Sports after the pandemic!

 

Open Day graphic by Steve Mears

It is quite clear that we are all yearning to a return to some semblance of normalcy. If you are like me you have read several books, you’ve watched many bad TV shows, tried to get a grip of where we are medically, socially and economically and if you have any sense you avoid the political talking heads like the plague itself.

For all of us or at least most of us the idea of going out to dinner, a movie or a play feels like something from ancient history books, something that no longer exists. If you are like me you miss sports most of all; baseball in particular. I for one am unable to get a fix from watching games that happened already, like a drug addict I need a fix of the thrill which comes with a portion of the dread of losing.

So where are we in this regard? Without the expertise required to give a learned answer my impression still is that we are clearly heading in the right direction when in comes to ‘flattening the curve’, there is debate afoot about the actual mortality rate of the outbreak as well as the risk to different parts of the population and the debate like all debates is coated with politics so each ‘analyst’ presents experts which confirm what the ‘analyst’ wants to confirm. Here are some things which to me are not controversial:

  • There is a desire to loosen some of the restrictions and return to some of the activities we all used to take for granted. This is already happening in several countries in Europe.
  • As we begin to take baby steps to return to normalcy the focus will remain on ‘baby’ steps. Without whatever any government tells us we will continue to avoid things which scare us so odds are we will continue to keep a distance, avoid large crowds and continue wearing masks.
  • Life will start returning to a semblance of normal long before vaccines are part of the solution. The time frame needed for vaccines to be available for the masses is just too long to think otherwise.

Sports in the forms we are used to are quite likely to be the last thing that returns to normal. There is very little doubt that major soccer games in Italy, Spain, France and England fueled the outbreak there. Allowing crowds of 15,000 to 40,000 is not happening any time soon. When you consider all the possibilities the answer is obvious; we need to restart sports without fans in the stands. It’s gonna be weird and it will take some getting used to. Additionally, they need to figure out the logistics as well as the compensation which is fair to the players as well as the owners. I think in the overall scheme of things this cannot be the hardest thing in the world to accomplish and when they do start playing it will be a feel-good time for all involved.

It is really critical that the individuals who always find holes in every plan aren’t allowed to ruin it for everyone who has hope and a positive outlook. It it’s obviously not gonna be a normal year and there will be many un ideal aspects involved but cmo’n any kind of sports is better than no sports and any kind of baseball is infinitely better than no baseball.

Graphic by Steve Mears

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