Sports are basically my life, but some things seem a bit bigger than athletic competition.
So I feel like I lied again.
I was all excited to start writing again and then I didn’t write. A week turned into a month and now we are sitting here two months later, yet it feels as if the entire world has transformed during that time.
In many ways it has. COVID-19 was barely in its infancy when I last updated my blog, with the first U.S. case being confirmed on January 22, 2020. As of today (March 31, 2020) we are sitting at over 163,000 cases in the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). A few weeks ago all of the major sporting leagues around the world cancelled or suspended play, sure, but far more than just sports have been effected.
Schools have closed (including the one I work at); forced to foray in the world of full-time online learning without any of the necessary infrastructure to support it in place. Shopping and entertainment in general – all closed, with many small businesses likely closing their doors for the last time due to this virus. It’s still very surreal to me as I sit here in my home in Upstate, NY; the world has managed to both shut down and keep moving on at the same time. This has proven to be especially so in Italy, Iran and New York City where life has been devastated.
In the most human of fashions, this new pandemic has seemed to bring out both the best and worst in humanity. From pictures of planes full of medical personnel flying to help out in NYC and entire school communities rallying together to ensure the health and education of our population; to corporations putting the almighty dollar over people and individuals using the situation to horde supplies and then gouge their neighbors in need. The response from people has run the gamut from amazing to downright evil. COVID-19 has exposed critical flaws in the healthcare systems, infrastructures, economies and governments of many countries around the world. It’s shown that collectively, as a society, we have not done enough to protect the majority.
Forget just the down-trodden and unfortunate among us, this pandemic has ripped holes in a majority of our lives. We will lose friends, family members and important members of our community due to this virus and how ill-prepared our world society was to handle it. I’m terrified that my fiancee, a healthcare worker in a local hospital, will one day come home and confirm that we both have the virus and that I will lose her to it. Yes, currently the death rate to this virus in the country is around 1%, but would any of you take a 1/100 chance of losing any of your loved ones? I wouldn’t. I’m afraid that my parents, all over 60, will catch it and not come through. I have close friends just starting new businesses who may lose them, without having done anything incorrectly. I’m scared of these possibilities, but for many others this is already the reality. I’m mad at myself for thinking that this would be less of a deal than it has turned out to be; lamenting the loss of the NHL and MLB seasons and my own hockey season due to some virus that I didn’t know enough about.
I’m not sure when the world will get “back to normal”. I’m not sure the next phase of humanity on this planet has the same normal. Perhaps it does. I’ve been repeatedly shocked at the ability of our society to forget and move on from tragedy and events. “Never Forget” from 9/11 has turned into numbness over constant school shootings, terrorist bombings, hate crimes and protests; with each even barely registering for the collective society. “Outrage for a day, forgotten tomorrow; changes never made” seems to be the pattern.
I hope that isn’t the case this time. I hope people have taken notice of the world around them and how easily it was brought to its knees by nature. I hope those of us that have banded together and shown great resiliency, fight and urge to help others keep that flame going well after COVID-19 has run its course. I hope those who would use, abuse or game tragedy for their own benefit will learn, change or be erased from society as the majority trend towards the common good, not singular benefit. I hope those governments that have stopped representing the people they represent are exposed and forced to change to benefit life, not profit and power. I hope the businesses that put “the bottom line” over humanity go bankrupt and are replaced with companies that show compassion and know that a high-tide should raise all boats, not just the boats with the most capital on board.
I also hope sports do come back soon, I really miss the friendships, camaraderie and passion it brings out in people, especially myself.
Just a guy who loves sports.