5 WAYS TO SURVIVE BIOBUBBLES

What is Bio-bubble?

Bio bubble is a bio-secure environment in which there is a temporary cut off from the environment. Everyone involved in the tournament, including the players, match officials, and the support staff will be limited to only a few places. This bio bubble aims to eliminate the risks of getting transmissible viruses and infections from the outside world. 

Who goes into Bio-bubble?

To minimize the infection and transmission of COVID-19 in this bio-secure environment, only authorized sports persons, match officials, and support staff is allowed to enter the Bio-secure bubble after testing negative for COVID-19. 

The Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India provides a bio-bubble environment in their training sessions, hotels, transportation, and grounds. All the individuals must be regularly tested, and their temperatures are routinely checked. 

What happens in a Bio-bubble?

Heavily restricted movement of players

The main aim of a bio-secure environment is to keep the athletes and their teams isolated from the world to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission. That is why the athletes and players were given access to the ground and their respective hotels. If one moves out of this bio-secure bubble, he/she will not be allowed to enter again unless he completes his/her quarantine period and passes the tests of COVID-19. 

No outings, no contact with visitors, family

Another mandatory strategy of bio bubbles was that the players would not have permission to access their families, friends, or any person outside of this bio bubble secure environment.

Mandatory self-quarantine on landing

An athlete must self-quarantine  before the matches. That means the players had to land in advance for the tests and self-isolation. This extra time is essential for all the athletes' safety and to eliminate the risks of any Coronavirus transmission. 

Empty stadiums with designated player pathways

The Bio-bubbles system has a noticeable feature of the empty stadium with the least public exposure. Though empty stadiums are a strange sight, the cricket world observed it during the England-West Indies test series. That's a great strategy to protect the players, officials, and the public itself. There were suggestions to artificially provide the sound system to produce the sounds familiar to a jam-packed stadium to normalize the environment. But of course, cricket is a zealous game that needs no artificial assistance, and the enthusiasm of the players is enough to make the game worth it.  

 

How to cope during quarantine and in a bio bubble?

Due to the uncertainty in sports, many athletes are facing a lot of stress and anxiety. Coronavirus lockdown elevates the stress levels from the difficulty facing training and shock of postponement or cancellation of all sports events, including Olympics. The major stress that most of the players were facing is the possibility of no sports for a whole year.

Some athletes and their coaches face problems with their allowances and job security as many athletes and coaches are the only breadwinners in their families. This sudden condition forced them into mental stress about how they will keep providing for themselves and their families. 

 

Some best coping strategies for Athletes and Coaches

  1. Practice Mindfulness - Mindfulness is a state where you are aware of an experience. This includes being in the present and focusing on things that you can control to react in a better way. The athletes' ability to recover from this situation and accept the new change will impact their performance in the future.  
  1. Shadow Practice - Shadow practice core movements related to the sport in hotel rooms as being out of practice means the body will get stiff suddenly due to the explosive workouts that professional athletes have to endure once practice begins.   
  1. Use Body Weight exercises to keep the strength training exercise routine going.
  2. Create Challenges like a Jump Rope competition with fellow athletes to keep one's self motivated. 
  3. Have Mood-boosting foods to keep yourself in the happy zone.
The period of quarantine allows the athletes to adjust their goals. They get a chance to improve themselves and adjust their goals in a better way. Do not be too tough on yourself as these are exceptional circumstances and these times do not last forever.