EmilyChang / WestRanch 12th Grade
On July 7, 2020, the “bubble”, aka the $170 million NBA investment to protect players from the ongoing pandemic, kicked off. Players from 22 selected teams moved into residency on the Disney Orlando campus to begin a season of isolation.
The concept of the bubble is straightforward: by keeping all NBA personnel in one place with stringent health protocol and little access to the outside world, players should be kept safe from the virus. More specifically, the bubble required players to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival with very few instances of being allowed outside.
Furthermore, life inside the bubble consists of regular testing, mask-wearing, and a 10-day quarantine should someone leave without league approval. Families are only allowed to join after the first round of playoffs, given that everyone tests negative and self-isolates.
What at first seemed like an unfeasible attempt to carry out the season, the bubble thus far has proven to be a success. As of August 5th, no players in the NBA tested positive, bringing it to a solid 3 weeks of a coronavirus-free season. Minus a few mishaps involving players leaving without permission, these are promising numbers, especially in comparison to the protocol seen over at the MLB.
The MLB started the season with a looser approach, with players staying with family and transporting themselves to games. Certain protocols like temperature checks and masks are enforced. Yet as of July 24, ESPN reported that 99 players had tested positive for the virus, likely from close quarters during pregame routines and time in the training room. With these outbreaks, such as the recent one involving the Miami Marlins, stricter changes are being implemented, including reduced travelling parties and mandatory face coverings while on the road.
The stark contrast between coronavirus results in the NBA and MLB raises the question of what exactly is needed to curb the coronavirus.
Despite the fact that basketball is played in closer proximity than baseball, the NBA has seen greater success through the use of their bubble.
The bubble, in fact, reflects some of the major protocols necessary for people as a whole to consider adopting: contact tracing, mask protocol, regular testing, and an overall sense of responsibility within each individual.
It is no doubt quarantine is a difficult experience for everyone. But if the contrast between the NBA and the MLB suggests anything, it is that the way forward is one of discipline and maintaining the right mindset.
<EmilyChang / WestRanch 12th Grade