Oh, the puck. If you want to play indoor hockey the way you played until 2020, you can put those plans on ice. New publication in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report (MMWR) described how playing indoor hockey led to the covidence of Covid-19 coronavirus. There have also been other reports of outbreaks among ice hockey players, including 18 members of the Yale Men’s Hockey Team, who have tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus over the past three days.
In an MMWR publication, David Atrubin, Michael Wise and Becky Bohinck of the Florida Department of Health described in detail what happened after an entertaining ice hockey game in Tampa Bay, Florida, on an indoor rink. When three health care workers describe a game of hockey, there’s a chance something went wrong. Two teams of 11 players competed in the game. The teams consisted of men aged 19 to 53 years.
Now this game was played on June 16, 2020. That’s about three missed haircuts after the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic was declared a pandemic. About three months after health experts began urging everyone to practice social distancing, you know that the entire time you are one in a row is six feet or one Denzel (because Denzel Washington is about six feet) apart.
However, the usual game of hockey that these guys played for 60 minutes is not a social distance. The only way to stay six feet away while checking on someone (which is essentially throwing your body at another person is not romantic) would be to put on about 720 layers of clothing. It gives or accepts some layers, depending on whether any of these layers are pads or spanx. Plus, players sat next to each other on the bench during the game and spent about 20 minutes before the game and 20 minutes after the game mixing and blending.
Moreover, it is difficult to breathe while playing ice hockey. Not because there is an avocado toast around, but because there can be a lot of exercise. Deeper and more vigorous breathing can cause more virus to be expelled from the nose and mouth if severe acute coronavirus 2 respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV2) treats your body as a cheap motel.
Players also did not wear face masks during the game. Check it out. Some wore standard hockey face masks. These included those that looked like food carts in front of the face (metal cages) or transparent Bob Fett masks (plastic half boards). Such masks would not actually cover everything that comes out of the nose or mouth of the players, except, perhaps, the gums or fragments of hot dogs. For a face mask to really protect others from you, it should cover your nose and mouth tightly.
The game took place indoors again. Ice hockey is not usually played in a wind tunnel, so the air circulation was not the same as on the street. So, to summarize: the room in the room, people approaching each other, shortness of breath, lack of masks. Not exactly the best setting to avoid Covid-19 coronavirus.
It usually takes about four to five days after the initial exposure to SARS-CoV-2 before symptoms begin to appear, although the incubation period can range from two to 14 days. Of course, during the five days of the game, 14 players (eight from one team and five from the other) and an employee of the rink began to experience symptoms of Covid-19-y. Thirteen of these people tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Only those who developed symptoms ended up testing. So more people could be infected.
This is not the only time the Covid-19 coronavirus has hit the rink. For example, on September 14, Carly Baldwin wrote for Patch on the accumulation of 13 Covid-19 coronavirus infections among members of youth ice hockey teams practiced at the Middletown Sports Complex in Middletown, New Jersey. On October 6, Ariel Hart and Helena Olivier reported for Constitution of Atlanta Magazine at a junior hockey league match between a team from Georgia and a team from North Carolina that may have infected more than 40 people. Then, on Friday, Julia Bialek told Yale Daily News that Yale University had moved the Covid-19 warning level from green to yellow after discovering that 18 members of the men’s hockey team had tested positive for SARS-CoV2 in the previous three days.
This does not mean that you need to necessarily remove the puck from here and completely abandon the game of hockey. The National Hockey League (NHL) has been able to keep its Stanley Cup playoffs sufficiently free of the Covid-19 coronavirus by placing its coaches and players in social bubbles and aggressively supporting other virus prevention measures. Of course, if you are not part of a really serious hockey team, such a rough conversation may not be a practical option for you.
However, other devices are possible. USA Hockey maintains a website about the Covid-19 coronavirus and offers tips on the safety precautions you can take. You can treat the game like a cheap game in a restaurant and have a “don’t check” policy. This would mean constantly maintaining at least one distance of Denzel from the others and not having any contact with the body. You can also get a washer outdoors where there is more natural ventilation. Avoid sharing equipment and touching the washer. Reducing the number of people on the ice at a time can also allow you to stay away. Keep your distance off the ice. Performing each of them in a multi-layered combination will further reduce your risk.
It CBC News This segment describes the changes that may occur in different hockey leagues:
As the Northern Hemisphere deepens deeper into the Fall and soon into Winter, you may want to step up precautions. As I wrote before Forbes, virus transmission may increase with decreasing temperature and decreasing relative humidity. This can be a particular problem for hockey, as lowering the temperature can be the difference between a rink and a pool. Again, this does not mean that you have to give up hockey altogether. You can still follow some form of sport, be it exercise or safe game play. Just don’t spin so you can be exposed to the virus.