Basketball, Mark Twain, and Covid-19

The NCAA Tournament has started and tonight our West Virginia Mountaineers take on Morehead State as the favored team to advance.  However, there’s a cloud hanging over each team in the tournament that can disqualify them even if they win.  Yes, it’s that dreaded Covid-19 which we’ve all been dealing with for over a year.

Last night I watched a little of the Norfolk State versus Appalachian State Mountaineers.  I shook my head when I saw players and coaches on the sideline wearing masks while the players on the court were unmasked and certainly not maintaining six feet of separation.  Seeing refs run up and down the court wearing masks is to me, a ridiculous sight.  All the teams are playing in one city and inside what is being called a bubble to protect them and the few spectators who are allowed in.  All this due to the hysteria created over fears of Covid-19.

Covid-19 is a real virus, just like strains of the flu, but it’s not near as deadly as was projected, or even reported because of that little language twist of “with Covid” and “of Covid.”

So I asked myself, I said, “Self, how many college basketball players have died from Covid-19?”

I then looked it up using my trusting search engine and guess what I discovered.  Zero!

I couldn’t find any stats on how many players tested positive, but one thing I do know is that everyone who got it survived.  Not only that, but there doesn’t seem to have been any cases that were life-threatening or much worse than flu-like symptoms.  I’m sure that if Covid-19 was as scary for college sports as projected that the media would be giving us the numbers.  However, there doesn’t seem to be enough numbers to hold up as examples of this dire threat.

What about college football?  How many players died in college football?  There was an Illinois professor that projected there would be between 3-7 deaths and 13,000 players at the FBS level would contract this deadly virus.  Was he right, or was this another exaggeration?

Once again, as in college basketball, I could not find actual numbers of how many contracted the virus.  Apparently, the numbers were not scary enough to report. 

I did find the number of college football deaths due to Covid.  Would you like to guess?  The answer is once again, zero!

The only list of athletes I found that died of Covid was one of former athletes that were mostly in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.  Like the general population, most of them died with Covid, not of Covid.  There is a difference.

Again, Covid-19 is a real virus, but it’s not near as deadly as projected, because of that little language twist of “with Covid” and “of Covid.”

There is a famous quote by Mark Twain that applies to this Covid panic that has so disrupted our lives.  When asked about reports of his death, Mark Twain replied, “The report of my death has been grossly exaggerated.”