Despite spending five-days away from Vikings training camp due to close contact with an infected Kellen Mond, Kirk Cousins has been removed from the COVID-19 list. Today, Cousins continued to not answer if he is vaccinated or not, but also said that he would follow protocols closely and avoid close contacts.
“I’ve even thought about, should I just set up literally plexiglass around where I sit so that this could never happen again? I’ve thought about it. Because I’m going to do whatever it takes. So we’re going to avoid this close-contact thing and I look forward to making sure I’m playing for every game this year,” per Chase Goodbread of NFL.com. The makers of plexiglass might be happy about this, but they’re probably in the minority.
Of course, a vaccine that literally over a billion people have taken and has been shown to be effective, would make all of this moot. Cousins hasn’t gone into exactly why he doesn’t want to take the vaccine. He was asked by Kyle Brandt to rate his concern about Covid-19 on a scale of one to 10 “if one is the person who says, ‘Masks are stupid, you’re all a bunch of lemmings’ and 10 is, ‘I’m not leaving my master bathroom for the next 10 years.’” Cousins’s answered:
A 0.000001. I want to respect what other people’s concerns are. For me personally, if you’re just talking no one else can get the virus, what is your concern if you could get it, I would say I’m gonna go about my daily life. If I get it, I’m gonna ride it out. I’m gonna let nature do its course. Survival-of-the-fittest kind of approach. And just say, if it knocks me out, it knocks me out. I’m going to be OK. You know, even if I die. If I die, I die. I kind of have peace about that.
His head coach, Mike Zimmer has been notably frustrated with Cousins, but tried not to single him out even though it was apparent that Cousins had drawn his ire. Zimmer commented on anti-vaccine rhetoric, saying, “Some of the things they read are just, woof, out there.” Zimmer says, “I’m frustrated, not just with my football players who didn’t get vaccinated, but I’m frustrated with everybody [who didn’t].”
This situation with Cousins of course mirrors the problem with the numbers of vaccinated people across the United States. But in the microcosm of an NFL team, not getting vaccinated magnifies the selfishness and lack of common sense. The Vikings as a whole have the lowest percentage of fully vaccinated players at 64.5 percent and the fact that their starting quarterback is obviously against the life-saving measures can’t help.
But in the end, Zimmer and the Vikings can’t force anyone to take the vaccine and as Zimmer says, “I just don’t understand. I think we could put this thing to bed if we’d all do this, but it is what it is.”