COVID-19 is the Opponent Now

Rudy Gobert put the league in turmoil after he tested positive for Covid-19, otherwise known as the Coronavirus. Gobert and his Jazz teammates are quarantined until further notice- usually 14 days. They aren’t allowed to leave OKC as of yet- the Jazz were scheduled to play the Thunder- until they complete health protocols. First on the  docket is to test all the players. Then they have to go through the detailed steps that are required to leave on an airplane. Salt Lake City has their own health protocols that have to be adhered to before any kind of NBA business can continue.

Adam Silver immediately suspended the NBA season. He and the owners were leaning towards playing games without fans but Gobert’s diagnosis changed everything.

There are more questions than answers. What happens to the arena workers who are making hourly wages? How will they survive this? President Trump, in his address to the nation, and Nancy Pelosi’s #FamiliesFirst Coronavirus Response Act, are sensitive to employees who cannot go to work because the virus is so contagious they need to be quarantined. But what happens to the support personnel who are affected by the shuttered offices?

Congress will create aid for the Corona infected. But what about the guy who parks the cars at arenas? What about the vendors that have to meet loan payments at the end of the month and are suddenly absent income? Mark Cuban intimated that he is going to put together some kind of financial outreach to help his employees who are suddenly left out in the cold but other owners may not be so generous.

Teams have to be tested from the top all the way down, including security and ball boys/girls.  Because COVID-19 began in China, those who are exposed to international travelers are at greater risk, and then those who have been in contact with the infected- they are the cohort population. The problem is you don’t even know if the person you are talking with is infected and he/she may not even know until they become symptomatic.

Speaking of China. They shut down the Chinese Basketball Association in January to control the virus. They have contained it and now are bringing back their athletes. How severe the virus will paralyze the NBA is anyone’s guess.

Yesterday Gobert, in a bit of ironic humor, touched reporters mics after the NBA said reporters won’t be allowed in locker rooms. Today he has the Coronavirus, although Gobert is asymptomatic. He was expected to play in the game tonight until the test results came in.

The NBA is in shock. The players are in shock. NBA organizations are in shock. They have no experience with anything like this, a virus that is so new to the human population immune systems aren’t trained to fight it off.

And so it is one person at a time. The unnamed. People we don’t know who are infected. Some have succumbed to the virus, that copies and multiplies itself in individual cells. Others survive it, particularly the young and healthy. There are people we know because of entertainment- the famous. Rudy Gobert. Tom Hanks and his wife. Covid-19 doesn’t discriminate.

The Facts

  1. There is a high risk population. People with close contact with someone infected. And older adults who have chronic medical conditions.
  2. After quarantine, the infected person is not a health risk
  3. The symptoms: Fever, Cough, Shortness of breath. The virus attacks the lungs.
  4. The virus is spread person-to-person within six feet of one another and through respiratory drops when someone coughs or sneezes.
  5. The most contagious are symptomatic of the virus.
  6. The virus can spread by touching an object but is mostly spread through person-to-person contact.