Sporting events are generally regarded by those who follow them as an outlet, an escape from the real world and the troubles that go along with it. There is a lot more nuance to the reality of the situation than that, of course—sports are very much a part of the real world—and we generally don’t like to be reminded of that when games and other elements intersect.
The prevailing story around the world right now, however, is increasingly becoming unavoidable, that being the continuing spread of the COVID-19 strain of the coronavirus. Already in the United States alone, some cities and states are implementing bans on gatherings of certain amounts of people and taking a number of other measures in the hopes of limiting the spread of the virus.
The NFL is fortunate to be in its offseason right now, but the 2020 NFL Draft is coming up faster than you might think, in late April. While it’s still a bit of a way off, it’s not too soon to wonder what the situation will be like at that time, and how it might affect the event.
As of this time, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, there are currently no reasons to believe that the approaching annual league meetings or the NFL Draft will have to be compromised in any fashion, and plans “remain in place” for the time being, but the league “will continue to monitor and share guidance as the situation warrants and as our experts recommend”.
As Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune are set to begin filming new episodes without audiences, one wonders, when all is said and done, how many other avenues of entertainment will be affected. Already film festivals such as South by Southwest and other events have been cancelled entirely.
Mike Florio notes that the NFL did postpone one event, the annual Consumer Products Summit, that was scheduled to be held later this week in Tampa. The annual league meeting will also be held in Florida, but not until the end of the month.
As we approach that time, it’s entirely possible that the situation changes. It’s important for US readers to understand regarding COVID-19 that we right now are behind the eight ball compared to other countries because our rollout of testing, and the limitations upon those we have been willing to test, has been lacking.
In other words, for those following the news, it’s important to understand that it’s going to sound like it’s getting a lot worse, and in a short amount of time, with perhaps thousands of cases around the country being announced. By and large, these are going to be cases that simply, as of yet, have gone untested and undiagnosed, but which have already been present. We will simply know about them and will be able to treat them now, which is obviously important when it comes to containment and limiting proliferation.