Sports This Week - The day the sports went dark

It appears over the next few weeks I may just have to leave a big blank space when it comes to sports since almost every league in North America and beyond are on shutdowns because of the potential of games to be the site of transmission for COVID-19.

The National Basketball Association was the first big league on this continent to suspend play, taking the action March 11, after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive to the disease which was raised to pandemic status by the World Health Organization earlier that week.

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One can imagine how easily a disease might transfer from player to player in basketball where you will definitely share sweat with opponents and be breathed upon too.

While healthy people of NBA player age appear at a very low risk of dying from COVID-19, the risk of transmission to people outside the on-court environment was real, and for reasons of safety, and likely liability the league took action.

It should be noted the NBA was not the first sport to take such a decision. The International Ice Hockey Federation has announced cancellation of the 2020 Women’s World Championship some time ago, and there had been other event cancellations.

That said, the NBA decision made the concern for the disease far more real for many.

And, the day after basketball shutdown the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, National Lacrosse League, Major League Rugby, Major League Soccer, Canadian Hockey League and others moved to go on hiatus, or postponed play as the disease situation plays itself out.

Some of course are suggesting the moves are overkill, which time may show.

However, COVID-19 is obviously a disease that moves quickly, based on its long period of being infectious, and that is creating issues for those trying to deal with it.

While I am in no way a health expert, I would suggest it is easy to see where health care systems could become overwhelmed by patients, and maybe face shortages of those things needed to treat the ill.

So attempts to stem the spread do seem wise, especially in areas such as sport, where play is far from a required activity in our lives.

The decisions of the leagues do come at a cost, with sports teams contributing to economies in a number of ways that will be felt by many if the shutdowns were to be for months.

Certainly in our household sports will be missed. We deleted 12-14 games that were scheduled for the DVR over about a two-week period and that doesn’t include watching the Toronto Arrows and various NLL games online.

It won’t be the end of the world, I still remember how to open a book, and there are these moving picture shows that can be rather entertaining.

And, we will need our diversions because I suspect before COVID-19 runs its course it gets far closer to home in Yorkton.

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