This, too, shall pass.
The coronavirus will not end the world. It will recede. If it does so in a timely fashion, then we should be ready to adapt to whatever form normalcy takes.
Utah Jazz players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and Thursday, after which waves of postponements, cancellations, and suspended schedules crashed in — all shamefully, sadly later than they should have come.
But come, they did, except for a few high school and college competitions — basketball got canceled, and the NCAA wrestling championships followed suit.
Winter sports should freeze the standings and cease for three weeks, have every player and coach tested, then resume with their playoffs with no fans present for another month. Comcast Spectacor announced Thursday afternoon that its Wells Fargo Center, where the 76ers and Flyers play, will be closed at least through March. Baseball should shut down until April 2, then start the regular season April 9, no fans until May. March Madness, canceled Thursday afternoon, should be delayed just as long and should resume, but with no fans. The NCAA could still do this.
During Bloody Thursday, most sporting events were canceled or postponed. It should be all, everywhere: College. High school. Middle school. Club. This is close to what happened with spring sports, exactly 10 minutes after this column posted Thursday afternoon, in the Central Bucks School District, where they were suspended. At about the same time, Montgomery County schools and gyms temporarily closed.
These suspensions are half measures. End the sports now. Pick them up next year. Following the lead of the Ivy League, college basketball conference tournaments petered out Thursday. Take it a step further, like the Ivies: All schools at all levels should cancel all spring sports. Once again, intelligence begins in the Ancient Eight.
This doesn’t mean the lucrative men’s and women’s basketball Division I NCAA Tournaments need to die; more on that later.
We need a framework for resumption of athletic leagues and sporting life when the coronavirus interruptions recede, assuming they recede within the next month.
Granted, these are imperfect solutions, but these are uncharted waters, and the severity and lethality of the novel contagion should not continue to be dismissed, as often has been done by President Trump and his sympathizers. The coronavirus isn’t a cold, and it isn’t the flu. To suggest that it is like either is ignorance multiplied by malpractice magnified by political agenda.
No, the coronavirus is as much as 10- to 35-times deadlier and, generally speaking, much harsher in the victims it lays low. It can scar your lungs, damage your liver, sicken your guts, and it can last a long time. And that’s just what we’ve learned in the past three months.
There is no argument to be made. Just shut it down. Everything. There doesn’t need to be a champion of anything; not at the cost of even one life.
Yes, kids seem to emerge from this illness with limited effects, and yes, kids love to play sports, but you know what else kids love?
Grandma and Grandpa.