially attributed to COVID-19 from March 1 to May 30, 2020. The number of excess
      all-cause deaths was 28% higher than the official tally of COVID-19–reported deaths during that period. In several states, these deaths occurred before increases in the availability of COVID-19 diagnostic tests and were not counted in official COVID-19 death records. There was substantial variability between states in the difference between official COVID-19 deaths
      and the estimated burden of excess deaths

    2. but in Michigan you couldn’t be on your boat by yourself?

      That’s a simple one. Many traveling to a cottage or second home far outside their normal residence or community. Even within the state, it sets up the potential for more virus spread to get to destinations. Indiana had many travel restrictions within the state.
      Hard to determine primary residence. People do strange address things to minimize tax implications. Some with secondary Chicago residences with other Michigan addresses traveling across/back and forth state lines. I used to live up there. It’s a constant march to the Lake in the entire “region” where “weekend warriors” move along expressways and far from primary residence. People make stops when they travel. How do you tell if the boat in the pond is from a local resident or someone 200 miles away? Impossible.
      It was all about containment and attempting to contain spread rates at critical times. It was politicized by the Divider in Chief.

  19. In this week’s episode of ‘Know Your Prediction Experts’….

    10/17/2016

    Illinois students have made the bold prediction that Donald Trump has a zero percent chance of winning the upcoming election, meaning Hillary Clinton is going to be the next president of the United States. ECE ILLINOIS affiliate Sheldon Howard Jacobson, professor of computer science and director of the Simulation and Optimization Laboratory and the Bed Time Research Institute, has helped develop an algorithm that he believes can accurately predict this year’s upcoming presidential election.

    https://ece.illinois.edu/newsroom/news/3639

    Is it ‘Fighting Illini’….’Inalie Ifight?’

  20. Next time you’re planning a full congregation Sunday Easter egg hunt during a pandemic, call Sheldon…That’s 1-800-FIND EGG.

  21. IU1992, thanks for posting the article. As it points out, relatively small towns, whose economies heavily depend on their college FB team are going to be devastated. Large cities, like Columbus, OH, won’t feel the bite nearly as much. But even if they played the games, the fans would not be allowed to fill the stadiums, so cancelled or not, the economic impact is going to be the same.

  22. Po the “politics of Litigation” isnt just with the student athlete it will rest with the University and fans that get sick 2 weeks later; or restaurants struggling to make it and feeling they HAVE to open .Its everyone that will get sick from the collateral participation of watching a football game. the college Depends on the fans attending and community having fans by the THOUSANDS . If you cut that number to 25% theampunt of money loss for opening wont help AT ALL.

  23. TJ, perhaps you did not intend to, but you made another straw man argument. No one is going to force anyone to do anything, other than use safety protocols, if FB games are played this fall. No one is going to force the players to participate and no one is going to take their scholarships away if they don’t. The fans won’t be forced to attend games and expose themselves to people carrying the virus. The restaurants don’t have to open and people don’t have to go to them if they’re open. But some of our elected and appointed officials have forced teams in several conferences not to play football.

    I’ve never been one to say, “there ought to be a law against that.” But some people seem to be advocating that the government needs to protect people from themselves, because they believe that too many people are too stupid and/or irresponsible to protect themselves. Well, if they’re that stupid and irresponsible, they’re probably going to get the virus anyway. But no one I know would be made more vulnerable to getting COVID-19 by watching IU play FB games from the comfort and safety of their living room. Accept for communication, nothing the government has done, is doing or will do is going to reduce my risk of contacting COVID-19. That’s my responsibility.

  24. And maybe you should take some “responsibility” to not recklessly spread a virus potentially lethal (with no vaccine and possible long term side effects) into the population. And we saw how well many spring breakers took on that responsibility in Florida….or at a rally in Tulsa. Notice how rallies have stopped? Notice how huge conventions are not happening? Just because you love guns doesn’t give you the “right” to fire it aimlessly through the backyard of your neighborhood.
    Exactly, nobody was asking for laws. We shouldn’t have to be China. But terrible leadership and a flippant attitude during the first two months of this pandemic was the “irresponsibility” that got us here. So can you please, pretty please, be responsible now? Your defiance is needlessly killing people. The message of flippancy and defiance against taking even minimal precautions is killing people.

    1. Yes I too recall the flippant attitude early on. The optics of Madam Speaker frivolously appearing in Chinatown photo opts to display the Kung Flu as low level risk to make the President’s China travel boycott a folly. She does look so elite with egg on her face.

    2. Harvard,

      I still hate to bring politics into this particular haven from the insanity of the political world, but if you are going to continue to throw stones expect some to be thrown back at you. My preference is to remain neutral at all times, but I dislike one-sided arguments without looking at possible opposing points of view. So, I’ll give you some examples of what your opponents could be throwing back at you. I don’t want to get into a tit-for-tat exchange in this matter but if we don’t look at all points of view we will not be able to have a balanced perspective.

      There is one major problem with your position on all of this, you seem to have a major blind spot for the folks on your side of the aisle. In any review of a catastrophe, one always wants to go all the way back to the origins of the problem. All you want to talk about are the symptoms as in the response to the virus but never the root cause. This is suspicious because the roots of this problem lead back uncomfortable close to home for you, as in who was helping to fund the source of this pandemic from the highest levels of our government. Unfortunately for your position, this funding predates your favorite target for scorn.

      As for your criticism of the current occupant of the WH, again you appear to have a major blind spot. If Franklin Roosevelt were held to the standards you have held the current occupant of the WH for His handling of the virus versus the lead up to and initial portion of the WW2, you would have a major problem. The number of missteps made by the Roosevelt Administration cost untold thousands of lives and tremendous suffering, as exampled by the fate of the Bataan defenders. That’s not even considering the many other military blunders made by the Roosevelt Administration during the war. Without the advantage of 2 oceans separation from the theaters of war, it could have been a much different outcome.

      Here is your biggest problem in this comparison, this is a comparison of a first time office holder 3 years into his term versus a seasoned political veteran of the highest order in the first year of his 3RD TERM as President of the United States.

      1. I still hate to bring politics into this particular haven from the insanity of the political world, but if you are going to continue to throw stones expect some to be thrown back at you.

        My stone is bigger than your stone.

  25. think, bless you man, but why are you wasting your time? Why do you even read his posts, let alone respond? It’s like seeing a street preacher who is shouting fire and brimstone with that crazed look in his eyes. He’s not there for dialogue, so you walk past him. You don’t stand in front of him and engage in a debate about religion.

    1. Po,

      It’s like this, there was a time when I thought a lot of the same things. It was a very cruel awakening when I found out just how badly I was being mislead. Thankfully, there were those who didn’t give up on me and I came to realize why it is so important to broaden one’s information sources. This is very easy to see when you have been there, and it is very terrifying to realize you could still be there if someone hadn’t cared enough to try and help.

      Doesn’t mean I am blinded by one side or the other of an issue, but I what to know both sides of the issue. Without it, you can’t have a proper perspective unless you are so blinded by your own prejudices that you don’t want to find out that what you believe just might not be the truth.

      1. Question: When Trump claimed he could go under any woman’s dress for a grab, do you think he was including ‘Lady Liberty?’

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