Letter to the Editor: A Quarantine Chronicle

Dear In-Between Media,

The two things you don’t talk about are religion and politics. My experience has nothing to do with either of them. Unless you consider COVID-19 a political issue. From my point of view, it’s not, but from the point of view of seemingly everyone else, COVID-19 is political. Wear a mask to save lives, or a mask is taking away our personal freedoms. The spectrum runs far and wide.

For my part, I stay on the side of caution, and I’ve followed the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  guidelines for the most part. I haven’t eaten in a restaurant since March, I avoid crowds, wash my hands repeatedly and use copious amounts of hand sanitizer. It’s exhausting, to be honest.

I’m sick and tired of eating cold French fries and warming up restaurant meals at home. I’m exhausted from having to tell friends that I can’t meet them for lunch or grab a beer for happy hour. This madness needs to end.

My son works at Target as an online order fulfillment associate. His job keeps others from having to enter the store and buy their own groceries. As an “essential worker,” he’s been working regularly since COVID-19 cursed our existence.

This week he mentioned he had chest pains and chills during the night. Turns out one of his coworkers tested positive and even though they don’t work side by side, it’s still contact with a COVID-19 positive person.

Of course, he didn’t mention anything to us until I woke up with chills and a 100-degree temperature recently. I’m rarely sick and I was surprised when my symptoms matched a lot of the COVID-19 symptoms. To be fair, having a cold matches the COVID-19 symptoms, but when you don’t know you don’t know.  

Enter anxiety and wondering if everything is going to be fine. Since the media ranges from “it’s no worse than the flu” to “COVID-19 will kill you,” it’s easy to let your imagination wander. Here in Olathe, Kan., it takes approximately 48 hours to get results from your test. Assuredly, that’s the longest 48 hours ever. I spent time wondering about being very sick, to thinking maybe the virus has been overblown by the media.

It’s such a divisive issue, and now I was in the middle of the conversation regardless if I was ready or not. If I have it and the symptoms are mild, then maybe it’s been overblown. If it hits me hard, then I’m believing the prognosticators of doom. Either way, I want no part of this situation.

I finally got the call that my COVID-19 test was negative. The relief was overwhelming, and a giant anchor was lifted off of my shoulders. As of this moment, my wife’s and son’s tests have not been received. Our house is in quad quarantine. Each of us in our own space. Not something anyone wants.  

The worst part of the virus is thinking friends and people you care about are potential spreaders. Wondering if I talk to my neighbors, will that subject me to the virus, or will I unknowingly give it to them? We already have such a divided country. It’s hard to believe we can be divided even more.

Throughout our entire history, people will overcome, adapt and become stronger. It will be good to think back on this time in our lives, remember the hardship and grow from it. We are all in this together. 

And regardless of which side of the aisle represents your beliefs, the only way we are going to attend concerts and fill football stadiums with more than a few thousand people is to prioritize the things that curve the spread of COVID-19 and do it together, as a nation.

Now, for some football.

Week 12 Waiver Wire Additions 

This time of year we’re looking forward to the fantasy playoffs. Having insurance at the key position of running back is essential. After the bye weeks have passed, the extra WR or two on your bench isn’t going to help your team as much as the handcuff of your starting RB. Having the handcuff of your opponent on your bench can also be helpful if injuries strike. Here are some stashes to consider:

Jamaal Williams (RB, Green Bay Packers)

Jamaal Williams is the clear backup for superstar Aaron Jones on the Packers’ explosive offense. The last two weeks playing backup snaps, he’s finished RB29 and RB32 in Point Per Reception (PPR) leagues. He received the bulk of the opportunities in Weeks 7 and 8 with Jones out with an injury. Williams finished as PPR RB6 and RB8, respectively in those weeks. He runs hard and has a nose for the end zone. Jones has been back for three weeks, so there’s a chance someone dropped Williams during the recent bye weeks.

Tony Pollard (RB, Dallas Cowboys)

Playing as the backup to Ezekiel Elliot, Tony Pollard is looking fresh and explosive when he sees the field. He had a beautiful 42-yard touchdown on Sunday to highlight what can happen if he’s given the chance at starter snaps. If Elliot were to miss any time, Pollard is a guy you want on your bench.

Alexander Mattison (RB, Minnesota Vikings)

Don’t forget to back up to the all-world stud running back Dalvin Cook. There’s a good chance that Alexander Mattison was dropped after his dismal performance in Week 6 against Atlanta. Cook missed that game due to injury and the fantasy world was expecting big things from Mattison. 

He ended up with four PPR points that day. In fantasy football, opportunity is king, and if Cook had to miss any time down the stretch, Mattison is a talent. Don’t let one bad game deter you from having a potential monster on your roster.

Devontae Booker (RB, Las Vegas Raiders)

Raiders running back Devontae Booker is the top handcuff to Josh Jacobs. Just like the others on this list, he doesn’t really have much stand-alone value. He’s an insurance policy, and from watching him play against Denver, he’s a good one. He had 81 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns in garbage time. The Raiders’ offense has been looking good, so having the potential starter is gold. If he wasn’t scooped up after his Week 10 performance, go get him.


This column is a letter to the editor, submitted by Gary Zamarripa. To find more of his content, follow him on Twitter, @garyzam01.