When the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, are you going to get it? Hold out for a while to make sure it’s safe? Or will schlubs like us be stuck waiting while other people get it first, like the Playstation 5?
In the latter scenario, at least they’d theoretically work out the bugs. Does the first gen version of anything work 100% smoothly?
These are questions that our professional sports leagues will soon have to answer, and at ESPN today there’s a story from Brian ‘Windy’ Windhorst about the NBA putting together a vaccine plan that is right now in the very early stages.
This part of the story is interesting:
Multiple COVID-19 vaccines are in final stages of approval, and the NBA could find itself as the first major professional North American sports league to manage widespread usage for players and coaches.
According to an array of discussions with league executives, team physicians and agents the league has been focusing on a few key areas:
• A need to create an educational program for players and staff about vaccine choices, possible side effects and efficacy with the intent to put players at ease and be willing to take it. While this process is still in the earliest stages, some players have already begun expressing hesitation to their agents and team doctors about the vaccine, sources told ESPN.
Others feel it will be a harder sell. Among the issues, sources said, is numerous players who have had the virus — and now have some level of antibodies — may need to be convinced the vaccine is necessary.
It’s intriguing. Can they force these guys to get it? Kyrie Irving probably would resist. He’d think that’s part of some government conspiracy to control our minds and/or brainwash us into thinking the world is round (it is).
And then you have to think about the extent to which non-player personnel need to be vaccinated. Coaches? Equipment managers? Media members? Where does it start and where does it end?
Beyond that, we’re going to have discussions about whether vaccinating athletes before the general public is responsible and moral. On one hand, sport is ultimately nonessential when considering what it takes to keep society functioning. The Philadelphia 76ers are not working in the meat processing plants or delivering packages or entrenched on the hospital frontlines. But on the flipside, establishing a safe and secure return to play can have a boost in the mental health and morale departments, by sending a message that the vaccine is sound, the situation is stable, and we’re moving closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. You’re delivering hope via entertainment alongside the economic boost that sport provides us with.
Right now we have a lot of questions, and it’s intriguing to think about the answers. We’re almost out of the woods, folks. Let’s wear the mask and be smart and we’ll get things back to normal in these parts.