Amid the overblown media coverage of the Super Bowl each year, there are often a few stories about the unusual venues in which football fans are catching the big game.
The International Space Station comes to mind.
Back on Earth, venues have ranged from movie theaters to churches to a waterfront terrace in Miami where the game played on a giant screen floating on a river. And of course US military personnel have been known to catch the game at bases around the world—sometimes even in war zones.
This year offers a new venue that’s unique to 2020: a federal quarantine center holding about 200 Americans recently evacuated from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. The evacuees, who landed Jan. 29, are being held in a cordoned-off area of the sprawling March Air Reserve Base east of Los Angeles, where they can be safely monitored by health officials. They will be held for 14 days, the estimated incubation period of the Wuhan virus. Chinese officials have said that people can spread the disease before showing any symptoms.
“What we try to balance is how to respect these people, restrict their rights, and still be very careful with the evaluation we give them so everyone is protected,” Chris Braden, an official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Military Times.
Part of respecting them, it seems, includes allowing them to watch today’s Super Bowl, an essential part of American culture for many. The rooms they’re being kept in look rather sad, but at least they’ll have the big game.
More evacuees will likely land on US soil in the near future. Yesterday defense secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Health and Human Services to house 1,000 people who may need to be quarantined upon arrival from overseas.