The return of the PGA Tour provided a guide for other competitions

Posted by on June 15, 2020  /   Posted in golf reviews

. Daniel Berger made $ 1.35 million on Sunday to win the first tournament of the PGA Tour after a three-month layoff caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But Monday, Berger was entitled to something precious – a first-class seat on the special flight chartered by the tour to get players and their caddies safely to the next event on the tour.

Space on the charter costs $ 600 per golfer – $ 300 for caddies – but premium seats are nurtured and subjected to a defined pecking order based on players' career performance. Even with nearly $ 16 million in PGA Tour earnings in life, Berger probably wouldn't have qualified. However, hoisting Sunday's championship trophy meant that Berger could cross the line for an upgrade.

Welcome to professional sports in a pandemic – winning still equals status, especially when it comes to accessing the most comfortable part of safety protocols

Last week, golf was the test balloon in the big American sports were among the first to return to the league. If other leagues planning their return this summer wonder what lessons can be learned from the PGA Tour experience, here's one: the athletes adapt and always keep their eyes on the prize / prizes.

Days Earlier After his dramatic win from behind the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Berger made other arrangements to travel to this week's PGA Tour event, the RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island, SC, and refused his first-class seat. The decision before Sunday's final round was likely based less on a lack of confidence and more on a practical gesture, as the rankings were packed with a wave of rousing top golfers.

More than 100 other professional golfers lined up on Saturday to take the saliva test for the coronavirus, as a negative result was required to board after the tournament. There were no obvious objections to undergoing another test, a turnaround among grumbling players when the invasive swab test was conducted on arrival in Fort Worth earlier in the week.

The malleability of highly compensated golfers in the space of a few days can also be notable for other sports organizing their return to play. Extensive testing – PGA Tour players were also screened for fever on a daily basis and had to complete detection questionnaires – was not seen as an imposition, but instead delivered a welcome sense of security. In the end, after some time in some form of quarantine at home, some players considered the environment to be almost liberating.

"I knew that all the employees and employees who were here performed the same tests as I was and I felt completely safe," said Berger, who carried the coronavirus " Called such a large part of our lives in the past two months.

But during last week's tournament, Berger said: & # 39; I only thought of the virus a few times. & # 39;

What Bergers kept in mind, showed in a time of great turmoil that some things never change.

& # 39; That you don't get that many chances of winning here, & # 39; he said. "I am happy and proud to have hung there."

Berger won while he was among the golfers who closely followed the recommended safety guidelines for the event. Not all of his brothers seemed to intend to stick to the established protocols.

That the PGA Tour tested every player and caddy – about 500 people in total including officials – without a positive result may have encouraged the collective to believe they were in a coronavirus-free bubble because many players regularly meet fists and often stood shoulder to shoulder on tee boxes. Caddies and players regularly gave clubs back and forth. During the tournament, PGA Tour officials reminded caddies of best practices when it came to handling players' flagpoles, bunker rakes and golf bags.

Other players were much stricter in adhering to safety restrictions, such as not meeting in groups.

Updated June 12, 2020

Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 occur?

So far, the evidence seems to prove that this is the case. A much-cited article published in April suggests that people are most contagious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms, and an estimated 44 percent of new infections were due to transmission by people who did not yet have symptoms. showed. Recently, a top World Health Organization expert said that transmission of the coronavirus by people who had no symptoms was "very rare," but she later withdrew that statement.

What is the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

Touching contaminated objects and then infecting us with the germs is not typical of how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies on the flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus, and other microbes have shown that respiratory diseases, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, especially in places such as nurseries, offices, and hospitals. But a long series of events must take place to spread the disease that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus – be it superficial transmission or close human contact – is still to socialize, wash your hands, not touch your face, and wear masks.

How does the blood group affect the coronavirus?

A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Having type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to receive oxygen or go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

How many people have lost their jobs to coronavirus in the United States?

The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Department of Labor said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the country's job market as recruitments recovered faster than economists expected. Economists had predicted that the unemployment rate would rise to as much as 20 percent after it reached 14.7 percent in April, the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But instead, the unemployment rate fell, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million were lost in April.

Will protests cause a second viral wave of coronavirus?

Massive protests against police brutality that have brought thousands of people to the streets of cities across America raise the specter of new coronavirus outbreaks, prompting political leaders, physicians and public health experts to warn the crowd in cases could cause a wave. . Many political leaders affirmed the right of protesters to express themselves, but urged protesters to wear face masks and maintain social distance, both to protect themselves and to prevent further spread of the virus to the community. Some infectious disease experts were reassured that protests were taking place outdoors, saying that the open air could reduce the risk of transmission.

How do we start training again without hurting ourselves after months of lockdown?

Exercise researchers and doctors have some blunt advice for those of us who want to return to regular exercise now: start slowly and boost your workouts, too slowly. U.S. adults were generally about 12 percent less active after home mandates started in March than in January. But there are steps you can take to safely return to regular exercise. First, & # 39; Start with no more than 50 percent of the exercise you did for Covid & # 39; says Dr. Monica Rho, chief of musculoskeletal medicine at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago. Also thread in some preparatory squats, she advises. "If you haven't trained, you lose muscle mass." Expect some twitching after these preparatory, post-lockdown sessions, especially a day or two later. But sudden or increasing pain during exercise is a clarion sound to stop and return home.

My state opens again. Is it safe to go out?

States are gradually opening up again. This means that more public spaces are available for use and more and more companies are allowed to open again. The federal government largely leaves the decision to the states, and some state leaders leave the decision to the local authorities. Even if you're not told to stay at home, it's still a good idea to limit outdoor travel and interact with other people.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Common symptoms are fever, a dry cough, fatigue, and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and blocked sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle aches, sore throats, headaches and a new loss of taste or smell as symptoms to watch out for. Most people get sick five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms can appear in two days or even 14 days.

How can I protect myself while flying?

If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most importantly, wash your hands often and never touch your face again. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during the flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, because people who sit by the window had less contact with potentially ill people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfectant wipes to clean the hard surfaces on your seat, such as the head and armrest, seat belt buckle, the remote control, the screen, the back pocket of the seat and the tray table . If the chair is hard and non-porous or leather or pleather, you can also wipe it off. (Using wipes on upholstered chairs can result in a wet chair and spreading germs rather than killing them.)

Do I have to wear a mask?

The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks when going out in public. This is a shift in federal guidelines that reflects new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. So far, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that everyday people should not wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to keep medical grade masks for health professionals who need them badly at a time when they are constantly in short supply. Masks do not replace hand washing and social distance.

What should I do if I feel sick?

If you have been exposed to, or think you have, the coronavirus and have a fever or symptoms such as coughing or breathing difficulties, call a doctor. They should advise you on whether to be tested, how to be tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

"I entered the dressing room once the first day," said Bubba Watson, who stayed in an RV during the tournament. & # 39; Then I never went in there again. I just washed my shoes and everything on my bus.

As for the atmosphere of a spectator-less sporting event, a provision likely to be repeated in other professional sports, almost every golfer recognized that it was an odd man out before noticing that the whole experience to return to a changed competitive environment after a long period of dismissal would have been a difficult adjustment. Some thought that the silence of a fanless golf course would actually have helped them make the switch.

"Frankly, it might have been better to start, because I was already nervous because I wasn't in a while," said Justin Thomas, the world's third ranked golfer. "With fans, it would really have been unnerving. "

Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour Commissioner, said on Sunday that he had heard from some leaders of other professional sports leagues." I know a lot of people are watching us, "said Monahan," and hopefully they are proud of what has been done here. "

But Monahan also admitted that a successful resumption of the PGA Tour will only be complete if the tour proves that he can safely make his way to South Carolina this week and over the next few weeks to Connecticut and Michigan. Charter flights, with benefits such as first-class upgrades for tournament winners, will help, but many other factors also play a role.

"This is about a sustained return," said Monahan.

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