Virologist borrows fourth quarter wisdom from Seahawks head coach as COVID metaphor

Mar 3, 2021, 5:02 AM | Updated: 10:19 am
fourth quarter, covid...
The Tampa Convention Center has COVID-19 warning signs in preparation for the Super Bowl LV on Feb. 6, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)
(Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

While COVID-19 case numbers in Washington state have started to drop from the most recent peak, and similar trends have been seen across the country, public health experts are still warning that the game is far from over, advising us to stay strong on defense.

What we can do now to help COVID-19 restrictions relax sooner

That reminded host Gee Scott of a quote from Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll that the game can be won in the fourth quarter, not the first, second, or third. So is the fourth quarter a good metaphor for where we are now in course of the COVID-19 pandemic?

“I think that’s fair,” said Dr. Angela Rasmussen, virologist and weekly guest of KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show. “To extend that metaphor, I think it’s safe to say that we haven’t played well in the first, second, or third quarter, but we better win this game in the fourth quarter.”

Rasmussen returned to the football analogy again in response to a recent statement from Dr. Anthony Fauci, who expressed that people who are fully vaccinated could start gathering in small groups with minimal risk.

“What I think is really important to note here is that we’re talking about a group of people where everybody has been vaccinated, and not in a public place where there are going to be unvaccinated people around, but in your home,” Dr. Rasmussen said.

“So let’s say that you’ve gotten vaccinated, and your parents, some people outside your household, your friends, have all gone through their full regimen of vaccine shots and waited another week or two so that they’re fully immune,” she explained. “Then it would be perfectly fine for you to get together inside, at somebody’s house, to meet up indoors without masks and start socializing again.”

This does not mean that you should go out to bars or restaurants with large groups just because you’re all vaccinated, for a few different reasons, Rasmussen continued.

“One [reason] is that there will be other unvaccinated people, and we still don’t really know fully what the risk of transmission to them is,” she said. “In addition to that, it really, I think, just sends a bad signal to end up with really a two tiered society where you’re going to have people who have been able to access the vaccine and those who have not. We already know that there is still big problems with equity in terms of the vaccine rollout and distribution. There are a number of people, especially older people, who might not have access to the type of technology that’s often used to set up vaccine appointments, as well as communities of color who have not been able to access the vaccine.”

She sees it as a bad message to have people who have been able to access the vaccine going out and enjoying all the things that have been restricted for everyone else, when there are other people who are eligible to receive the vaccine but have not yet been able to get it.

Local nonprofit Community Loaves bakes fresh bread for those in need

“So to go back to the football game analogy, if you’re losing and you’re behind for the first three quarters,
the beginning of the fourth quarter is not the time to start slacking off,” she said. “That’s when you really buckle down the hardest and start pulling out the crazy plays to try to win the actual game.”

“And that’s really kind of the mindset that we should all have right now,” she added. “We all need to buckle down as a team to get through and win the game, and then we can all celebrate together.”

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Gee and Ursula Show

Gee and Ursula

Sara Nelson...
Gee and Ursula Show

Seattle council candidate Sara Nelson outlines plan for homelessness, policing

Seattle City Council Position 9 candidate Sara Nelson calls for added encampment sweeps and police accountability over defunding.
3 days ago
Gee and Ursula Show

Superintendent: More ‘issues with adults’ over masking rule than students

The state Superintendent says things are going "pretty darn well" as schools reopened. He credits that success to COVID rules, which include masking.
5 days ago
Vaccine mandate...
Gee and Ursula Show

With Washington’s vaccine mandate deadline imminent, a minority chooses resignation

KIRO Radio speaks with the minority coalition which has decided to take a stand against the vaccine mandate and accept termination or resignation.
6 days ago
students, vaccine...
Gee and Ursula Show

State Superintendent says any future vaccine mandate for students will be ‘statewide’

The state Superintendent of Public Instruction says there won't be a vaccine mandate for students until there's full federal approval of a vaccine for kids.
7 days ago
Seattle City Attorney abolitionist Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, candidate...
Gee and Ursula Show

‘I didn’t think anybody took me that seriously,’ Seattle candidate says about anti-police tweets

Seattle city attorney candidate Nicole Thomas-Kennedy tells Gee and Ursula how she would run the office and responds to tweets she posted in 2020.
13 days ago
Kenneth Wilson...
Gee and Ursula Show

Seattle Council Position 8 candidate Kenneth Wilson takes aim at incumbent Mosqueda

The challenger for Position 8, Kenneth Wilson, claims his technical expertise as a civil engineer will be crucial for infrastructure development.
14 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Virologist borrows fourth quarter wisdom from Seahawks head coach as COVID metaphor