I know we all want to get back to normal, but Texas’ “fuck it all, we’re completely open” approach seems a Texas-sized amount reckless. We’re close. More people are getting vaccinated by the day, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, but we still need to be smart and do exactly the opposite of what that state, as a whole, is doing right now.
The Rangers announced a few weeks ago that they would have 100% capacity for their season, inspiring cringes everywhere. They had the go-ahead from the Texas Governor’s office, and a baseball team is not going to turn down having the opportunity to make money on tickets and concessions.
I have to feel like a certain former president who no longer holds office would have been ecstatic at this development, calling it a “great success” and dubbing it a major victory for himself. Biden also recently made comments in support of moving the MLB All-Star Game out of Atlanta in response to the new voter suppression, Jim Crow bullshit the Georgia legislature recently passed — saying when asked about moving the game, “I think today’s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsible. I would strongly support them doing that.”
When asked about the Rangers, President Biden told ESPN, “well, that’s a decision they made. I think it’s a mistake. I think they should listen to Dr. Fauci, the scientists, and the experts. But I think it’s not responsible.”
In contrast to the Rangers, the only team that will have 100% capacity today, Boston and Washington will be at 12% capacity to start the season, twelve teams will be at 20% capacity, Colorado at 43%, and Houston (because Texas, of course) will be at 50%.
There’s no denying that COVID numbers are trending in the right direction, even in Texas. I, for one, am over the moon at the possibility of us largely putting this all behind us and being able to safely be in a stadium full of people without worrying about taking a disease back to my loved ones that could harm or kill them. The trends look good, in large part because the vaccines by all accounts appear to be helping, but that does not mean it’s time to throw all caution to the wind and say, “Ah, shit, good enough.”
The season is already off to a bit of a rough start — the Washington Nationals and New York Mets’ season opener tonight has been postponed because of a positive COVID test in the Nationals organization. There are reportedly concerns about other positive tests, so out of (and tell me how much you missed this term) an abundance of caution, the league has postponed the game to do their due diligence and make sure they are safe to play.
COVID is not in our rear-view mirror just yet. It is not time for the reckless endangerment that the Rangers organization is displaying. I know it’s annoying, and I know we all long to never have to think about COVID again, but we aren’t there yet. The Rangers need to pump the brakes and show some responsibility and self-control, like the adults I assume they are.