I mean, it makes sense, but do you think that this pandemic should trigger some compromises in civil liberties?
Yeah. Well, you know, that is the historical question that gets asked. Do you give up a little liberty to get a little protection? I mean, I just read in the Washington Post this morning, it was Benjamin Franklin, I think. He says, ‘If you give up some liberty for some protection, you are neither free nor protected.’
__ I just have a couple of more lifestyle questions, then I’ll let you go. People are still holding out hope for some kind of abbreviated baseball season this summer, college football will start in late August. NFL right after that. Do you think those sports seasons are in jeopardy? Are we going to have college football this fall?__
You know, to be honest with you, Peter, I don’t know. I really don’t. And it’s sort of along the same line as the question you asked about the schools. It’s really going to depend on what actually evolves over the next a couple of months. You know, regarding sports, I believe, and I think this is going to be implemented by the initiation and the initiative of the people who own these clubs. If you could get on television, Major League Baseball, to start July 4th. Let’s say, nobody comes to the stadium. You just, you do it. I mean people say, “Well you can’t play without spectators.” Well, I think you’d probably get enough buy-in from people who are dying to see a baseball game. Particularly me. I’m living in Washington. We have the World Champion Washington Nationals. You know, I want to see them play again. But there’s a way of doing that because there have been some proposals both at the level of the NFL, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, to get these people tested, and to put them in big hotels, you know, wherever you want to play. Keep them very well surveilled, namely a surveillance, but have them tested, like every week. By a gazillion tests. And make sure they don’t wind up infecting each other or their family. And just let them play the season out. I mean, that’s a really artificial way to do it, but when you think about it, it might be better than nothing.
Yeah, the TV ratings would be through the roof.
Oh, for sure.
A summer ritual that’s emerged over the last decade are these huge concert festivals, Coachella, Lollapalooza for example, that have been rescheduled until October. Does the idea of 100,000 people in a field, partying and sweating on each other, how does that make you feel as someone who studies infectious diseases?
Well, if there’s virus in the community, it makes me really, really nervous. Really nervous because outbreaks and clusters have been the things that have fueled outbreaks in different cities throughout the world. One of the real tragic things was that in Wuhan, the city in which this virus emerged, at a time when it was clear that there was viral transmission in the community, the Chinese held a 40,000-person massive block party celebrating some Chinese festival. That just exploded it. And New Orleans had the Mardi Gras. Look what happened after the Mardi Gras. So, I mean, the direct answer to your question is that it would make me really nervous if there was virus still circulating.
On the opposite side of that spectrum, people are cooped up, they’re a little stir crazy. If you’re swiping on a dating app like Tinder, or Bumble, or Grinder, and you match with someone that you think is hot, and you’re just kind of like, “Maybe it’s fine if this one stranger comes over.” What do you say to that person?