Novak Djokovic announced this morning that he and his wife have both tested positive for COVID-19. The news comes hot on the heels of him participating in two tennis events he helped organize in Serbia and Belgrade. They are the fourth and fifth people who were there-- that we know of so far -- to contract the virus after playing matches and throwing social distancing measures out the window.
Djokovic has carved out a specific niche for himself in professional athletics, coming out as the most prominent anti-vaxxer. He also lamented that it would be impossible for him to play in the U.S. Open due to extreme coronavirus protocols.
Hubris and irony aside, it's inhuman to gloat about someone else's illness. Djokovic is young and healthy and has an overwhelmingly positive outlook statistically. But it is fair to look at pictures like these, start doing the math, and wonder if we watched a super-spreader event play out in real-time while cries that it would be a super-spreader event were ignored.
So many of those in attendance traveled from elsewhere and returned there when the events were over. If they were infected, those germs also traveled. It's not so much about Djokovic and his recovery, it's about the traceable chain of events decisions to plow through in the face of a global pandemic can have.
It is incredibly frustrating to see best practices are eschewed and inevitable reaping follows the sowing. If anyone should know about unforced errors, it's the No. 1-ranked tennis player in the world.