What Israel Can Tell You About the NFL’s Covid Madness

Covid madness is a disease that takes over the rational parts of our brains and turns us into irrational reactionaries. It is how you get an entire country turning back the clocks about 240 years and swerving into its roots as a penal colony. Covid Madness is also how you get private businesses–from restaurants to airlines–mandating masks (any mask) despite the most popular cloth masks bringing a stellar 10% effective rate. In short, Covid madness precludes otherwise rational people from accepting the fact many of their Covid policies are a-scientific and–at best–only marginally effective. Unfortunately, the NFL’s Covid madness has the potential to be catastrophic, causing a “Covid outbreak” right in time for the playoffs. There is good news though. If the NFL wants to avoid a Covid induced debacle, it can look to that football haven of… Israel for guidance.

When news that a Covid vaccine would soon become available, then Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, gladly made a deal with Pfizer to turn Israeli citizens into guinea pigs. Many Israeli citizens were happy with this agreement and continue to be happy with this agreement. It makes sense given the psyche of Israelis; if Covid was going to kill untold numbers of Israelis, then Israelis would all gather together for the betterment of one another. This is a country where the death of every single soldier is treated as a tragedy and where large swaths of the country stand vigil when one is in life-threatening condition.

The downside of this though is that Israelis can get a little irrational when it comes to the death of Israelis. So, when Covid came calling, Israelis decided to do everything in their power to try to ward off the virus: Lockdowns? Definitely. Masks mandates? Yup. Prime Minister directed shunning of fellow citizens? That too. All of these guidelines are for the sake of supposedly keeping everyone healthy. There is just one problem; it’s not working. At all. And it appears that instead of simply not working, it may have caused more issues and lengthening their Covid cycle. But instead of course-correcting and rectifying their mistakes, Israelis are planning on swerving into the skid. That is Covid Madness.

But That is Israel’s Covid Madness, What Does That Have to Do With the NFL’s Covid Madness?

But what does an American sports league have to do with a tiny country situated between Africa and Asia? Simple; Israel is the perfect case study to determine not just if you are stricken with Covid madness, but how it will manifest. Catastrophically, the NFL’s Covid madness appears as if it will rear its head come playoff time. Have you made the connection yet? No? Here is the problem; the NFL isn’t forcing players to get vaccines, but they are making players who don’t into pariahs. Therefore, 93% of players are now vaccinated.

That’s great, right? If you listened to mainstream news, you would think now that since almost all the NFL players are vaccinated, the NFL won’t have to worry about Covid outbreaks. Yeah, about that…

Turns out getting vaccinated does not help too much with stopping transmission. But that should be fine, if an NFL player is vaccinated, he should not have to worry about infection, hospitalization, or death… right? Again, Israel says, “hold your horses.” Now, an NFL player–vaccinated or otherwise–should not worry about Covid. The statistics behind Covid deaths for 18-39 year-olds in the United States make this abundantly clear. However, the NFL’s Covid policy reveals the NFL’s Covid Madness:

Unvaccinated players who test positive must enter a 10-day quarantine and must sit out five days if they are considered to be a close contact… But vaccinated players who test positive must miss two days and test negative twice, 24-hours apart, before they can return… If vaccinated players or coaches don’t reach that threshold, they are forced to isolate for 10 days. 

Life Is All About Timing… So is Football

Beyond that, the NFL Player’s Association is also catching the NFL’S Covid Madness and asking for even more stringent guidelines. The good news is the Covid vaccines are quite robust… for a time. That is the problem. “For a time.” Once that time runs out, things start to get hairy. We are seeing it in Israel. After no more than six months from the second dose, the vaccinated become more susceptible to infection. The hospitalization and death numbers are also bad, but nobody in their right mind should worry about that for NFL players given their age and fitness level. And yes, although every lineman would be considered obese, fitness level/activity is a major contributor to warding off Covid.

But the NFL only cares about infection. And since the NFL and the NFL Player’s Union insist on more testing, more NFL players will test positive for Covid. But when will they test positive for Covid? That is the real question. The answer? Right in time for the start of the NFL playoffs.

The data out of Israel tells a simple story; vaccinated people are catching Covid about 4-6 months after their second dose. By early July, 68% of NFL players had received a single dose. Now, the vaccination number among NFL players sits at 93%. Utilizing simple logic, this means a significant proportion of NFL players got fully vaccinated sometime between May to August, with the majority getting both doses sometime between July and August.

Taking into account all those vaccination numbers, the timing, and the data out of Israel, the NFL should easily deduce they will have a Covid outbreak starting about November, with the worst coming right about the end of December and lasting throughout the month of January. Most NFL fans know this time of the calendar by a different term; the playoffs.

The NFL’s History Battling Science is a Bad Harbinger for the Season

The NFL’s Covid Madness is easy to grasp; they are a company that wants to protect itself from liability. You could even look at it from the Israeli perspective and come to a nobler conclusion; the NFL simply wants to protect its players. Maybe the NFL’s heart truly is in the right place. What a lovely thought (even if all experience with the NFL front office belies this perspective). But even if the NFL is like Israel, and its heart is in the right place, its head is not. The NFL’s Covid Madness is generating a probable tragedy on the horizon. However, the NFL cannot see this looming calamity because they are blinded by the sparkling rays of the Covid vaccine.

But anybody who has paid attention to the NFL over the years knows the NFL’s grasp on science is limp-wrested at best. This is the same organization that couldn’t comprehend air pressure decreases when it gets colder outside (I will wait while all of New England shouts “PV=(nRT)!!!”). This is the same organization that either did not grasp or intentionally misled its players that yes, ramming your head over and over again into other muscled human beings is bad for your brain.

However, the NFL always wants to protect its product. If they want to protect their product–and avoid a fiasco come playoff time–they need to take a look at Israel and update their Covid policy. If they do that, they can save their season. Or, they can ignore all the data and hope their almost fully vaccinated league does not turn out like the world’s most vaccinated country. The lesson is there to be learned. All the NFL has to do is read what is already on the chalkboard and apply it.

If you are a fan of the NFL and are praying for an NFL season and NFL playoffs free from Covid absences, you should be rooting for the NFL to change its policies. But this is probably all for naught. The NFL will more than likely not update its policy. So now NFL fans can prepare for two inevitabilities this season: (1) there will be a large Covid outbreak right about playoff time and (2) Tom Brady will lift the Lombardi Trophy. If you are an NFL fan, I’m not sure which is worse.