The current situation with the Miami Marlins should underscore the importance of golf operations stepping up reconnaissance of players or employees who have become lax with the safety procedures used to protect them during this coronavirus pandemic.
This week’s GNN Poll asks if golfers and employees are beginning to let their guards down about coronavirus safety procedures as the season progresses. As of this writing, 66 per cent of respondents have said yes, with 34 per cent voting no.
Whether they’re doing so absent-mindedly or just have an attitude towards such precautions, those are disturbing numbers, given how quickly the situation went sour for the Marlins.
It can happen just as quickly for a golf operation, or any business that lets up on guidelines designed to keep everyone safe.
The Marlins had just begun a Major League Baseball season that was already shortened by coronavirus and had a three-game series in Philadelphia, where they were stranded after 13 players/staff members tested positive.
That led to their first two home games being called off, as was the Phillies’ game against the New York Yankees in Philadelphia, where the Yankees would have used the same clubhouse that the Marlins had inhabited.
It goes beyond the affected teams in this case. Many were wondering after so many Marlins personnel tested positive, if the season should have even commenced and even more were wondering if it would make it to the end.
After all, the federal government here in Canada prevented the Blue Jays from playing their home games in Toronto because of the closed border and the city to city travel not only by the Blue Jays, who will play most home games in Buffalo, N.Y., but also by the visiting teams coming in from coronavirus hot spots in the U.S.
But that’s Major League Baseball and we’re talking Canadian golf operations in our realm. Big difference. Well, it’s different, only the same.
The first mistake we can make is thinking coronavirus is quickly disappearing in Canada. As a matter of fact, more and more of the under 40 crowd are testing positive.
If they’re passing it along to others who don’t respect social distancing and other protocols, the possibility of an outbreak such as the one experienced by the Marlins is always a possibility and people are playing Russian roulette with coronavirus, both getting it and transmitting it.
A few parties with approximately 200 people in attendance, about 20 times the legal number for gatherings during the pandemic, were broken up by police in Brampton, northwest of Toronto.
“You would think the cheese slipped off the cracker with these people,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
The parties weren’t limited to Ontario. Large boat parties on Okanagan Lake near Kelowna, B.C., as case counts surge there, have taken place without social distancing.
Apparently, using Premier Ford’s words, people there have lost their cheese too and the cracker could be crumbling when it comes to flattening the curve here in Canada.
“The curve is no longer flat in Alberta.” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, that province’s chief medical officer of health, during a Monday press conference.
Across the country, 415 new cases were reported on Monday and, as regulations that were eased from those set during the first quarantine in the spring, people seeking a return to normalcy seemingly are willing to take a chance of getting coronavirus or passing it along to others, who may experience much more severe consequences.
They also apparently don’t care about the economic consequences when a golf operation, or any business for that matter, has to shut down to deep clean when somebody tests positive, or even worse, an outbreak occurs in a summer that has already been shortened and an operation needs to shut down for a longer period of time.
You never know who’s got it when they come into your place of employment and who might pass it along to others when they don’t follow the posted guidelines on social distancing, touch points, etc. That’s where increased efforts to enforce the guidelines becomes so critical.
An outbreak can happen as quickly as it did with the Marlins, which is a warning to all businesses that would prefer not to deal with the consequences.