Leslie Titus Bryant
JAN 05, 2022
In the wake of the COVID-19 2020 global pandemic, the world’s economy slowed to a crawl, office buildings were empty, students stayed home from school, stadiums were eerily silent, and we all had more questions than available answers.
While America tried to grapple with the “new normal” of stay-at-home orders and social distancing, healthcare organizations and governments began to do what they could to help stem the tide. Testing for the virus was a priority and it immediately became shockingly clear to the world that shortages in testing supplies and PPE equipment were causing a very real global threat to finding answers and providing treatment for this new virus. The only testing option that was available at the time involved nasal swabs, but within the first few weeks of the pandemic, the swabs were in critically short supply or simply out of stock.
As time went on players and fans of Major League Baseball (MLB™) held their breath awaiting word of whether the unthinkable would happen and there would be no baseball right when people needed it most. This sentiment was echoed in the press with USA Today lamenting, “The MLB already missed its planned opening day, and it is unclear when baseball could start.” And SportingNews asked, “Will MLB Cancel the 2020 Season?”
A major element that clouded the future of the 2020 season was the very diagnostic tests themselves. The nature of the swabs required medical professionals to insert the swab into a person’s nasal cavity to collect a biosample. This process is almost always painful and as more people became aware of the test, it became a source of anxiety and stress, which stopped many people from deciding to get themselves or their loved ones tested.
The league and club owners were understandably reluctant to inflict pain on their athletes and staff on a regular basis. Unless something changed, the 2020 season was doomed.