By JACOB RAMOS
Well, that escalated quickly.
The sports world has been put in a recent moratorium, following Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert’s positive test for COVID-19, otherwise known as the infamous coronavirus.
While the National Basketball Association (NBA) has certainly been the most captivating case in America, Major League Baseball (MLB), National Hockey League (NHL) and nearly all soccer leagues in the world suspending their seasons is not something to overlook.
On another note, less professional leagues such as the National College Athletics Association’s (NCAA) basketball tournament for both men’s and women’s basketball, also known as the famed March Madness, has been cancelled.
Effects of COVID-19 are easy to see with numerous leagues around the world shutting down. However, there is a more serious issue with the people in Washington D.C and how Americans feel lost without their sports.
China, Italy and America have all been severely affected by this disease, but many American sports players have been extremely affected by the coronavirus as well.
Trump’s immature mentality surrounding the virus is a main factor, attempting to inform the American people that COVID-19 is a common flu, that everyone can get a test and that the virus was under control in America, all of which are extremely influential lies. Trump’s mishandling of the virus led to mass confusion in the sports world, as leagues scrambled to find solutions and measures to take regarding scheduling.
Due to President Trump’s downplaying of the virus, the NBA prepared to continue with the lackluster handling of COVID-19. Consequently on March 11, a player finally contracted the virus after feeling symptoms for days. Rudy Gobert, likely patient zero for the NBA, is presumed to have passed it on to Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and Detroit Pistons forward Christian Wood, both surging young stars.
Gobert was reported by Jazz teammates to have made a point to touch each and every one of his teammates belongings in the locker room in an immature attempt to show that there truly is no risk to the coronavirus and it is all a joke to be taken lightly.
Understandably, the NBA cancelled play, as it could not continue with the risk of spreading the virus to other members of the NBA community.
NBA fans fear the worst is yet to come, as only six days ago Kevin Durant was hanging out with the face of the NBA, Lebron James, and rapper Drake. KD was one of four Brooklyn Nets players to contract COVID-19. It is almost a certainty that the three megastars exchanged handshakes, and in turn, germs.
Now the NBA world awaits as the Los Angeles Lakers, Lebron’s team, is tested for the virus.
As of now, the NBA’s confirmed quantity of coronavirus victims stabilized at seven players, with three others’ status still unknown. Despite the looming nationwide death toll, all players are young, healthy and expected to survive.
In other major sports leagues, the MLB has discovered two minor leaguers who tested positive for COVID-19. This easily puts hundreds of other players at risk for the virus as well, similar to the NBA’s situation.
Likewise, the NHL has had one player with the virus.
Fortunately for the NFL, there have been no reported cases presently. This number will hopefully stay at zero due to lack of contact during the offseason. Luckily for sports fans, NFL free agency serves as a reminder that sports do in fact still exist regardless of the virus. For me personally, watching so many deals go down in the past three days has been a reassuring experience.
As for a solution to this entire storm of controversy, isolation, sickness and sadness, America, along with the rest of the world, must attempt to work together to gain control over this disease. The need for public space, such as restaurants and gyms, stretches far beyond what a typical consumer may think, since commercial vendors are forced to shut down, resulting in a loss of money and employees. We as Americans must take this outbreak even seriously so our economy does not fall any further than it already has.
As a precaution, practice social distancing if you live in an area not on lockdown, such as San Francisco or Italy. Continue to wash your hands regularly, and listen to health officials in your area, and the ones in Washington.
To all the devastated sports fans out there: sports is not a priority at the moment, as America works to contain the spread of the virus.
The greatest priority must be human well being and the safety of us as people. COVID-19 does not discriminate and can have a massive effect on anyone’s life.
Stay strong sports world, everything will be okay.