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We Cannot Escape with Sports

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We have given up a lot this year. Sports are not necessary in the moment and might be detrimental to our lockdowns.

Calgary Flames v Dallas Stars - Game One Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

In another day of Going Through It my sister and I were texting each other Christmas songs and then coming up with potential plans to watch Christmas movies together through a group watch. At least we can watch Miracle on 34th Street as a family across the city from each other. Whatever gets you through to tomorrow. But sports will not get us through because they cannot get themselves through.

The NFL is in disarray this week. I mean, it is usually in some form of disarray, but this week even more so. This week disarray means multiple positive tests and close contacts being sat out. This week that means games being moved. This week it means that the reality of COVID-19 is real and present again in sports.

Truth is sports are not meant for pandemics. During the incorrectly named Spanish Flu the Montreal Canadiens lost a player because of it. Joe Hall died because public health was not a thing in those days and the NHL decided to keep playing until it was too late. but 2020 was different. 2020 meant the NHL and NBA were able to pull off their playoffs without one positive test. The MLB had a successful season all things considered. But sports were not made for an escape during a pandemic.

Sports will not allow us to forget their is a global pandemic because no matter how big the money, sports are still in our world and dealing with the same stuff everyone else is. The games that are played today and in the following days could easily become superspreader events. The reason why so many places are in lockdowns and why so many schools have returned to online learning.

2020 has been about sacrifices and decisions to benefit everyone vs. benefitting ourselves. It is a constant internal calculations of personal risk that we are taking. It is “going out into the pandemic” when we want to go do an errand. Sports are not immune from these calculations even though they are operating like they are to a degree. Yes, they have teams in isolation and do contact tracing, but they are operating like the risk is negligible to play a team that has had multiple positive tests on it. There are probably asymptomatic players and players who are carriers and are not showing up in tests. There are also all the false negatives that the rapid tests bring. They’ve been playing a dangerous game and it has finally caught up with them. All other leagues need to be paying attention.