Article originally posted by Garrett Krohne on The Nashville News.
Dr. Rand McClain spoke with the Nashville News about the return of sports. McClain shares that while he sees a light at the end of the tunnel, he’s still cautious. “Right now it’s a day to day thing,” Dr. McClain said in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sports During A Pandemic
When asked about sports coming back, “it depends on how far they want to go.” Dr. McClain explained. “As far as getting athletes back on the field, we could probably do it tomorrow.”
Then why haven’t athletes returned to the field?
“From what I understand, it’s a pretty high price,” Dr. McClain said. He also noted the tests could cost between $250 per person. That includes not only players, but coaches as well as stadium and support staff. These tests would include both viral and antibody. The first to test if a person currently has the virus and the second to see if they have had it in the past.
Dr. McClain explained if an individual tested positive following the antibody test, they should be “good to go,” for roughly a year, but the hope is to have a vaccine by then. All of this would only be feasible with no fans involved.
Dr. McClain suspects there could be plans for the MLB to return as soon as the middle of June. “I think they should give players six weeks to get ramped up, but I don’t think their main focus is on players being ready as much as other concerns,” Dr. McClain said. Other low contact sports like gold and tennis would be likely to return as well.
What about higher contact sports, like basketball? “Two weeks ago I would’ve told you no way, there was a lot more fear, now I think there’s a good possibility. With it being a contact sport, the risk of transmission is much higher,” Dr.McClain said. He’s also optimistic about the NFL starting as scheduled in September.
Helping the Athlete
During the pandemic, Dr. McClain has kept in touch with his clients by phone. His clients come from all different sports—baseball, basketball, football, hockey, tennis, golf, UFC fighters, rollers, fencers, and boxers. He answers questions about their COVID-19 concerns, general safety, and keeping active. “Early on I was getting calls more often, but now that the athletes have a better idea of what to do it’s more like a few times a week,” Dr. McClain said. “Some of them have their own facilities at home, others do not. I tell them different things they could do or order stuff on Amazon, and they can have it there in a couple days. We’ve become spoiled when it comes to the availability of equipment. Guys are having to get creative. ”
Dr. McClain said the most basic question is “Doc, what can I do to stay in shape and to stay safe?”
While his office remains open, patients are instructed to call before making an appearance. His office is doing about thirty tests per day. When the disease first reared its ugly head, Dr. McClain did not think it would go to these extremities.
“Not initially, but it’s important for people to pull together. I think we will come out of this sooner than later” explained Dr. McClain.