What is an organic bubble?
Great, let’s end this story here and now. A bio bubble (or a secure bio bubble) is essentially a protected environment created for the purpose of ensuring that Covid-19 does not enter. Conceptualized last year from the start of the pandemic, the bubble was a way to allow the right people sitting at home in front of screens to play sports, while protecting athletes from the threat of the virus. Essentially, sports organizers requisition specific areas essential to the conduct of an event (accommodation areas, catering, training grounds) and lock them down. If you are in it, you are in it. Don’t go out and don’t come back. Think of the bubble as an island (Pitcairn is ideal) and those inside like Robinson Crusoe, as World War III rages on the outside. You learn very little, see very little, and feel very little. After a while, in a bubble, you start to yearn for Wilson. Wait … this is another blocked reference …
Looks awful. Those inside the bubble must be mentally traumatized.
Yes and no. Yes, it’s traumatic to be stuck in a closed space most of the time doing nothing other than dreaming about going out. But it’s also a lot of other things. Without neglecting mental health – a fact many talk about vaguely inside the bubble – the fact is that athletes are essentially workers (not to be confused with essential workers). They enter the bubble reluctantly, simply because they need to earn the money they earn from playing sports to support their families.
Read also | We have replaced steel in our moral compass with gold; How can he point north?
Conversely, it is an incredibly privileged space because, all in all, the fact that they can do what they love, have access to open spaces at least once a day and are barricaded in facilities for most five star. is quite something. The bubble is hard. But, with the humanitarian crises raging everywhere, it’s a bit of a privilege.
What kinds of protocols do they have in these bubbles? Is it like a prison?
Depends on the organizers. Some organizers believe that athletes are human beings with feelings and should not be barricaded and treated like sheep. Others believe they are sheep and should be treated just that way. The protocols are basically very simple. RT-PCR tests are performed for each member of each team once every two or three days. When recording the negatives, the sport continues.
Read also | Hosting and How to Host: An Introduction to BCCI on Profit Trading
Players are placed in hotels and teams are often assigned floors. The teams themselves allocate separate rooms for different needs (for example: a treatment room, an administrative staff room, etc.). In addition, schedules are allocated to teams to access specific facilities such as the gym, the terrace, the conference room, the restaurant of these hotels.
Wait. One minute. These hotels are open, right? And these are common areas for all guests …
Right. Most of the time, these spaces are blocked at certain times of the day, disinfected and prepared for team access. Hotel staff are kindly requested not to allow guests into this area at these times.
But the hotel staff themselves are outside the bubble!
Uh. Not all. The cleaning staff assigned to each floor, the security staff and the restaurant staff are locked in the bubble.
Wait. What? Are these workers locked up just to provide for a group of comrades who want to kick, throw or hit a ball? It’s ridiculous! What a waste of resources! And what more can we say, they are separated from their families for a salary that is perhaps very meager. Scandalous!!!
Calm down, millennial rager. We told you it was an extremely privileged position. But also think about this. Hotels that turn into bubbles quite often manage to secure employment for their workers for a fixed period of time and thus secure jobs without loss of pay.
Read also | Super League: Europe chose history over money, are Indian football bosses listening?
This particular industry is going through an incredible economic downturn and jobs have been cut in half in most places. These jobs are valuable and #workerslivesmatter. It is very small but not insignificant.
The hotel staff is therefore barricaded inside. The teams are barricaded inside. No one ever goes out.
The teams go out to train. They are allocated bus transportation and they use these buses to travel to training venues and on match days.
Wait. So these drivers are also locked? What about ground staff at stadiums and training venues as well?
No, they are not. They are instructed not to have physical contact with the teams. Most ground personnel are outside the bubble, with the exception of some specific workers who will inevitably have contact with team personnel. Each team, moreover, is assigned some sort of liaison officer who negotiates everything in between. She / He is the bridge between those inside the bubble and those outside.
Let’s say you practice and shoot the ball off the ground. The ball bounces in a common space where people outside the bubble hang out (gardeners, gardeners, waste workers). In 2019, you would have asked them to return the ball. Now, if you ask them to do it, one of two things happens. a) The LO jumps and takes the ball from him, disinfects it and sends it back to the playing field. b) They totally ignore you. You shout at LO. he exits painfully and cautiously, avoiding any contact, goes to retrieve the ball.
Read also | IPL 2021: Bubbles and men whose heads are stuffed
Say you, a player has a package that you want to deliver, say a sponsor’s product. There is a team member specifically posted outside the bubble who is supposed to receive it, disinfect it and then transfer it inside the bubble (this person’s job is also basically serving as a delivery person for the needs of the team (from medicines to pizzas). The LO then takes him into the bubble.
It sounds a bit complicated.
Oh absolutely. A lot of things inside the bubble just don’t make sense. Teams, for example, are not allowed to interact with each other at all (again, it depends on the organizer). They can play against each other, exchange handshakes on the playing field. Chat there. Even end up sharing common spaces if the schedules collide. But inside the bubble that is the hotel, they are not allowed to “go out”.
The reasons for this must surely have to do with things beyond Covid-19. It must have to do with match-fixing, tactical exchanges, etc.
Uh. Do you think that players from different teams are not friends? In a bubble-free world, they meet all the time on holidays. This is perfectly normal. Plus, professionalism is one thing. An uncorrupted professional will never do any of the above. Others need nothing more than cell phones.
What about entertainment?
Those who provide entertainment are seldom entertained. Okay, maybe that is too gloomy. Most gamers spend their free time like normal human beings… watching movies on the Internet, listening to music, or chatting with their partners.
No partners in the bubbles?
Depends on the organizers. In the case of the IPL, which is a traveling bubble, the partners are also in the bubble. In the case of ISL, a fixed bubble, some teams have made arrangements for players to have their partners in the bubble. In the case of the I-League, the boys were alone.
So if this is all true, it seems very regulated and organized. How do players still test positive?
If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past year, it’s that you can’t control everything no matter how hard you try. Human error is real. Despite the regulation of the bubble, the breaches are not out of the ordinary.
They can be as simple as a simple team member innocently and accidentally shaking hands with someone outside of the bubble (a bus driver maybe, because you want to supplement him on the job done) and as low-key and stupid as someone meeting someone outside the bubble. bubble for a drink. Mentally exhausted by a bubble (which we discussed earlier), humans make mistakes that then have serious repercussions. Additionally, for medical diagnosis (MRI, CT scan, etc.), players may need to be taken to hospitals outside of the bubble. They are quarantined on their return but still … You can never tell where exactly the violation is happening, until it does.
All this for what?
Just so that you, dear reader of the sports section of a publication, can have fun. This hotly debated distraction from everything around him is perhaps unnecessary.
Read more sports stories on Newsclick