The NCAA committee recently determined that the 2020 men's and women's postseason tournaments would take place without the presence of fans before deciding to completely cancel the tournaments the following day. This seemingly arbitrary decision shocked and angered a vast majority of the nation. Late March is the pinnacle of the college basketball season, and in large part because of the hectic fans and wild finishes at the buzzer. Yet, as I dwell on these past few days more and more, I cannot help but respect the NCAA's decision.
The coronavirus has taken off over the past few weeks, and shows no signs of stopping soon. In fact, new decisions are occurring by the hour, so please excuse me if any of my information is now inaccurate. This seems like one of those issues that is a little bit bigger than sports or vacations or perhaps even an education for the mean time. Maybe this sudden outbreak is a subtle reminder from the One who created us that the things of this earth are fleeting and short lived, and that our focus should be on loving Him and loving His people during the midst of this uphill battle. You have no reason to fear if you belong to the almighty King, for God promises to take care of His people.
The first case of the coronavirus was reported in China on the last day of 2019, but was not given significant consideration in the proceeding days. As the virus continued to spread, public officials finally took notice and declared it an emergency on January 30, 2020. On March 8, 2020, the infected count surpassed 100,000 people and the death toll crossed the 4,000 mark. March 12 was a crazy day as people such as Tom Hanks, Rudy Gobert, and Rita Wilson tested positive for the virus.
Universities who were on Spring Break had their breaks extended, and those with upcoming breaks were informed that classes would operate via the internet for the near future. Some universities have even decided to complete the rest of their semester via the internet.
NBA player Gobert's sickness, which was discovered in Oklahoma City, sparked a domino effect in the sports world. The NBA, MLS, and NHL have now suspended their seasons; the MLB is delaying opening day; and the Master's has been postponed, among other things. March Madness tournaments are officially canceled, as well as competition for all other spring sports, meaning that countless athletes competed for the final time without realizing it. It will be interesting to watch this story develop, as the possibility of current Spring-sport athletes gaining another year of eligibility is in the air. Assuming this fails to occur, the cliche phrase, "give it your all, because you never know when it will be your last time" just became a harsh reality for many.
Let this be a lesson to us all to invest wholeheartedly in all that we do, because nobody is promised another opportunity. Furthermore, this virus has impacted more than just the sports world. President Trump suspended travel from Europe to the United States for thirty days, the stock market was recently lower than it has been in over thirty years, and it seems as if every event planned to occur within the coming weeks and months has either been postponed or totally done away with. While some may say that the world is severely overreacting, these decisions are not lacking of impudence.
Sure, the economic and entertaining effects of no March Madness are detrimental to society, yet this issue has extended beyond basketball and is threatening thousands of lives. The leaders of this world must put aside the concerns of a plummeting stock market and of a disrupted daily routine in order to contain this virus and preserve the health of the world's inhabitants. As people of power continue to inculcate you on how to take simple cautions such as washing your hands and using hand sanitizer, please listen to them!
You are of no avail to society if you fail to even take care of yourself.
As everyone tries to find isolation in order to prevent catching this illness, we must also seek unity as a people during this period that will thicken future history textbooks. This is an opportunity that we "get to" have, not a choice that we "have to" make. Seek optimism. Seek opportunity. Never is there a better time than now than for you to love your neighbors. Stay safe!