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You can’t shout down a virus

Tuesday, Jul 28, 2020

* This story caused quite a stir on social media

Pritzker indicates IHSA will not conduct sports in fall

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signaled that the Illinois High School Association will not conduct sports activities this fall.

The statement came Monday during a question-and-answer session at the Rock Island County Public Health Department and was broadcast by WRMJ in Aledo.

According to the governor, the IHSA “has said they’re basically going to get out of the business of this in the fall. That’s what it appears they are saying.”

The IHSA board of directors are scheduled to convene Wednesday. It was presumed the board will vote then on whether to conduct fall sports.

The story, along with some other developments yesterday, had Pritzker trending on Twitter for much of two days. People were freaking out. Some tried to calm the waters, to no avail…

* The headline and story were changed to a more accurate portrayal of what the governor said, but the damage had already been done

Pritzker ‘deeply concerned’ about IHSA fall sports

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday he is “deeply concerned” about the Illinois High School Association conducting sports activities this fall. […]

“I’m deeply concerned,” the governor said, noting that there is evidence in other countries that open up school sports and an outbreak immediately follows.

“Not something we’ve issued a mandate about,” Pritzker said. “We’re watching very closely.”

Pritzker said he understands the situation has been confounding for many people and said this will be an autumn like no other. He said parents and teacher will have to be flexible in the coming weeks.

* But riddle me this, Batman: If Major League Baseball, with its vast fortunes and high-priced doctors and a strong players union and no fans in the stands can’t prevent outbreaks, how is high school football gonna top that?

To one public health expert, the Miami Marlins outbreak — in which at least 14 members of the team, including 12 players, have contracted the coronavirus — is a frightening harbinger of things to come.

Appearing on CNN’s New Day Tuesday, Professor William Haseltine issued a dire warning — stating that what’s happening in baseball could happen on a dramatically larger scale if schools reopen in the fall.

“I think what you’re seeing is what’s about to happen in our high schools,” Haseltine said. “There’s very little difference between the way the virus spreads in young baseball players — many who are just barely into their 20s — and how it’s going to spread in high schools with anybody who’s an adolescent or a teenager.”

Any attempt to create a bubble won’t work either, according to Haseltine. No matter how much testing is done in an effort to create a protected space, the virus will find its way in.

I don’t know how some parents are raising their kids, but mine always stressed that sport, while important, is just a game.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - don the legend - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 10:38 am:

    DeVore vs the IHSA. Can’t miss entertainment.

  2. - Socially DIstant Watcher - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 10:42 am:

    @don: DeVore vs anyone outside of Clay County doesn’t last long and isn’t very much to watch

  3. - Mr. Baseball - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 10:43 am:

    Four more Marlins players tested positive today, too. This MLB “season” is going to go up in flames.

  4. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 10:47 am:

    One can only assume that the people “freaking out” on social media about this are the parents who scream at children from the stands and threaten referees with physical violence

  5. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 10:49 am:

    I’m still seeing local little leagues playing in very close proximity…I worry that parents care more about the idea of their kids playing sports and what they think it means for their development than they do about their health and safety.

    Controversial opinion: That’s probably why so many parents have ignored the dangers of football injuries on developing minds.

  6. - Give Me A Break - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 11:02 am:

    For the most part HS coaches seem to be taking a wait and see approach.

    But the head football coach at Jacksonville is all over social media complaining about HS football might not be played and lack of direction.

    He really likes to take shots at the IHSA saying they are letting the gov and IDPH call the shots instead of the IHSA determining the issue. He does not appear to be all that educated or care about saftey.

  7. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 11:03 am:

    Rich Miller: “You can’t shout down a virus.”

    Tom DeVore: “Hold my beer.”

  8. - Hard D - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 11:04 am:

    I agree it’s just a sport, but let’s all be aware of the fact that for some of these kids a athletic scholarship is the only means they have to get a degree. So while I agree it’s in the kids best interest it’s also a gigantic price for some of them to pay.

  9. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 11:05 am:

    ===athletic scholarship is the only means===

    I’m thinking the old ways are out the window this year. Colleges will adjust accordingly.

  10. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 11:07 am:

    Hard D - That’s a good point, but it’s also very sad that many students only see a pathway to college being sports, military, or crushing debt.

  11. - Drake mallard - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 11:07 am:

    We need more parents like your parents. It is just a game. It’s not worth everybody in their classrooms health

  12. - Steve Rogers - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 11:14 am:

    The big difference between MLB and other sports is the “bubble” concept–keeping all players in one location. MLS is doing it, NHL is about to start doing it, but MLB is not. The bubble concept seems to be working. IHSA cannot do the bubble system. If HSs allow fall sports, I don’t see how it will end up any other way but like MLB.

  13. - middle o de road - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 11:19 am:

    W keep hearing about the fringes when it comes to corona virus. the reality is that many parents, like me, are split between trying to allow their children to have some kind of normal life this summer after months of shutdown vs. being cautious and socially responsible. its not easy. as the parent of a young woman who plays softball at a local park district, we stress that while its “just a game” as Rich said, its also a lesson in teamwork and accountability. these are essential lessons for children, and help to ensure that we are not raising spoiled brats who always put their own needs first. well, you can see how this causes conflict. in my opinion, these leagues should have been shut down to prevent those who preach accountability to their children from having to choose to either have their children play in an unsafe environment, or abdicate their commitment to their teams and teammates by quitting. Its a real struggle that rational, thoughtful, and considerate families are having. So, I understand why there is reporting on the extremes, but it would be nice if somebody acknowledged the challenges those like me are facing this summer. I’m looking forward to returning to normal life once the proper precautions have been taken, once there is a vaccine, therapeutic treatments, and a better understanding of the long term health effects of corona. Until then, the struggle continues. WEAR A MASK!

  14. - Ray Gun - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 11:27 am:

    Science and data

  15. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 11:27 am:

    “You can’t shout down a virus”

    Someone needs to sit down with the virus and calmly explain to it that it’s actually just a hoax.

    – MrJM

  16. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 11:27 am:

    We all wanted our kids to have an idyllic high school experience, but stuff happens. As parents it is our job to help the kids through difficulties that arise. I’ve seen a lot of creativity on the parts of schools and parents in making lemonade out of the pandemic lemons they’ve been given. A giant shout-out to those folks.

    So to the whiners, quit your beef’n and work with others on solutions.

  17. - Not all the same - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 11:33 am:

    Seems like cross country could be done very safely. Practices are easy. Meets would need to change to have staggered starts but very doable.

  18. - Captain Obvious - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 11:37 am:

    The county in Missouri where my daughter lives had 5 total cases until a couple weeks ago, when total cases more than tripled to 16. The common denominator among the new cases was a youth baseball team. Anecdotal data, I know, but it makes me think that a delay in fall sports would be wise.

  19. - Candy Dogood - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 11:45 am:

    ===Colleges will adjust accordingly. ===

    Some of the best paid public employees in the country are responsible for recruiting college athletes. They’ll come up with something appropriate, and at the end of the day they can always just hold a tryout.

    ===is just a game.===

    I wouldn’t want to lose a child. I wouldn’t want to lose a child to a pandemic and I wouldn’t want to lose that child because of volleyball, cheer, swimming, or something so superficial that I could never rationalize having taken the risk.

    I haven’t served a volleyball in years. No one cares how quickly I can swim 50 meters.

    Parents insistent that high school sports should continue unimpeded aren’t dwelling in the reality that their kid could be one of the ones that dies.

  20. - Leigh John-Ella - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 11:47 am:

    I mean without sports, what in the world would high schools and colleges focus their resources on?

  21. - Lynn S. - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 11:48 am:

    @Not all the same:

    My kiddo ran cross country in high school and got to regionals in it.

    Cross country was addressed in an article I saw in the last week, but unfortunately I don’t remember where.

    Multiple concerns with cross country: you can stagger start times, but what about out on the course? Are kids allowed to pass each other? At the finish line, they go into the chute. How are you going to keep them 6 feet apart in the chute? And what about the kids who “collapse” after they finish? How can they be safely attended to?

    It’s not as simple as it seems on a surface.

  22. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 11:49 am:

    I”m not sure I understand why we’re even talking about kids playing sports considering everything. But having coached baseball the last few years, I definitely know the parents - when our league got cancelled, several of them took spots for their kids on the travel team when those kids’ parents opted out, including mine. Some were the yellers and screamers. Others just think their little Johnny is the next Mike Trout. That travel team played games in Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan when they couldn’t play in Illinois, which to me is just plain insanity.

  23. - Lynn S. - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 11:50 am:

    Leigh John-Ella, I believe you may have forgotten the /s.


  24. - pool boy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 12:03 pm:

    One of my referee buddies recently told me the IHSA was requiring electronic whistles for boys soccer in the fall, but nothing else. Have you ever seen two or three kids fight for a soccer ball?

  25. - 44th - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 12:04 pm:

    teams already practicing. whether its school or athletics, plan as best you can and be ready to pivot. we got a little baseball in this year. Basketball seems a stretch for the winter. Like full time school. Who knows.

  26. - Streator Curmudgeon - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 12:14 pm:

    ==Someone needs to sit down with the virus and calmly explain to it that it’s actually just a hoax. MrJM==

    Saturday I heard a man (who I used to think was intelligent) say the virus will “magically go away” after the election in November.

    So maybe sports in December? /s

  27. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 12:20 pm:

    =One can only assume that the people “freaking out” on social media about this are the parents who scream at children from the stands and threaten referees with physical violence=

    This all day.

  28. - dbk - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 12:27 pm:

    As my own kids repeat all too often these days, “It is what it is.”

    I think that recent quote (Sean Doolittle) “sports are like the reward of a functioning society” is apt here.

  29. - Da Coach - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 12:37 pm:

    The elephant in the room is PE class.

    Large groups of children breathing heavily around each other with no masks on for an extended period.

  30. - Frank talks - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 12:39 pm:

    I thought I read the Marlins had a couple positive tests then had a team meeting and decided to play anyway?

  31. - the Patriot - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 12:53 pm:

    Obviously selfishness motivates us all, but if you teach or coach, you have kids that are living in terrible situations. My biggest issue with shutting down everything is that we no longer consider kids that live in abusive homes, that are hungry, being preyed upon with drugs, or alcohol, depression.

    I know this virus is serious, but with one death for people under 20 do date, do we still really believe the virus is killing more kids then cutting them off from the world?

    At some point, we have to consider the net effect of the virus and the response. We are only looking at the virus not the lives the response is ruining.

  32. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 12:58 pm:

    ===but with one death===

    You must’ve missed this

  33. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 1:11 pm:

    ===Obviously selfishness motivates us all,===

    Some more than others apparently.

  34. - Huh? - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 1:37 pm:

    HS sports involve a relatively small percentage of students when compared to an entire school. So why are these kids being given a special opportunity?

  35. - the Patriot - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 1:48 pm:

    ==missed this==

    I saw it and do not doubt it is true.

    But the pro shut down theme is “I am not willing to risk one child to this virus”, but we are risking thousands to the shut down. I am just not willing to trade their life for mine. We are acting like this is only a lives saved issue and no one is asking about lives lost to the cure.

    If he let real reporters in his press conferences maybe one would ask JB does he plan massive cuts to programs to at risk youth, counseling, and intervention next year since we have eliminated them this year with no consequences.

    He isn’t saving nearly as many lives as he gives himself credit for, he is just choosing who dies.

  36. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 1:49 pm:

    Is it childish to have more invested in sports than the youthful participants??

  37. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 2:12 pm:

    ===he is just choosing who dies===

    Explain to me who is dying from stay at home orders? How does the shut down put lives at risk?

  38. - Pundent - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 2:59 pm:

    =But the pro shut down theme is “I am not willing to risk one child to this virus”, but we are risking thousands to the shut down. =

    I don’t think that’s the argument at all. And with a death toll nearing 150K I think we’re well beyond saving “one child.” We’ve seen the devastating toll of community spread of this virus and we need to do everything we can to curtail it. Less activity means more lives saved, less catastrophic injuries, fewer long term medical conditions. The loss of football, while unfortunate, is not fatal.

  39. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 3:17 pm:

    ==But the pro shut down theme is “I am not willing to risk one child to this virus”==

    Can the hyperbole. That’s not the theme. The theme is there is an unwillingness to risk mass outbreaks.

    == we are risking thousands to the shut down. I am just not willing to trade their life for mine==

    You believe thousands are dying? You got any proof of that other than your decree? I have no doubt that the current situation is affecting the mental health of people and that some will lose their life to depression or other causes as a result. But you’re being hyperbolic again with this statement.

    ==He isn’t saving nearly as many lives as he gives himself credit for, he is just choosing who dies.==

    You don’t think shut downs or other mitigations have saved thousands of lives? Then you aren’t a big fan of science are you? And, please. He’s choosing who lives or dies? I don’t even know how to respond to such an absolutely ridiculous comment.

  40. - ajjacksson - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 3:17 pm:

    -relatively small percentage-

    I don’t know what you mean by “small,” but at my school, about 20% of the student body is out for a fall sport. And that’s just the fall, and it doesn’t count the marching band either.

  41. - R A T - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 6:57 pm:

    The IHSA is not meeting in person to decide if children should play close contact sports? I think that question answered itself.

  42. - R A T - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 6:59 pm:

    Likewise, if you’re school board is not meeting in person, you’re teachers are not safe either. Why do these obvious things need any debate?

  43. - Suburban Mom - Tuesday, Jul 28, 20 @ 8:31 pm:

    “You can’t shout down a virus”

    I mean — have we tried?

    “The elephant in the room is PE class.”

    Most districts around me are either not doing it (and kids have parents sign a sheet saying they did X amount of physical activity at home), or are doing only-outside PE, to be reevaluated when it gets cold.

    I don’t know any that are currently planning indoor PE. (I’m sure there are some. But I don’t know of any.)

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