In case you have forgotten, this virus is no joke.
Even as the country tries to adjust to a new normal amid the pandemic, the detrimental impacts of COVID-19 continue to affect everyone including the healthiest among us like young professional athletes.
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If you didn’t see the story about Ryquell Armstead, the 23-year-old running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who had his season cut short because he was hospitalized twice with severe breathing issues, then maybe you’ll pay attention to the words of Saints receiver Emmanuel Sanders.
Sanders tested positive for COVID on Oct. 22 and will miss at least two games as he fights the virus — but after what he said on Uninterrupted’s ”17 Weeks” podcast, football should be the least of his worries.
“It feels like we’re glitchy,” Sanders said on the podcast. “Like when I’m walking it feels like if my wife was to talk to me, it feels like I’m skipping a beat every now and then. It’s like the weirdest shit ever.”
The veteran wideout said his wife, Gabriella Waheed, also tested positive and lost her senses of taste and smell.
Sanders went on to describe his own symptoms: Body aches, “weird, loopy-like feelings,” nausea, and a 102-degree fever.
This is serious. The virus is not discriminating. Not even young, healthy professional athletes in peak shape are safe from the virus. Hopefully, the virus doesn’t result in chronic issues for Sanders or Armstead, but we know that long-lasting effects on the heart, lungs, and brain have all been reported.
“People can say whatever you want and everybody could say, ‘Oh yeah, I’m not scared to get COVID.’ But in the back of your head, and you may think you’re healthy but in the back of your head, you don’t know this virus. Nobody knows anything about this virus,” said Sanders. “You don’t know how your body’s gonna react and you don’t know at any moment, like if shit will go south, right? So it was, like, scary at the same time.”
The virus has killed over 225,000 people in the United States and has sickened many more. Sanders’ case is just another prime example of its seriousness.
Hundreds of athletes have now contracted the virus. Many have recovered and returned to the field of play, including many in the NFL. Despite outbreaks now chronically affecting several teams, games remain on the schedule.
As the country continues to live with COVID-19, it can be easy to forget its dangers. But it affects everyone differently — Sanders and Armstead are reminders that this should be no time to relax.