The global outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which began in Wuhan, China and has since spread across the globe, has killed more than 30,000 people so far, shutting down all sports and everything else in societies around the world for the foreseeable future. It has led to mass hysteria and chaos among people all over the world.
Due to the super contagious and fast-spreading nature of this respiratory virus, families are forced to stay home and all non-essential businesses and educational institutions have been closed. My mom’s job as well as my sister’s and my colleges currently work via remote meetings and learn as a result.
Also, this time of year is often one of the most exciting for sports fans in the US and elsewhere. The NBA (National Basketball Association) and NHL (National Hockey League) are usually ending their regular seasons around this time, and professional baseball players are starting their early new seasons in the United States, Korea, and Japan. English Premier League soccer and American professional soccer are also usually in season now. Unfortunately, due to the deadly nature of the virus, all of these professional sports league seasons have been postponed with no imminent plan for how and when they will restart.
Amateur athletes are also being affected by Covid-19. Since the 1940s, The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball championships are played every year in the month of March, which is where the phrase “March Madness” comes from. It has become a tradition for college basketball fans in the US to fill in their bracket predictions that are never completely correct due to the NCAA tournament’s propensity for upsets that often features small schools like Loyola-Chigago beating more well-known schools like Duke and Kentucky. Due to the unfortunate circumstances this pandemic has created, this year’s tournament was canceled for the first time since 1939, robbing teams like Dayton who wanted to continue their miracle season. Not only that, but all college athletic conferences canceled all spring sports, abruptly ending baseball, softball and track seasons. However, spring athletes may have a lifeline, as the NCAA is considering offering an extra year of eligibility to spring athletes whose seasons were affected by the coronavirus. Division I and II athletes have already been granted an additional year of eligibility.
The Summer Olympics were supposed to take place in Tokyo later this year, but in the last week, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) agreed to postpone the world games by exactly one year in the hope that the coronavirus will subside by then.