Cristiano Ronaldo's positive test highlights Covidiocy: Neil Humphreys
Elite football bubble losing touch with grim reality of the coronavirus
When nuclear Armageddon comes, cockroaches will find a way to survive. The same could be said of Covid-19 and elite football.
Nothing, it seems, is going to derail the gravy train.
Rising infection rates, increasing death tolls and a positive test for Cristiano Ronaldo cannot stop the Nations League from ploughing ahead.
While European countries ponder further measures and city-wide lockdowns to curb the spread of the coronavirus, meaningless fixtures continue for the joy of watching sterile football inside an empty stadium.
Isn't this getting a little out of hand now? Isn't the dichotomy between the needs of public health and the wants of elite football getting just a tad uncomfortable?
In our perpetual state of bleakness, live sport should serve as a trivial distraction from the decidedly non-trivial. There has to be the real world and the football world and never the twain shall meet.
But they're not just meeting now. They're charging head on, like a couple of stubborn bulls oblivious of the other's existence.
Covid-19 doesn't care about Ronaldo's five Ballon d'Or wins and one wonders how much the 35-year-old cares about Covid-19.
There's nothing to suggest irresponsible behaviour on his part, but the asymptomatic one may be symptomatic of a wider insensitivity in his industry.
Ronaldo violated Italian coronavirus protocols. He left Turin for Portugal's training camp. According to local health authorities in the Piedmont region, that's a violation.
But he wasn't alone. Other Juventus stars also left Turin to join their respective national teams - despite the Serie A champions being in isolation after a couple of staff members tested positive for Covid-19.
Regulations were breached in a country suffering a worrying surge in infections. The Italian Prime Minister has just imposed new restrictions on gatherings, restaurants and sports and school activities - and half of Juventus jetted off to play in the Nations League.
Elite football had to function in a protective bubble for months to ensure its survival, but a detachment from the real world has contributed to some strangely detached behaviour.
Ronaldo, a master of his own public relations in normal circumstances, shared a photograph of a Portugal team lunch, where there could not have been less social distancing had they sat on each other's laps.
Such incidents make the game appear out of step with a wider environment that cannot control the virus' spread across Europe.
Ronaldo joins Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara as the biggest names to test positive. Others will follow.
In time to come, it may be easier to list the elite footballers that haven't contracted the virus.
Recently, Ireland had five players ruled out after a squad member tested positive for the virus. Last week, Ukraine drafted in 45-year-old assistant coach Oleksandr Shovkovskiy as Covid-19 decimated the squad.
Unsurprisingly, France prevailed 7-1 in the subsequent international friendly, underlining the utter pointlessness of such fixtures. What could either side have learnt from the farce, beyond the fact that teams rarely play well after a pandemic has wiped out the squad?
But such concerns attract little attention as jittery media folks, desperate to protect their cash cow, stand in front of the latest Covid-19 graphs, shouting, "there's nothing to see here".
In Britain, Project Big Picture dominates the headlines. Briefly, the project aims to transfer £250 million (S$441.9) from the English Premier League to the lower leagues to keep smaller clubs solvent.
Some consider the move a power grab from the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool to control their own interests (and money). Others argue that the scheme, which was rejected by EPL clubs last night, is a necessary evil to ensure a more equitable distribution of revenue.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom recorded its highest daily rise in Covid-19 deaths since June on Tuesday (143 - along with 17,234 new infections).
Liverpool is already under virtual lockdown. Other British cities will follow.
But a brave soul has yet to shout over the white noise of the Nations League and Project Big Picture and enquire if the game might need to pause for thought. There is, perhaps, an even bigger picture here.
No footballer, no human being for that matter, is more protected, cosseted and isolated from reality than the tanned, sculpted colossus. And still, Ronaldo caught the virus.
His positive test seems like a final warning to break the spell of covidiots and acknowledge that life and death issues might have to take precedence now.