The Miami Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals and a season on the brink: Welcome to Major League Baseball in 2020, where 21 games within the span of one week were postponed due to extensive COVID-19 outbreaks on two teams.
25 virus-positive players later, baseball is looking to get back on track. Commissioner Rob Manfred and MLB Players’ Association representative Tony Clark are cracking down on player safety, and looking to avoid the alleged sources of the two outbreaks so far: trips to a bar by Marlins players, and a trip to the casino by Cardinals players.
Neither the NHL or NBA, restarting with isolated bubbles, have experienced outbreaks, but MLB, operating with full travel to 30 ballparks across the country, has already been forced to navigate its way through two.
With players living semi-regular lives and being tested every other day, Major League Baseball presents a unique opportunity to learn how the virus is spreading in a real-world environment.
Primarily, the numbers indicate that students should not return to in-person classes this fall.
Despite MLB encouraging players not to leave the team hotel and testing often with clear contact tracing, it took all of one week for the virus to spread. Schools across the country — whether it be elementary, middle, high school or university — do not have the capacity to test students rapidly and stop the spread of the virus.
Even if they did, MLB’s experiment has shown that just testing for the virus isn’t enough — strict social distancing guidelines like staying six feet apart and wearing a mask must be implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19. As schools announce their in-person plans for the fall, such suggestions are being ignored.
These same lessons carry over to the workplace, and make it abundantly clear that it is not yet safe to head back to the office.
The reported source of these outbreaks — a casino and a bar — are yet another lesson to be learned. While clubs, restaurants and bars reopen, it is clear that these are hotbeds for spreading COVID-19. Creative approaches — including continuing outdoor seating — must be continued until weather makes such practices untenable.
If there is one clear, coherent message from Major League Baseball’s outbreak, it is that the United States is not ready to return to normal. The near-blanket testing of players and personnel show that even with quick detection and contact tracing, stopping outbreaks in a world without the added caution of social distancing is impossible.
Faced with this truth, the US should aggressively shut down, following the example of many other Western countries. It is either that or accept the mass carnage from a virus that will not stop until a vaccine is found.
Read More 990WBOB
Unbiased, Unfiltered. WBOB's Original Reads feature our brightest and boldest personalities, offering their two-cents on the goings on of news, sports, politics, entertainment, and business. -- Are our opinions always PC? Nope. Are they always perfect? Nah. But, are they always 100% authentic? Absolutely!