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The world turned upside down

The world turned upside down The world turned upside down

It was with an eerie feeling that I drove into work this morning. The roads were nearly devoid of traffic. The restaurant that I live above was closed, its parking lot empty, no fragrant smells of food cooking wafting up to my apartment.

Schools are empty, sports are cancelled and lives put on hold. I think we all know who the culprit is - the coronavirus.

The virus has become something akin to a massive squid, pushing its tentacles into the very fabric of our lives. I’d wager there’s not one person on this planet who isn’t going to be affected by this virus.

It’s definitely affected me. I’m a sports reporter, and there’s no sports to cover.

I feel especially sorry for my seniors. Schools have been closed for an indefinite amount of time. They won’t get to enjoy their final months of their high school careers, and though at this point they are probably tired of school, these next few months are precious things.

They are a time to say goodbye, to bond, to come together one last time before the world and life pushes them on different paths.

I feel pain for my athletes, who are being robbed of the chance to compete. All the countless hours put in training, all the sacrifices made might seem for nought. But it isn’t.

Anything done with passion or dedication is never time wasted. Some lessons are found on the field, but there are many more lessons found within, as we push ourselves to do great things.

There’s a lot of uncertainty and fear surrounding the next few weeks. This isn’t surprising; but we’re not entirely in uncharted waters.

We as a people have been here before. The historian in me knows this. We have survived plagues and pestilences before. We survived the Spanish Influenza of the early part of the 20th century.

My great-grandmother told me what that was like. She had lost her older brother, her family’s only son, to the influenza. She remembers how many of her friends lost family and loved ones.

The coronavirus is not the Spanish Influenza - it does not kill at that frightening rate. It has not taken as many lives as the common flu. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t treat this with care.

This new virus has killed, and the death toll will go up. There are parts of our society that are at high risk - the elderly, those with poor immune systems or breathing issues.

We need to be on the same page at this time. It’s going to be difficult, but we can get through this. We have done so in the past, and we will now.

This isn’t 9/11, this isn’t The Great Depression or WWII or WWI. This virus cannot be fought with weapons. It can’t be reasoned with, placated or ignored.

But what it can’t do is steal your hope. It can’t take away your compassion. It can’t take away your humanity. Only you can do that.