One year after the bubble, the NBA’s COVID-19 response is helping the world understand the pandemic

Sports September 2, 2021 Sports
One year after the bubble, the NBA’s COVID-19 response is helping the world understand the pandemic

From The Undefeated by C. Brandon Ogbunu

A new study of COVID-19 transmission using data from the NBA shows that the league’s grand “experiment” in epidemiology that allowed it to successfully complete two seasons is now providing important medical insights for the rest of the world.

Because the NBA’s population is overwhelmingly healthy and young, it provided a great study group – close to an “all things being equal” approach, in which scientists could focus on the differences between virus variants rather than having to account for a wide variety of preexisting health conditions (as in a study of the general population). And as schools reopen and the delta variant spreads, the research based on NBA players provided a great way to get a clear read on several current questions surrounding the transmission of the virus.

Photo by Ethan Miller / Getty Images

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