In the most recent episode of the Arizona Cardinals Flight Plan, team president Michael Bidwill addressed the coronavirus with his team.
“Take this seriously. We all have to be committed, because this is going to be a wild season. So far it’s been a wild offseason,” he said. “We’ve done everything we can do to give you all the tools, all the instruction, all the safe measures that we can take, so let’s take this seriously.”
Bidwill has the first-hand experience to caution his team.
Around July 1, he caught the coronavirus and ended up in the intensive care unit of a Rhode Island hospital.
Bidwill said he had been following COVID-19 protocols. He wore a mask when necessary and was only outside when exercising in the morning, early enough that few people would be around.
He felt a symptom come on and got a test. It came back negative. It was a false negative.
Four days later, he began to feel significant fatigue.
His symptoms continued to worsen. Two days later he had a fever and headache, and a doctor recommended him to go to the hospital.
He spent the next five days in the ICU at a Newport Hospital.
“When ER doc came back after I got the CT scan of my chest, she sat down next to me and she held my hand. And I’m like, ‘Why is the ER doctor holding my hand, and why is she looking at me so concerned?’” Bidwill recalled.
“She said, ‘We don’t have your test yet, but the CT scan shows prominent COVID in both of your lungs.’ And she’s looking at me like, ‘Dude, you’re going to be on a ventilator in a day or two.’ It scared me to death.”
With Week 1 underway, it will be important for players to avoid the coronavirus both for the sake of their own health and for the season to take place in full.
Bidwill hopes that with the lessons that he learned, his players will be extra cautious in their off-the-field activities.