HIBBING — This is one subject I didn’t want to broach, but seeing as it’s on everybody’s mind, I may as well give it a shot.

What am I referring to? The coronavirus or COVID-19 as it is called.

I didn’t want to touch the issue because I know absolutely nothing about it. I’m not in the medical profession, which is probably a good thing, but the coronavirus has been sweeping the world, and has now been called a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

But is there really anything to fear?

Yes and no.

Yes because it is a virus, and they shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Healthy people probably have nothing to fear. We might get sick for a few days, but we can usually fight off the virus.

It’s those people with a weak immune system that can’t fight off these viruses. People with asthma and emphysema, they will have the most trouble fighting it off.

That’s why they should take all the precautions necessary to avoid getting sick. It can cause pneumonia.

We also take Influenza seriously. That can be just as bad. That’s why we get flu shots.

The problem: There’s no vaccine for coronavirus, but you know the Center for Disease Control is doing everything under its power to eradicate the virus. It’s going to take some time.

It’s not like we haven’t had other viruses affect our world’s population.

H1N1, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and a whole host of other viruses have taken hold at certain times of our lives, and we got past them.

If you do contract the coronavirus, the symptoms are allegedly mild.

What makes everyone concerned is that the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball all suspended their seasons. March Madness was canceled, along with every other college sport you can think of. Heck, the College World Series isn’t until June, and they called that off.

I get why they’re doing it, and that was the proper thing to do.

Only how far is too far?

That can be debated. I believe we’re overreacting a little bit, but again, what do I know?

Should I have stayed home when the Chisholm girls basketball team played Cromwell-Wright at the University of Minnesota-Duluth? Should I have stayed home when the Hibbing girls basketball team played Hermantown in the 7AAA finals at Duluth Denfeld High School? Should I have stayed home when the Hibbing boys played Hermantown at Duluth East High School?

I was also at the 7A quarterfinal and semifinal games at the Hibbing Memorial Arena last week.

I probably had every reason not to go to those games, but I did, without the fear of getting sick.

We can’t shelter ourselves because of what ifs?

The virus did hit home in Minnesota when the MInnesota State High School League started canceling the girls state basketball tournament, then the boys tournament was canceled, along with most section tournaments.

What that did was deprive Nashwauk-Keewatin and North Woods the right to play for the Section 7A title Friday.

The Spartans were looking to advance to state for the first time since 2004. The Grizzlies, they are the three-time defending champions, and a fourth title would have looked good on their resume´.

The City of Hibbing has been shutdown until May 1, which doesn’t look good for the Last Chance Bonspiel (more on that next week).

Spring sports for the local high schools are now under way, but we don’t know about their fate yet.

Major League Baseball is pushing back their opening date two weeks in the hopes that this fear subsides.

The NHL and NBA could start up again, and run their seasons into the summer.

It’s all unknown at this point. There’s a first for everything, and we’re experiencing that right now.

I believe the coronavirus should be taken seriously, but don’t disrupt your lives over it.

Here’s some words of advice — don’t panic and quit hoarding toilet paper.


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