While the world hunkers down to try to stave off the spread of the novel coronavirus, which causes a previously unseen disease called COVID-19 that’s now infected tens of thousands across the globe and killed more than 1 percent of those infected, the Phoenix Suns are trying to do their part.
“I’ve been home,” Suns head coach Monty Williams says of what he’s been doing lately. “Here at the house with [my kids].”
Indeed, all of the Phoenix Suns staff and players have been asked to stay home and create social distance. Coaches and training staff are staying in daily contact with players, and have heard nothing but good news.
“All of our guys are doing well,” he told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Tuesday. “All of the indications we’ve gotten back is our guys are doing well. Nobody has shown any symptoms to cause any kind of alarm.”
Of course, this doesn’t really mean that none of them are carriers of the virus. In the 14 days prior to Jazz center Rudy Gobert showing symptoms (the outside incubation period for those who contract the virus before showing symptoms if they’re going to), nearly all 30 NBA teams came into contact with one another.
What I mean is, while the Suns did not play the Jazz in that 14 days, they played at least one team that played the Jazz and/or who played a team that played the Jazz in that period, and that’s all this virus needs to spread across the whole NBA.
Once Gobert tested positive, and the NBA applied the math, they completely shut it all down.
But that doesn’t mean many of the NBA players have been tested yet. Just like most of the public has not been tested. The best numbers so far have less than 100,000 tests being administered to date among 327 million Americans. The CDC still says that you should not be tested unless you’ve been exposed directly to the virus with only that one degree of separation OR if you are hospitalized with severe, life-threatening symptoms. The COVID-19 death rate is around 1 percent to date, with humans in the NBA-player age range being as low as 0.3 percent.
Most people who contract the virus show few if any symptoms, but are are CARRIERS to others who are much more at risk. And all it takes is your breath to transfer it. Older folks, and those with immune deficiency of any kind, are dying at the rate of 10 percent or higher, depending on the co-morbidities at play.
Back to the NBA: we don’t know how many teams have even been tested, but we are aware that the Jazz, Thunder, Pistons and Nets are four of them. Among those four teams, a whopping seven players have tested positive for the virus and are under 14-day quarantine from all human interaction.
Further complicating the flow of information, some NBA teams are under no contractual or federal obligation to share test results with the public. The Nets, who DID get tested, simply announced that four players came back positive without even naming the names. Later, Kevin Durant admitted to the media that he is one who has tested positive.
The only NBA names we know so far are Gobert, teammate Donovan Mitchell, the Pistons’ Christian Wood and the Nets’ Kevin Durant.
The way I understand it, the Suns have not been tested for COVID-19 and won’t be tested unless a player or team official show signs of the virus and end up in the hospital.
Cross your fingers that doesn’t happen.
Of course, the virus can be picked up any time, anywhere. Hopefully, the players and the rest of us stay as far apart from other humans as possible for the next few weeks to see if we can stave off the spread (of the virus, if not our backsides).