Dunfermline Athletic

WHO Said What And Why?

Date: Sunday, 13th Sep 2020

It was as far back as early May that the World Health Organisation announced that huge world wide health studies showed it was incredibly rare for Covid to be transmitted outdoors.

Not only is it easier to socially distance outdoors but the virus has to navigate wind, heat, rain, sleet, snow and humidity to leap between people.

The Epidemiology Of Infectious Diseases Departments of Nottingham and Oxford Universities and Imperial College all agree that you are far less likely to touch an infected surface outside.Suspended viral particles are diluted by fresh air and droplets fall to the ground.UV from sunlight destroys virus particles.In addition a number of Scientists have said that,in Scotland,most of us wear a heavy scarf and gloves in the autumn and winter.That is certainly true at East End Park, the Stadium Of Dreams.

It was after this research was published that the Scottish Government allowed the return of golf,fishing,putting,tennis,bowls,kayaking,sailing,and outdoor swimming.From the outset we had been encouraged to walk in the fresh air.

It was noticeable that, in England, there was huge concern in June when half a million folk turned up at Bournemouth and other beaches.There was no spike.There was anger at the Liverpool FC celebrations in the City Centre in June then similarly with Leeds United in July both celebrating Championships then the dismay at the lawless outdoor parties in Brixton in London.Significantly not one led to the feared spike.

Slowly but surely crowds are gradually being allowed back. 700 at 67,000 capacity Murrayfield, 300 at 22000 capacity Pittodrie and 300 at 6500 capacity Ross County. Reports are now being analysed.

In each case one had to win a place in the ballot, be a Season Ticket holder, photo ID was required, entry was staggered at a designated time, the Turnstile was specified, temperatures were checked, hands were washed and masks were worn. Neil Doncaster remarked that a lot was at stake as half the Income of clubs out with the Premiership derives from the Saturday Attendance.

Behind the scenes Celtic are applying huge pressure to allow their legions to return. Willie Miller has argued repeatedly that the Old Firm derives a huge benefit from their support. Derek McInnes, Neil Lennon, Stuart Kettlewell and Alex Dyer called the pilot a success. However, is it too slow ?

This is not a criticism of the commendable caution of the Scottish Government especially when the pandemic is accelerating and we will be in Phase 3 for some time yet. The BBC decision, under duress from the UK Government and former prominent Labour Politicians, to scale back the vital Scottish Government briefings is shameful.The BBC has been swamped in complaints and a change.org petition is attracting support from all 4 UK Nations.

Had Scotland been able from the outset to emulate a country of similar size eg Denmark, Scientists say Deaths could have been halved. However, under strict conditions, a club the size of Dunfermline should be allowed to gradually increase the Gate.

It would be good to have some Home fans at the Home match with Inverness CT on 17th October. OzPar wrote, on 10th May at 0450, that ,using Maths, he reckoned East End Park could allow 3400 for our capacity of 11480. I have heard a figure of 5000 mentioned from more than one reliable source due to Family bubbles.

Ross McArthur, in his encouragement to attract fans to buy Seasons, pointed out the first matches may be behind closed doors (as they are in Malta from September 19th with Sliema Wanderers v Hibs on Sunday) but Season Ticket holders will get a free pass to the live Pars TV game eg on the IPad. No wonder sales are touching 2000 with three weeks just to go now. Then crowds may gradually increase with Season Ticket holders having priority access. There would be no Away fans for the foreseeable future. The Scottish Government will not want thousands criss crossing the country then going to a pub or restaurant even if the East End Away Stand could safely House 1000.

The fact the Season Ticket now includes Betfred League Cup games and you could be allocated a top tier Centre Stand ticket are quite an inducement.The News that there is no Legal reason why we can`t watch a Pars away match is long overdue, for example on ParsTV. Anyone who watched us at West Brom on a big screen at windswept Dunfermline will concur.

There is little doubt we too will encounter the assigned turnstile, staged entry, photo ID, temperature check, mask wearing, constant washing of hands, assigned seat, a staged dispersal, no cafeterias open etc.

EEP has adequate clean toilets with soap and paper towels and the hospitality areas and bars will remain closed. I was looking forward to my Bratwurst and programme in German.(Don`t Show Off! Just Because You Chat To GG Riva in Italian: ED). If we act sensibly why shouldn`t crowds return gradually? One can go to the pub, cinema, restaurants already where they employ sensible restrictions.

We all face the horror of "a new normal" but as one who has been a medical guinea pig in my younger years (That Explains A Lot: ED), do not hold your breath regarding a vaccine.
They tend to take seven years though I hope I am proved wrong.
SP.



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