Ben Braunecker On Coronavirus: 'Flatten The Curve'

Braunecker was a molecular and cellular biology major at Harvard.

Mully & Haugh Show
March 23, 2020 - 10:43 am
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(670 The Score) Before becoming a tight end for the Bears, Ben Braunecker was studying at Harvard to fight infectious diseases.

Braunecker majored in molecular and cellular biology at Harvard and planned a career as an infectious disease doctor. Those aspirations were put on pause as he pursued his professional football career, which is now entering its fifth season in the NFL. 

These days, Braunecker is training for a new season while in quarantine from the global outbreak of coronavirus. 

"It's been interesting and troubling for me as well," Braunecker said on the Mully & Haugh Show on Monday morning. "I did mention that I always thought a global pandemic is somewhat of an inevitability. But whenever it comes about in this way and kind of shuts down the world almost, it still seems surreal. I'm just trying to get through it with the rest of everybody else."

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Braunecker is presently in Arizona practicing social distancing. With gyms and training facilities currently closed to prevent spread of the virus, Braunecker is training the only way he can -- by lifting furniture within his home quarters.

While Braunecker felt a global pandemic was inevitable at some point, he didn't anticipate it would be COVID-19. 

"It was more along the dismissive side of things initially," Braunecker said. "It was almost a little bit natural. We have seen harmful infectious packages come onto the world stage like Zika or Ebola or more distant in the past, something like Polio or Smallpox. We get over these things. So, I thought that this might be another Zika where we're going to talk about it for a couple months, then we're going to beat it down and just continue on normally. 

"I'm sad to say that I underestimated how infectious it was, how good it was at circling the globe and causing harm to so many people. I'll take this as a lesson moving forward, and hopefully other people do as well. I think in our super-connected society, this is something we have to look out for, be ready for, be prepared for.

"Maybe this is a little bit of a warning sign that in the future, we need to be more prepared to deal with something like that."

One of the first major signs that this coronavirus was significant came on March 10, when the Ivy League canceled its men's and women's basketball conference tournaments. One day later, Braunecker's alma mater Harvard moved all classes to remote instruction in order to prevent spread of the outbreak.

Bears teammates and friends are reaching out to Braunecker getting his input on the coronavirus. He continues to offer a message of hope.

"We're all in this together," Braunecker said. "We're all just trying to get through this, manage this as best we can and save as many lives as we can. We'll try to be as normal as possible.

"Flatten the curve as much as possible. Don't try to get the disease, don't try to spread it to anyone else. Stay calm and we'll all get through this."