Peter King interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci over the weekend. Key parts of the interview were included in Monday's edition of Football Morning in America. Should fans be more or less optimistic about the prospects of professional football being played this fall? The most optimistic thing to come out of the piece is that there are ways for things to improve between now and the fall aside from a vaccine being on the horizon.
" One: The availability of tests should make massive testing by August and September easier. Two: We should be far more prepared to handle the disease as it loosens its grip on society, even with the prospect of a second wave hitting later in the fall. Three: Increased Antogen testing might increase the prospect that a significant segment of society—including, presumably, football players—could be made immune to the virus by plasma donations."
About testing... King estimated the league would need about 200,000 tests for the entirety of the season. Is that feasible? Here's Fauci:
"“Right now, it would be overwhelmingly piggish. But by the end of August, we should have in place Antigen testings . . . You could test millions of people, millions of people. But again, we have to make sure that the companies that are doing these tests actually produce them. Which given the country that we have, such a rich country, I would be very surprised if we can’t do that.”"
So if our numbers stay down and our companies actually produce the things they're supposed to produce, then we can have professional football. Of course, if somebody catches it during the season and somehow gets on the field...
"“This is a respiratory virus, so it’s going to be spread by shedding virus. The problem with virus shedding is that if I have it in my nasal pharynx, and it sheds and I wipe my hand against my nose—now it’s on my hand. You see, then I touch my chest or my thigh, then it’s on my chest or my thigh for at least a few hours. Sweat as such won’t transmit it. But if people are in such close contact as football players are on every single play, then that’s the perfect set up for spreading. I would think that if there is an infected football player on the field—a middle linebacker, a tackle, whoever it is it—as soon as they hit the next guy, the chances are that they will be shedding virus all over that person."
And if someone tests positive, they're sidelined in isolation for a minimum of two weeks as long as they suffer no lasting health issues. As King points out, that goes for the Patrick Mahomeses of the world as well. Nobody wants to see that. It just seems that so much has to go right for a season to work. Is it really worth it? I guess we'll find out in a few months.