Ducks Destruction: My COVID CONCERNS with Autzen Attendance

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials

“Charles, are you out of mind? Doesn’t this article violate your No Politics Rule?” 

The FishDuck Editor-in-Chief Alex Heining was warning me with his usual conscientiousness, as he always has my back and the good of the site as his priority. Yet this subject is so important that I believe we can focus on the issues themselves, and not the political machinations surrounding it. In short, I have observed decisions made by the State of Oregon, and the Lane County Health Authority that impact Oregon Athletics, and I have grave concerns about them making sound judgments in the near future. These crossroad choices could alter the viability of Our Beloved Ducks.

My Own Experience:

You cannot have a football website without pictures, and thus I have photographers at every Oregon game to supply images for our writers and their daily articles. At the beginning of last season the media were informed by the Athletic Department at Oregon that only a few photographers would be allowed on the field (from the biggest media sources), and the rest of us could have photographers in the stands using telephoto lenses. Then the AD declared that almost no photographers would be allowed, even in the stands. There were many games in 2020 where I could not have a single FishDuck photographer present…

Yet I could have two photographers at the Washington State game in Pullman, and two in Reser Stadium? So COVID science is different in Washington than Oregon? The data and science are different in Benton County than Lane County?

Tom Corno

COVID science is different here?

When I asked for the data that supported massive COVID transmission outside when people (photographers) are wearing masks, socially distanced and in the freezing cold? Crickets. As we know, the data did not exist six months ago to support that premise and since then–the data is demonstrating the opposite. One study examining over 232,000 cases of COVID found that only 1/10th of 1% of all the cases were contracted outside. Other researchers concluded that the amount of COVID transmission outside is so low as it almost cannot be measured.

So the State of Oregon and Lane County Health Authority ignored pertinent data crucial in making such a decision?

Working Together: Coercion and Omission

The State recently announced how life and business can open up once a threshold of 70% of the population is vaccinated at least once for COVID. The implication is that herd immunity can be reached or approached at that number, which has been extensively discussed by health professionals nationally. Yet as many scientists will assert, the key is not the amount vaccinated, but the total of those who have the antibodies within their bodies, and this number would include those who have already had the COVID disease. Yet no mention is made of that in any of the metrics or news conferences….

Many sources have estimated that the actual number of people who have had COVID is actually about four times the amount reported.  In Lane County, the total number reported last week was 12,921 and multiplied four times would give us a total of 51,684 in Lane County who have had the disease or 13.55% of the total number of 381,268 in Lane County. Sure, there are some who had the disease and also received the vaccine, but would it not be safe to say that an additional 10% of the county population is safe from contracting COVID again due to their experience with it already?

Kevin Cline

So many people have experienced COVID…

Why aren’t these numbers part of the decision metrics?  Wouldn’t it change the goalposts in a positive direction for life to return to normal? Is it good science to ignore something so basic to the discussion? Is it fair to apply coercion to the masses to achieve goals set by metrics contrived with such an overt omission of facts?

A Nightmare Scenario…

It will not be long before everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be, and life will begin to return closer to normal. Let’s picture that it is late September, and suddenly Lane County has a COVID surge. How could that happen?

COVID is not going away and no matter how careful you are–if you have not been vaccinated, then I believe eventually you will come in contact with COVID when things open up and relax. (Just ask Penei Sewell.) My concern is how the State and Lane County would react to such a COVID surge of unvaccinated people. Would they shut down and punish everyone because of those who made their own free choices? Will this be the ultimate power-play on the populace by the State and County?

I do not see them doing nothing…do you? But what can they do in that scenario? It seems that the disease will need to run its course among those who have chosen to forgo the vaccine, yet the track record of these two entities does not suggest that passive course of inaction. And yet I do not see how there would not be a COVID surge among those who are unprotected…

Eugene Johnson

We cannot afford losing this…

Oregon Football Could Get CRUNCHED

The athletic budget at Oregon must have Autzen full of fans this fall to meet their obligations and to remain solvent over the long term. Cutting those attendance numbers could force the cutback or removal of other sports, and erode the credibility of the Oregon Athletic Department nationally. The ancillary damage could be worse as potential players and coaches decide in the recruiting process that it is much easier to play/coach in other conferences where all the relevant data is utilized in decision metrics.

It could be a negative snowball that impacts the fans of all sports of Our Beloved Ducks. My concerns are based upon the actual decisions and performance by the State and County in my own experiences, and now what we see carried out at the state level. I do not have confidence that they will do the right thing in terms of the big picture, but instead will continue to use omission and coercion … regardless of the impact to University of Oregon Athletics.

I would like to know your thoughts and suggestions, and let’s stay on the issues covered in this article. Do you have concerns about Autzen attendance this fall?

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
Top Photo from State of Oregon YouTube

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