The coronavirus collides with bread and circuses

If you know your history, you have to be aware of the old Roman trope "bread and circuses".  When you had a large population of people who could riot and overthrow your comfortable life as a patrician, you knew that your safety at least partially depended on them being fed and distracted.  The entertainment provided by chariot races and gladiator battles allowed for long periods of relative calm in many Roman cities.

The lesson of "bread and circuses" resurfaces, given the consequences of our lockdown related to COVID-19.  While it is well documented that the isolation of quarantine leads to increases in depression, obesity, alcoholism, spousal abuse, and suicide, the lack of distraction provided by sports is underappreciated.  It is not hard to postulate that if there had been NBA basketball playoffs, March Madness in college basketball, the onset of a baseball season, and even spring football, there would never have been these recent riots and the accompanying anarchism.  People needing the placation provided by sports is especially evident in a society that is trending away from having its anchor in faith and more toward a love of materialism.  It says bad things about our current state when justifiable anger at a murderous event that is met by universal condemnation devolves into a mob tearing apart stores, looting high-end sneakers.  Worse is the baseless appeal of the anarchist and Marxist movements teasing our younger generation and aligning with this latest grievance group.   Having the mainstream media and urban politicians cheerlead the mess compounds the craziness.

When the lockdown was initially recommended and then implemented, many people thought it was an overreaction when Dr. Fauci lectured us about quarantining, masks, and distancing being a necessity until a vaccine was created.  This was especially unthinkable to sports fans when told that a vaccine was probably not going to be available for a year and a half.  when the real mortality rate of the virus was shown to be maybe twice as lethal as a bad seasonal influenza, the realization regarding sports seasons being canceled hit as being unreasonable and stupid.

The amount of energy expended cheering on our favorite teams is a little hard for non-fans to understand.  ESPN had a dominant percentage of viewers prior to the lockdown.  Many college teams have generations of graduates who own season tickets.  Some teams have legions of "good old boy" fans who never even went to their schools or lived in their cities, fans that live and die with whoever wins the big rivalry game.  Many have joked for years about sports keeping the nation from splitting apart once again, our competitive focus kept away from the nation's problems as a whole.

People who sincerely love the beacon of freedom and keeper of peace that America represents are slack-jawed at the juvenility and illogic of these protests.  There is a lot of pent up anger at the seemingly ungrateful behavior and lack of historic reference exhibited by these protesters.  Patriots are deeply concerned, and they don't have sports to occupy them. 

If given the choice, most fans would say to play the games, virus be damned.  If teams choose not to play, waiting for the vaccine, rushed and poorly tested, to become available, the patience of these people will be soon exhausted.  We may soon be seeing what life is like without the circuses.  Many Americans' patience with the current state of affairs is wearing thin.

If you know your history, you have to be aware of the old Roman trope "bread and circuses".  When you had a large population of people who could riot and overthrow your comfortable life as a patrician, you knew that your safety at least partially depended on them being fed and distracted.  The entertainment provided by chariot races and gladiator battles allowed for long periods of relative calm in many Roman cities.

The lesson of "bread and circuses" resurfaces, given the consequences of our lockdown related to COVID-19.  While it is well documented that the isolation of quarantine leads to increases in depression, obesity, alcoholism, spousal abuse, and suicide, the lack of distraction provided by sports is underappreciated.  It is not hard to postulate that if there had been NBA basketball playoffs, March Madness in college basketball, the onset of a baseball season, and even spring football, there would never have been these recent riots and the accompanying anarchism.  People needing the placation provided by sports is especially evident in a society that is trending away from having its anchor in faith and more toward a love of materialism.  It says bad things about our current state when justifiable anger at a murderous event that is met by universal condemnation devolves into a mob tearing apart stores, looting high-end sneakers.  Worse is the baseless appeal of the anarchist and Marxist movements teasing our younger generation and aligning with this latest grievance group.   Having the mainstream media and urban politicians cheerlead the mess compounds the craziness.

When the lockdown was initially recommended and then implemented, many people thought it was an overreaction when Dr. Fauci lectured us about quarantining, masks, and distancing being a necessity until a vaccine was created.  This was especially unthinkable to sports fans when told that a vaccine was probably not going to be available for a year and a half.  when the real mortality rate of the virus was shown to be maybe twice as lethal as a bad seasonal influenza, the realization regarding sports seasons being canceled hit as being unreasonable and stupid.

The amount of energy expended cheering on our favorite teams is a little hard for non-fans to understand.  ESPN had a dominant percentage of viewers prior to the lockdown.  Many college teams have generations of graduates who own season tickets.  Some teams have legions of "good old boy" fans who never even went to their schools or lived in their cities, fans that live and die with whoever wins the big rivalry game.  Many have joked for years about sports keeping the nation from splitting apart once again, our competitive focus kept away from the nation's problems as a whole.

People who sincerely love the beacon of freedom and keeper of peace that America represents are slack-jawed at the juvenility and illogic of these protests.  There is a lot of pent up anger at the seemingly ungrateful behavior and lack of historic reference exhibited by these protesters.  Patriots are deeply concerned, and they don't have sports to occupy them. 

If given the choice, most fans would say to play the games, virus be damned.  If teams choose not to play, waiting for the vaccine, rushed and poorly tested, to become available, the patience of these people will be soon exhausted.  We may soon be seeing what life is like without the circuses.  Many Americans' patience with the current state of affairs is wearing thin.