Coronavirus: How it's impacting sports
When some people go to work, they go into an actual building or office of some type. Generally, you work with and around other people. There's always "water cooler talk" that takes place discussing the topics of the day that are most pressing. It could range anywhere from sports to politics to pop culture to whatever is hot in the news cycle. Lately, it's been the coronavirus (COVID-19). The virus originated in China and has spread all over the globe. It's similar to the flu, but has some differences. Nonetheless, it's still deadly and can be highly contagious unless proper precautions are taken.
Proper precautions being taken is what led me to this article in the first place. So many people let the media's coverage control their thinking. There's been reports of widespread outages of common items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, hand soap, water, and other various items you'd normally see on shelves. Price gouging is rampant as well. I've seen disinfectants, cleaners, bleach, and other necessities to combat the spreading of the virus go for as much as ten times their normal value! So how is it effecting sports?
Games without fans
Italy is one of the countries that have been hit hard by the coronavirus. Italian based Serie A, one of the top soccer leagues in the world, has suspended all non-essential personnel to its matches, meaning, they have no fans and very few others in attendance. Other leagues around the world have similar statutes in places, or have canceled events altogether. Several non-sporting events have been canceled as well. Not all events have been this restricted or canceled however...
Restrictions in place
There are other restrictions placed upon other events that haven't been canceled. For example, media access to locker rooms have been instituted. Some leagues have mandated that the media will only be allowed to interview players in general media availibility before and/or after games instead of the locker room access. Players have self-imposed restrictions as well. C.J. McCollum of the Trailblazers came out and said he isn't signing autographs for the time being after the outbreak hit Oregon.
More potential fallout
When the NBA came out and said they may play games without non-essential personnel, LeBron James strongly disagreed. He went as far as saying he wouldn't play because he does it for the fans. The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo were thought to be in danger until the IOC came out and said the games will be played. Some organizations state-side have taken precautions, but no major cancellations or serious changes as of yet. There's been talk of making changes. I imagine leagues are monitoring the situation and will act accordingly.
All we can do as the public is stay calm and well-informed. All the unnecessary stuff, like clearing the shelves at stores and price gouging, needs to stop. Sports serve as a respite from our lives. If we can't have sports to serve as an escape, what do we have? Thank God sports radio hasn't been affected...yet. The fact that I even felt compelled enough to write this was too much for me. Sports is the one thing that helps us get through tough times. If those tough times begin to effect how and/or how much we consume our sports, you know things are getting bad. Bottom line: be careful, stay well-informed, and wash your nasty ass hands!