As the sun disappeared from sight, and the lights went out, baseball, as we know it, went into a voluntary lockdown. The sell-out game yesterday afternoon at the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches had a different feel from any other game. Word was spreading swiftly through the crowd that MLB had officially declared that as of 4pm EDT, baseball was going into a shutdown and Opening Day would be delayed by at least two weeks. That would put Opening Day at 4 weeks from today at the earliest due to the concerns over the Coronavirus. Most did not heed the warnings to stay out of large gatherings — like a sports stadium packed to the rafters as we saw in that game. Okay, you could see that there were several hundred no-shows among the paid attendance of 8,043, but there were still thousands that still went to the game.
It seems that most people want their sports. Sorry, but your choice for sports will be very limited. It is like the day after baseball’s mid-summer classic when there is no major sports on the television with baseball on their All-Star break, and football’s pre-season weeks away and hockey and basketball off for the summer. Some call it the most boring day of the year.
An official statement from the Washington Nationals: pic.twitter.com/Mb7L3ahj01
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 12, 2020
Even before yesterday’s game had started came a plea from Sean Doolittle‘s wife, Eireann Dolan for fans to stay away.
“I’m probably not supposed to say this, but people I beg of you please do not come to games right now,” Dolan said early yesterday. “I know they’re still inexplicably playing them right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to attend. You’re putting yourselves, the staffs, and teams at risk. Please don’t go.”
Why is it that some people just cannot stay away, and especially those who are in the groups who are at higher risk like so many who were at the game aged sixty and over. Those in poor health are at the highest risk including the annual flu bug. According to experts, the risk if contained is better for survival if you can get treatment.
cancelling large events means slowing community spread. that means our healthcare system can treat people in a constant (albeit heavy) stream and not a simultaneous deluge.
I’d rather start baseball late than see our at-risk fans get turned away from hospitals
— ashley buzzy mchugh (@arbuzzy) March 12, 2020
For now we wait this out. Be smart when you are out in public. Wash your hands and avoid public contact. We can talk and interact here in virtual contact.
The numbers say this is 34 times as deadly right now than the common flu. Since we deal so much with statistics, the best way to go is to not get infected. We will start a new countdown clock to the new Opening Day and continue to put up new pieces daily with our goal of staying positive!
— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) March 12, 2020