Coronavirus is surging again in the United States, although it never really stopped in the first place. There hasn’t been a day with fewer than 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 in America since March 22, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
While that’s partly due to an increase in testing, it certainly doesn’t help that the past few weeks have seen more and more places lift restrictions meant to curb the spread of the virus.
Part of that ill-advised venture back toward “normal” while the disease is still raging is the planned resumption of sports. The NBA has its Orlando bubble plan, although players are getting skittish. Major League Soccer also plans to kick back off in Florida, and so could the WNBA. The NHL wants to go to Las Vegas and another city. Major League Baseball… well… they’re still trying to figure it out, but Rob Manfred is guaranteeing there will be games in 2020.
Special shoutout to the NHL for the whole Vegas thing, less than a week after Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times posted a video of people traipsing about in a casino with barely a mask to be seen. That video has been viewed 16.8 million times, which means that there have been more eyeballs on it than any NHL game for years, but apparently neither Gary Bettman nor anyone else in a decision-making capacity in the league was among that online audience.
It’s nice to have plans, but health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci have been warning for months that the virus will dictate when it’s safe to open back up. And the virus is currently saying “get back in your house, dumdums.”
Friday brought a report from the New York Post that a major league player and pitching coach have contracted coronavirus.
Also, the Boston Bruins announced that one of their players has tested positive.
So did a D.C. United player.
And three Clemson athletes — two football players and one men’s basketball player. And four Mississippi State football players And six University of Houston football players, leading that school to suspend workouts.
Even at the high school level, a football player at Cathedral High in El Paso, Texas, tested positive, halting workouts there.
That’s all from a single, 24-hour period. It doesn’t include other coronavirus cases found in June, like the Alabama football players who tested positive. Or the other Alabama football players who tested positive. Or the Florida State football players. Or the two Texas football players. Or the Pittsburgh Penguins player. Or the golfer and three caddies from the PGA’s developmental tour. Or the FC Dallas player. Or the three Central Florida football players. Or the high school football player in East Texas. Or the Oklahoma State football player. Or the three Auburn football players. Or the Utah Jazz players.
Wait. That last one was in March. That was why the whole sports world shut down in the first place. But now, with athletes testing positive everywhere you look, and the rate of positive tests nationwide continuing to rise, we’re going to start again?
The virus dictates when it’s safe to open back up. The virus is saying hell no, don’t do it. America, and sports, are saying the hell with that.