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Emma Meesseman couldn’t play for a month due to the coronavirus. That’s a scary thing for NBA players this season, including for the Wizards.

The Washington Mystics forward has lost her sense of taste and smell since last month. This is a cautionary tale for anyone in professional basketball, not just in the women’s game, but the men’s game as well.

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Minnesota Lynx v Washington Mystics
Washington Mystics forward Emma Meesseman took the necessary precautions against the coronavirus, and she still got it anyway. That’s just how contagious this thing is.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

UPDATE on Friday, Dec. 4 at 12:25 a.m. ET: Emma Meesseman has now tested negative for the coronavirus. She is now on the road back to playing basketball again.

Thanks to BF Twitter follower Geert Balenberg for this one.

Though Meesseman is back on the court, it is important to note that she still missed a month of play due to having the coronavirus despite having relatively minimal symptoms. And these things can still affect anyone, whether it’s an NBA or WNBA player — or really, any average man or woman out there!

The original post is below.


I understand that today is a day where we should give John Wall a heartfelt thanks for being the Washington Wizards’ franchise player for a decade. I tweeted that out earlier on our main account.

It is.

But I also wanted to take the time to focus on another major topic that really should be more important on our society at large: the coronavirus. In fact, it’s negatively affecting one of the Washington Mystics’ star players, nearly a month later an initial diagnosis.

According to Sporza, a Dutch language Belgian sports television network, Emma Meesseman is still testing positive for the coronavirus since she first got it last month (and yes, we already wrote a post about that when it came out).

Because of that, Meesseman is not cleared to play for Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg, where she plays during the winter. This is despite the fact that doctors declared her as being uncontagious despite remaining COVID-19 positive, according to her Instagram post earlier this week. Her only symptoms were a loss of taste and smell though they are slowly returning.

Mijn reactie? WAT ENG!

(Google Translate it if you don’t know what I wrote. Dutch, not German is the closest major European language to English by the way. If you know German, I think you know what I wrote.)

On Wednesday, Meesseman gave more details to Sporza regarding her coronavirus diagnosis and how it’s affecting her (link in Dutch, natuurlijk). Though she is now completely asymptomatic, smell and taste senses aside, Meesseman is in isolation. I’m not sure how she was able to do it, but Meesseman is currently in her hometown of Ieper, Belgium where she will likely remain until she tests negative for the coronavirus.

While it’s comforting to be at home, it’s not like Meesseman will find it easy to focus on here game. In fact, she can’t if she were negative.

That’s because Belgium is under a national lockdown until at least mid-December because the “European Union’s DMV” was the world’s hottest COVID-19 hotspot for much of October. That said, it appears that Meesseman contracted the coronavirus in Russia, not Belgium given that she played in Russia during October.

Though Meesseman is otherwise healthy, it’s frustrating to see that she still can’t play right now. She already missed two 2021 Women’s EuroBasket qualifiers for the Belgian women’s national team, though the Cats have ultimately qualified. In fact, her case could be an omen for what’s to come for next NBA season, including for Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards.

The NBA already laid out some protocols on how to get COVID-19 positive players in isolation. The league is trying to get players back on the court via a “test approach” (which appears to be the way Meesseman gets back in her case) or a “time approach” where players can get back to the court even if they are otherwise still testing positive for the coronavirus.

It could really hit some teams harder than others, because 48 of 549 NBA players (or nine percent of the league) tested positive for the coronavirus between Nov, 24 and Nov. 30.

For now, the Washington Wizards don’t appear to be one of the teams that are most affected. So far, only one player on Washington’s squad tested positive, presumably a player who never was in Washington before.

Currently, two players on the Wizards have tested positive for the coronavirus: Thomas Bryant and Russell Westbrook, who tested positive while as a member of the Houston Rockets before the 2019-20 season restart in Orlando, Fla.

I’m not sure exactly how the NBA will treat players who test positive for the coronavirus for an entire month like Meesseman apparently has. Even if doctors deem that one is no longer contagious, no one really knows for sure. And that could affect some teams quite significantly, including the Wizards, because ... most of the team hasn’t tested positive for COVID-19 yet.

Beterschap Emma, en blijf gezond, Washington Wizards!