One day after Bucs tight end Cam Brate announced that he contracted the coronavirus and urged people to donate plasma in a PSA, Brate spoke with the media on Thursday and shared further details about his experiences dealing with the illness.
“I get to hold it over my fiancee’s head a little bit because she’s actually the one that infected me.” Brate said in a joking manner. “She got sick before I did and once she started displaying symptoms we both went into quarantine. I initially tested negative but at some point I guess I contracted it from her and later became infected.For me personally, the only thing I experienced was a loss of taste for two days so I’m extremely grateful that I wasn’t one of the people who got some of the more severe symptoms.
“I will say, the scary thing is, if she hadn’t tested positive I kind of would have gone on with my life as normal and potentially infected other people. That was kind of the main takeaway, how scary that possibility was and I think that’s potentially the case for a lot of other people as well.”
Brate was among the group of teammates that were practicing together with Tom Brady at Berkeley Prep this offseason, but luckily, the timeline worked out where Brate was not around his teammates when he became sick.
“We both kind of shut it down at that point and didn’t really go out of the house,” Brate said. “For me, I got infected after that so luckily I wasn’t in close contact with anyone while I was contagious.”
Even after making a full recovery, there’s still a reasonable concern about returning to the Bucs facility and getting in contact with others.
“I think that possibility is really scary,” Brate said about others getting infected. “Not just for the players but for the coaches and personnel in the building who are around the players as well, because not everyone involved who’s going to be at the building is going to be young and healthy. I definitely don’t feel like I’ve got the S on my chest where I can’t get infected all year but hopefully for a few months I’ll be okay. We’ll see though.”
With that said, Brate has the utmost confidence that the building itself is the one of safest places that you could possibly be given the protocols put in place to make this season happen.
“I think the NFL, the NFLPA did an awesome job working together to create the safest environment they could for us. I think outside of actually playing, the facility is probably one of the safest spots you could really be in, kind of the way they reconfigured everything and the protocols they put in place, guys should feel as safe as they possibly could when they’re in the building.
He described the specifics of just showing up.
“You have to fill out a survey before we enter the trailer every day, they test in a trailer.” Brate said. “I was talking to the quarterbacks yesterday because they had their first day really working with the coaches and they said it was definitely way different wearing a mask at all times in the building. here’s people checking in on the locker room making sure they’re wearing their mask.”
There’s one thing that’s going to be different due to all the changes, and that’s the camaraderie among teammates. There was one spot in particular that Brate enjoyed catching up with teammates but won’t be able to this year.
“The lunch table is something I love catching up with the guys,” Brate said. A group of eight guys talking during training camp is some of the best stuff to really learn your teammates, but they’ve removed six of those chairs so there’s two chairs per table, just the small stuff like that, it’s just going to be totally different. The only time we’re really all gonna be together is when we’re actually practicing.”