As the Boston Red Sox quarantine a player due to coronavirus fears, it’s time for a wake-up call about the outbreak’s impact on sports.
While the coronavirus outbreak has led the news cycle for two months, most people in the Western world still perceive the crisis as something that’s happening elsewhere.
Sure, we’ve seen a few cases in the United States, but everything is under control, right? It’s not something that we have to worry about in our day to day lives.
That may be about to change.
The Boston Red Sox organization made the watershed decision to quarantine a player amid concerns about the coronavirus.
Chih-Jung Liu, a Taiwanese prospect, has been confined to a hotel room in what the Red Sox call “an overabundance of caution” in guarding against the virus.
For many, seeing the coronavirus mentioned by a significant sporting outfit like the Boston Red Sox will be a reality check.
As it should be.
Sports could very easily be one of the most prominent breeding grounds for coronavirus. We’ve already seen sports leagues and events shut down entirely in China due to the epidemic. So what makes anyone think it couldn’t happen in the West?
If the spread of this deadly virus isn’t as under control as the Trump administration claims, how long before people decide that spending hours sitting in a confined space with tens of thousands of other people isn’t a great idea?
I know the U.S. government is making positive noises about the dangers of the virus, but we saw the same response from China, remember.
This announcement by the Red Sox should be a wake-up call.
The coronavirus is no longer a distant threat in a faraway land. It’s hitting Europe as well, where Italy has reported more than 320 cases .
Common sense would tell you that the last place you’d want to be amid such a threat is sitting next to thousands of strangers in a sold-out NBA arena or baseball stadium.
So, sports fans, beware.
Today it’s the Boston Red Sox taking precautions. Tomorrow it could be a confirmed case of the coronavirus in a player or member of the coaching staff.
CDC officials have warned that it’s more a question of when rather than if there’s a U.S. outbreak . And when it does arrive, it’ll change the perception of the coronavirus in the West entirely.
After all, nothing hits closer to home than our local sports teams.
This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.