The Boston Red Sox are taking the threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19) very seriously.
Although the organization isn’t ready to sound any alarms as concerns grow globally, team doctor Dr. Larry Ronan ran a meeting Sunday at Red Sox spring training in which he discussed the illness and explained certain measures each individual can take to limit the likelihood of getting sick.
One suggestion: Avoid high-fives.
“He said probably we shouldn’t,” Red Sox interim manager Ron Roenicke told reporters Monday in Fort Myers, Fla., per WEEI.com. “It’s probably the smartest way to go. That’s everything — guys have regular flu or the cold. That’s how it’s spread.”
That’s right. One of the most common acts in all of sports now is being discouraged — at least temporarily — as teams look to combat the disease outbreak that’s currently gripping the world. While it might seem like overkill, the idea is simple: You can’t be too safe.
“Probably the hardest thing for us in this industry is not to high-five — you do it multiple times a game,” Roenicke said. ” … I don’t think we’re quite there, but I know there were some elbows (Sunday) and guys are thinking about it. Hopefully, we get a handle on this worldwide and we don’t have to think about this too much more.”
So, no more high-fives. What’s next?
Well, according to Roenicke, the Red Sox pretty much are taking a business-as-usual approach in their preparation for Opening Day, just with a heightened awareness that the Coronavirus situation is nothing to sneeze at.
“We’ve told guys if you’re not comfortable doing certain things, signing autographs or whatever, do whatever you’re comfortable with,” Roenicke said. “MLB sent some things along, too, and with Dr. Ronan explaining how we can make sure we’re doing the right things and washing our hands all the time and carrying stuff out with the medical staff out on the field, just to make sure we’re doing some smart things.
“Obviously, it’s a concern. I don’t want to say right now just stay away from everybody. Right now, spring training is a huge interaction with fans and it’s nice they can be out there on the practice fields walking around. Just for us to be careful with what we do.”
Better to be safe than sorry.