When Covid-positive Tahila McGrath was cleared to play at the Commonwealth Games, readers of The Age clutched their pearls despite her firm adherence to the safety measures in place to minimise risk of spreading the virus. Then the cricket team won…
Cricket is played by a small number of people spread out in a vast paddock — a social distancer’s dream.
This, however, did not stop Covid bed-wetters at The Age newspaper reacting with shock when they learned an Australian who tested positive for Covid was allowed to play at the Commonwealth Games.
Australian allrounder Tahila McGrath was cleared by the International Cricket Council to play despite testing positive for Covid-19 before the T20 final against India.
McGrath wore a mask when around her vaccinated teammates in the dressing rooms, and she avoided on-field celebrations at the fall of a wicket.
None of this mattered to The Age, where reporter Tom Decent expressed disbelief that McGrath was “allowed to not only play, but bat, bowl and field”.
Perhaps she should have played without batting, bowling, or fielding. But, of course, then she wouldn’t have been playing!
As McGrath was about to go out to bat, The Age reporter tweeted:
“Just in: Tahlia McGrath has tested positive to COVID. However, she’s still playing the women’s cricket gold medal match. Found out before the game. She’s listed to come in next. This’ll be interesting…”
Those interested to see if the Indian players would suddenly catch the Covid from McGrath as she took guard were disappointed. McGrath faced just 4 balls for 2 runs before being caught. And that was all the Indian fielders caught.
Readers of The Age were outraged. They described the decision to let McGrath play as “a global embarrassment”, “disgusting”, and a “PR misstep”. Some suggested Australia should be disqualified from the tournament.
“It’s a mockery of a disease. She shouldn’t have played. Remember, international sports also sends messages to millions watching.”
The Australians most certainly sent a message. When they won the match (and the gold medal) McGrath stood about 5m from the rest of the team as they embraced in celebration.
But then, according to The Age, the unthinkable happened:
(Warning: You should not read the next paragraph unless you are vaccinated, boosted, and double-masked)
“After about five seconds, it all became too much for McGrath. Protocols went out the door as she lunged at her teammates, grabbed them with open arms, and soaked in a moment she deserved to be a part of.”
Outrageous! Did everyone survive? Will there be a Royal Commission? Where were the Victorian police?
Fast bowler Megan Schutt told The Age it was important that McGrath was part of the victory celebration and so the players decided:
“Screw it. If we get Covid, so be it.”
Don’t these Australians read The Age? Have they not listened to Daniel Andrews? Or to Mark McGowan? Or to Dr Kerryn Phelps? Did they learn nothing from the past two years?
Why were they not cowering at home in fear of the sniffle rather than winning gold medals playing the game they loved?
Listen to it again:
“Screw it. If we get COVID, so be it.”
Paint the Aussie girls’ faces blue and call them Braveheart. That is the voice of freedom. Young Australians deciding for themselves that they would rather get Covid living their dreams than hide themselves in quarantine collecting masks and booster shots as life passes them by.
It’s about time Australians realised the Covid scare is over. It’s time to let everyone get on with life.
And while we’re talking about sport and Covid, for goodness sake, let Novak Djokovic play the Australian Open in January.
Originally published at The James Macpherson Report.
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