Football, Elections, and Thanksgiving
As the holiday season rapidly approaches and the number of daily reported cases of Covid-19 rise to unprecedented numbers, it isn't easy to envision hosting Thanksgiving in just a few weeks. I've been getting many calls from customers asking for advice on how best to sanitize a room as they prepare to host Thanksgiving dinner. There is no one answer; instead, several steps should be considered to make an environment safer. I'll get to this shortly, but I wanted to spend a few moments on last week's events in the context of upcoming holiday gatherings.
To know me is to know I love football. To me, Thanksgiving is about family and football. The truth is I wasn't always a big fan. In the fall of 1992, I moved to Colorado to embark on a high-tech professional career. It was a sales office, so the energy level was always high, cheerful, and optimistic. During the first few weeks as I was settling in, all was well, until one Monday. I walked into the office, and Donna, the office manager, was in a terrible mood. I didn't know what had happened; she was the light of the office, an upbeat personality that got you fired up to deal with any customer objections. By mid-day, I was beginning to think it was something I had done, so I asked a peer. And I'll always remember his answer. He said yesterday the Broncos lost. And it will take a few days before she'll let it go and look towards next week's game for them to return to their winning ways.
It was then that I started following the Broncos because I knew my productivity was, in some ways, connected to the success of the team. You see, it wasn't just Donna; it was nearly everyone in the office, my customers, and most of the community. I began to follow the team, and in fact, the sport more closely until I, too, became an enormous fan of the team and the game itself. These were the days of John Elway the Come Back Kid, and in 1998 and 1999, the Broncos won back to back Superbowl's. I was a fan for life. After John retired, the Broncos would become awful, rarely making the postseason. After 12 years, Peyton Manning would arrive. And under Peyton's leadership, the Broncos won the Superbowl in 2016.
So why am I writing about football?
You see, I never gave up on the Broncos; I never will. The difference is I also learned to like the Seahawks, the Saints, the Cowboys, and an endless list of players from across the league because they are all good at what they do.
We have just endured a tumultuous election. With the country nearly divided down the middle for one team or the other. Unlike football, there aren't any other teams to pick. It becomes easier to draw a line and say this is my team and the other team is evil, dishonest, or worse. Now, I know running the government is a lot more challenging than scoring touchdowns, yet, if we take the time to look at the players on each team, you'll find good people, smart people, and people who care about many of the same things we all do. Still, we find ourselves more divided than ever because of the team we are on.
Saturday night, I watched as Americans took to the streets to celebrate the selection of Joe Biden as our next president. And what I saw was every nationality, every age, every religion, and skin color celebrating that their team won. I asked myself, what would the crowd have looked like had President Trump won. I don't know the answer, but I'm willing to bet, not a lot different. We've just been fed so much rhetoric over the past year that we believe we are fundamentally different beings, but we are not.
Yesterday one of my closest friends said, "I don't see how anyone could, let alone 50% of America, vote Republican". He said, "I won't drive my car through those states anymore." His words keep me up all night. You see, throughout my life, I have voted for Democrats and Republicans. And I'm pretty sure I'm not alone. Do you know, the US has had 19 Republican and 14 Democratic presidents? The difference is we as citizens never felt compelled to draw such a deep line in the sand, the way we are now. We must turn down the temperature and recognize that many of us will always support our team, whether we have Patrick Mahomes or building anew with a promising first-year rookie. I believe better days are ahead and hope as the holidays come around, we can turn our attention to family, friends, and football once again.
At last, the question of what you might do for a safer Thanksgiving dinner should you be hosting family. There are two recommendations. First, use a UV sterilizing lamp without Ozone to sanitize the air and exposed surfaces the evening before guests arrive and again in the evening after the guests have left. Select a UV lamp that uses an industry-standard, low-pressure Mercury (253.7nm) bulb and run it for 60 to 90 minutes when you know no one, or pets, will be entering the space. To calculate what size (or how many lamps might be required), consider the wattage and multiply it times 10. So, a 60-watt lamp should sanitize a 600 square foot space in approximately an hour. Recognizing that running the light longer helps sanitize surfaces further away from the device.
Our VamsLuna UV lamps are compact, sit on almost any surface, and are very useful; however, they lack security features. I wouldn't recommend them to be left unattended around children. The EarthwiseUV smart light fixture has a locking function on the remote control for increased safety. It also has a sensor that recognizes if a person or pet has entered the room and automatically turns itself off. Once the person has left the area, the device will turn back on.
Second, leave the politics out this holiday season; at least that's my plan.