Update March 12th, 4:45pm EDT: The Big Ten Conference and Purdue University have announced that all sporting events through the end of the 2019-20 season have been canceled:
A statement from the Big Ten Conference. pic.twitter.com/GQD651xsQK— Purdue Athletics (@PurdueSports) March 12, 2020
From the rest of the press release:
The Big Ten Conference will use this time to work with the appropriate medical experts and institutional leadership to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The main priority of the Big Ten Conference continues to be the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fans and media as we continue to monitor all developing and relevant information on the COVID-19 virus.
Original story from March 11th:
It comes as no surprise given the rapidly changing news this week (let alone just today), but Purdue has announced that all athletic events will be closed to the general public until further notice:
In accordance with Big Ten and NCAA recommendations, all Purdue-related athletic activities will be closed to the general public until further notice.— Purdue Athletics (@PurdueSports) March 12, 2020
The continued outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has become severe, and athletic officials are taking measures necessary to slow the spread. Today alone, we have seen the following announcements:
- The NCAA tournament will proceed with only players and family in attendance
- Starting tomorrow, the Big Ten Tournament will no longer allow the general public to attend (and tonight, Nebraska head coach, Fred Hoiberg showing signs of illness on the bench).
- The rest of the NBA season will be suspended
- Tom Hanks and his wife test positive for COVID-19 (I know, not sports related, but come on, seriously?!)
Purdue is taking the right measures to help slow the progression of COVID-19. I know many will be upset, but at this time and with the information we currently have on this rapidly evolving pandemic, it is the right thing to do.
As the parent company for SB Nation, Vox Media, has discussed, cancelling events won’t lead to preventing the illness from spreading to everyone, but it can help slow its spread in the now popular “Flatten the Curve” graphic:
NBA season suspended.— Vox (@voxdotcom) March 12, 2020
This one chart shows why so many large group gatherings are being canceled right now.
Learn more about the importance of social distancing and how to #flattenthecurve. https://t.co/VAAqMFplSW pic.twitter.com/W6TuRjuFat
Flattening the curve means that all the social distancing measures now being deployed in places like Italy and South Korea, and on a smaller scale in places like Seattle and Santa Clara County, California, aren’t so much about preventing illness but rather slowing down the rate at which people get sick.
“If more of us do that, we will slow the spread of the disease,” Emily Landon, an infectious disease specialist and hospital epidemiologist at the University of Chicago Medicine, told Vox. “That means my mom and your mom will have a hospital bed if they need it.”