From The Inbox

This is one time when 6 under would be a lousy finish

Yes, we’re all going to die … eventually … though not likely from COVID-19, reader contends

We were implored by reader Blaine Walker in Morning Read to heed medical advice rather than opinions proffered by we who think COVID-19 is a hyped panic (“From the Morning Read inbox,” June 26).

Indeed, please do look at the key statistics that matter, rather than panic headlines. I implore you to get past the “cases explode” meme to see how meaningless “cases” is. XYZ has COVID! He’s gonna die! We’re all gonna die!

Hospitalizations and deaths from COVID rarely occur outside of senior-care facilities, and are declining.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there likely are 10 times more cases than we know about, which means COVID is much less debilitating than believed. We’ve either all had it, or will get it, but please stop with the panic. Its seriousness is comparable to the annual flu. Only 5 percent of those infected become seriously ill, and those are in high-risk environments. Those who normally would succumb to the annual flu or pneumonia sadly might not survive this 2020 version of coronavirus.

As for sports, infected athletes (healthy and thus rare) usually don’t know they have it. Almighty “testing” advises them of their illness. They’re asymptomatic, so care should be taken with family, parents or senior volunteers, but do we know of any athletes who have not recovered quickly? How long before college or pro sports leagues realize the best tactic is to infect the entire team now, before the season, when stars might be needlessly sidelined at a crucial time?

I can’t explain the motivation of health experts and politicians. It’s likely for financial reimbursement or for political gain, but neither is an excuse to scare the hell out of everyone, or shut down sports – and life – until every ounce of risk is removed.

If it bothers you, don’t venture out; don’t play; don’t do anything.

If I’m wrong, I’ll be 6 feet under, but that’ll be the first time I’ve been 6 under.

Gary Stauffenberg
Phoenix

Score 1 for Hawkins, 0 for Purkey
In his recent commentary, Mike Purkey writes that the PGA Tour should shut down because, in part, “The point is not that there were three people who tested positive for COVID-19 at the Travelers Championship. It’s whom they might have infected. And whom they might infect. And so on.” (“Did PGA Tour make right call at Travelers? It’s a split decision,” June 26).

This logic makes little sense, because it seems that the PGA Tour has created an environment that actually makes getting the virus much more difficult than if the players were on their own outside the “bubble” – and therefore much less likely to pass it on to others.

And while I usually enjoy the musings of reader Blaine Walker, his sarcastically saying he's impressed by the medical and clinical knowledge of his fellow writers and correspondents misses the point (“From the Morning Read inbox,” June 25). Those of us who are not experts, such as myself, are forced to rely on them for information. But the problem is that even the experts disagree with one another, and some give shifting advice.

For example, I recently talked with an infectious disease expert, a doctor with 30 years of experience, who completely disagrees with the approach that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and many of our governors are taking. And he's not alone in his disagreement. So, whom are we to believe?

In the same commentary as Purkey's, John Hawkins made some logical points for the PGA Tour to continue with tournament play. On this occasion, I have to agree with him.

Mark Harman
Ridgeland, S.C.
(Harman is the national course director for the U.S. Golf Teachers Federation.)

It's all good, Purkey, so take a deep breath
Golf is just fine. Golf doesn’t need forced busing for black golfers. Life isn't fair. Never will be. We don’t need to start looting and stealing and burning down golf shops. Then comes tearing down statues of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan.

Be very careful of what you ask for, Mike Purkey (“Golf faces its day of reckoning for inclusion,” June 24).

Bill Darnell
Central Point, Ore.

Dr. Boutwell will see you now
Darn it. I had no idea how difficult being a therapist would be.

First, I had to work with Morning Read’s Alex Miceli and his attitude regarding golf and COVID-19, and I’m happy to say after reading his recent column that he now sees the glass as being half full (“PGA Tour implores players to ‘do your part’ to counter coronavirus,” June 25). My first success.

Now, along comes reader Blaine Walker and his opinion in Friday’s Morning Read (“From the Morning Read inbox,” June 25). It makes me want to wear a hard hat when leaving the house, in case a piece of the sky that is falling hits me in the head.

Based upon past submissions, I have a feeling that Walker will be a very difficult patient as I continue my glass-half-full method of therapy.

Bill Boutwell
Jacksonville, Fla.

Unmasking the hype
We hear that this person or that has tested for a virus. There are lots of coronaviruses and only one COVID-19.

The “19” strain certainly is a killer of a virus that can severely weaken one's immune system. It has proved to be fatal for some patients, but not like was predicted.

We've had other flus. In 1968, the Hong Kong flu ran wild, yet there were no masks. My high school senior trip was to Vietnam on a crowded plane both ways. Woodstock was held, with no social distancing. In 2009, H1N1 was fatal, the president then went golfing, and there were no masks nor social distancing.

I'm not playing down this disease, but we need to use some reasonable measures. Why aren't the players and caddies wearing masks? TV personnel and officials are.

Alex Miceli does his “One Take” videos mask-free. Why?

I live in Florida, Wisconsin and Illinois, and I travel. I wear a mask in public. It sort of makes sense to me. Does that fully protect me? No, but it might help.

I read the other day about increases in two states about two weeks after public protests that had no social distancing. Protesters were spitting on cops, and many did not wear masks unless they were breaking into stores. We're seeing an outbreak in this population, and it's a surprise?

Patrick Scott
Lakewood Ranch, Fla.

Morning Read invites reader comment. Write to editor Steve Harmon at steve@morningread.com. Please provide your name and city of residence. If your comment is selected for publication, Morning Read will contact you to verify the authenticity of the email and confirm your identity. We will not publish your email address. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and brevity.

Sign up to receive the Morning Read newsletter, along with Where To Golf Next and The Equipment Insider.