The Real March Madness

by Kerry Dougherty

I can’t watch. It raises my blood pressure.

I’m talking about the NCAA Basketball Tournament. For the first time in years I’m not glued to my TV during March Madness.

I have my reasons:

First, none of the teams that matter to me made the tournament.

Second, I’m not in a pool this year. That significantly reduces interest.

Third — and most important — after two years of trying to look away, I can’t stand any more pandemic theater. And that’s exactly what’s going on at every game where the cheerleaders are wearing stupid masks and virtually none of the thousands of spectators are sporting them.

Oh, and the FIRST ROW of press are also masked, but the second row is not.

The reason for this profoundly zany situation? An NCAA rule that says anyone on the perimeter of a basketball court must wear a mask.

So sciency!

It’s unclear if the purpose of this rule is to keep the unmasked players safe from those germy girls with pom poms or if it’s to protect the cheerleaders from the virulent guys playing hoops.

By now we all know this is just virus voodoo.

Can anyone tell me just how many lives have been saved by masking one row of sports reporters, but not the scribes seated right behind them?

This mindless virtue signaling feeds hysteria and it needs to stop.

Alas, it won’t.

Seems the loathsome Anthony Fauci was back on the Sunday morning TV show circuit trying to prepare the American public for a return to mask mandates.

This is when I want to fall to my knees in thanksgiving that Virginians elected Governor Glenn Youngkin. That means, when the next surge in COVID cases comes, we in the Old Dominion won’t have to dread Thursday afternoon pressers where we gird our loins in anticipation of which of our liberties the governor is going to stomp next.

Will we have to be in our homes by midnight? Will we have to stop drinking at 10? Will we have to wear masks when we enter a restaurant and only remove them when we reach our table? Will we be forbidden to get haircuts?

My hope is that most Americans by now recognize the futility of COVID restrictions. We watched cases rise and fall across the country without regard for masks, curfews or closed barber shops.

All we want at this point is for government to leave us alone. COVID is here to stay and we’ll all weigh our own risk of serious illness and take care of ourselves.

One request: Please leave the poor kids alone. They suffered the most during the pandemic and in some places they’re still wearing masks to school while unmasked adults pack bars and basketball arenas.

Last week Fauci hinted that he might retire soon. Not soon enough. But I suspect he will scurry away when the GOP regains control of the Senate.

Sen. Rand Paul has promised there will be investigations, subpoenas and an effort to determine if gain-of-function research — financed in part by the U.S. — may have unleashed this virus on the world.

We have a right to know the origins of a virus that caused formerly sane people to think it’s normal for muzzled cheerleaders to lead unmasked crowds in basketball cheers.

Watch if you like. I can’t.

This column has been republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.