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Old 03-20-2020, 12:57 PM
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https://parkeddiscgolf.org/2020/03/2...e-coronavirus/

Can Disc Golf Baskets Spread the Coronavirus?

Recent steps by the PDGA have put a hold on competitive, sanctioned disc golf at all levels in response to the human coronavirus outbreak.

Yet, most rounds are played during non-sanctioned events, practice rounds or casual outings. With the closing of many aspects of life over the last weeks, thousands of disc golfers are now trying to figure out how or whether to keep playing.

Release Point writers Alex Williamson and Steve Vrooman recently wrote about the precautions disc golfers should take if they decide to keep throwing. You can read them here. In the end, they offered a lukewarm endorsement of continued play: “it seems like playing a round solo or with cohabitants at a course that is not seeing high traffic levels would be both relatively safe and ethical.”

As a disc golfer, I generally share their views. And, as a disc golfer, I decided, for better or worse, to play at my local course on three of the last five days.

But, as a scientist, I think that continued participation, even solo rounds, is probably a mistake. One thing that Williamson and Vrooman did not cover in their article is the new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that examines the ability of the coronavirus to linger on plastic and metal surfaces. Read it here.

In a laboratory, the researchers attempted to mimic the way the virus might be deposited by an infected person onto everyday surfaces in a household, such as through coughing or touching objects. The scientists then examined how long the virus remained infectious on various surfaces. They found that it can survive up to 72 hours on plastic and steel; it lives longer on these surfaces than on copper and cardboard. The amount of viable virus decreases sharply over the three-day period.

During my last solo round, I stared down a twenty-foot putt and began to wonder: if I’m sick, how might I infect a basket? I could cough near it. Sneeze in its general vicinity. Laugh heartily nearby. Or simply exhale as I retrieve my disc from the chains.

And how might I plant the virus on my disc? I pondered. All the above were possible and more. I could wipe sweat from my eye, lick my finger to give my putting grip a bit more stick, stroke my beard, apply Chapstick, eat a granola bar, or wipe my mouth after drinking water and then hold the disc in my hand.

Once this paranoid speculation was underway, the next part came easy: Is it possible for the virus to not only move from someone’s hand to a disc, but also from a disc to the basket, and then from the basket to another person’s disc, and finally, from that person’s disc to his or her mouth, nose or eye?

Humans are really good at imagining worst case scenarios like this one. And this kind of slippery slope thinking has resulted in a lot of bad decisions, not to mention public policy disasters. A decade of studying fear has led me to believe that more harm often comes from people’s reactions to dangers than the dangers themselves.

With a mix of both skepticism and trepidation, I reached out to an expert and asked about the possibility of a disc golf basket functioning as a delivery system for coronavirus. Dr. Sally Hodder, Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at West Virginia University, neither confirmed my fears nor fully supported my skepticism.

She said, “Part of the problem with the new coronavirus is that it is new and there is much we just do not know.” She noted that “the most efficient transport of virus is via respiratory aerosols from infected persons who may be asymptomatic.”

Dr. Hodder also noted the importance of the findings in the study discussed above. “Noteworthy in the summary is the statement that the virus can be detected up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel.”

So, did I throw that twenty-foot putt, or walk away?

I walked. And yesterday, I tried playing an entire round without completing a hole. Once within 10 feet, I picked up my disc and counted an extra stroke. The experience was, well, not great.

For those who still have a choice, the decision to keep banging chains is up to you. As someone who has this choice myself, I think the best approach is to stay on the course, alone or in very small groups, and avoid the baskets.
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  #52  
Old 03-20-2020, 01:25 PM
ballgolfconvert ballgolfconvert is offline
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Mailman just put the mail in my box. Do I dare go pick it up? Wait 24 hours?

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Old 03-20-2020, 01:26 PM
jakebake91 jakebake91 is offline
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For all the people spouting off the fatality percentages and acting like it's nothing serious...let us try some perspective......let's say we use a 2% figure. If I gave you a bowl of 100 Skittles, and told you that 2 of them would kill you, would you grab a handful and eat them anyways? Why wouldn't you?? The chance of dying is the same..

And, as others have mentioned, ITS NOT ALL ABOUT YOU! Yes, the elderly are most at risk. But don't their lives matter too? The more the young people spread the disease around, the greater their chances of exposure become. Just because you might not associate with old people in your life doesn't mean someone you might infect doesn't too. Shouldn't we care about that? I sure do.

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Old 03-20-2020, 01:52 PM
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The C.D.C. said yesterday that the virus can live for three days on hard surfaces.
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Old 03-20-2020, 02:05 PM
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The C.D.C. said yesterday that the virus can live for three days on hard surfaces.
Thankfully my hard surface usually only last about 10 minutes.

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Old 03-20-2020, 02:13 PM
broomerang broomerang is offline
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I think we all have a much greater risk picking it up at the grocery store or any other place that the masses frequent.

Definitely play solo or in very small groups and keep your distance but it's safe to play.

No one should be visiting their parent/grandparents unless absolutely necessary and anyone that needs to do so to provide care should act like a healthcare worker.

My wife and father had surgery in mid Feb. I'm not giving into the mass hysteria but neither am I going out for anything other than groceries or the occasional round of disc golf. My bag stays in the garage. I don't touch my face during rounds, and I have hand sanitizer. I have reduced the chances of infection to myself and my family as much as I can. I happen to live in an area that isn't seeing the same cases as large cities and I don't have to see anyone other than the people involved in a trip to the grocery store.

I haven't started wiping off the boxes from the store, I might do that if it gets worse or if I lived in one of the big cities that is having more problems.

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  #57  
Old 03-20-2020, 02:34 PM
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We should know more about all this crap by the middle of April. I've got my own baskets so when the perfect weather arrives I can satisfy some of my itch. I just love playing full courses with friends
and am afraid the timeline for normalcy might take us into the summer of 2021.

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Old 03-20-2020, 02:54 PM
ballgolfconvert ballgolfconvert is offline
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Originally Posted by peabody View Post
We should know more about all this crap by the middle of April. I've got my own baskets so when the perfect weather arrives I can satisfy some of my itch. I just love playing full courses with friends
and am afraid the timeline for normalcy might take us into the summer of 2021.
I am much more optimistic on the time frame. I think if people take precautions, so we can truly isolate who has it and who doesn't, then the worst of this will be over in 45 days. Then things will start returning to normal.

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Old 03-20-2020, 03:13 PM
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R-Ogre R-Ogre is offline
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Best case scenario over the next few weeks we develop treatments that can reduce severity and keep hospitals somewhat free, antibody testing that can determine if someone has had it and should be immune, freeing them to get back in public, and a flu/cold-like recession with warm temps gives us some breathing room.

Worst case, we fight spikes of this every time social distancing is lifted until we have a widespread vaccine next year.
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Old 03-20-2020, 03:18 PM
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bbwrenn bbwrenn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ballgolfconvert View Post
Thankfully my hard surface usually only last about 10 minutes.
Whoa, we got a real iron man over here.

No need to be bragging, big guy.


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