There are few things more beautiful in the eyes of a hockey fan than hats raining down onto the ice. Last night’s Bruins win was significant not only because we’re off to a 1-0 advantage over the Islanders in the series, and not only because David Pastrnak scored his second career playoff hat trick, but also because it was the first day since the Covid-19 pandemic that sports were allowed to be played before full-capacity crowds in Boston. Even though I only watched the game on TV, I could feel the jubilant energy of the fans emanating through my TV screen, and my heart was warmed by the sight of the ice crew diligently scooping up the dozens upon dozens of hats that fans had thrown onto the ice in Pasta’s honor.
Another thing that is beautiful in my eyes as a supporter of individual rights and liberty is the fact that TD Garden does not require Covid-19 vaccination or testing in order to attend games. The joy from seeing the approximately 18,000 fans would have been tainted and hollow if accompanied by the knowledge that they had been required to undergo a medical procedure in order to be there. No one should be required to have any medical procedure in order to live his or her life, and attending sports is part of that. Yes, going to a game in an arena packed with yelling, cheering fans presents some risk of catching the virus, but that is a risk that people have the right to take if they wish. Yes, some people would feel more comfortable attending games if they knew that their fellow fans had been vaccinated and/or tested, and might choose not to attend absent these requirements, but that is exactly the way that it should be. People should do the activities they are comfortable doing, and avoid the activities they are not comfortable doing, as opposed to demanding that other people’s bodily integrity be violated in order to make themselves feel safer.
A win for both the Bruins and individual liberty is a beautiful thing indeed.