As we all continue to work our way through this damned sorry ass pandemic (sorry, had to get that out), every facet of life is having to come to terms with it.
For instance, two seasons ago the post-season was canceled with the ACC Tournament stopping mid-stream. It was a little better last year as we got to watch basketball, albeit irregularly and of course it wasn’t a great experience for the athletes who had to be isolated most of the time, but they got to play and we got to watch on TV. So it was minimally better.
This year, we see vast crowds at football stadiums again and soon we will see arenas like Cameron Indoor Stadium filling up again.
But not suprisingly, Duke is going to require proof of vaccination to enter Cameron. Alternatively, you can bring proof of a negative test within the last 72 hours prior to a game or you can take a rapid test on the spot that you’ll have to pay for.
It can’t hurt and it will probably help but it’s impossible to know for sure that there is no danger of infection in a crowd of over 9,000 in a small, and no matter how much Duke fans love it, outdated arena, at least when it comes to something as unexpected as a pandemic. When you sit that close together, it’s just impossible to be sure (just as a small point, the seats were designed during the Depression when people were not nearly as large and well-fed as we are today).
When we got a good ways into this, people began to start looking back at the (so-called) Spanish Influenza of 1918 and found some interesting things.
Obviously that was over 100 years ago and science was not nearly as advanced as it is today. So most of what they did was either observational or practical or both.
For instance, masks were heavily used. And when hospitals were overcrowded during the warm months, people were (necessarily) moved outside and doctors realized that many of those patients healed faster. So many more were deliberately taken outdoors as a result.
And buildings had long been built with ventilation as a primary function specifically because diseases like influenza, polio, smallpox, whooping cough and many others were still great dangers. Smallpox alone killed 300 million people in the 20th century before it was declared eradicated in 1980.
We mention this because Cameron’s age is also potentially an advantage. Modern arenas like the Dean Dome and the PNC Arena in Raleigh were conceived of and built as climate-controlled environments. We’re not even sure if you can open windows in those places and even if you could, it might not make much difference.
Cameron was adapted for air conditioning a while back but you could still turn it off and open the windows and doors and get some decent circulation in there. And since our elders factored ventilation in to daily life as a counter to potential airborne plagues, it might be smart to just turn the AC off and let some air back in the old barn. They lacked our scientific knowledge but we lack their experience and could still benefit from it.