The news has been expanding on the virus story since the very first mention over two months plus ago. Each day, the story has been getting more and more cases from what was seemingly limited to the Wuhan region of China, and now all over the world.
The coronavirus or Covid-19 as it’s being called has swept it’s way around the globe, cruise ships, nursing homes, and more unexplained transmissions of this illness has now made it an American priority. The population has responded, going to their local and online retailers to stock up on cleaners, bleach, hand sanitizer, and food. Oh yeah, toilet paper too.
Now the virus has reached the professional sports world with the NHL, the first to take precautions and allow any NHL club to take measures to prevent exposure to the virus from external sources. Just the other day, the press reported the New York Islanders, New York Rangers, and New Jersey Devils would limit access to the locker room from the press. The NHL has also advised clubs to make contingency plans should the league bar fans from entering the venues to watch NHL games. That sounds very serious, but it’s a possibility.
On February 1st, 2020, there were only 7 reported cases in the USA, now almost 5 weeks later, today it’s been reported that over 89 people in the NY area have the virus, and countless others with the most deaths in the US coming from Washington state where the virus killed 6 in a nursing home. That number in Washington state has soared to 17 as of the time I am writing this article.
Baseball is going on as it has been for Spring Training, there has been very little said about what the MLB is doing in this time of concern. The CDC in Atlanta says to exercise caution in regards to the virus but not to become panicky over it, a recommendation from the CDC for elderly travelers was refuted by the White House, where are there more elderly people than in the areas where Spring Training is held?
You can probably forget an autograph from your favorite ballplayer as of two days ago the MLB is now advising players to not take pens from the public, and not take items that fans have handled. So far, players haven’t totally stopped the practice, but as each day goes on, this story will be developing for baseball for sure. Can the playing of MLB games to empty stadiums be on the radar as Opening Day is getting closer each day?
Bookmark the FightinPhillies.com blog for more stories on this story, and of course regular coverage of the Phils team as we approach Opening Day in Miami on March 26th at 4:10 PM