The Early Days of the Pandemic Are Already Being Memory-Holed

At least Rudy Gobert and Tom Hanks are happy about it.

Will Leitch
4 min readJul 6, 2022

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Rudy Gobert is a fantastic basketball player, an all-NBA selection and likely a future member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, but that is not how I thought he’d ever be remembered. On March 9, 2020, Gobert, at the first press conference after the NBA imposed social distancing guidelines for reporters, mockingly touched every microphone on the dais, letting everybody know he wasn’t scared of no virus.

For what it’s worth, I’ve always thought Gobert got a bad rap for this. What he was trying to do was show solidarity with the reporters, who were upset at the time that they were being treated like infectious invaders. And besides: How seriously were you taking Covid-19 on March 9, 2020?

The minute you started taking it seriously was two days later, when Gobert — in the ultimate irony — tested positive for Covid-19 just minutes before the Utah Jazz’s game against Oklahoma City, leading the game to be canceled, the league to be shut down and…

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Will Leitch

Author of six books, including “How Lucky” and "The Time Has Come." NYMag/MLB.. Founder, Deadspin. https://williamfleitch.substack.com