For some reason there are some among us who have gotten it into their heads that the best way to combat the pandemic created by the coronavirus outbreak is to simply ignore it and continue living life as normal, and those people were on full display Saturday night in Nashville, Tennessee.
In spite of the fact that there have been repeated warnings to avoid large gatherings the citizens of Nashville were out in force in downtown Nashville on Saturday night with some even being so bold as to brag about their decision to continue living life as normal. While a decision to put oneself at risk is certainly everyone's right, the problem with a viral pandemic of this nature is that you can end up impacting far more people than just yourself with this type of behavior, and in fact it is this kind of behavior that can overwhelm hospitals and medical facilities that desperately need all the help they can get.
Here is one example of a resident proudly publishing a video of a packed bar in downtown Nashville from last night:
Everyone seems to be having a good time and hopefully no one in the area got sick as a result of their decision to ignore the warnings, but this has no prompted prominent figures in the Nashville community to speak out against the behavior, prominent figures like Nashville Predators forward Nick Bonino. Bonino, knowing full well that his comments would not go over well with certain members of the community, decided to speak out on Sunday with a powerful message clearly designed to help protect those ignoring the warnings, while also protecting himself and his loved ones in the process.
"I see people going out to bars and restaurants, and I'm not sure if they're selfish or just naive," said the Predators forward. "An interaction with one person could, in the worst case, potentially lead to the death of many people. If you're young and healthy, you may feel untouchable, but if something happens to you, will there be enough room at the hospital to help you? Our healthcare system is going to be overwhelmed, and if we don't distance ourselves immediately, there will be consequences. It's happening right now in Italy and we're only a few days behind.
"There is no excuse. We have a chance to lock down our cities now, close restaurants and bars, or if safe, only offer takeout/delivery, anything to slow the spread. Grocery and supply stores are open, but go just when you absolutely need to. I love Nashville, it's my family's home, but we need to shut down Broadway. There are videos of hundreds of people out last night at every bar, and instead of inevitably having to lock down in two weeks, let's do it now. Let's help our hospitals by giving them a chance to help the sick. The elderly. The at risk."
"There are examples to draw on right now from Italy, Spain, and multiple other countries, and we have to do our best to react faster. We're past containment, now it's time for care, and to (ensure) everyone gets the best care. Let's flatten the curve and just stay home, or away from people."
"Our whole team got back from Toronto on Thursday and as far as I know everyone is self isolating."
"I doubt what I'm saying will make everyone happy. I understand people have the freedom to do what they want, but please, if you are able to stay home right now, do so."
Combined that with the fact that the Center for Disease Control has now issued a major warning to all Americans to avoid gatherings of 50 people or more and it is perhaps even for the bravest among us to start heading the warnings.