Pandemic has changed our lives

By Steve Sell
March 25, 2020

This is all so surreal that I still can’t wrap my head around it.

The coronavirus outbreak sweeping the world has changed the way we live. Our country has grinded to a halt with no end in sight. All sports, from grade school to pros, are helplessly idle and a major source of our entertainment is on hiatus – for how long, we simply don’t know.

Normally at this time I would be preparing for the crush of high school spring sports. While the colleges had been going for six weeks with sports such as tennis, baseball and softball, the preps traditionally get into the full swing of things the first week of April, with a smattering of events in the last week of March.

Of all the seasons I cover during the actual school year, spring is unquestionably the busiest. There are far more sports in the spring and many more results to compile. Those days where I had multiple track meets I would have to come in much earlier as those take a long time to record. Just for the preps alone, I had eight high schools and then McPherson Middle School, which has four teams.

But now it’s silence.

We have to get our country healthy, first and foremost. We have to find a cure against this “invisible enemy.” It’s becoming more and more evident it affects everyone, not just those in my age bracket than can collect Social Security. Hopefully young people are not feeling invincible and that they’re immune to this disease. They should not ignore authority and follow guidelines that have been set.

The stories of tragedy from this virus are too many to count. My heart aches every day when I see the number of cases reported and the death toll rising. It aches when I see the state of New York needing 3,000 ventilators and receiving 400. Those in the medical profession are going beyond the call of duty and risking their lives every day. When I hear reports that some of them are becoming ill themselves, it again makes my heart ache.

At some point, we’re all going to know someone who has contracted the virus and even worse, somebody whose life has been taken. As New York governor Andrew Cuomo has said, this is a speeding bullet.

Yes, Kansas doesn’t have the number of cases of a New York, California and Washington, three states that have been especially hard hit. But there are probably many, many more cases of the virus in our state, but unreported due to a lack of testing. But Kansans can’t let their guard down. We have to be vigilant and follow all the steps that we know all so well by now.

This is the new normal. Together, we can slow the spread of the virus and hopefully at some point we’ll get back to the old normal.