Much of American life has now been disrupted due to the coronavirus or what is known as COVID-19. Conferences like SXSW and others around the globe have been cancelled. Less people are traveling. The United States government is discouraging people from going on cruises. More workers are telecommuting from home (I find myself in that situation today as I have a cold and out of an abundance of caution I’m working from home). Large gatherings that include numerous strangers as guests are increasingly being discourages as they can be a hotbed for passing sickness. Recently it was reported by Zach Lowe and Adrian Wojnarowski that the NBA could expect to see some changes to reflect the growing health crisis around the United States.
Reporting with @ZachLowe_NBA: The NBA has set a conference call with team owners/governors for Wednesday afternoon to discuss the escalating coronavirus crisis and next steps for teams, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 9, 2020
Concerns are escalating among owners and executives that more drastic steps could be coming for the league, including games played with only essential personnel in arenas; the precise scenario that the NBA has required teams be prepared to execute. https://t.co/xnpVXX8KHj— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 9, 2020
Earlier this weekend, the NBA asked teams to have an action plan ready by this Tuesday for Coronavirus concerns.
New memo to to teams says each is required to have several plans in place by Tuesday, including arrangement with an infectious disease specialist, the IDing of a facility to test for coronavirus, a plan to limit number of team and arena staff who'd interact with players. https://t.co/qsmIf30Fxe— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 8, 2020
There has already been changes made to players with how they are to interact with fans before games such as no autographs or handshakes. Only elbow touches or fist bumps are allowed. Even then, those may be on their way out as well. The Utah Jazz have changed how shootaround availability works.
Jazz changed up how they did shootaround availability today... rather than a standing press scrum, they had players seated at a table with media sitting a few feet away. Downside from coverage POV is we don’t get to watch players shoot/workout after team portion.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) March 9, 2020
The NBA is no exception to facing disruption due to this health crisis as most businesses are grappling with reality that COVID-19 is going to disrupt their plans for the first half of the year. How the NBA decides to press forward will be interesting. I do not wish to minimize the overall effects of the Coronavirus and how it’s affecting others. But the NBA has to figure out how to answer some questions that could present some competitive issues.
If a player comes in contact with someone who has the virus, they would have to be quarantined for 14 days. What if that player is a LeBron James, Rudy Gobert, or James Harden? That’s a significant change in the landscape.
How will the NBA help owners cover the costs of playing in front of empty arenas? That’s lost revenue in ticket sales, concessions, and merchandise. In addition, that’s lost revenue for the businesses that are around these arenas that rely upon fans for revenue. That has a ripple effect in cities in a big way?
What is the contingency plan if someone with COVID-19 does enter an arena and it’s found out the day after? We’ve seen as recently as with cases of Ted Cruz with an attendee at CPAC that it can have wide ranging consequences. No team wants to be dealing with the after effects of spreading something like that to a bigger degree.
While the NBA is looking at possibly playing games in front of no fans, one would have to think the NBA would also be looking at postponing games if it starts to get to a point where there are numerous games being played in empty arenas. If there are players that may have to quarantine themselves off not because they have the virus but they were in contact with someone who may have the virus, that would put asterisks on the season.
If anything, if this crisis gets to the point of playing in empty arenas, it may just be in the best interest of all to postpone until everyone is able to enjoy the game together again. That will help bring revenue back to businesses that are seeing slowdowns, that will prevent teams from losing a ton of money, and it will not make watching NBA games feel like watching an Orlando Summer League game in July.
Coronavirus Symptoms, How it Spreads, Prevention
Below you’ll find the CDC’s information for identifying symptoms, how COVID-19 spreads, and, most importantly, PREVENTION. More information than found below can be found at:
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
- Shortness of breath
⚠️ Call your doctor: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately.
How it is spread
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
- People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
- Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
If you need help with washing your hands for that long, don’t worry, Andy Larsen has got the right basketball inspired song for you.