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Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Coronovirus Tries to Go Pro

A number of tournaments on various tours have been cancelled in response to the coronovirus, and we're waiting to learn if it will affect the Olympics.

But according to Associated Press reports (this link picks up the article on it has finally affected an actual tournament in progress.

Eduardo Molinari

According to various reports, Lorenzo Gagli and Edoardo Molinari have been quarantined at the Oman Open and isolated in separate rooms to see if they might be carrying the virus. Here's a brief excerpt from the article:
Gagli tells Italian newspaper La Nazione that a European Tour doctor told him at breakfast Wednesday to return to his room. Molinari, his roommate for the week in Oman, was moved to another room.

Gagli said he was given a test and told the result would be available in two days, but that he would have to remain in the room until next Wednesday, meaning he also would have to withdraw from the Qatar Masters the following week.

''It's an inexplicable decision,'' Gagli said. ''Only us two have been excluded from the tournament, but I arrived in Muscat last Sunday and over the last few days I've worked out in the gym with dozens of other players. I ate with them and traveled by bus with them.

''If there was a risk of contagion, then they would have to isolate dozens of golfers and cancel the tournament.''
And the irony here is that Gagli is more right than he realizes. If he and Molinari should test positive for the coronovirus, it's going to set off a chain reaction as health officials try to determine who might have contracted it from them.

It's not as if those making the decision have much choice. To isolate everyone who might have already caught the virus, they might have to isolate thousands of people. After all, how many people have been in contact with the golfers since they were supposedly exposed? We aren't just talking about Muscat here.

For example, would the people on the plane that brought them to Muscat have to be tested? And what about the people who came in contact with all those passengers? How many different countries would it affect? And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. After all, the most deadly epidemic in recent history, according to the CDC -- and this may surprise some of you -- wasn't one of the diseases like tuberculosis that once killed almost anyone who caught it. According to
The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, the deadliest in history, infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide—about one-third of the planet's population—and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims, including some 675,000 Americans.
My maternal great-grandmother died in the pandemic, and to this day we don't know where she was buried. That's because so many people died at the time that much of the standard recordkeeping simply wasn't done, and other records were lost. And part of the reason it spread so quickly was a result of World War I -- with so many people from all over the world fighting together, the virus had easy access to virtually everyone on the planet.

With golfers and fans traveling the world... well, you see where this could end up.

This is a story we all need to be watching. Hopefully it will turn out to be nothing more than an unnecessary precaution... but even if it does, that doesn't mean we won't be dealing with an actual emergency soon enough.

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