Rockets players John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins began the season quarantining due to the NBA’s contact-tracing protocols. They got haircuts in an apartment with teammate Kenyon Martin Jr., who later tested positive for coronavirus.
“I was mad. I was hot,” Wall said. “I ain’t going to cap. I was hot. I was hot.”
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Wall said. “All I did was get a haircut in my apartment. And one of the teammates tested positive and the next four or five tests I had all came back negative. So, I was like ‘Oh, it was me and three people can’t get a haircut.’ I’d rather get a haircut in my apartment than be in a barbershop somewhere where random people are coming in constantly. Even the barber tested negative. That was a frustrating thing.”
The issue wasn’t Wall and a few other people getting haircuts. The issue was one of those people later testing positive for coronavirus. That meant everyone in the apartment who didn’t already have antibodies was at elevated risk of getting coronavirus themselves.
Sometimes, people take reasonable risks and still get exposed to the virus. When that happens, they should act appropriately.
People who contract coronavirus can test initially negative for several days. However, they can still be contagious during that incubation period. That’s why the NBA required Wall to quarantine, even as he tested negative.
If he had gone to a barbershop with strangers, Wall might have been exposed to someone with coronavirus. The big difference: The NBA probably wouldn’t have known a random person had the virus. Wall could have interacted closely with his teammates – and possibly spread the virus to them.
That wouldn’t have been better.
It’s good news Wall never tested positive. But the NBA required a reasonable amount of caution during the potential incubation period.