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Practically no COVID-19 illnesses among professional athletes

In another example of data that shows the coronavirus is essentially harmless to the young and healthy, there have been practically no deaths or even serious illnesses among professional athletes, even though these athletes have been aggressively tested for COVID-19, resulting in a lot of positive tests.

Despite hundreds of thousands of tests, vanishingly few serious cases have been reported among professional athletes. Most players testing positive had apparently few or no symptoms.

…What’s clear from the statistics that are made available, though, is that the infection rate for those athletes involved in return to play is vanishingly small, and that they may have been more protected by resuming work with their teams, especially as societies gradually reopened. The Premier League, for instance, ran some 20,500 tests in its 14 rounds between the middle of May and mid-July. According to the league’s own website, only 20 players tested positive, a rate of just 0.1 percent, or about one in 1,000 tests—lower than most estimates for the virus’s spread throughout the general population.

In the rare cases where more detailed reporting is available, it’s notable that even among the small number of positive cases, few players developed symptoms. Though news of the first ten German players to test positive prompted speculation that the league would call off the restart, none of those ten displayed symptoms. Shortly before the European women’s Champions League was to resume in mid-August, officials announced five positive tests among players at Spain’s Athletico Madrid, but subsequent reporting showed that all five were asymptomatic. When 16 NBA players tested positive in late June heading to the league’s “bubble” in Orlando, league commissioner Adam Silver noted all were either asymptomatic or displayed mild symptoms.

We have become insanely afraid of a relatively normal respiratory virus, that poses no threat to the general population at all, and requires no extreme measures. If anything, the best thing we could do is go about our lives normally, allowing the virus’s harmless spread through that general population to eventually kill it off.

This common sense approach, which the human race has followed throughout history, is no longer acceptable. Instead, we must do stupid things, such as this: Soccer team loses 37-0 in socially distanced match:

A German football team lost 37-0 to their local rivals after fielding only seven players who socially distanced throughout the match. Ripdorf fielded the minimum number of players on Sunday because their opponents SV Holdenstedt II came into contact in a previous game with someone who tested positive for Covid-19. Their team tested negative but Ripdorf said the conditions were not safe. If Ripdorf had not played, they would have faced a €200 (£182) fine.

During the game Ripdorf players were ordered to never get closer than six feet to anyone. Holdenstedt took full advantage, scoring every time they got the ball. As the Holdenstedt coach said quite logically, “There was no reason not to play this game.”

Logic and ordinary courage however no longer applies in the dark age that has now arrived. Instead, we must fear everything. like stone age savages huddled in their caves at the sound of thunder.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • LocalFluff

    I think that the few athletes who have died by Covid-19 (a couple of cases have been given attention) got mycarditis, i.e. that the virus infected their heart muscle. This can happen with multiple common cold virus if one gets a high pulse. The blood flows through the lungs to get oxygen and eventually through the heart. Some virus from the lung can infect also that muscle. That can stop the heart immediately if one exercises further. I got it myself when I was 19 years old and was forced to stay in bed in a hospital for three weeks, after having experienced chest pains.

    Being winded and having high pulse can overwhelm the immune system for the moment. In Sweden in the 1990s a number of athlete “orienters” (the sport of running around one and one between check points in the forest, I think it is a sport of military tradition lesser known outside of northern Europe, not much fun for the audience) died from this because it for a while was transmitted by voles in the forests, and contaminated via the soles of the shoes. I think it happens athletes regularly or episodically all the time in a very minute scale.

    So don’t exercise when having symptoms of a cold! An advice hard to obey for an athlete making a promising career.

  • Edward

    I suspect that the lack of positive tests in professional sports is because the testing companies came to realize that the sports industry gets upset with false positives. A month or so ago, one team came back with all positive or almost all positive results, and all heck broke loose. False positives in schools and other places don’t get that same feedback to the testing companies but are accepted as reasons to recluse the school or whatever place.

    We may be seeing the most truth coming from the sports world, where testing is concerned.

  • pzatchok

    The same with US highschool football.

    Thousands of fans and thousands of players over the last three weeks and no large outbreaks.

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