The Detroit Lions, finally in the win column after beating the Vikings last week, head into their game on Sunday without 19 percent of their roster due to injuries and coronavirus.
The Chicago Bulls have had nearly half their players enter the NBA’s health and safety protocols over the past week.
The New York Knicks will be without Obi Toppin and RJ Barrett when they play the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, due to health and safety protocols.
Ja Morant already is out of the Memphis Grizzlies’ lineup due to a sprained left knee, but he’s in the protocols now, too.
Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri, Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma, and Pacers coach Rick Carlisle… also all are in COVID protocols.
Turn up the volume
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The Seattle Kraken placed Yanni Gourde and Riley Sheahan in the NHL’s protocols on Saturday, and only a few hours later, they were joined by Nico Hischier and Ryan Graves of the New Jersey Devils.
Over in England, Tottenham Hotspur’s COVID-19 outbreak forced the postponement of Sunday’s Premier League game at Brighton & Hove Albion.
It’s fantastic that we have a vaccine now and that people are getting boosters, but the coronavirus still is very much here. It gets easy to lose sight of that because of how many things are returning, or being pushed to return, to something resembling normal.
It’s easier still to not get the picture when individual cases and localized outbreaks are just individual items on a news ticker. Over the past nearly two years, people getting COVID or being a close contact has become more routine than anyone imagined at the outset.
There were more than 2,000 COVID-19 deaths reported in the United States on Friday, rivaling the daily totals at the peak of the first wave, back when the world shut down “out of an abundance of caution.”
The vaccine doesn’t make us invincible. Having lived through almost two years of this doesn’t make us invincible. The virus is everywhere, continuing to spread, continuing to mutate. After all of this time and all of this suffering, some loss of perspective is understandable. But that doesn’t mean that after so much bullshit about how “it’s just a bad flu,” we’re treating it, especially in sports, like nothing more than that.