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Good news: Omicron got the weekend off, so JPJ was operating as normal

uva baby race
Photo by Dan Grogan.

The University of Virginia announced on Friday that it had implemented a temporary set of precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus because of “a significant uptick in cases in the Charlottesville region and around the country.”

Among the precautions: a temporary prohibition on food and beverages at University and student organization-related events held on and off Grounds, including athletics competitions.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I arrived at the John Paul Jones Arena on Saturday for the Virginia-Wake Forest basketball game and saw the concession stands open for business as usual.

I was pretty sure a basketball game qualifies as an athletics competition, so I had to go back to check out the fine print on the announcement from a day earlier to see what I might have been missing.

“This policy, which will be in effect from Jan. 17 to Feb. 4, will help ensure that all people who attend these events are wearing masks the entire time they are around others.”


Wait, what?

You know, when you think about it, this almost makes sense.

Where it falls actually unfathomably short: the “significant uptick in cases” at the basis of the temporary set of precautions was noted on Friday.

The temporary prohibition on food and beverages at University events doesn’t begin until Monday?

Omicron got the weekend off, I guess.

The sum effect of this is that, on Saturday, at JPJ, with 13,924 people crammed into the 14,593-seat arena, 95.4 percent of capacity, it was perfectly OK to have food and beverages, but on Jan. 24, the next time the ‘Hoos are at home, hosting Louisville, it won’t be.

Oh, OK, got it.

It was also OK on Saturday for the halftime entertainment to feature infants literally crawling on the floor in a baby race, because we all know how omicron is only transmitted through the air, and doesn’t humble itself to mixing with whatever dirt and grime the guys pushing the mops might happen to miss.

If you want to know why people aren’t listening to officialdom on COVID-related matters anymore, it’s because we’re long since all in on how so much of what has been done in the name of public health is actually just the latest act in the theater of the absurd.

Like telling people to come to games with their vax card, then having the person in the ticket line responsible for checking them glance for maybe a second, maybe less, certainly nowhere near enough time to match the name on the card to the identity of the person presenting it.

How many people named McLovin have been attending games of late, you wonder?

Sadly, we will never know.

When they tell you next that they want to make sure that you’re wearing clean underwear to the next home game, and to verify, you have to wear your underwear on the outside, don’t be surprised.

Story by Chris Graham

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