Well, here we are.
Heading into the midst of playoff fever. Society in general, though, is dealing with fever, and ague, and other symptoms, of a much different sort. COVID 19. I am not qualified to suggest the best ways for people to conduct themselves, but.
The NHL and NBA have suspended their season. The NCAA is prohibiting fan attendance at conference championship tournaments and the March Madness big dance on the near horizon. The Women’s World Hockey Championships scheduled for play in Canada – the preferred location and one that had been looked to to resurrect the public image, and material fortunes, of women’s hockey in some measure – is cancelled.
The World Figure Skating Championship is cancelled. WHL games in Washington State will not be allowed to have fans in attendance. Pre-season and regular season Seattle Mariner games will not take place in Seattle, and may not take place at all. Other ball teams, and MLS soccer teams are considering, or have made, changes to dampen the numbers, or eliminate entirely, in person fans
Gatherings of 1,000 or more are forbidden or strongly disencouraged in several American states, notably right next door in Washington. Concerts are being cancelled. Churches are being asked to maximize, “social distancing,” by their congregations.
Some schools, from daycares to universitities, have closed, are closing or are considering shutting down – during a critical time of the year in terms of student success and credentials. The Men’s World Hockey Championships may soon be cancelled, and European football is decreeing that some of its most important and popular teams and events forbid fans from watching in person.
Italy is closed.
A lot of economic impacts are occurring, and more are expected.
Then there are the BCHL playoffs. Every remaining team expects and hopes for more than 1,000 people being in attendance at every game. Every remaining team also plays within a short distance of a hospital, a few or many geriatric care homes (whose residents are most at risk from Covid 19), and in areas with populations prone to travel, especially at this time of year, with children less likely to be stringently hygienic during those travels.
Wenatchee is, probably fortunately for them, out. The Wild would have needed, even if they were allowed to play and travel, to close their facility to fans.
So far (as of Wednesday night) I have heard of no explicit orders or warnings that people should avoid the crowds gathering at playoff sites. That does not mean such warnings will not come. Nor does it suggest anyone at all at risk should consider attending games.
My crystal ball is pretty cloudy, but it does seem there are going to be more negative impacts of Covid 19 in the pipeline in short order. We will all need to stay tuned.
• Meanwhile, supposing we quickly come out on the other side of this mess, there are events we hope will still benefit from our planning and involvement.
Trail Little League early bird registration closes next Friday.
Trail Youth Baseball needs coaches for their generally successful all star teams. (contact Darren Miracle if you can make yourself available to help out). Pretty good gig to get to take over the top AA team in the region, for instance.
AND, Congratulations to Ryan Murphy, just named an All Conference All Star for his season at Fitchburg College of the Massachusets St. College Athletic Congress. Couldn’t happen to a better kid. Nice to see he has fully recovered from the tough injury condition that limited his playing time and effectiveness in two seasons as a Smoke Eater.