Comparing 1969’s H3N2 to today


From: Jerry Raddatz



I would first of all state that I will never forget the year 1969, and that was because I was in my first year of teaching and coaching at Winona High School, and the New York Mets winning the World Series over the Baltimore Orioles in one of the greatest upsets in World Series’ history. I do also remember that was the year of H3N2 virus of which I had several family members suffer from.

The H3N2 in 1969 was the same as the COVID-19 today and took the lives of about 100,000 people. The population of the United States was only a little over 200 million at that time. Today, with our population around 330 million people, we have around 80-some thousand people who have died, a figure much less per person than 1969.

My point is that in 1969 no schools were shut down. No colleges were shut down, only a few businesses shut down, no athletic contests shut down at any level. No churches shut down. No shut down of restaurants, no shut down of bars, no shut down of athletic workouts or play. These are opportunities that will never be made up.

I am not saying that the lives lost today are not important! I have lost two family members and one good friend, but they were all over 66 years old. Again, I’m not saying their lives or presence in my life were not important, but when I compare my relatives, my friends who have all lost their job, their businesses, and not even 45 years of age, what kind of life can they expect in their upcoming years?

They are playing high school baseball and other sports in Iowa, North Dakota, and other states. I just spent the last two weeks in Arizona with my son and family. I played racquetball every day, some of the courts where I played are open 24 hours a day. I swam every day in the pools. I ate every day inside a restaurant, had a beer inside a bar.

All in all, Minnesota has the most restrictions of most any state in our country. I have to blame our governor, and I am not a Republican. In fact, I voted for the governor, and I vote on both sides of the aisle. I know the governor is a “Class Act.” I officiated many football games for him when he was coaching at Mankato West, and he was a “Class Act.” I know he did not always agree with all my decisions during the game, but it is all part of the game of life. I always thought my calls were right and am sure that he feels the same about his calls. Life will go on whether we are right or wrong.


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