Life has begun within the NBA quarantine bubble in Orlando, Florida. Photos of meals, workouts, and even birthday parties have flooded an internet environment eager for the return of basketball, curious about the preparations leading up to it. NBA players are not the only inhabitants of the restart zone; media members are also experiencing the rigors of isolation. Among them are Washington Post writer, and former Blazer’s Edge staffer, Ben Golliver, who updated the world this week on his early experiences in the quarantined campus.
The odd sensation of being around other people, but not connected to them, comes out clearly in Golliver’s opening paragraphs.
Guests are forbidden. I can hear a few of my fellow media members through the walls, faintly, and hotel staffers walk by every few hours. The more time I spend in this room, the more I ponder Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” in which the main character, confined to a nursery, slips into delusion and imagines herself trapped within the dingy wallpaper. My room’s walls are white and mostly bare, but my bed’s headboard makes me grimace. Yellow.
Food has been a huge topic of discussion during the first days of isolation. Meals are supplied by the Disney campus facilities, with individuals free to augment with deliveries.
Each delivered meal is stocked with packaged items to reduce virus spread, leading to a pile of unopened junk food. By Tuesday, I had ordered 64 ounces of peanut butter online to fill in the gaps. I miss the Pacific Ocean breeze as I trek back and forth across my room, eight paces at a time, to satisfy my smartwatch’s demand for 12,000 steps. These minuscule sacrifices will be long forgotten once LeBron James and Zion Williamson take the court.
Though everyone involved is no doubt looking forward to the start of actual games on July 30th, the process is not without qualms.
I’m thrilled to see the enormous flood of interest in the NBA’s return, but empathize with conscientious objectors who believe basketball should remain on hiatus. There’s no way around it: Recouping television revenue will increase risk for players. Someone could die, and careers could be altered by the virus’s unknown long-term effects. I think about that every day.
Golliver describes much more in the article [subscription required]. As always, he’s worth the read.