“Why do you always mention the NFL when talking about COVID?”, my wife exclaims. Before I can explain my reasoning for using the NFL, and the leagues logic with regard to the virus, she has already tuned me out. Ah, the pratfalls of marriage.
What I try to tell her is that famous line from All The Presidents Men, “follow the money”. Only it isn’t just about the almighty dollar. Except, it kind of is. But when you see the NFL changing return to work protocols the day after the CDC makes changes. You start to realize that there are sound medical decisions being made by the league. It may be about making that green, but the NFL is nothing, if not socially responsible on this issue.
Nothing To Sneeze At
The NFL made vaccinations a priority from the get. Even going so far as to reward the players who complied, with freedom around the team facilities. The players that didn’t? They still complied with a regimented covid protocol. Even with the brouhaha over vaccination cards. An event that seems like forever, and three games suspensions ago. The virus continues to change. So the league policies with regard to the virus, change as well.
With a spike in cases in early December, the league went into lock-down mode back on the 15th. That freedom that vaccinated players celebrated all season. And we identify, even some unvaccinated ones. They would be no more. As the Omicron variant spread like wildfire, all players wouldn’t go back into the intensive covid protocols. Masks, distanced meeting. Limited weight room numbers. All the trappings of 2020, but with the Buccaneers the defending world champions. I just had to. But the league, and the rest of the country were adjusting on the fly.
Must Stay Vigilant
Now the NFL, following CDC guidelines, asymptomatic players who test positive for the virus. Including players unvaccinated. Can return to work in as little as five days. Vaccinated staff even sooner. The unvaccinated, still must wait a minimum of five days. So, there remains incentive to get that vaccine. Even as this virus has worked through society. It is still very easily spread. And it is still here for the foreseeable future.
When individuals are vaccinated, their bodies can adjust, battle, and in most cases, not be affected as seriously by the virus. The body already has protections in place. Once the virus is introduced to the host, the battle can be won sooner. In a lot of cases, it is hardly a battle at all. This is why the protocols can be adjusted with society. Because we were always in this together. And continue to be. Even as the world gets marching orders of quicker returns to work. We also get sound word to wear masks, maintain social distance, keep it locked down. Society may be learning how to beat this terrible virus. But it’s still so easily transmitted.
This did not start out, or was it intended to be a piece on COVID. It was just an excuse to mention that the Buccaneers were the defending “World Champions”. In the words of a former presidential administration, “mission accomplished.