Doctors on the return of sports: 'Fans may not be in stadiums until well into 2021'

PISC Executive Director Douglas Wiebe, PhD, along with fellow experts spoke with The Guardian about the impacts of Covid-19 on the future of sports. When asked whether it would be safe to reopen leagues, Dr. Wiebe states that leagues cannot yet reopen and highlights the importance of available testing. Wiebe also comments on likely long-term changes in the sporting landscape stating, "...If [a player tests positive for Covid-19] we clearly have to isolate them and provide them medical care. The other kind of testing will be testing for antibodies, to identify [whether] an athlete [has] been infected in the past. And if they have the antibody that should be a marker that they are now able to fight off new instances of the virus.”

On a lighter note, responding to what can be learned by fans post-pandemic, Dr. Wiebe says, “We may not be able to enjoy the atmosphere of a stadium the way that we used to. We need to have delayed gratification. The good news is that right now people are hungry for some sense of normalcy, so some type of engagement [is] a reason for optimism, which is what sports brings us. Even having fans enjoy sports from their homes could go a long way to making people remaining patient and willing to do social distancing.”

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