Lakers center Dwight Howard admitted he got warned for not wearing a mask in the NBA bubble at Disney World.
Howard actually made a somewhat reasonable defense. Unlike members of the general population – who should absolutely wear masks – NBA players inside the bubble can reasonably know they don’t have coronavirus. They quarantined and repeatedly tested negative before entering the bubble. They’re tested daily. They’re not supposed to interact with anyone outside the bubble. The system is working with zero cases of coronavirus diagnosed within the bubble. That’s why it’s safe to do something – play five-on-five basketball – that would otherwise be unsafe.
However, if the system fails – someone sneaking into the bubble or even inadvertently making too close of contact with someone outside the bubble – and coronavirus infiltrates the bubble, masks will help slow the spread. The safety of everyone involved and so much money is at stake. Even with isolating from the outside world and testing, wearing a mask seems like a sound additional layer of protection.
Except that’s not how Howard thinks.
Howard on Instagram Live:
Do I believe in vaccinations? No, I don’t. That’s my personal opinion, but no, I don’t.
That’s bad enough in normal times:
Howard’s stance might cause specific complications now.
Will the NBA require players to get a coronavirus vaccine when one becomes available?
A vaccine won’t necessarily directly help everyone. Some people have conditions that will preclude them from getting the vaccine. Even some people who get the vaccine, unknowingly, won’t develop a resistance.
That’s why it’s important for everyone who can to get vaccinated. There are reasonable debates about how that should be enforced in society. But it’d be easy to see a business like the NBA requiring its employees to get a coronavirus vaccine to protect its product.