Back when some still minimized the potential threat of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and felt others were merely overreacting to what sounded like a scary situation, San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert wasn't taking any chances.

The nation and much of the world now know the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Everyone has been impacted. Families are staying home and distancing themselves from others. Non-essential businesses are closed. Many supplies and essentials are more difficult to come by.

We don't even have sports to distract us from the madness outside our front doors. Leagues have been completely (aside from free agency, an NFL Draft, or WrestleMania event here or there) shut down.

And yes, some, like myself, have an even greater appreciation for teachers (and my father was a teacher) now that we are trying to take on their roles at home with our children. Where do I sign the petition to raise teachers' salaries?

Our worlds have been turned upside down in a matter of weeks.

Rewind one month. We knew about the coronavirus, but for most of us, it had not yet impacted our daily lives.

Mostert was preparing to travel from his wife's hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, where they live during the offseason, back to the Bay Area. The running back, along with many other athletes, was scheduled to appear at the Santa Clara Convention Center for a sports convention and sign autographs for fans. He was to join 49ers legends like Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Patrick Willis, and others.

Mostert was to be joined by several of his teammates — names like Fred Warner, Kyle Juszczyk, and Jalen Hurd.

Mostert was fearful of what was coming. It turns out his fears were justified. Two days before the start of the event, and four days before his scheduled appearance, the 49ers' leading rusher this past season backed out of the convention.

His reason? To protect his family.

"Due to the recent outbreak of coronavirus in the Bay Area, I have decided not to attend the signing on March 8th at the Santa Clara Convention Center," Mostert shared via Twitter. "With that said, most of you know Devon and I have an 8-month-old son, Gunnar. Today, we are excited to announce we are expecting baby MOST #2 this fall. As a husband and father, it is my job to put my family first. Thank you all for your understanding. I will make it up to you soon!"


Aside from a few disappointed fans, it was hard to blame Mostert for his decision. No one can blame him now. The running back was just being overly cautious at the time, and understandably so.

Now, minicamps, OTAs, training camps, the entire NFL offseason is unlikely to happen. Or, at the very least, much of it will be conducted remotely, which is unprecedented.

The start of the NFL season is still five months away, but even that isn't guaranteed.

While President Trump is hopeful that the NFL regular season will kick off as scheduled, California's governor, Gavin Newsom, is less optimistic.

"I'm not anticipating that happening in this state," Newsom said this past week. "We've all seen the headlines over the last couple days in Asia where they opening up certain businesses and now they're starting to roll back those openings because they're starting seeing some spread and there's a boomerang. One has to be very cautious here; one has to be careful not to overpromise."

In this day and age, so very different from just a month ago, no one can fault anyone for being overly cautious. Mostert did what all of us are doing now, watching out for those we love.

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