Play safe, play healthy - GulfToday

Play safe, play healthy

virus tips 3

Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

While the world is struggling to come to terms with the new normal, that is social distancing, working from home, hosting of sports events behind closed doors, etc, etc, it is disturbing to hear of more and more athletes getting infected by the coronavirus (“Djokovic tests positive for coronavirus, apologises to other players,” June 24, Gulf Today).

Agreed that COVID-19 does not differentiate between an athlete and another human, but the worrying part is that people with strong immunity are believed to be at a lower risk of contracting the virus. That does not seem to be the case. Fatalities are surely at the minimal in the able-bodied, but it is alarming nonetheless.

World number one Novak Djokovic is the fourth player to contract the virus after taking part in his exhibition tennis tournament in the Balkans. Alongside this, on the same day, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced that 10 players have tested positive during a round of tests ahead of the squad preparing for the tour of England.

My question is how can we continue hosting sports events if this is the ground reality? As for me I am sick of not having my usual sporting high. But under the prevailing condition, it’s surely better to be safe than sorry.

The other aspect is that with almost all sports tournaments likely to be held without fans, the punch is lost, anyway. The thrill of a packed stadium buzzing with activity is gone. Isn’t it wiser to wait until we all can safely go back to our normal routine rather than risk the lives of our players and support staff?

Ralph R — By email

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