With every passing day, we inch closer to a return to normalcy.
The road is long and difficult, but we are slowly getting there. One person who has been fighting for that return to normalcy is Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, who joined OutKick founder Clay Travis on his radio show Wednesday morning.
The conversation between Clay and Lee was fantastic. They touched on several different topics relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has affected the state of Tennessee. Now that we understand the virus, Lee feels that the time has come to treat it like any other managed health issue.
“There is something we’ve got to remember. We all live with some level of risk every single day, for a number of different things,” Lee told Clay. “COVID was new to the scene last year, and it brought a lot of unknown risks. But we now know what the risk is, and we know how to manage that risk.
“We don’t have a crisis anymore. We don’t have a hospitalization or healthcare capacity crisis. We know what it is. We know how it works. We know what the risks are. We know how it spreads. So now it’s a managed health issue like any other managed health issue that we have.”
This is an opinion that many of our OutKick readers share.
As with a lot of things, people now understand the risks they’re taking with COVID-19 by going back to their normal, everyday lives. We give people in this country the freedom to weigh risks and make decisions when it relates to other issues, and we ought to give them that same freedom with the coronavirus.
Unfortunately, there has been push back against every attempt to return to normalcy. From allowing kids to return to school to letting them play sports, Lee has been attacked for following the science.
When Clay asked whether Lee feels gratified now that high school sports have been successful, especially when so many people said it would be impossible, Lee made an excellent point. Despite the brutal attacks, the decision to proceed with high school sports — especially football — might be one of the most popular he’s made with Tennessee residents.
“Not only were they saying there was no way to play sports — think about this — we had health officials saying children are going to die, and their blood is going to be on your hands,” Lee said. “There was serious push back to open up schools and letting kids play football.
“But I’ll also say, I think the most popular political decision of my entire 2.5 years so far was when we announced we were going to allow high school football in Tennessee. With kids’ lives, it’s a whole lot more than just making sure they don’t have risks to a particular sickness. This is their high school life, and this is important to them.”
Well said, Governor. Well said.
From the beginning, people such as Lee, Clay and others have been fighting for freedom and normalcy. Kids’ mental health has been affected by lockdown orders and stay-at-home schooling for a long period of time. Many have ignored these issues, and it will come at a cost.
There is some good news, however.
During the interview, Clay asked Lee about fan attendance at sporting events moving forward. Should the capacity be set at 100 percent for all events, especially with the outdoor sports? According to Lee, the answer is yes.
“Absolutely, anyone that goes to that event has had an opportunity to either be vaccinated or made the choice not be vaccinated, and that means that it’s now up to individuals to make those decisions,” Lee said. “No one is being put at risk that doesn’t choose to be put at risk.
“It was one thing back in the day when you visited a nursing home, you were putting them at risk. Or if you went somewhere crowded in a space, you were putting other people at risk. That’s over, so yes, we should have full capacity at any outdoor stadium. Frankly, I’m hoping the [Nashville Predators] play at full capacity in Bridgestone [Arena].”
In other words, let’s not focus only on outdoor sports. Let’s get everything back to full capacity. The time is now.
Folks, the interview is a must-listen. Clay had some great questions, and Lee provided fantastic answers. You can listen to that interview on OutKick the Coverage in the tweet below.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.