Flack Friday: The Invisible Enemy

Flack Friday: The Invisible Enemy

You’re probably “sick” of hearing about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and I am right there with you. Stick with me here.

By now, we should have a shared common knowledge to implement common hygiene guidelines and, yes, that means washing your hands with warm water and soap.

When the NBA first took action to shut down their season indefinitely, it was shocking, yet revealing. As the dominoes began to fall with other leagues and games canceling or postponing their competitions, I wasn’t surprised at the decision to close down the WHSAA’s 3A/4A State Basketball Tournament on Thursday morning.

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From players to parents, many were outraged on various social media. It’s understandable, considering that these teams put in the practice and hard work to get to state, let alone the money spent on a hotel, admission and food. I get that. There’s nothing that screams fair about it.

Going back to the initial decision by the NBA to shut down their operations, I think it tells us just how serious this virus is and how easily it can spread.

It was reported on Wednesday evening during the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder game that Rudy Gobert had tested positive for COVID-19.

That’s insane.

I write this not to frighten, but to drown out those who complained about the decision to end the state tournament after the opening game. Even though there is one confirmed case in Wyoming, that doesn’t mean it’s the only one.

Think about Gobert. He’s a professional basketball player. He, along with most professional athletes, live a very structured and controlled life for the most part, especially right in the middle of a season. What he eats, who he interacts with, where he goes is heavily controlled. This is an assumption, but he probably has less contact with the outside world than you and I do.

And Gobert still caught the virus.

What does that mean for you and me? It’s hard to say, but it’s a warning sign. One thing I do know is that if an NBA player who lives in very controlled environments can catch the virus, each of us can as well.

We live in a country that revolves around sports. It’s our escape, our identity. But more important than the games we watch and play are those around us and ourselves. We shouldn’t live a sheltered life, but we also shouldn’t live recklessly in a way that could endanger ourselves or those around us.

Who knows what would’ve been had the state basketball tournament played out as normal. One thing that’s certain is that there’s an invisible enemy and any action to fight back is worth the sacrifice on our end.

Brayden is a sports and community reporter for SweetwaterNOW. You can submit comments, questions or ideas regarding Sweetwater County sports to brayden@sweetwaternow.com.