Exactly one year ago, this happened.
As news about some “virus” spreading across the country was machining headlines across the globe, a French basketball player was making a mockery of it by touching every microphone in the room as he was finishing up his media availability.
It was funny. We chuckled.
A few days later, Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, the sports world shut down, and we’ve been in the house ever since.
With over 500,000 Americans dead, the laughter stopped a long time ago.
“I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of concern and support over the last 24 hours. I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis…mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment,” Gobert wrote on his Instagram page back then. “The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse. I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as a way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus.”
Ironically enough, when the league restarted in the bubble, Gobert wound up being the one that scored the first, and last, points of the opening game.
“I’m just grateful,” he told ESPN. “Just grateful to be able to do what I love to do. After everything that I’ve personally and everything the world is going through right now, to be able to keep inspiring millions of kids around the world and keep spreading positivity is just a blessing.”
“And it’s great to start with a win, of course.”
A year later, and people aren’t touching mics mocking the coronavirus anymore. But, states like Mississippi and Texas are open and doing away with mask mandates, which means ignorance and stupidity are still in the air.
Learn from Rudy Gobert’s mistakes. Don’t be “that guy.” Stay in the house. Wear a mask. And wash your hands.