We were reading an article about how airports are a dangerous place to be, because even if planes have mask requirements and a given locale is strict about mask usage and staying apart, people in airports aren’t from those particular locales, and so… Say you’re at SeaTac, the risk is still high because SeaTac contains a lot of people not from Seattle and that aren’t wearing masks and staying socially distant.
As such… The Ivy League just cancelled winter sports, and there’s an argument that a GNAC basketball season could be played much more safely and reasonably by only including schools within driving distance of each other. While we personally consider MSUB within driving distance from us in Seattle, almost no one else does.
There’s also the issue that we’re not sure that SFU would be allowed to host American teams, let alone even want to play them against such a contaminated group, but… Here are the numbers for schools in the block as it comes to cases for the first two weeks of November, according to google and divided by their respective populations:
- In Vancouver BC, 1 in 750 people has COVID.
- In Whatcom County (Bellingham) 1 in 830 people has COVID.
- In Seattle, 1 in 583 people has COVID.
- In Kittitas County (Ellensburg) 1 in 1500 people has COVID.
In the Boise/Nampa metropolitan area 1 in 115 people has COVID.
- In Thurston County (Lacey) 1 in 495 people has COVID.
- In the Salem metropolitan area 1 in 277 people has COVID.
Portland is 1 in 233, for those that are curious.
If you’re looking at things from the perspective of Simon Fraser contemplating going into a virus-ridden 3rd world country, those numbers aren’t awful, with the exception of Nampa, and… There’s a legit argument for excluding NNU because it is definitely outside the block, but seven schools still seems like a conference, while six would be pushing it. Then again, GNAC football has four, so… Bye Nighthawks, you’re getting moved to below:
The locales outside of that block…
- In Fairbanks, 1 in 55 people has COVID.
- In Anchorage, 1 in 75 people has COVID.
- In Billings 1 in 55 people has COVID.
- In the Boise/Nampa metropolitan area 1 in 115 people has COVID.
Now Nampa looks all shiny.
You also have a pretty darn perfect schedule with six conference teams. Going by the conference’s current official start date of January 7th, that gives you eight weeks to play six home-and-homes. While we hope no games will need to be moved because of COVID, hope doesn’t prevent you getting the ‘Rona: Masks, social distancing, and quarantining prevents you from getting the ‘Rona.
The travel pairings also work just fine. SPU and CWU are a reasonable pair, and we were going to say you get a good team for one game and a good atmosphere for the other, but this is COVID 😭😭
We could also totally see the MST schools flying up to the Alaskas and having some type of COVID-is-a-Hoax tourney. We would be good with that, we just want to be nowhere near it. We would totes blog about it from afar though! Alaska is seriously so contaminated right now, we might still wear a mask while sitting at home watching that tournament on our computer, yikes.
Reminder: masks, social distancing, and quarantining works, and the fastest way for life to return to normal is in fact for everyone to adhere to it. If everyone had started wearing masks back in April, the restrictions would largely be over by now, see: Rugby in Brisbane, Australia.
Do we think the conference will actually do what we suggested above? Absolutely not, because it would be seen as incredibly offensive, but… We find the people that refuse to have good mask compliance really offensive. Wear a friggin’ mask if you’re around people you don’t live with! It’s not that hard. We have asthma that we take horrible care of (like we score 150/500) and yet even wearing an N-95 mask is no big deal and we can breathe just fine, so… No excuses.
It’s surreal that this year’s NBA Draft is finally happening tonight, and we have no idea what we’re expecting out of the impending college basketball season as a whole… Just wait and see, like everything else has been. College basketball would be great, but it’s not worth guys getting sick. At this point it’s only a year and with the vaccine news that’s come out of as of late, we’re cautiously optimistic that it will in fact only affect us for this one season, and so… Necessary sacrifice. You all know how hard we fight for GNAC players and we put a huge emphasis on the fact that the opportunity to play college basketball is such a finite window, but it’s one year, a COVID redshirt has already been granted, and it’s a freaking pandemic.
Stay home, stay safe, wear a mask, and as always: Go GNAC!!