We are all aware of the COVID-19 pandemic. World health organizations are asking all of us to do our part to “help flatten the curve” and reduce the spread of the disease as much as possible.
With all that in mind, what about playing pickleball outdoors during the next 4 to 8 weeks of the crisis? While playing pickleball we breath hard, sweat, wipe the sweat from our faces, and, while not in direct physical contact with one another, we can be close enough (within 6 feet) to exchange respiratory droplets – the primary means of spreading the infection. Second, research has shown that the virus lasts longest onplasticand stainless steel. Finally, an infected individual may not feel any symptoms at all, or none until several days AFTER they are contagious. Thus, playing pickleball, especially handling the plastic ball, does have its risks, even when playing outside with individuals who say they feel fine.
Here is what the expert sources have to say for your consideration:
“As USAPA continues to monitor the national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic, effective immediately USAPA is suspending USAPA sanctioning of existing pickleball tournaments through April 15, 2020. The health and safety of all is our foremost concern….
We encourage everyone to err on the side of caution and cancel or postpone their tournaments and events for at least the next 30 days.”
“It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.” – Center for Disease Control
“A recent study found that the COVID-19 coronavirus can survive up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, andup to two to three days on plasticand stainless steel. The researchers also found that this virus can hang out as droplets in the air for up to three hours before they fall. But most often they will fall more quickly.” – Harvard Medical School
The choice is yours. Read, reflect and decide.