Wilson Chandler — self-quarantined after four Nets tested positive for coronavirus — had vented on Twitter about a call from his building manager asking him to stay out of the lobby. Now he’s opened up more in the Players’ Tribune about what the isolation is like.
Earlier this week, Chandler had expressed frustration at the building manager encounter, tweeted “Didn’t even ask was I ok, one. And two, she didn’t ask me if I had been tested and if it was negative or positive. (Screw) this building man. I’m going home.”
In the Players’ Tribune piece, he went further into that conversation — a window into how the pandemic is fraying peoples’ nerves — and also why in the end he opted not to head back to Michigan but self-quarantine himself in New York instead.
“I opened my eyes, and I wanted to write. That’s how my mornings go. I didn’t have my notebook, so I went down to the car to grab my backpack. I also had a Whole Foods delivery, so on my way back up I went by the front desk and grabbed it,” Chandler wrote. “When I got back to my apartment, I had a call from the company that manages my building: “We’ve been reading the reports, and we know four players have gotten the coronavirus from the Nets. Would you mind not coming to the lobby.” How am I getting out of the building if I can’t go through the lobby?’ ”
One condo owner in Chandler’s building did come to the manager’s defense to Page Six.
After four Nets tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday — Kevin Durant coming out and saying he was among the quartet — the others have been asked to self-isolate. Chandler had considered doing so back home in Michigan, but decided against it.
“I went under self-quarantine two days ago. I decided to stay at my apartment in New York. I was thinking about going back to Michigan, but it’s probably in my family’s best interest if I stay here, you know?” Chandler wrote. “It just wasn’t worth it, what with traveling, the risk of getting sick, and then possibly getting my grandmother sick — since older people, with immune systems that are not as strong, are the ones who are most affected by corona. So that was my fear.”
So what has he done with his time since the NBA suspended play on March 11 and the Nets flew back from California? He wrote “It’s not the off-season because there’s so much going on with the virus.”
Chandler has taken up meditation, reconnected with art, been getting humiliated in Fortnite by his 11-year-old, and been reading (“Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson”).
Reading has him ruminating on the plight of the incarcerated, with his father and other family members having spent time in prison. They suffer in terms of healthcare even in the best of times. But in the coronavirus pandemic, they’re especially at risk.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about the people who are locked up right now. Growing up, having my dad and different family members and friends go to prison, and hearing from them about the conditions there,” Chandler wrote. “Even before this virus, there was a prison in Alabama where the prisoners were dying just because of the conditions, just maybe a month ago.
“So, just from that standpoint, and knowing like even now that there are people that’s on the street — I’m talking people not in prison — that can’t get tested. What are those prisoners gonna do that’s treated like second-, third-, fourth-class citizens that don’t have most of their rights? It gives me anxiety just thinking about those people because, wrong or not, they’re still human beings.”
NBA players, coaches and icons have been filming PSAs from home during the pandemic. To date 17 PSAs have gotten over 35 million views. Among them was Donovan Mitchell, whom the U.S. surgeon general cited as an influencer they need to get young people to stay in and practice social distancing.