I have not watched a lot of sports since it returned from COVID. There are just too many other things to do. But of the few minutes I have watched of each of the sports have been strange. Hockey, basketball and baseball have all played to empty stands. Football has resumed in the States and most of the stadiums there are empty (although a few teams have allowed a few fans to attend the game maintaining social distance). Some of the teams play recorded fan noise in the empty stadiums. But it is not quite the same.
I am sure it must be very strange for the athletes. Although I was never anything close to an athletic star, I remember once we had a race at school. We were to run 1500 metres around the track. I was a classic long distance racer- I would start slow but somehow was able to maintain a constant pace that allowed me to win a few longer distance races. 1500 metres was usually much to short of a race for me. 5000 metres was more my style. This one day at school though I decided to throw out my usual strategy. I ran very fast right at the beginning and took a huge lead in the race. By the last lap, I was still in the lead but I was flagging very badly and George, who always won the races, began to close the gap very fast. With 50 metres left to go it was certain that I would lose the race. I had slowed to a near crawl and George was getting closer and closer. It was then my physical education teacher began to cheer me on. "Come on you can do it." "Go, go, go." I found just a bit of reserve in my tank and won the raise by a few centimetres. That day I knew the power of the crowd to cheer one on. Today's athletes are missing that roar of the crowd. The home field advantage is not there. When they are down and out, no one is there to cheer them on to victory.
Our lives are different since COVID. I wonder when I will feel comfortable around someone who is sniffing and coughing and not wonder if they have COVID or not? I wonder when it will be before I can walk into the store without a mask on? I wonder when I will stop plying my hands with hand sanitizer, soap and water? I hope to one day go to a concert, or cheer on my favourite team at the stadium, or sing karoake without worrying that the person next to me is ill. These are indeed strange times. But maybe together we can get through this. Blessings.