Dr. Cindy Prins on WWE and AEW running shows in Florida during the pandemic, whether pro wrestling’s testing protocols are strong enough, her message to COVID-19 deniers

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Outside Interference Podcast with guest Dr. Cindy Prins
Host: Kenny Herzog
Twitter: @KennyHerzog
Website: Kennyherzog.com/
Interview available at Spotify.com/episode/3h8jrAsjuP4tyLGrY31Hrq

Dr. Cindy Prins on concerns over Florida reopening bars and restaurants as COVID-19 cases are found in WWE and AEW: “Certainly as you open up restaurants, you open up bars, you open up temptation for people to go to these places, there’s a tendency for people to potentially spend a long period of time there without a mask, and I do think that there can be some concern there. We’ve got people coming back to school and all these other events happening in the state that all may contribute in their own way to an increase in cases. With rate of transmission, that can kind of bleed from the state into the world of restaurant wrestling and then vice versa as well from what you would hope would be a bubble back into the state. Any time you’ve got a situation where there’s a potential for transmission within their house, if you will, you’ve got potential for transmission outside of the house, and all of that transmission can contribute to further cases in the state, so you do have to worry about that.”

Dr. Cindy Prins on whether wrestling promotions’ protocols are enough: “Putting protocol into place is good. You’ve got regular testing that’s hopefully going to identify cases early, allow contact tracing if needed, try to keep people from being in the ring if they are COVID-positive so they’re not exposing just their opponent, but everyone else around them. The problem we always run into, Kenny, is it’s the human factor, right? As you see things starting to open up, you see more people going out. There’s not only that potential to just come into contact, there’s also that temptation. It’s almost a sort of peer pressure. That happens where if you say no, you become that boring person who didn’t want to go out or who’s taking this too seriously. From my own perspective, that’s the person I want everyone to be. But the problem is that even within those protocols, we’re going to be running into these situations of people wanting to go out and live their lives again.”

Dr. Cindy Prins on how performers working for multiple promotions can be safe: “The only thing I can say is pushing for testing and saying, ‘This is really important to me, to know that if I’m getting in the ring with someone, that I at least have a high confidence that they’re not COVID-positive.’ I think you can do a little bit more as far as wearing a mask and trying to maintain that social distance from folks. I know there are times where people are expected to be ringside during a match. I would want to see them still wearing a mask at that point, just because of the large number of contacts they can have right there with other people who may be at high risk. But I think some need to advocate within the sport for themselves to say, ‘You know what, I’m valuable. I may be young, but it doesn’t mean that COVID-19 won’t affect me.’ We are seeing potential longer-term outcomes for people who become ill, even in young, healthy, athletic people. This is a matter of protecting their future career and making sure that they’re going to be able to continue on.”

Dr. Cindy Prins on what she would say to COVID deniers within the sport: “I appreciate that they have their concerns and their opinions, and I appreciate that people want to think for themselves and consider all of this. But on the other hand, I would say that as someone who is in the field of public health and also someone who’s seeing what’s happening on college campuses and other places with this pandemic, this is real. There are some cases where the data may be hard to interpret sometimes or where we are still figuring things out, but this is 100 percent real. You know, we are experiencing this pandemic with a very high level of deaths. Even if you are feeling like some of these deaths may be misattributed, you can still look at the differences in deaths from past years versus this year and see that increase where the difference that we have is that we’re experiencing a COVID-19 pandemic. And so you’ve got to look at all of that data and when you’re weighing that and making those decisions. It’s serious. I take it very seriously. I take every measure that I can to prevent myself and my loved ones from getting infected. I appreciate there’s a freedom of thought in our country, but I would ask that everyone look at the data and the evidence and really understand what you’re looking at when you’re drawing those conclusions.”


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