Covid-19 was just days away from being declared a State of Emergency when the UVM men’s basketball team won a big game before a big home crowd on March 10. Two of those fans - Cambridge men, including former Rep. Bernie Juskiewicz - later died of Covid-19.
Both couples tested positive for Covid within the next 11 days. Mike Rappold, 77, died on March 24. Former state representative Bernie Juskiewicz, also 77, died two weeks later, on April 8. Rae Rappold and Suzan Juskiewicz both suffered only minor symptoms. Sporting events have been spreading events around the country. Five people died after attending a March 6 high school basketball game in Indiana. Seven attended a tournament in Levelland, Texas that same day and later tested positive for Covid-19. Attendees at the UVM games are primarily older, and thus particularly vulnerable to Covid-19. Most of the arena is reserved for season ticket holders such as the Rappolds and Juskiewiczs, with a smaller number of day-of-game ticket sales and student seating. The bus to the game looks like “an old folks shuttle,” Rappold said. But the virus didn’t spare younger fans. Nicky Patterson, a 45-year-old St. Albans teacher, sat in the last row of section 4, and stood up the entire game to avoid contact with the man sitting next to her, who coughed and coughed, she said. She came down with a similarly nasty cough three days later, which ultimately proved to be Covid-19.."
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