WHITHER MARCH MADNESS?

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Will the nation’s leading scorer be sidelined by a pathogen next month?

News out of Switzerland: the Swiss just canceled the Engadin Ski Marathon, which is one of the nation’s largest annual sporting events. They’ve also canceled the Geneva Auto Show and have banned all events that would draw upwards of 1,000 people between now and March 15. Beware the Ides of March? The Swiss say Wait until the Ides of March.

It is befitting a nation that gave the world its most utilitarian implement to adopt an “ounce of prevention” mentality towards the pandemic. But that’s the Swiss. They love utility and precision and they follow logic. They can’t afford not to.

Then you have America, where the prevailing attitude is Supersize It and I’ll worry about the problems later. So while the White House tells us, not in so many words, “to go shopping and visit the malls” (remember Bush 43’s sage advice?), the virus will likely gain purchase here in the next fortnight. Maybe not so many deaths, but more cases. Because President Trump believes all you need to do to curtail the virus is cancel all incoming flights from China (a good move, sure, but far from the only one).

Come March 15 we’ll have more coronavirus cases in the U.S., perhaps even in red states (How did the Dems spread it to Dixie, they’ll ask?). And the NCAA tournament, a cavalcade of convocations of thousands of people, most of whom don’t wash their hands after using the men’s room, will be ready to get underway.

What then? I doubt anyone at CBS or the NCAA want to talk about it (and I don’t know if College GameDay has discussed it this morning), but this could become a thing and quickly.

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