It’s the last week of the 2022 European Men’s Handball Championship, held this year in Slovakia and Hungary, and the players just can’t stop testing positive for Corona. Iceland, where handball attracts enormous interest, had eleven players sidelined after positive tests last week. Their star goalie, Björgvin Páll Gústavsson, emerged from isolation to play against Croatia yesterday, only to test positive again this morning. It’s back to quarantine for him, as he waits for a PCR confirmation. Nobody is actually too sick to play, but the alternative – spreading Omicron to a bunch of other athletes who will get it one way or another anyway – is unthinkable.
Mass containment is a set of policies that require people to act crazy all the time. Omicron is everywhere; locking up a few athletes isn’t going to slow it down. To that comes the fact that these handball players are all totally healthy; their risk of severe outcome is so low, it’s essentially unquantifiable. And on top of it all, all these precautions plainly do nothing. Everyone is testing positive anyway.
Somehow, it’s always the people at least risk who have to put up with the most Corona nonsense. Kids have spent almost two years alternating between prolonged social isolation and antiseptic prisons once known as schools. Professional athletes are probably the most heavily tested demographic in the world. The lower-risk working-age population bears the brunt of the vaccine mandates, capacity limits, and hygiene rules. Meanwhile, if you’re a sedentary retiree and you don’t care about going to the pub, your life has hardly changed since all this started.