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Kennedy: Decision to gradually reopen state, county seems measured, wise

For better or worse, Gov. Larry Hogan announced some relaxation on the rules regarding business openings and the “stay-at-home” edict. Thankfully, he has done so in a more conservative manner than many southern states, who seem to want to open everything yesterday and the virus be damned. To my way of thinking, Hogan is doing things the right way. Go slow and see what happens. If the infection rate stays relatively level or goes down over the next couple of weeks, then open up more businesses. If it goes up markedly, then some closures may be warranted. Only time will tell.

Locally, our county commissioners have voted to go along with the governor’s proposals for gradually reopening the economy. Due to the relatively fewer cases of the virus in Carroll, this seems to be a measured and wise decision. Again, only time will tell. In the meantime, continue to be careful, maintain “social distancing” while out and about, and continue to wear masks while shopping.

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Last week, President Trump once again showed his penchant for acting like a 3-year-old during one of his rose garden press conferences. While remaining unmasked, he was asked a question by a female member of the universally masked press corps. Apparently he didn’t like the question and instead of giving some innocuous non-answer and moving on, he ignored the questioner and pointed to another potential questioner. When the first woman respectfully continued to press for some answer to her question, Trump abruptly turned and left the podium. A classic case of “you’re not playing by my rules so I’ll take my ball and go home.”

It seems that Dr. Fauci, who is probably the most respected and rational voice coming from the White House these days, in his Senate testimony last week, didn’t tell the senators what Trump wanted to hear so now he’s bad-mouthing the good doctor for expressing his opinions on when things should work their way back to some semblance of normal. As any teacher will gladly tell you, schools are the greatest pathway for the spread of germs. Dr. Fauci opined that due to this universal fact, schools should be some of the last buildings to open completely. Trump naturally disagrees without any rational reason for the disagreement.

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One thing that strikes me as somewhat questionable is Trump’s relying on his daily COVID-19 test to prove that he has not come down with the virus. The fact is, he is given the quick response test which has been proven to be much less reliable than the ones that are being given to the population in general. He could be carrying the virus and spreading it all over the White House and among his staff, all the while testing as negative by the quick test. Also, his refusal to wear a mask at any time looks to me to be a sign of disrespect for those whom he is in contact with. It’s like he doesn’t care if he infects someone else, so long as he can do as he pleases.

On a much more pleasant topic, It looks like there will be some sports activities beginning to prepare for some sort of season in the not too distant future. NASCAR is starting to race, sans fans. Golf is formulating how it will proceed, again without fans.

Baseball management and the MLB Players Association are in negotiations over the protocols necessary for a shortened regular season and potential playoffs to come about. One sticking point in those negotiations is how much the players will be paid for the truncated season. The owners want to split the season’s revenues 50/50 with the players. The players want their annual salaries pro-rated. I think that the players should accept the owners’ offer, since it will at least give the players a reasonable cut of the limited revenues. If they don’t accept, the owners could simply cancel the season and the players would get nothing for the year. It seems simple to me, but I’m just a fan.

Both college and pro football appear to be working on ways to have some sort of championship seasons. Since the NFL teams get the bulk of their money from the TV networks, a nearly normal season, again probably without fans for at least a portion of the season, appears to be likely. NCAA schools, however, get the biggest chunk of their revenues from ticket sales and concessions so their seasons could be somewhat in doubt since many campuses remain closed to all students at this time.

As always, stay safe and please follow the guidelines. Things will get better.

Bill Kennedy writes every other Monday from Taneytown. You may contact him at wlkennedyiii@verizon.net

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