If sports return this summer, and fans are allowed in the stands, would you go to enjoy the game?
That’s a question the New York Times asked over 500 epidemiologists for a survey about when they would feel comfortable returning to everyday, innocuous activities from the time before COVID-19.
If you’re excited to catch a game this summer, unfortunately only 3% of the epidemiologists surveyed agree and said they’d feel comfortable going to a sporting event, concert or play this summer. In fact 64% of the epidemiologists said they wouldn’t feel comfortable attending for a year or longer.
To compare, 32% said they’d go to a game or a concert within three months to a year, while 1% said they’d never feel comfortable attending an event like that ever again.
The Times featured some of the epidemiologists' explanations for why they would wait more than a year before going out to a ballgame, concert or play.
“To me, this is a luxury and I can wait a long time until people can safely come together to enjoy it,” Joseph Wagner from the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine told the Times. “That said, I can and will continue to support arts programs as if I was attending with donations.”
“These are some of the highest-risk activities and probably attract more risk-embracing people,” said Vivian Towe from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. “The addition of alcohol or drugs makes these activities too risky for me to consider anytime soon.”
Another pointed to the logistical challenges that large-scale gatherings like sporting events would present for people trying to track the virus.
“This is as much about feelings of social responsibility as about personal infection risk,” said Steve Mooney from the University of Washington. “Large-scale gatherings are a contact tracing nightmare and seem like they should be shut down until we have a really good sense of what's safe/how to screen people.”
Meanwhile, one epidemiologist who was quoted in the piece said she would attend an event this fall, but only if certain conditions were met first.
“I would do this IF social distancing was enforced and everyone attending was required to wear a mask,” said Tammie Nelson from the Marion County Public Health Department.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Cubs easily on your device.