Rick Zamperin: Even paused for COVID-19, sports still offers a distraction

Toronto Blue Jays Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (right) and Bo Bichette sit this one out at edge of dugout in eighth inning of their baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in on Sept. 28, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill

As the world attempts to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, life as we know it has been put on hold.

A trip to the grocery store is now a conversation with yourself or your family, as we ask ourselves, “do we really need that?”

There’s no thought of spending a few hours at the mall to shop for deals or to just hang out with friends, and even a jaunt down the road to visit a family member is out of the question.

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The global outbreak of the novel coronavirus has hit us hard, economically, psychologically and emotionally, and I fear that it is going to take a long time — longer than what many of us are anticipating — before we return to the life that we’ve all been accustomed too.

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I did get a small dose of normalcy, if you can call it that, Saturday night when I sat in my living room and participated in a fantasy baseball draft.

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While I was scanning over the plethora of possible players that I could select for my roster, I was not thinking about COVID-19, confirmed cases, the rising death toll in Canada and abroad, emergency measures implemented by all three levels of government here in Canada, the closure of the Canada-U.S. border, my co-workers having to work remotely, social distancing, self-isolation, washing my hands or not touching my face.

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It was just me, thinking about baseball, statistics and trying to project the performance of one player against a few others, and imagining that one day soon — hopefully — I can spend a hot summer day at the ballpark with a few thousand other people and watch a game.

“Play ball” would sound amazing right about now.


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