It was only a question of time, but we would have preferred the answer to wait at least a month.
Instead, it was two weeks only before an AFL player returned a positive Covid-19 test result, which places the only-recently resumed Toyota 2020 AFL Premiership competition at risk of being halted again.
It was Conor McKenna of the Essendon Bombers. The expectation was that Conor McKenna would play in a Sunday game against the Melbourne Dees, but the game was postponed.
Conor McKenna had been staying in Ireland for some time before returning several weeks ago. Whether he picked the coronavirus bug up in Ireland and brought it back, or whether he picked it up after his return is irrelevant, although if it is true that the virus disproportionately affects the lower economic rungs, it is hard to imagine a place more susceptible than Ireland.
AFL chief Gillon McLachlan had much to say, but the salient quote is, “All players and staff have been asked to isolate. The AFL has taken the decision to postpone tomorrow’s match. We said we would make all decisions based on medical advice and our priority is the health and safety of our staff, players and the community.”
The AFL did manage to play eight matches.
The results of those games seem to demonstrate that the new normal in footy is nothing like the old normal.
The third round began with Hawthorn drubbing Richmond 71 – 39. It continued with Carlton squeezing past Geelong 79 – 77. Brisbane Lions won convincingly over West Coast Eagles, 74 – 44, and the Gold Coast Suns 82 – 29 dismantling of the Adelaide Crows.
Not one solitary club broke the 100-point barrier; in fact, the top tally of the week was the 82 scored by Gold Coast Suns, of all clubs.
There were some spectators, under 2,000, permitted to take in the Lions versus Eagles at the Gabba, but it would seem obvious that the AFL will once again rely on zero spectators.