And this somehow prevents guys from breathing infectious particles on each other?
We’re going to find out pretty soon whether it will be possible to play NFL football this year. Thus far, the league has seen a smattering of positive coronavirus tests, but that’s before guys started reporting to training camp. Now that they’re showing up to team facilities to begin preseason work, players are going to be interacting with each other a lot more and the chances of spreading a highly contagious disease are obviously increased.
If the NFL is going to have a season this year, it’s going to have to avoid teamwide breakouts like we’ve seen in MLB with the Marlins and Cardinals. The league and the players’ union just approved changes to the CBA to deal with the threat of the virus. Players can be fined for refusing a coronavirus test and disciplined for engaging in activities deemed high-risk for virus transmission. Teams are renovating their training to facilitate social distancing sanitation. (The Chiefs have a 13-minute video on YouTube explaining their procedures.)
Not all of those COVID-era adjustments are equally effective, though. Check out what the Broncos are having players do on their way to the practice field.
Allow Aric DiLalla, a writer for the team’s website, explain what’s going on here.
Two minutes on Wikipedia taught me that nano-crystalline structures can be used for vapor deposition, such as metalorganic vapour-phase epitaxy, to coat a surface with a chemical vapor—in this case, sanitizer. Fancy! But will it really help prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Even if it does do an adequate job of sanitizing a player’s clothes, that’s not how people become infected. A person infected with the virus spreads it through microscopic droplets of moisture that escape through the mouth and nose. You can do all the metalorganic vapour-phase epitaxy you want, but if Von Miller is face-to-face against Garrett Bolles in a drill and one of them is infected, it doesn’t matter how clean their jersey was when they walked on the practice field.
The Broncos’ magic mist reminded me of an article I read in The Atlantic last week headlined “Hygiene Theater Is a Huge Waste of Time.” Scientists are in agreement that surface transmission of the coronavirus is exceedingly rare. It’s highly unlikely (though not impossible) that you could become infected from touching something like an elevator button. The real risk is airborne transmission, which is what makes being around other people dangerous. When restaurants and other businesses boast about the “deep cleaning” they’re doing, it does little more than provide patrons with a false sense of security, the article argued.
The mist’s impact on the number of cases in Denver will probably be negligible. If the Broncos (and the rest of the NFL) follow all the guidelines laid out by the CDC and the league, hopefully we can have football in the fall.
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