COVID-19 is affecting the sports world more than ever

DeMar DeRozan is one of the many Bulls players to have complied with COVID protocols in recent days.
Photo: Getty Images

The Detroit Lions, finally in the win column after beating Vikings last week, take to the field on Sunday without 19% of their list due to injuries and coronaviruses.

The Chicago Bulls got nearly half of their players into the NBA’s health and safety protocols in the last week.

The New York Knicks will be without Obi Toppin And RJ Barrett when they play the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, due to health and safety protocols.

Ja Morant is already out of the Memphis Grizzlies lineup due to a sprained left knee, but he is in the protocols even now.

The president of the Toronto Raptors Masai Ujiri, Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma, and the coach of the Pacers Rick Carlisle… Everyone is also in the COVID protocols.

Seattle Kraken placed Yanni Gourde and Riley Sheahan in the protocols of the NHL Saturday, and just a few hours later, they were joined by Nico Hischier and Ryan Graves of New Jersey Devils.

In England, the Tottenham Hotspur COVID-19 outbreak forced postponement of Sunday’s Premier League match at Brighton & Hove Albion.

It’s great that we now have a vaccine and people are getting boosters, but the coronavirus is still very much present. It becomes easy to lose sight of it because of how many things are returning, or being pushed back, to something like normal.

It’s even easier not get the picture when single cases and localized outbreaks are just single items on a news ticker. Over the past couple of years, people who have contracted COVID or been in close contact have become more routine than anyone imagined at first.

More than 2,000 deaths from COVID-19 were reported in the United States on Friday, rivaling the daily totals at the height of the first wave, when the world closed “out of plenty of caution.”

The vaccine does not make us invincible. Having lived through almost two years of all this does not make us invincible. The virus is everywhere, it continues to spread, it continues to change. After all this time and suffering, some loss of perspective is understandable. But that doesn’t mean that after a lot of bullshit about how “it’s just a bad flu,” we’re treating it, especially in sports, like nothing more.


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