Musings from the Bunker 7/23/20
Happy Opening Day!
The Dodgers home opener against the Giants is tonight. Baseball has returned. All is nearly right with the world…
Andrea and I have noticed a phenomenon that you may have noticed as well. We call it “the Fellowship of the Masks.” When we walk with our masks, we find non-mask-wearers either look away, look indifferent, or look upon us with pity. Often they are the ones least likely to get out of the way.
But then there are fellow members of the Fellowship of the Masks. These people are quick to yield space, cheerily offer a “have a nice day” or a “thank you” when we clear the way for them, and generally exhibit human traits. So, while there has been a drop in civility among the non-mask-wearing-Luddites, who stand for freedom from governmental directives, there has been a rise in civility among those who seem actually to care for one another. Perhaps an uptick in our humanity may be upon us!
Apparently some well-meaning guys can’t even give away free masks in enlightened Huntington Beach, where people are defying the incursion of the government into their personal rights. Some of them don’t even “believe in” the Coronavirus. Fascinating, funny and sad. Thanks, Mike Sfregola, for reminding me why I moved to LA County: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Q3PSISAZL8&feature=youtu.be
Brandon Smith’s take is that it seems so simple and worked in Europe—why can’t America follow suit?:
“After reading about your Aspen observations, here’s an excellent long read on the science of masking up. The conclusion is that we should be told of the nuances on how effective these things really are so we can manage risk.
I think the problem is Americans can only focus on one thing at a time “It’s the Economy, Stupid,” “Yes We Can,” “Build the Wall.”
There are about seven things we need to do, all at once, to manage the risk. This WSJ article sums it up perfectly – this what Europe is doing:
1. Keep a distance when possible
2. Enhance hygiene
3. Wear a mask when necessary
4. Older people, who are more vulnerable, be especially careful
5. Ban so-called super-spreading events—mass gatherings such as sports games and concerts
6. Develop quick testing, and implement a tracing system
7. Avoid long periods in enclosed areas with lots of people (could be choir practice or a dive bar)”
A last word on the baseball season that begins this evening. Its belated start cannot be underestimated. It is part of the rhythm of the year that has been ripped from us by this crisis.
Baseball, which starts with Spring training in May and continues through October, is a big part of many people’s lives. I recall many years ago a friend’s mother, a wonderful lady who by that time was a “shut in.” Her favorite pastime was listening to the Dodgers—she knew her baseball. I think she felt she had a personal relationship with Vin Scully… When the 1994 baseball strike stole a season from her, it felt like her summer was stolen from her. I was so upset with the greediness of the owners and players that t took several years for me to return to baseball. Much as she was denied her love that summer years ago, it seems like much of what we are accustomed to and look forward to has been taken from us all this year. I find it gratifying and hopeful that, at least as long as they can, the “boys of summer” will be out playing for the upcoming 60 game season.
The season starts with the Yankees playing the Nationals in Washington, on ESPN at 4:08 PDT tonight. Confirming that nothing is as it was, I believe this is the first time a National League team plays an American League team on Opening Day. Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer take the mound after Dr. Fauci throws out the first pitch. The Dodgers and Giants will follow at 7:08 PDT, with Clayton Kershaw starting (who has a 1.05 ERA for his Opening Day starts).
And, yes, I will be standing in our family room during the seventh inning stretch during the Dodgers game to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” as I have done so many times with over so many years with my father, my children, and my friends.
PS: The Angels start against the Athletics in Oakland Friday night at 7:10 PDT on ESPN. Mike Trout, Shohei Otani and Anthony Rendon will lead a team with lots of hitting and not-quite-as-impressive pitching. But hope springs eternal. Right now we’re tied for first place!