Giger: Sports may not return to normal for rest of year
What we’re going through in this country because of the coronavirus is terrible, for tens of millions of people. And things still are expected to get worse before they get better.
We’re all looking for good news. For slivers of hope. For reasons to think that maybe some of this is overblown and we can get back to our normal lives sometime soon.
But if you follow the medical people — not politicians, not blowhard talking heads on TV, not your know-it-all neighbor, but actual people who study medicine and science and probabilities — there is a sobering reality out there that we are probably a long, long way from our society returning to normal.
When will sports return to normal, with games being played and fans in the stands?
It could be a very long time.
Hopefully we get to see the Major League Baseball season begin, likely in June or July. If so — and it’s a bigger IF than most people want to think about — there’s little chance fans would be allowed at the games.
Same goes for NBA and NHL games.
So, what about football, which is scheduled to begin in 5 1/2 months?
Let’s hope the sport does return then — there’s no guarantee, mind you — can you imagine 100,000 fans sitting in the stands at a Penn State game?
The current nationally suggested gathering limit is 10 people. Even 5 1/2 months from now, it’s hard to believe 100,000 in a cramped space will be safe.
Why? Because medical professionals believe we could be in for a second wave of the virus this fall or winter.
After our country will have lost trillions of dollars and thousands of lives, it’s much more reasonable to think that restrictions will be placed on everything for the next 8-12 months, including attendance at sporting events.
All the talk right now is of flattening the curve, and we are starting to make some slight progress toward that goal.
The problem is, if we flatten it for now but then do things in a few months to undermine the progress we’ve made, the country still would be in for serious and widespread problems.
I’m hopeful we will have an MLB season and, eventually, college football and NFL seasons this year. But all of that really depends on how things go in this country over the next month or two and how much progress we’ve made toward slowing the virus.
When will things truly get back to normal in sports? Don’t count on it until at least next year.
Cory Giger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.