SOMEBODY HAS TO ENFORCE THE RULES
New safety protocols at college football games could be missing one key element
Texas A&M is taking this coronavirus crisis very seriously.
How seriously? The school recently announced the following changes:
- Attendance at football games will be held to 25 percent of Kyle Field's 102,733 capacity.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout the stadium.
- Drinking fountains will be turned off.
- Concession stands will only provide "grab-and-go" items and have plexiglass barriers between customers and workers.
- Customers will have to pay with credit cards (no cash transactions).
- Social distancing will be enforced everywhere (including restrooms).
- Elevators will have reduced capacity.
- Fans in suites must stay in those suites (no suite-hopping).
- Yell leaders must keep off the field.
- The famed Parsons Mounted Calvary cannon won't be fired after A&M scores (they taped the cannon's sound earlier and will play that).
A&M isn't missing a trick, good for them. It's critically important to enact these extraordinary rules, especially with coronavirus cases rising lately in Texas and 20 other states, according to Johns Hopkins University. Young adults are driving the increase in cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Texas A&M recently reported about a 10-percent positivity rate.
I know that wearing a face mask can be unpleasant and I'm like you, I keep forgetting to bring a mask as I approach a store and have to shame walk back to my car to retrieve one. I haven't been to an athletic event, but I'm certain that sitting for several hours wearing a mask can't be fun. But if we're ever going to kick coronavirus and return to the "old normal," we need to mask up.
Saturday night I watched the A&M vs. Vanderbilt game on TV. Every time the camera panned students in the stands … no social distancing and few masks. I don't know how other Southeastern Conference teams are enforcing coronavirus safety protocols. A&M was the only game I watched Saturday. From what I saw on TV, there was little enforcement.
You know, enacting a rule is one thing …
What would Ken do?
Last week, I had one of those "What Would You Do?" moments. I was in a supermarket, and a guy passed me with his mask down around his neck, like the Lone Ranger's kerchief, not over his mouth and nose.
Don't know about you, but this infuriates me. I don't care about your reason – "It's not a law! I think masks don't work! I am not a sheep! I don't like breathing my own carbon dioxide! I heard a doctor say it's unhealthy! – just wear the damn mask. Or shop online. Or send a friend to do your shopping.
Now I had two options during my supermarket visit: ignore him or confront him. I chose option three, I squealed on him to a supermarket employee. I come from a long line of cowards. The employee did tell the man to either pull up his mask or leave. The man didn't put up an argument and pulled up his mask. I'm thinking I may be related to the guy.