Wearing Gloves While Playing Basketball Won’t Protect You from COVID-19

For the 439th time on Monday, I hopped on Instagram and decided to head to The Shade Room. (Don’t come for me, it’s been really hard to stay entertained while self-quarantining.) While scrolling, I saw a video with the caption “OH-KAY! Sis out here hooping,” and watched two young people play a game of 1-on-1. I will admit it was very entertaining, but all of that went away once I realized the young woman in the clip was wearing gloves.

Now, when I clicked on the video, part of me hoped it had been filmed a couple of months ago, but the minute I saw the gloves I knew this video was recent – recent enough that she decided to bring surgical gloves to the basketball court. It is bad enough that the two people in the video, like most people these days, were clearly disregarding the “Social Distancing” rule set in place to flatten the curve and reduce the spread of COVID-19, and while that is one of the biggest rules everyone can and should follow to keep themselves safe and healthy, the worst part of the video was watching her opponent, playing without gloves. That clearly defeats the intended purpose altogether.

Then it dawned on me that this video perfectly represented the U.S. public’s response to COVID-19. On one side, there are people taking what they believe are precautions, yet still putting themselves and others at risk, and on the other side there are people completely disregarding every single recommendation made by our public health professionals. So, today I decided to compile examples of things I’ve seen or heard people do to protect themselves from COVID-19, and added a few suggestions to help keep people safe.

Playing Basketball with Gloves

What They Did: Played basketball outside, with gloves on, with an opponent who is not wearing gloves themselves.

What They Should Have Done: Stayed home. Washed their hands frequently. Kept a physical distance of 6 feet apart. Refrained from touching their face.*

*If you need to exercise, it’s important to only interact with the people in your household. If you need to go out to public parks, avoid touching commonly touched surfaces, like gate handles, benches, etc. Do not go to a public park if you cannot ensure that you can maintain a safe distance from everyone else. Do not pass any balls back and forth, as sweat can cause you to not only pass bodily fluids back and forth, but inadvertently makes people touch their face more.

Hanging Out with Family

What They Did: Had family (children and grandchildren) come over for a visit.

What They Should Have Done: Stayed home. Washed their hands frequently. Kept a physical distance of 6 feet apart. Refrained from touching their face.*

*The only people you should interact with in close proximity, are the people in your household. Anyone over the age of 60 should refrain from interacting with anyone, family or not.

Going to the Store with Neighbors

What They Did: Took a trip to the grocery store with some friends.

What They Should Have Done: Stayed home. Washed their hands frequently. Kept a physical distance of 6 feet apart. Refrained from touching their face.*

*You should minimize any and all grocery store trips. Do not go to the store unless it is a necessity. If you don’t need it, don’t go. Go alone. When you’re shopping, avoid touching your phone – keep it in a pocket if possible. If you’re wearing gloves, remember to properly remove your gloves before touching your car keys to leave. Wash your hands when you get home.

The take home point?

If you can, stay home. Wash your hands frequently. Keep a physical distance of 6 feet apart. Refrain from touching your face.

Reach out to your loved ones, and schedule some virtual family/friend time. Take some time away from social media if you need to. Practice self-acceptance, be kind to yourself, and ask for help if you need it. Find ways to give back and help others. Remember, this is temporary.

Oh, and stay home.

I fully recognize that staying home is a privilege that not everyone can afford. Disenfranchised communities, like the homeless or those who are incarcerated, cannot simply ‘stay home.’ For everyone whose employer will not allow them to stay home, are considered essential employees, or cannot afford to stay home, my heart goes out to you. Thank you to all of our healthcare workers, healthcare custodians, grocery store employees, sanitation workers, delivery drivers, and U.S. mail employees (just to name a few), who are continuing to service the public during this time.

Photo By: Bruno Cervera from Pexels