INDIANAPOLIS — Its as if we started getting greedy too early. As hopeful and as desperate that we were for COVID to evaporate and allow us all to get back to our normal lives, we’re finding out the hard way that we can’t just cannonball into the pool of desires quite yet.
Everyone all year has kept saying just how happy that they’ll be just to get to 2021. I think most expected that once the Ball Dropped on an empty Times Square to ring in a new year that we instantly were going to be met by greener pastures right around the corner. The expectation was almost that we could finally be able to resume life as we knew it prior to early March. But, as I cautioned all year still, what makes you think 2021 will be any different than 2020?
Seriously? What part of 2021 do you think is going to magically change? What makes you think that we’re going to just be able to ditch the masks and return to a normal setting? What makes you think that the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 will be held at a full capacity? What makes you think anything in 2021 will resemble normal?
I hate to come off as harsh, but I rang this alarm earlier this year and I stand by it still.
Well, how effective do we know will it be? Will it have any lasting impacts later in life from it? Will it be available to everyone? If so, how long will that take for everyone to have a vaccine available? Would you even take it? I’m skeptical on whether I would if I’m being honest. The quickest effective, and I use the word effective here, vaccine to come out took many years to complete. Can we really have an effective vaccine for COVID with no crazy side effects and no future life impacts for us by it in a year or less?
If you can guarantee me that taking this vaccine would keep me COVID free and I would have no side effects and absolutely nothing happening to my body for the duration of my life by taking a vaccine, then sign me up. But, can you guarantee me that? Can you guarantee that this vaccine will be effective and literally stop this damn pandemic in its tracks and make it not infect anyone that has taken it any further?
Do you think all of this happens by this time next year? Honestly? Can you come into this time next year with full confidence that our lives in December 2021 will be like it was in December 2019?
I’m not smart enough to figure out how we can live in a world with a pandemic raging havoc on it. All I know is no one is. This is all new. But, until this chaos slows, we can’t think too big yet. We have to figure out a way to do live in a torn world with a deadly virus and unfortunately, packed stadiums and race tracks isn’t it.
NASCAR announced last week that the Daytona 500 would be run with limited capacity. That’s not shocking to me. I said that would happen weeks ago. There’s no way millions of people are going to have a vaccine or a magic cure for 101,500 grandstand seats to be filled shoulder to shoulder in two months. There’s just no way that can happen unfortunately. It’s not realistic.
While I don’t see the race being run behind closed doors either, I do think limited capacities are the way to go for a while. All three NASCAR Cup races run in the month of February will be with limited capacities.
Plus, those plans still have to be made in pencil. That’s why I’m also not shocked that the third race of the NASCAR season in Fontana is canceled in 2021. California is under strict orders and there’s no way a race can be had there towards the beginning of the 2021 schedule.
So, NASCAR made adjustments.
A road course race at Daytona will replace it and due to the Clash being run on the road course the Tuesday of Daytona 500 race week, Homestead as the second race then moves back a week to fill the Fontana slot and the new road course race at Daytona moves up to Feb. 21 as a result.
It’s makes the most sense to run two races at Daytona then go to Homestead instead go from Daytona to Homestead back to Daytona.
That’s how 2021 is going to likely operate, folks. Plans are still going to have to be altered. Full capacity crowds at venues isn’t happening any time soon. How can it? Will it for 2022?
This isn’t the time and place to debate on solutions or whom to blame and what measures to take. COVID is still a threat and no one knows the future outlook of this. We hope there’s an expiration date but we don’t know. We have just hoped 2021 would be back to normal but as the news cycle keeps going, it doesn’t appear that 2021, or at least the early part of it, will be much different than most of 2020.
NASCAR in general can still race. They’ve proven that. The racing will go on. They have a blueprint and game plan for multiple ways to make it happen. They can always race without fans if needed, but they can only race to where they’re allowed and California isn’t one.
So, they came up with a solution. Fontana is the first casualty of what will likely be many still ahead of us in 2021.