As Emporia goes, so goes Emporia State, and vice versa. With the decision by the MIAA CEO council (presidents of all member universities) to cancel all fall sports, I would venture to say that there will be more small businesses in Emporia that will close for good. If the town declines, so will the university. This was a terrible decision.
I am from Emporia. My great-great grandfather came to Kansas in 1870 and got a land grant farm right outside of Emporia. I went to school at ESU. Both of my parents went to there, too.
I know the community suffered greatly from the cancellation of the Glass Blown Open disc golf tournament as well as the cancellation of the Dirty Kanza. I’m sure the town lost hundreds of thousands of dollars because of it. Now, with the cancellation of Emporia State football and the first part of basketball, as well as other fall sports, the community will lose even more.
I played football at ESU. I can’t imagine how devastated the student athletes are, particularly the seniors who have been working hard for their last season. I was looking forward to coming back for homecoming.
I understand that it would be expensive to go forward with the fall sports. I was told that before every football game all players would have to be tested for COVID, and after every game one-quarter of the team would be randomly tested. This is a mandate from the NCAA, as I understand. I was told this would cost the school $10,000 per game. Frankly, if the NCAA mandates it, they should cover it.
What I don’t know is how much the school will lose by not playing. I know this, my business has been severely impacted by the lockdowns and media driven hysteria, and I will not be making the donations to ESU I had planned for this coming year, at least not as things are.
These draconian measures are destroying people’s lives. We have never imposed these kinds of actions for a germ. Four weeks ago, the NY Times said estimates are that between 66,000 and 110,000 small businesses had closed for good, despite any stimulus payments.
My great-aunt Leola, who lives in Topeka, just turned 99 last April. She still lives by herself, drives herself, and takes care of her home by herself. She has lived through many harrowing times, including growing up on a farm in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, WWII, and outliving her children. She is appalled at all the lockdowns and cancellations. As she told me, “You can’t control everything”, and, “Life has risks." And she is in the most vulnerable age group.
The vulnerable absolutely should be protected. It is the elderly and health-compromised who are the vast majority dying from COVID-19. The most vulnerable should take the precautions. They should stay away from crowds and wear masks if they want. The rest of society should live their normal lives.
Of course, there are always exceptions. Always. In every situation with every issue there are the outliers. There are those cases that defy the trend. That is life (refer to Aunt Leola quote). I know there are exceptions. My oldest daughter died of H1N1 at the age of 30 in 2009. We did not, and should not have, shut down society.
We are not following the science or the stats.
The mortality risk to college age students (under age 25) is statistically zero. In fact, they rarely even get sick. Those are the statistics. If faculty need to be protected, then faculty should take precautions. College is for students. Why should the dreams of the youth be sacrificed for the elders? It is not supposed to work that way. The youth are the future.
And masks do not work anyway. Quoting a paper by Dr. Denis Rancourt of researchgate.net, “There have been extensive randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies, and meta-analysis reviews of RCT studies, which all show that masks and respirators do not work to prevent respiratory influenza-like illnesses, or respiratory illnesses believed to be transmitted by droplets and aerosol particles.” He cites all of the studies.
Evidence also is increasingly showing that these lockdowns and cancellations do not help. Suicides, drug and alcohol abuse, physical abuse and crimes are skyrocketing. The nation is becoming unhealthier. Despair will do this. This was predicted.
John Ioannidis, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Stanford said that, “locking down the country with potentially tremendous social and financial consequences may be totally irrational”. He said it is “like an elephant being attacked by a house cat and accidentally jumping off a cliff trying to avoid it”.
Nobel Prize biophysicist Michael Levitt said after studying 78 countries with COVID-19, that he feared the public health measures that have shut down large swaths of the economy, “could cause their own health catastrophe, as lost jobs lead to poverty and hopelessness”.
They both were right.
I love Emporia and I am deeply saddened that the MIAA presidents unanimously voted to cancel fall sports. I know with first hand certainty that President Garrett had the best intentions in mind when she voted to do so, but I wonder … if all those in authority making these decisions lost their salary as a consequence — including mayors, governors and the Dr. Fauci’s of this world — would they be so quick to cancel?