Everything Is Cancelled
On Friday, the Big 12 Conference announced that all conference and non-conference competition has been cancelled through the end of the school year, including any sports that continue into the summer.
- All organized team activities, including team and individual practices, voluntary workouts, meetings, and any other meetings are cancelled through March 29. At that time, the Big 12 will reassess the situation.
- This means that the 2020 baseball, outdoor track and field, rowing, and tennis seasons for Kansas State are lost. The football team was due to begin spring practice March 18, but that will be delayed at least until April. The NCAA is considering restoring a year of eligibility for student-athletes who lost the entire season due to COVID-19.
- The NCAA has suspended all on-campus and off-campus recruiting for Division I sports until at least April 15.
Elsewhere, the situation remains fluid, but in addition to athletic events, most conferences, concerts and public gatherings have been cancelled across the country.
- The US Capitol is closed to the public, but your elected representatives are still at work. The House has just passed a bill guaranteeing free coronavirus testing and paid emergency sick leave. It’s now the Senate’s turn.
- The President has declared a national emergency to combat spread of COVID-19. This enables the release of $50 billion to states and local authorities. Predictably, the stock market rallied in response.
Flatten the Curve
We are living in a new world order now. Everything is in flux, and the situation is constantly changing. To stay on top of COVID-19 information, here are some useful links:
- The CDC’s COVID-19 resource page
- Your state’s Department of Health (KS | MO | OK | TX | CO | IA | WV)
- The National Conference of State Legislature’s COVID-19 State Action summary page
We can’t know what we don’t yet know, so—in the absence of medically-approved preventative, prophylaxis, or vaccine, our universal goal should be to flatten the curve, i.e. to stop the spread of COVID-19.
- This piece is an excellent explainer on how COVID-19 spreads and why we need to flatten the curve (Washington Post).
- Social distancing appears to be the most (and possibly only) effective tool to combat spread at this point (NPR).
- Our curve in the United States is tracking Italy’s fairly closely, so we may be headed to a similar catastrophic crisis if we don’t effectively practice social distancing.
- How you practice social distancing is mostly up to you, but there are some basic do’s and don’t that we should all be aware of. This is a non-exhaustive list.
- Do wash your hands frequently and thoroughly (song optional). Soap and water work just fine.
- Do cover your cough/sneeze. This is basic courtesy anyway, but it’s also a critical step in flattening the curve now.
- Do work from home, if the nature of your job and/or your employer will allow it.
- Do stock up on some basic staples that you might need for a two-week period: prescription medications, non-perishable food, toilet paper.
- Do disinfect surfaces and areas that get a lot of contact in your home/workspace: door knobs, countertops, and yes, your phone and tablet too.
- Do find fun ways to spend time with your household (but nobody else). Luckily for many of us, the weather is starting to warm up, and you can still go out and enjoy the fresh air.
- Do reach out in other ways to your friends and family. Text them, call them, video chat with them. You cannot spread COVID-19 over the internet.
- Do visit Bring On the Cats. This isn’t the shameless plug it usually is. In the absence of other things to do, it’s entirely appropriate to fall back on your online community, and that’s what we are. #FAMILY and all that.
- Don’t touch your face.
- Don’t go to work/the supermarket/anywhere if you’re not feeling well. Don’t go to the ER/urgent care with cold/flu symptoms unless your health care provider/system directs you to come in. (Obviously, if you’re in an accident and your arm is falling off, you should go to the ER!)
- Don’t travel, if you can avoid it. Some of my friends are taking short car trips to alleviate boredom while their kids are on spring break. This is probably ok if everyone is feeling well and unlikely to interact with anyone outside the family for long periods of time.
- Don’t go to public places where you will be in close contact with others, i.e. a crowded bar/club/restaurant, airports, train stations, concerts, conferences, etc.
- Don’t shake hands. A wave and/or a smile are still perfectly appropriate greetings.
- Don’t hug or closely interact with anyone who does not already live in your household. (Yes, you can still hug your kids, but maybe don’t let them visit/hug grandma just yet).
- Don’t hoard supplies! We’re all better off when there is enough hand sanitizer, toilet paper, soup, etc. to go around. (If you’re well, you can still go to the store to pick up milk. Just do it when there are fewer shoppers around. Or better yet, if the service is available where you are, have things delivered).
So now that I have given you a whole lot of information you probably already had, l will get to the real content!
- What are you watching and/or reading this week?
- For those with kids at home indefinitely (and with everything from school to museums closed), how are you keeping them entertained?
- Every retail store, every museum, and every organization I have ever interacted with (including many I had forgotten about over the years) have e-mailed me to highlight (a) their efforts to keep the place clean and crowd-free, and (b) reminding me to wash my hands. Have you experienced this too? Share the weirdest ones in the comments!
Everyone stay safe and healthy. Use common sense, eat well, get a good night’s sleep, and oh yeah, WASH YOUR HANDS!