Plague world news: If it hasn’t been canceled yet, it will be by the time you finish reading this

If you blinked and missed it: The NBA season has been suspended indefinitely after a player tested positive for the new coronavirus right after jokingly touching all the microphones lined up to interview him; the NCAA tournament will be played behind closed doors; Washington, D.C., and the entire state of California became the latest places to call for banning large gatherings (defined as more than 1,000 people and more than 250 people, respectively) as social distancing measures; and concerts large and small and TV productions and pretty much anything else you can think of are being shut down left and right. Oh, and the White House has banned flights from Europe (but only if you’re a European) even though the U.S. may well already have nearly as many infected people as Europe, and Spain’s soccer league is suspended for at least the next two weeks, and both the Champions League and Europa League could be suspended at any moment now after matches were canceled when teams’ planes weren’t allowed to land in cities they were scheduled to play in, and movie theaters could be next. No word yet on MLB and the NHL and MLS but it’s hard to see them continuing play when all of California is shut down and anyway I’m still typing this sentence so check Google again to see if anything has changed in the interim.

Not much more to say about this, really, except that one big unknown is how long the suspension of all mass public life in the U.S. will last, or even how anyone will decide that it’s over. (If the spread of cases slows over the next week or two — assuming there’s even enough tests available to tell how many cases there are — is that a sign that the crisis is on the wane, or that social distancing is working and should be continued?) And the jury is also still out on whether this will get people even more used to staying home and consuming culture (including sports) remotely, or create a pent-up demand to get out of the house that will make everyone rush out to go see sports and concerts and whatnot as soon as they’re allowed again. Oh, and how many people will die, that’s another big question.

Writing this site will continue unchanged, since it doesn’t require leaving the house under any circumstances, except inasmuch as everything is changed right now so the scope of news being reported may be a little weird. Bear with me, and I promise you some sweet new vaportecture as soon as any is available — so far as I know, there hasn’t been a ban yet on mass gatherings of clip-art entourage.

18 comments on “Plague world news: If it hasn’t been canceled yet, it will be by the time you finish reading this

  1. I’m looking on the bright side in this potential thinning of the herd. If the MLB season is postponed Conforto has time to heal from his recent injury & Betances hopefully can get his velocity back.

    Stay safe dude.

    • I thought the exact same thing re: Conforto!

      On the other hand, if the entire season were canceled just when the Mets actually had a good team, that would be the most Metsiest Metsing ever.

  2. The universe just continues to conspire against Beckham’s MLS team, doesn’t it?

    Next up, plagues of locusts?
    There’s 48 hours before the team was supposed to play it’s home opener, after all. Plenty of time for something else to happen.

  3. RE: Vapourtecture…. Who will be the first sports franchise owner to demand a publicly funded coronavirus treatment facility/isolation centre be added to their ballpark/arena/stadium?

    Will any have the ‘foresight’ to demand each stadium seat be upgraded to include it’s own isolated ventilation system?

    Post your best guesses below…

    • “Our new state-of-the-art arena will feature 20,000 seats, each at least six feet away from each other to ease any concerns about contagion.”

      • I was thinking of something along the lines of a lucite supermatrix that resembled a multi cell version of the Cone of Silence from Get Smart, but sure, that works…

      • I am thinking instead of a metal-detecting security entrance, they should all be replaced with a decontamination chamber.

  4. It is interesting to see how the idea of playing sports in empty arenas is only partly increasing social distancing. World Cup Nordic Skiing banned fans from the stadium seating but a thousand or so lined the course (in Norway but not so much in Czech Republic). The first Bundesliga game to be played in an empty stadium (Gladbach) had about 1000 loud fans outside. This is helping but not everyone is 100% behind social distancing.

    Lower level German leagues are cancelled rather than played in empty stadiums because without TV rights the economics do not make sense.

    • That’s what the leagues are dealing with in making these decisions… it’s why I think of it more as a liability related decision. The owners and players do not control what fans do if the gates are locked. Some might congregate outside, probably more will watch in a cramped and poorly ventilated apartment or bar/club.

      Medical professionals are hoping people will take the risks seriously and stay away from others, but they don’t know… the argument can be made that it is safer to go to an outdoor stadium to watch than it is to sit at home with a group of friends in your living room. The chance of a single mass infection is obviously lower, but the total number of infected people could be as high or possibly higher.

      It’s just very hard to know what is the best course of action at the moment.

      Most European second tier football leagues (or lower) are in an absolute crisis. Their clubs are often barely viable at the best of times. Now they have to face playing behind closed doors to earn (meagre) tv money or not playing at all. They do not have the luxuries or options that their richer brethren do. Depending on how long this goes, there may well be business failures in lower league sports because of it.

  5. Thank you Rudy Gobert (in all sincerity). In making light of this pandemic, you brought to the forefront the seriousness of it.

    • Whether he intended to or not, he did.

      That he did so on the same day new information was released about the amount of time this virus remains infectious while airborne also helped.

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