Virus nixes fans from March Madness, some NHL, NBA games

FILE - In this April 29, 2015, file photo, Baltimore Orioles' Caleb Joseph connects for a single against the Chicago White Sox in Baltimore. Jeff Samardzija pitched for the White Sox in the game at Camden Yards closed to fans because of rioting in Baltimore prompted by the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died in police custody. U.S. sports leaders are now weighing whether to bar fans from ballparks and stadiums to help stall the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Gail Burton, File)

THUMBS UP: To the Provo Municipal Council for continuing the discussion on the Transportation Master Plan and listening to area residents about their concerns for widening 820/800 North. The need for east/west connectors particularly in south Provo should be discussed as well as watching what the Utah Department of Transportation studies may be saying about where an interchange could go off Interstate 15 from the northern area of Provo.

THUMBS UP: To all county government, public organizations, schools and churches that are doing the responsible thing and limiting meetings or choosing to do communicating remotely during the COVID-19 concerns. A special elbow bump to Community Action Services and Food Bank that have always offered hand sanitizer and face masks at their front desk and for using best practices when it comes to employees and volunteers as they prepare for potential strains to their services.

THUMBS DOWN: To the coronavirus and its impact on March Madness in 2020. It would be a twisted outcome if the BYU men's basketball team made a run to the Final Four for the first time ever and basically no Cougar fans could make the trip to see them play.

THUMBS UP: To the excellent Utah Valley-area high school wrestlers that competed in 2019-20 and were recognized earlier this week in the All-Wrestling team. It was great to see all of their successes this year.

THUMBS UP: To Evan McMullin calling for civility in politics in his speech at UVU on Wednesday. Over the past several years, political tribalism and polarization have been getting worse and worse, creating a rough divide in our country and making it hard to get needed work and changes done in government. Let's try to remember to be respectful the next time we come across someone with political views differing from our own.

THUMBS DOWN: To how much I'm realizing I touch my face all the time, now that health officials' coronavirus suggestions include avoiding it. Why is it so hard?

THUMBS UP: Just want to give a shoutout to all those people who are remaining calm, cool and collected during the current coronavirus outbreak. Take precautions, avoid large crowds and follow good advice, but there's no need to hoard toilet paper, hand sanitizer and health supplies or to give everyone you pass on the street the stink eye for being a possible carrier. Abject panic never helped anyone.

THUMBS UP: Wow, a former BYU quarterback is actually going to be on a reality dating series? Is this another sign of the end of times? Looks like Bret Engemann, a Cougar QB at the turn of the millennium, will be throwing a different kind of pass on the upcoming season of ABC's "The Bachelorette." It appears like it will be a bleak spring for sports fans, with a rash of events being canceled or suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sports fans are going to need to find something to watch on TV, why not "The Bachelorette"? Then again, you better catch the early episodes -- once people get a glimpse of how much up close and personal contact there is on the show, producers might be forced to cancel it out of health concerns.

THUMBS DOWN: The NCAA's cancellation of March Madness came like a gut punch Thursday. It was one thing to ponder games played in empty arenas, but it's quite another when the whole tournament gets shelved. When it comes to celebrating college basketball, what do we have to look forward to -- a montage of germs in a Petri dish played during "One Shining Moment"? Say it ain't so!

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