May 17, 2021

The Smart and Safe Thing Is to Postpone the Games (FanGraphs)

Wednesday was not the first time that COVID-19 cracked the headlines, but it was the day the disease made its most significant impact yet on American culture. Early that morning, Washington governor Jay Inslee banned gatherings of more than 250 people in the state’s three most affected counties, urging citizens to practice social distancing in an effort to limit the virus’ spread and, by extension, all but ensuring that the Seattle Mariners season opener will not be played as scheduled. By day’s end, the federal government had implemented significant travel restrictions, Tom Hanks tested positive for COVID-19, the NCAA announced plans to restrict attendance at its events, and the NBA suspended its season. Finally, belatedly, the novel coronavirus hit the sports world.

COVID-19 is a deadly disease. The latest estimates project that more than 120,000 people have contracted the virus, and that nearly 4,500 of those infected have died. For a variety of reasons, we don’t know what the precise fatality rate is, but the World Health Organization recently trotted out 3-4% as a crude mortality ratio estimate. That’s a very high number, particularly considering how easily…

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