As someone who used to be paid to give an opinion — and who now does it for free — I am not always right.
But I am not always wrong, either.
My biggest strikeout was the 2016 election, in which I declared Pennsylvania was a lock for Hillary Clinton, and that would guarantee her victory.
The second biggest miss? I predicted the Eagles would lose the Super Bowl, adding that I would eat my column if I was wrong. I was wrong and ate the column, but the truth is I thought if I picked the Eagles to win it would jinx them.
That is my story, and I am sticking to it. It is also the truth and that column got more comments — most of them, “Drop dead, Stu” — than any other in recent memory.
The difference between “official” pundits and you, theoretically, is that the pro is basing his or her opinion on a bedrock of fact. Most of us do, but not all.
I’ve written more than two dozen columns on the Wuhan flu, coronavirus, COVID-19 — the name keeps changing. The facts keep changing, too.
Just weeks ago, it was reported that kids pretty much are immune from the virus. In recent days — bang — we learn of a serious inflammatory syndrome that shares features with the often-fatal Kawasaki disease.
Actually, both things can be true. COVID can usher Kawasaki in, but just in a handful of cases.
I was watching last week as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was staging his daily briefing, when he got struck almost dumb by some numbers. (Some of this was political theater because he knew the numbers before he read them off his Power Point.)
Cuomo was shocked by stats that say two-thirds of those infected were staying at home, where you are supposed to be safe. The story sank like a stone, oddly.
Maybe there’s just too much COVID info out there, but this stat turned everything we had been told on its head, and needs further exploration, which I have not seen. (Maybe there was some, I can’t see everything.)
This was dramatic as the majority of deaths being rung up at nursing homes.
The 66% figure was “shocking to us,” said Cuomo. “This is a surprise. Overwhelmingly, the people were at home. We thought maybe they were taking public transportation, and we’ve taken special precautions on public transportation, but actually no, because these people were literally at home.”
In addition to wearing a face mask, washing hands, and social distancing, we are being told to stay home!
Home may be where the heart is, but what if home is where the disease is?
This disease has been great at throwing curves, keeping us off balance. Two-thirds of Americans fear opening up the nation too fast. What if they’re wrong?
I still believe in erring on the side of caution, but I really hope science is pursuing answers to why so many are getting sick at home. To be a good pundit requires good input.