The NBA’s Bubble program to restart and complete the 2019-2020 season has been a major success. Of the over 300 players on the Wide World of Sports campus at Disney, there have been zero positive tests for COVID-19. A combination of social distancing, mask wearing, frequent testing and complete isolation has allowed for the season to continue safely. The question that arises for me, however, is how one organization’s success cannot simply be replicated by the very nation it takes place in.
The coronavirus is not going anywhere. The world is months away from an effective and trustworthy vaccine, which is the only way to truly bring the disease to a manageable halt. To control the virus the for time being, the world simply needs to wear a mask and keep our distance. However, much of America, including our president, continues to look over the serious danger that the coronavirus poses to our lives, and the number of cases continues to rise as the protocols put forth are lifted and ignored.
The country is currently waiting anxiously to see if college and professional football will be played this fall. With an increased number of players, staff and equipment, attempting to create a bubble like the NBA has done to support a football season is simply impossible. However, if we had just worn our masks, kept our distance, and not argued and protested the guidelines put in place to try and slow the spread of disease, there might have been a chance to play football, as well as all of the other fall sports offered by universities across the country. Instead, we are approaching the seventh month of a pandemic that is killing a thousand Americans every day, all under a leader who refuses to acknowledge the danger that we are up against.
We at UConn can learn from the NBA. The league has done a better job managing the coronavirus and providing a safe playing environment than any organization in the country. This has truly been made possible because of the compliance of the majority of the players (not you Lou Williams), coaches and administration to oblige to the rules of the bubble in order to complete the season. The guidelines were not put in to inconvenience the players; they were put in because that was the only way that league activities could resume safely.
This is the mentality we need to take into our own lives. If we want life to come back to the way it was, if athletes want their seasons to take place and if we simply want to save lives, just wear a mask, keep your distance, and wash your hands. If the NBA can do it, I think that we as a university can do the same. Do what needs to be done, UConn, so we can complete our own seasons.
Matthew Garry is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org