Putz tackles COVID; coronavirus sacks Titans game

Our Beat The Putz pro football contest has finally met its match – COVID.
Last week, COVID finally infiltrated the National Football League when several Tennessee Titans players and personnel tested positive for the coronavirus, resulting in the postponement of the Titans-Steelers game on Sunday.
Sorry ladies and gents but when the NFL decided to move that game to later this season, it became null and void for Week 4 of our pro football contest.
I was disappointed, disheartened and angered … not by this decision but by members of the general public who voiced their displeasure of the NFL’s decision to protect the players and staff members of the Titans and their upcoming opponent, the Steelers, with rants on social media claiming it was just all about “the sniffles.”
As someone who just got over a three-week bout of the coronavirus, I can attest — it is not just a cold. It is not just “the sniffles.” In fact, I did not even have a runny nose.
The symptoms I experienced included an on-again, off-again fever and chills, a terrible cough, constant headaches, and, among other things, breathing troubles. When co-workers, friends and family now ask me what it felt like at the worst times battling the virus I tell them it felt like being stuck under water struggling to come up for a breath of air, over and over and over again.
I do not lie – – it was the worst flu virus I have ever had in my life.
With underlying health conditions, it is likely the virus was worse for me than others. While it took me three long weeks to sack COVID, it took my sister, who is a few years younger than me, nearly half that time to overcome it.
Although I am no longer contagious and am free of the virus, having tested negative more than a week ago, I still have a lingering cough and tightness in the chest that others claim may last for anywhere from a few weeks to several months. The long-term effects of this virus are still unknown. The scariest thing is — if the reports and studies are accurate – only 10 percent of the U.S. population has been exposed to COVID-19. In other words, we have a long way to go as a nation before we get through this pandemic, unless an effective vaccine makes its way to a large portion of the public before year’s end.
Sorry to digress. Let’s get back to some football.
I want to thank everyone who has participated in our Beat The Putz pro football contest this season. Entries have been coming in from all over Western Massachusetts — cities and towns such as Westfield, Southwick, Agawam, Feeding Hills, West Springfield, Springfield, Chicopee, Easthampton, Southampton, Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, South Hadley, Montgomery, Hampden, and Wilbraham – as the contest has expanded from The Westfield News to include a major portion of our Reminder Publications family over the last two years.
In fact, a Longmeadow resident, Doug LaMont, has already claimed two of the three weekly prizes (a $25 gift certificate to Delaney’s Market) through the season’s first three weeks with two very impressive win-loss records that topped hundreds of entries.
At the end of the season, all of the winning entries will be entered into a grand prize drawing for a Super Bowl party for 10 people at Shortstop Bar & Grill ($500 value). The second place entry will receive a $250 gift card to Michael Szwed Jewelers. Third place is a $100 gift card to Delaney’s Market.
Check your local newspaper for weekly entry forms, look for my picks in Saturday’s edition of The Westfield News or go online to the
Most important of all though, stay healthy, stay safe, and good luck!

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