The Indian Wells tennis tournament was suddenly canceled because of coronavirus

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Two weeks ago, I was panicking about the coronavirus. Now I’m just…not? There’s nothing we can do. There aren’t enough tests to go around, and Trump’s CDC doesn’t even want to test people when there are tests available. People are panicking and buying up beans and toilet paper at every grocery store. There are ‘rona cases in nearly every state, although I don’t know how they know that because again, there aren’t enough tests. Donald Trump has utterly mishandled this surging pandemic, and he’s also mishandled the fundamental duty of our leaders to handle a panic/crisis. My not-so-medical advice is just to treat the ‘rona like a bad flu season and take care of yourself and your family the best you can. Get lots of sleep, hydrate, eat food with lots of garlic and ginger.

But of course, that’s not enough. People are still panicking, and for good reason. I guess I didn’t realize how bad it’s going to get this year with canceled public events, but here we are. The BNP Paribas Open, aka the Indian Wells tennis tournament, suddenly canceled last night. Qualifying rounds were due to start TODAY. The main draw matches were due to start on Wednesday. Most tennis players were already on-site in and around Palm Springs, California. Indian Wells is the second biggest American tennis tournament (after the US Open) and it’s often called “the fifth slam” for its size and importance. And it’s just… canceled.

The BNP Paribas Open in Southern California, one of the world’s leading tennis tournaments, will not be held this month because of the spreading coronavirus, making it one of the highest-profile sporting events canceled in the outbreak.

Organizers of the event, in the Riverside County community of Indian Wells, made the decision on the eve of its start on Monday after county officials declared a public health emergency when a case was confirmed in the area.

The tournament had previously announced Thursday that it would take various precautions in light of the virus, including having ball kids wear gloves and telling players not to handle pens or other items to autograph.

The decision came quickly and as a surprise to players, many of whom already were in Indian Wells preparing for the event. Many found out through social media on Sunday evening when the tournament announced the decision. The tournament has never been canceled before.

[From The NY Times]

This is… something. There was a conversation about whether or not the Monte Carlo and Rome tournaments would be cancelled, but they’re a few months away and no one knows what the ‘rona outbreak will look like then. I mean… I guess it’s a good call? Better safe than sorry?

As for other sporting events… the tennis tournament in Miami is still scheduled for two weeks from now. March Madness is still scheduled, although it’s possible that the college basketball games could happen without any fans. LeBron James said that if the NBA bans fans from attending games, he won’t play. AND IT IS AN OLYMPIC YEAR. I cannot stress this enough: if the ‘rona is still happening in two months’ time, almost everything – including the Olympics – will be canceled.

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26 Responses to “The Indian Wells tennis tournament was suddenly canceled because of coronavirus”

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  1. Oatmeal says:

    I was shocked when I heard

    Especially since Monterrey just wrapped and went off without a hitch

  2. Scal says:

    A big part of it is that Donny boy and Pence want to keep the numbers down so they don’t tank the economy. That’s what they care about and they think that if there are more confirmed cases that will have a bigger impact on the stock market-and that’s a big part of trumps electability. Trump even said it himself with keeping those people on the ship in CA even though experts have said its a terrible idea based on what happened in Japan. He doesn’t want the cases in the US to double for something that ‘isn’t his fault’

    Also with low confirmed numbers the GOP can pretend that dems are making it a political issue and have been calling it a hoax. Like they can talking point it out of existence.

    • SM says:

      This is what I do not understand even from the most vile, pragmatic point of view. If you think that the epidemic will prevent you from getting votes why not try and make an effort to contain it? Because by the time November rolls around this shit will blow up beyond one’s PR control efforts, when people will get sick or die en mass. It’s not going to go away just by turning one’s eyes away. And without firm action it will blow up in orange delusional face. I mean Donnie probably got a page from a dictator’s play book of forging the statistics, ignoring problems and bending facts but he probably doesn’t know that none of these leaders have operate in a political system where elections exist and they will roll around in no time.

      • Lucy2 says:

        When you’ve never had to “make an effort“ in your entire life, you don’t know how to do it. Or anything really, given how he manages to out-stupid himself on every topic.
        He doesn’t know what to do because he’s deeply stupid. He’s also stubborn and narcissistic and won’t listen to experts, and has surrounded himself with people like him rather than qualified, intelligent, competent people.
        Since 2016 I’ve heard people wondering what would happen in a real crisis, and now we’re seeing it.

      • Lucy2 says:

        When you’ve never had to “make an effort“ in your entire life, you don’t know how to do it. Or anything really, given how he manages to out-stupid himself on every topic.
        He doesn’t know what to do because he’s deeply stupid. He’s also stubborn and narcissistic and won’t listen to experts, and has surrounded himself with people like him rather than qualified, intelligent, competent people.
        Since 2016 I’ve heard people wondering what would happen in a real crisis, and now we’re seeing it.

    • Jamie says:

      And yet the stock market is crashing anyway. Because Donny and his Dumb Dumbs don’t know anything.

    • Scal says:

      Because he doesn’t know how to lead. It’s all about ego and whose ‘fault’ it is. He also thinks he’s BRILLIANT in every subject and thinks experts don’t get it. We can make this a us/them issue and Fox news it away just like everything else. It’

      When you play the victim constantly and the media/scientists/libs are all out to get you-why else wouldn’t you try to make a virus a political issue vs. a public health one? Why else would you wear a MAGA hat to visit the CDC? *eye roll* I feel bad, but also have a bit of schadenfreude that all these folks are freaking out now that someone tested positive from the CPAC conference. VIRUSES DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR POLITICS.

  3. Starkille says:

    This is absolutely absurd and hysterical. There is ONE confirmed case in Riverside county. There’s no reason they couldn’t have just held it without spectators as many other sporting events are doing or planning to do including the first F1 race later this month. I follow a lot of tennis players on Instagram and most of them are PISSED.

    • 10KTurtle says:

      One confirmed case, but how many infected now that we’ve reached the stage of community spread without enough test kits available? That’s impossible to know.

    • Sof says:

      The thing is, most players are constantly travelling all around the world. Even without spectators, players, their teams and family members could be the ones bringing the virus with them. It sucks that they were already there, these things should be cancelled with more advance.

    • Arpeggi says:

      The thing is, good health is the only way these athletes can remain on the circuit. A bad respiratory infection could mean that their season is over, if they have it really bad, it could end their career. So I don’t find it absolutely ridiculous to reduce their risks of getting sick, it’s actually wise, but it should have been called a little bit more in advance.

  4. Erinn says:

    The US response to the virus has been such a complete joke thanks to this administration. South Korea is handling something like 10000 tests per DAY.

    Canada – and we have a population basically the size of California – had tested over 3000 by early march. The US hadn’t even hit 500. But it enrages me that OUR ability to contain the virus relies on the US being able to handle things properly because you’re our neighbors.

    Then you have all the people stock piling stuff – my husband is a plumber. We can’t find hand sanitizer ANYWHERE for him to use when he doesn’t have access to running water to really soap up. So that’s fantastic. Apparently there was NO TP in a neighboring community this weekend. And keep in mind – 0 cases of covid-19 in Nova Scotia, so this is absolutely just people freaking out unnecessarily early and buying all the BS on Facebook that they see posted. I had an inlaw post some conspiracy bullshit meme about Clorox wipes ‘predicting’ covid-19 because it includes ‘human caronavirus’ on the back label. I had to break it to them that carona has been around since the 60’s and whoever made the stupid meme was just looking for their 15 minutes.

    I suspect there are going to be A LOT of events canceled that people are looking forward to.

    • emme says:

      The Facebook posts on COVID-19 that I’ve seen my older relatives post are downright embarrassing. So much misinformation resulting in panic. I’ve travelling soon and cannot find any hand sanitizer or wipes anywhere.

      • Ali says:

        What are people doing in their homes with all the hand wipes?!?

        I always wipe down our plane seats because my kids will always pick up a stomach bug if I don’t but I don’t keep a year’s supply stocked up. If I had to travel with my kids right now I’d be so pissed at the lack of hand wipes.

    • Ms single malt says:

      Easy to make your own hand sanitizer if you are desperate.

      • Erinn says:

        I think that’s what we’re going to do, at this point – or he’s going to just have to carry around a big water jug for hand washing and just take regular soap with him.

      • EMc says:

        I work at a Walmart pharmacy, we’ve been sold out of hand sanitizer and the supplies to make it yourself, for weeks. Yesterday they stocked alcohol wipes for diabetic testing supplies, to sanitize before the finger stick? Some woman who was talking on her cell phone was like “Oh my gosh they have a ton! $1!” And bought all 15 boxes. So ridiculous.

    • LadyMTL says:

      My sister in law’s older brother is an infectious diseases MD and we were chatting this past weekend about this, and he said that this virus is in the same family as SARS but so far way less lethal. SARS was something like 10%, this virus is around 2-3%. Covid19 appears to spread faster, and since it’s new (i.e. novel) they aren’t sure how many people it’ll infect before it all calms down, how to best stop it from spreading, and etc.

      Most people who catch it will recover just fine, but unfortunately the elderly and / or those who have underlying health issues are at a higher risk. So if you have a billion people who get sick and 2% die, that’s a big number…I think that’s why people are freaking out. Personally, I wish people wouldn’t stockpile because they’re not helping the problem, but there’s always a small percentage of the population that will panic.

      • Erinn says:

        Yeah, that’s what I’ve heard as well. Less deadly than SARS, still definitely not a good situation. But the majority will be okay, and the rest need to be extra cautious. The stockpiling is just wild. People are being so inconsiderate of others here – it’d be one thing if we had an outbreak, but we literally don’t have a single case recorded.

      • Arpeggi says:

        Yeah, if it were anything close to the MERS mortality rate (20%), I’d worry but it’s not the case. And it makes sense: viruses that kill too well don’t spread far (see ebola for instance), those that make the majority only sick will have a greater reach. There’s absolutely no need to panic, staying cautious matters but panicking won’t help. Neither is stockpiling months-worth of toilet paper (where are people storing that?!?!)

  5. 10KTurtle says:

    If we ever get the capability to test people [i.e. if Donald ever allows it], the numbers are going to skyrocket. It’s already there, we just don’t have the confirmations. But don’t worry, a Republican Senator is only quarantining himself because Coronavirus is a Liberal hoax… meanwhile my state rep is goofing off in gas masks while his constituents die of hoax pox.

    • Elisa says:

      This is spot on, and not only for the US.
      A very good friend of mine has a confirmed corona case at it work place. He and his wife are now also got sick with typcial corona symtoms (fever, coughing, problem with the respiratory system), but their doctor saw no reason to have them tested. So IMO the actual nr is way higher than the confirmed cases.

  6. Ali says:

    There is a report that the Gates foundation is working on at home testing kits plus a tracking system for here in Seattle.

    The lack of availability of tests is absurd. You can’t contain what you don’t see.

  7. Bb fan says:

    Even if we had enough test kits, I doubt I would have the opportunity to be tested anyway. Appointments to see my primary care are usually 3 weeks out. and visits to urgent care/ER would go towards my huge deductible, so that ain’t happening either. Ugh.

  8. Amelie says:

    Well it’s probably for the best? If there is an outbreak of the virus at a major sporting event, then the organizers will be blamed for not canceling it. You get criticized either way for inaction or action. I realize it’s mostly elderly people dying but nobody wants to take chances. Also there are plenty of young people who are immunocompromised so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

    I live close to Westchester County just over the border in Connecticut where the majority of cases in New York State are concentrated and I’m not surprised due to our proximity to JFK, Newark, and Laguardia airports. It was always going to show up here at some point. There have been a lot of school closings in the area or places closing temporarily to disinfect the facility when evidence has come to light a person with coronavirus frequented the facility. The virus was always going to be clustered on the East and West Coast as that is where most of the major airports are clustered. It’s the same here, no hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes to be found anywhere so I’m washing my hands as much as possible. My dad has been asked to work from home for the next 2 weeks. Nobody in his office has presented symptoms but they are alternating two teams in and out of the office for the next month. So for the next 2 weeks he’s working from home while one team is in the office and then they’ll alternate in 2 weeks.

  9. Elisa says:

    aaaw, so good to see Domi Thiem.

    I think this is just the beginning: in Italy the big major league soccer games are already taking place without any audience, so I’m pretty sure most of the bigger upcoming sports events will be cancelled.