Europe offers hope during the pandemic; the U.S. offers shrugs

Liverpool Central Library, 11March2015, Photo: Anthony Moretti

The Boston Globe offers a blunt reality about one aspect of the fight against coronavirus: European governments are providing significant stimulus dollars to aid their citizens under lockdown, while the U.S. government doesn’t care what happens to its people.

“There’s a very straightforward connection here,” said Marc Draisen, executive director of the regional planning organization Metropolitan Area Planning Council. “If people see they’re getting some help to make it through, they’re going to be more receptive to restrictions.”

And spare me the argument that Europe is promoting socialism. It’ s promoting common sense.

Of course, no one stimulus effort will completely make up for shuttered businesses, lost wages and the like. However, Europeans are being sent home with an imperfect assurance that some of their economic needs will be met.

In the United States, people don’t have the confidence that their government can — or wants to — do anything for them. Combine that with the moronic idea that “this is just the flu” and America is destined for hundreds of thousands more coronavirus cases and thousands more deaths from them.

Targeting times six

I spent Saturday afternoon watching college football, something I hadn’t done in almost two years.

The more things change, the more things stay the same with that sport.

As I flipped from game to game (I was really interested in only one), I saw on six different occasions the game stop so that the referee could review possible targeting penalties.

Three things struck me as one potential targeting infraction after another unfolded.

  1. The current sanctions aren’t strong enough to rein in the players.
  2. Coaches aren’t doing what they need to do to teach their players to stop targeting.
  3. Players either don’t want to or don’t care to change their behavior.

In one situation, the player who was waiting to find out if he’d been disqualified from the game was laughing with his teammates on the sidelines. A few teammates either fist bumped or otherwise celebrated his idiotic actions.

One of the reasons I stepped away from watching football, on all levels, was because I was convinced it had become too dangerous. (I’m not alone in that belief.)

I saw plenty yesterday to validate that belief. I won’t be watching next weekend.