The pandemic, if you haven’t noticed or actively have tried not to, currently is worse than it’s ever been. The stark contrast between the critical nature of the public-health crisis and the shrugging that so many are still doing in the face of it will be illustrated on Sunday in Cleveland.
Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Browns can still host up to 12,000 fans for Sunday’s game against the Eagles, despite a stay-at-home advisory issued Wednesday for Cleveland and greater Cuyahoga County.
A Browns spokesperson told Cabot that the team “will continue to monitor the circumstances and remain flexible,” but that the Browns “plan to continue to safely host a limited number of fans.”
The fact that the local measure is an advisory and not a stay-at-home mandate allows the Browns to welcome those who choose to ignore the advisory. Still, no matter how safe the protocols inside the stadium may be, the broader act of going to a game necessarily puts those 12,000 fans in other circumstances (stopping at the store, congregating in the parking lot) that will cause them to interact with others, possibly in a setting that will be conducive to a transfer of the virus.
The move isn’t about short-term greed for the Browns organization. It’s about placating those who would be ignoring the advisory anyway. And so it’s easy to rationalize opening the stadium up to 12,000 of them by concluding that they’ll be safer there than they would be elsewhere.
Regardless, the situation encapsulates the broader national dilemma that has raged for more than eight months. Those who has always downplayed the situation and who continue to do so clearly are winning, as evidenced by the number of lives we continue to be losing.