The time for I-told-you-so's is over. The time for claims of panic are over, too. We're in this toigether. We just don't know what "it" actually is.
The NBA certainly doesn't know, but is taking the smartest, safest course it can given that the only guide for Rudy Gobert is Daniele Rugani, the Juventus player who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier Wednesday and turned what sport is left in Italy into turmoil.
This, though, is the opposite of turmoil. This is the absence of turmoil. This is the absence of a considerable part of our culture, and there is surely more to come. The games bring crowds, and as we saw today in Paris, fans who can't get into stadia might gather outside them, thus defeating the purpose for keeping them out of the arena. The enemy, which was originally underinformed punditry, then feckless and greedy sports organizations, is now the slow response to a fast-moving disease. In fact, we have passed that moment, too. Blame is a wasted emotion. There is only disease limitation, disease prevention, and the restoration through action of the beleaguered American health system.
In other words, sports is politics, sports is business, sports is culture, sports is society and sports is medicine — and vice versa in all cases. The demands that the games stay in their lane, which were merely stupid before, are now fully archaic and past considering ever again. This is life moving in on sports, and not being polite about it. This is the worst-case scenario without hand sanitizer. This is how America shows what it is in a post-tribal world — what we do when all we have is each other and our willingness to accept the hardest truth there is.
That games in this case, even as they are postponed in bulk, are the canary in a coal mine, telling us whether we want to hear it or not that the least of our worries is the games we thought a day ago were vital.