In the Bubble

The NBA season restarted back in July. Throughout the remainder of the basketball season the players, coaches, and support personnel stayed in a quarantine “bubble." The intent was to allow teams to play this close contact sport without spreading the virulent virus.

As I was watching the NBA finals and the Lakers get yet another championship title, it occurred to me that I never heard of anyone; players, coaches, or support staff getting COVID-19 during the remainder of the season. The concept of keeping the team in a tight bubble was amazingly successful. This is unlike other sports this year. MLB baseball had multiple games postponed. Most recently college football is facing this same dilemma with many players testing positive.

Living in a bubble

I have been essentially been living in a bubble myself since the 1st week in March since this whole COVID-19 stuff began. Generally, I only venture outside of it when absolutely necessary.

I was diagnosed with both breast cancer and a rather rare blood cancer called polycythemia vera (PV) in 2016.  Since then, between the breast cancer chemo and the medication I take for the PV, my immune system isn’t what it used to be. Prior to my diagnosis, I never got sick. Not even a pesky cold. Flu season came and went every year, without touching me, even though around me others became ill.

Now I frequently get sick, especially with upper respiratory infections. I’m sure it was partly due to working at my office with a hundred plus people and three boys that brought an array of viruses home from school and work.

Too many unknowns

When the COVID stuff began, I immediately went into a self-quarantine mode. There are still too many unknowns with COVID-19. It also seems random on who it will have significant or deadly implications.

Cytokine storm is a phrase that has been thrown around this year to describe COVID response in some people. It is also an inflammatory reaction in PV patients that may contribute to the initiation and progression of this cancer.

So I started teleworking, thankful that my job allowed it. I rarely leave the house. This put me, along with my family in a metaphoric bubble.

Cinematic bubbles

When I think of being in a bubble, the first things that pops in are two movies. The first, The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, a 1976 movie starring, my heartthrob at the time, John Travolta. It was about a boy with an immune system malfunction that literally lived in a bubble. If he was outside the house, he wore what resembled a spacesuit.

At the far end of the spectrum, another movie that comes to mind is the comedy Bio-Dome. This cinematic marvel (obviously I’m joking here) starred Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin who are accidentally locked in a biodome for a year. During their time in this bubble, they raise all sorts of havoc on this environmental experiment.

For now, I plan to continue to stay in my little bubble until things change. I'm glad the NBA bubble was successful and the teams were able to complete their season. This gave me a much-needed distraction from all the craziness around us.

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