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Mineral Point Student-Athletes Show Callous Attitude Same Day 34 Reported Dead From COVID

October 13, 2020

On Tuesday Wisconsin passed two records that no one wanted to cross during this pandemic. Our state had already passed a grim milestone of having 150,000 COVID cases. But then in one day, we had a record 3,279 new cases added to the count and a most horrible record number of deaths at 34. It is a truly sobering time in the state.

And across the nation which continues to see high numbers being reported in a number of states. Since Saturday, more than 20 states have hit a new high in their seven-day average of reported case counts, and more than half of those states continue to set records this week. In addition to our state Illinois, Indiana and Ohio are driving the surge, while states farther west — like Colorado, Idaho and the Dakotas have been seeing their caseloads increase steadily for weeks.

Adding to the alarm for governmental health agencies and medical professionals is the concern that the rising numbers strongly suggest an even greater increase later this fall and into the winter when more time spent indoors will help the virus spread.

In Iowa County since the pandemic started, 309 people have contracted the virus, with 48 new cases being confirmed this past week. That new reporting is more than 15 percent of the county’s total cases. So with the caseload numbers, the Mineral Point School Board made the prudent move to have virtual classes for the next two weeks.

That is what caused mostly high school football team members and other student-athletes to take to the streets of Mineral Point Tuesday, chanting “Let us play.” Since there was no school and the sunshine was most inviting it seemed like a good day to protest.

It is clear these students are not aware of the science and medical aspects of the virus. They would not have such a cavalier attitude if they were better informed. But what accounts for their callous and selfish attitudes when it comes to the needs of their families, neighborhood, and the larger community?

It was a most bone-headed and backward PR move to chant and protest for the right to play high school football when a field hospital was about to begin operations in Milwaukee for COVID patients. The need to have some sporting event so their high school days are not so taxing comes at the same time that the hospitalization rates in Wisconsin from the virus have tripled in the past month.

It was a truly pathetic sight to see these young people acting as if they should not feel any responsibility to make sure they did everything possible to limit the spread in their community and county. Playing football at this time is not in the best interest of the larger society. They seemed not to care.

These students learned this selfish behavior somewhere and we can only now trust there is a figure in the larger community who can reach out to them and explain why they are not acting in a manner consistent with public-health, common sense, and just plain decency.

And so it goes.

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