2020 NCAA and Coronavirus

What do you predict for nationals? Who is going to shine, who is not?

Moderators: Diesel471, ThePlowman, Nasty Natti

riverotter
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:27 pm
Team Affiliation: Bates

2020 NCAA and Coronavirus

Post by riverotter » Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:55 pm

Ok - let's talk about the elephant in the room. NCAA recently created a coronavirus advisory panel to assess on a case by case basis, what they should do for various games, tournaments (including March madness), and championships. Hopkins decided, in consultation with the NCAA panel, to hold the first and second round games of the Div 3 men's basketball championships without fans due to coronavirus concerns. In two weeks, we are likely to see a much larger expansion of documented cases, in large part due to the increased testing capability which will become available next week. What do you think the chance is that the D3 swimming championship will be held without spectators? Has anyone heard any rumblings?

polarbear
Moderator
Posts: 1074
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:42 pm
Team Affiliation: Bowdoin

Re: 2020 NCAA and Coronavirus

Post by polarbear » Sat Mar 07, 2020 4:05 pm

or as a video verified postal meet?

One&Done
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:12 am
Team Affiliation: Williams

Re: 2020 NCAA and Coronavirus

Post by One&Done » Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:38 pm

I don't have any insight here but will definitely be watching this thread. I think the key point for us is that the swimming is being held at the same time/same place as March Madness. NCAA gets 80% of their income from that, so will not want to cancel. We have heard of some teams making plans to drive down instead of flying. If it does go spectator free, will the NESCAC swim fans still go and cheer from alternate viewing locations??

riverotter
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:27 pm
Team Affiliation: Bates

Re: 2020 NCAA and Coronavirus

Post by riverotter » Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:22 am

The National College Players Association is putting pressure on the NCAA to hold March Madness games without spectators. I agree, there is too much money at stake for the NCAA and host cities to allow that to happen but will schools and/or individual players choose not to participate, especially in cities like Spokane, which is only 4 hours away from Seattle and sure to attract fans who would drive over? Hard to say. I think swimming will go on as planned since Greensboro doesn't seem to be a hot spot. We will attend but I will surely look like a dork with my ziplock of disinfectant wipes wiping down every aspect of our airplane seats as well as the hotel. Then, again, I've been doing that for years so nothing new (background in infection control has made me a bit of a germaphobe :wink: ) . If they prohibit spectators, we likely would stay home. Why spend the money to travel there only to watch the meet on the TV at the hotel or at a bar? We'd rather stay home and watch it on our own TV with cocktails in hand. Whether we'd be able to get a refund on our tickets would be a factor. So many unknowns at this point but one thing is still certain, we have a lot better chance of dying from this year's flu than COVID-19!

barbotus
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:22 pm
Team Affiliation: Denison

Re: 2020 NCAA and Coronavirus

Post by barbotus » Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:26 am

I am pretending that this thread does not exist. I do not acknowledge elephants in the room. Once we acknowledge said elephants, people in power start asking what to do about elephants. No elephants, no issues. See you in Greensboro on 3/18.

riverotter
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:27 pm
Team Affiliation: Bates

Re: 2020 NCAA and Coronavirus

Post by riverotter » Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:31 am

LOL. Well Said, barbotus!

polarbear
Moderator
Posts: 1074
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:42 pm
Team Affiliation: Bowdoin

Re: 2020 NCAA and Coronavirus

Post by polarbear » Tue Mar 10, 2020 8:45 pm

Bowdoin hosting women's basketball tournament this weekend and will do so without spectators.

riverotter
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:27 pm
Team Affiliation: Bates

Re: 2020 NCAA and Coronavirus

Post by riverotter » Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:43 am

Latest concern from athletes isn't related to traveling or getting covid19 but possibly having to self quarantine for 14 days when they get back to campus and miss an additional 2 weeks of school right before finals (at least for Bates since their schedule is a little different)? not sure if the college will offer remote learning options for the athletes. Saw that Amherst is going completely to remote learning after spring break and students are expected to vacate the campus by March 18. How are you supposed to learn lab concepts, where so much of the learning is hands on? And all spring sports are cancelled? Just crazy.

polarbear
Moderator
Posts: 1074
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:42 pm
Team Affiliation: Bowdoin

Re: 2020 NCAA and Coronavirus

Post by polarbear » Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:12 pm

riverotter wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:43 am
Latest concern from athletes isn't related to traveling or getting covid19 but possibly having to self quarantine for 14 days when they get back to campus and miss an additional 2 weeks of school right before finals (at least for Bates since their schedule is a little different)? not sure if the college will offer remote learning options for the athletes. Saw that Amherst is going completely to remote learning after spring break and students are expected to vacate the campus by March 18. How are you supposed to learn lab concepts, where so much of the learning is hands on? And all spring sports are cancelled? Just crazy.
Bowdoin just did the same

riverotter
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:27 pm
Team Affiliation: Bates

Re: 2020 NCAA and Coronavirus

Post by riverotter » Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:28 pm

Bates just cancelled all spring sports. May pull swimmers from nationals - that is to be decided shortly. Likely to move "short course", which is Bates's May session (after spring break at the end of April) where kids sign up for 1 class which is often field or research based, to remote learning or cancel short course classes altogether and start summer break a month early. Just crazy. And yet, according to the CDC, the flu has sickened between 34-49 MILLION and killed between 20,000 - 52,000 Americans this year alone but there' not exactly sure since it's not even considered a reportable disease and many folks who have it never even go see their doctor! Covid-19, as of this morning, has sickened 1016 people and killed 31 very old and/or very compromised people. These numbers are going to increase for sure but my guess is that they will not come anywhere near the flu numbers and we live with the flu every year with it really affecting our day to day activities. Just craziness fueled much by media sensationalism.

azalea4va
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:00 pm
Team Affiliation: denison

Re: 2020 NCAA and Coronavirus

Post by azalea4va » Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:39 pm

riverotter wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:28 pm
Covid-19, as of this morning, has sickened 1016 people and killed 31 very old and/or very compromised people. These numbers are going to increase for sure but my guess is that they will not come anywhere near the flu numbers and we live with the flu every year with it really affecting our day to day activities. Just craziness fueled much by media sensationalism.
I do not know what level of mitigation/containment is appropriate but comparison to the "regular" flu may not appropriate. Perhaps a better comparison is to the 1918 spanish flu, which killed 20-50 million people (including 670,000 in the US), when the population was about a third of what it is now. If you look at the covid-19 age-group death rates among those who have contracted the disease, it appears to be higher than the regular flu across all age groups except those under 20 (yes covid is more deadly to the old/compromised but so is flu). Now that data is sketchy, but enough to merit concern. The reason the number of deaths now is less than the flu is because the disease has not had time to spread as widely as the flu (but it appears to spread easier than the flu). Also flu deaths are limited because the flu is seasonal. It is too early to tell if covid-19 will be seasonal. So if Covid-19 continues to spread like flu and is not seasonal, it could be far deadlier than the flu. That is the concern.

riverotter
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:27 pm
Team Affiliation: Bates

Re: 2020 NCAA and Coronavirus

Post by riverotter » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:15 pm

Perhaps covid-19 will end up being more deadly than this year's flu - time will tell but I don't think it really can be compared to the spanish flu of 1918 for a few reasons:
1. the spanish flu had a high mortality rate in healthy adults ages 20-40 because it triggered a cytokine storm (overreaction of the healthy body's immune system). As of yet, we have not seen cytokine storms triggered by covid-19 in healthy adults, such as the 20-40 age group, so that group tends to have very mild symptoms from covid-19, if they have symptoms at all, and the death rate in that group is very low.
2. there were no antibiotics to treat pneumonia and secondary bacterial infections that can be associated with influenza infections and pharmacological support treatment was very limited compared to what is available today.
3. the spanish flu virus mutated to a deadlier version before the second wave of flu ensued. In most flu viruses, natural selection favors the less deadly strain as people who are sick stay home and people with the mild strain go about their daily lives spreading the virus (and future immunity). With the spanish flu, this was reversed due to WWI when soldiers who had the mild strain stayed in the trenches and those who were very sick with the deadlier strain, were transported on crowded trains, trucks, etc to crowded hospitals in cities around Europe and the Pacific, thus further spreading the deadlier virus in a second worldwide wave. With Covid-19, at least thus far, the virus has mutated once from the ancestral S strain to the more aggressive L strain (which is what first appeared in Wuhan) but due to the selection pressure (isolation, quarantine, etc.) the frequency of the more aggressive L strain has declined. I have not ready any data documenting which strain is affecting Europe and other parts of the world.

Yes, at first glance the overall profile of the disease, including its mortality rate at 2-3%, looks more serious than the seasonal flu (mort rate of about .1%) and more like the spanish flu (mort rate of about 2%) but at the start of an outbreak, the apparent mortality rate can be an overestimate if a lot of mild cases are not being documented. That is a current controversy. WHO says it doesn't seem that many cases, at least in China, were overlooked. If that is the case, then covid-19 could very well wind up being deadlier than the spanish flu but within a different patient population (mostly elderly). Others think there are already millions walking around with little or no symptoms who will never be counted because they have no reason to seek medical treatment. Right now, there are still too many questions and variables.

I'm no expert in infectious diseases but it's fascinating, from a science perspective, to compare covid-19 with our seasonal flu and past pandemics like the 1918 influenza pandemic. One thing is for certain, when it is over and we look back, everyone's predictions and opinions will be wrong in some way, shape, or form! :D

imJumbo
Moderator
Posts: 538
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:14 am
Team Affiliation: Tufts University

Re: 2020 NCAA and Coronavirus

Post by imJumbo » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:39 pm

Above 2 posts are great.

Likely mortality will be in the 0.5%-1% range (based primarily off of subsequent studies in China and the current mortality in S. Korea, who took a "test everyone" approach). Regional variation will have as much to do with healthcare system resiliency as it will the actual virus itself.

Still, Fauci and others believe this will spread widely, and if the 70-150 million infected in the US is to be believed (which, honestly, could be where this goes if it gets WAY off the rails), then even with that low of a mortality we are still talking about 500k-1.5m deaths in the US. Unfortunately, the mortality for elderly patients is WAY higher, which could begin to stretch resources to the point that rationing of ventilators or high level care is put into place.

Obviously, this is all speculative, but our ED is getting ready for tiers of surge space and plans for opening conference centers and hallways at the hospital to have overflow of COVID patients. So while its still relatively small in the US (1200 cases, though probably more), everyone is taking this seriously in the planning. Because while the government can apparently be caught with their pants down, your hospital can't.

With that all said, I hope the NCAA allows the swimmers to go. It will be HIGHLY important that teams self identify any potentially sick individual on their team, and if they are ill, consider keeping teammates or entire teams home (MIT just pulled their swimmers). So it could be a bastardized meet, but a meet none the less.

riverotter
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:27 pm
Team Affiliation: Bates

Re: 2020 NCAA and Coronavirus

Post by riverotter » Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:10 am

NCAA announced today that all future championships, including Div 1 and 3 swimming, and Basketball, will, for the time being, go ahead but with "essential staff and limited family attendance" whatever that means. For basketball, I can understand as the majority of fans are NOT family members but I would imagine that the majority of at least D3 swim champs ARE family. So does that mean we all can go? Hope to get clarification tomorrow. As for individual team decisions, I could see numerous teams pull out in addition to MIT, especially if they are from hot spots (NYU, Chicago, Tufts, etc). Not sure if the NCAA would expand the alternate list or just have fewer swimmers. This will definitely be one that will make the Thanksgiving dinner conversations for decades to come.

barbotus
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:22 pm
Team Affiliation: Denison

Re: 2020 NCAA and Coronavirus

Post by barbotus » Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:35 pm

riverotter wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:10 am
NCAA announced today that all future championships, including Div 1 and 3 swimming, and Basketball, will, for the time being, go ahead but with "essential staff and limited family attendance" whatever that means. For basketball, I can understand as the majority of fans are NOT family members but I would imagine that the majority of at least D3 swim champs ARE family. So does that mean we all can go? Hope to get clarification tomorrow. As for individual team decisions, I could see numerous teams pull out in addition to MIT, especially if they are from hot spots (NYU, Chicago, Tufts, etc). Not sure if the NCAA would expand the alternate list or just have fewer swimmers. This will definitely be one that will make the Thanksgiving dinner conversations for decades to come.
I agree that this model works much better for D1 hoops than for swimming (or even D3 hoops). With 4 teams at a pod you're looking at 60-80 players + coaches/staff. So stretching that out you have 150 players/coaches/admins etc. If each of those got 4 "family" tickets you're looking at 600 fans in a 10,000+ seat arena.

With D3 swim nationals you have ~600 athletes. I don't know the spectator capacity of the GAC (I can't find on their website, but it must be there somewhere) but I imagine that 2-4 tickets per athlete alone would pack the place. Perhaps the powers that be figured that out and this may be why DII Nationals at Spire is restricting attendance to athlete/coach/official.

Post Reply