When Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 on March 11, 2020, the NBA decided to shut down and the rest of America finally seemed to understand that this pandemic was something to be taken very seriously. Between now and then, the NBA created health and safety protocols for all the players and coaches who tested positive after him.
Almost two years later, Gobert has tested positive for COVID once more and entered those protocols, which either means that the circle is complete and the pandemic will be ending soon or time is a flat circle and we’re about to restart the whole thing over again.
At least, those were the prevailing jokes on social media when the news was announced on Twitter.
The writers are just recycling old storylines now. This is embarrassing https://t.co/JHH22VTy6D
— David Gardner (@byDavidGardner) January 7, 2022
Proof that the pandemic is in re-runs. https://t.co/PLbRoEVgxC
— Matt Ortega (@MattOrtega) January 6, 2022
Ok time to break out the sourdough starter https://t.co/C2QCzAiurO
— Emma Baccellieri (@emmabaccellieri) January 6, 2022
The clock strikes 6. "I Got You Babe" plays cheerfully on the radio. Bill Murray awakes. Etc etc etc https://t.co/UC9Htn9vPj
— Laura Albanese (@AlbaneseLaura) January 6, 2022
But seriously, this is the sign we have been waiting for that this thing soon will be over. Rudy Gobert is our guide, then, now and forever. https://t.co/E7gs4k0KMI
— Neil Best (@sportswatch) January 6, 2022
I saw this movie already. https://t.co/62SEMEQinY
— Joe Flint (@JBFlint) January 6, 2022
I'm convinced that we're stuck in a time loop https://t.co/qa5ljAeBl2
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) January 6, 2022
Looks like the simulation is glitching https://t.co/or6VKlWQll
— Charlotte Wilder (@TheWilderThings) January 6, 2022
Someone go check on Tom Hanks. https://t.co/79BClL47cO
— ian karmel (@IanKarmel) January 6, 2022
Gobert infamous rubbed a microphone at a press conference as a joke just days before he tested positive, becoming a poster child for just how important it was to protect yourself and others from the virus. Months later, Gobert discussed the incident and what he learned from it.
“It came from a good intention,” Gobert told ESPN in December 2020. “It was the first day that we found out that the media was not going to be able to interview us, right next to us, and, you know, we obviously didn’t know as much as we know now, and I only did that to try to liven the mood a little bit.
“It was, of course, if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t do it.”
Gobert said that he was still dealing with symptoms from COVID a few months later, including a lost sense of smell.
Gobert won’t be able to play for the Jazz on Friday when they take on the Toronto Raptors and it’s presumed that he’ll be out for about a week, assuming he tests negative. Gobert reportedly took two rapid tests on Wednesday when he sat out a game against Denver due to illness and both came back negative. However, a PCR test came back Thursday as positive.