BYU junior quarterback Zach Wilson isn’t worried about contracting COVID-19 right now for a very good reason:
He already had it.
“I’m technically exempt right now because I had it, so I’m in my 90 days still,” Wilson said during Monday’s press teleconference. “I think I got it when we had a bunch of the football guys over and having a little gambling night, having some fun. Somehow a bunch of us got it. For me and for the other guys who got it, it was just like a cold. There were minor symptoms and just fatigue. For us, it was nothing crazy. It was four days and we were ready to go again. It was nothing bad.”
He said that he doesn’t worry too much about long-lasting effects from the virus but he knows how it can affect people in different ways.
“I wear a mask to respect those around me,” Wilson said. “A teacher at Corner Canyon who I loved while I was there is in the ICU right now struggling with COVID-19, so I know it affects everyone differently.”
Cougar senior defensive back Zayne Anderson said that BYU doesn’t even tell the players who has tested positive for COVID-19, although that doesn’t prevent the word from spreading.
“They are pretty discreet,” Anderson said. “They don’t announce even to us who has it. You kind of know the guys who have had it and you stay away from some of the guys who might be out and about all the time. But they discreet in keeping the privacy of who has it and who doesn’t. Sometimes you don’t know who has it, who might be carriers.”
After positive tests forced the Cougars to postpone their game at Army last week, BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said the team has learned about how disruptive contact tracing can be.
“We had some education things in learning to understand the virus a little more,” Sitake said. “It’s really not too difficult to understand except the part with contact tracing. We have to be mindful of the situation. What is difficult is when guys test positive, their whole apartment has to shut down and quarantine. Aside from keeping masks on in the apartments, I don’t know if anything could’ve been done differently. I think understanding contact tracing more and adjust to that is going to be the key for us.”
One of the complications has been trying to figure out housing for the student-athletes.
“I would say who you are living with is one of the biggest issues we have had,” Wilson said. “I’ve personally got to find a spot where I can live on my own. If I want to play this season without any issues, I’ve got to go find some place else to live so if any of my roommates get it I’m not stuck being out.”
Anderson said that these types of adjustments are just another example of what a weird year it is.
“There have been a lot of scenarios thrown at us that I don’t think anyone was prepared for,” Anderson said. “I think our coaches and the administration are doing their best to prevent this disease from spreading through our team so we can have a season. I think us as players are willing to comply with whatever they suggest. Who knows what will happen? There has been crazy stuff already. I would never have thought of things like switching houses but if it can help us be able to play this year, I think all of the guys are for it and are bought in.”
He admitted that seeing the case numbers rise in Utah does worry him because of how it could impact the ability of the Cougars to play football.
“Especially in Utah County, it’s really bad around here,” Anderson said. “We have advised everyone to stay away from anyone in the public, to not go to family events or parties or anything. It’s little sacrifices like that which will help us prevent getting this disease. It’s tough around here. It’s a really social city but I think if everyone is willing to comply, I think we can get it done.”