By Jacob Gehring
As I sit at my kitchen table drinking a glass of cold iced water and my dog wagging his tail up against my leg, I can’t help but realize this is not where I am supposed to be this afternoon. I look outside and recognize the pine trees swaying in the wind, the birds singing, and squirrels scurrying around the ground trying to find anything to eat. I realize this is not the view I am supposed to have right now. Right now was supposed to be the South Range baseball team’s first report day in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina during spring break. A team and family dinner was in store for everyone, regarding the rest of the itinerary for the week and as a reunion of familiar faces in an unfamiliar place. This was supposed to be a week of sunshine, warm weather, baseball, and most importantly great experiences and opportunities with teammates and families anyone would do anything for. But instead, as I write this sitting at home with my dog at my side in Canfield, Ohio, I am snapped out of this false reality of sunshine and baseball into a reality of a gloomy day in the Northeast, doomed over by the Coronavirus; COVID-19.
As all of you know, the Coronavirus has swept across the World impacting billions of people all over. I am sure you have heard all the facts, all of the symptoms, all the science, and all of the horrific stories from the hospitals that spiral the news and social media every minute. I am sure you have even read some things that say the common flu kills more people annually compared to the COVID-19, but that is not the point of this. I have many close people in my life who are working very closely with the patients this disease has swarmed, some on the front line in hospitals. I believe most of us know or have a relationship with someone on the front lines, fighting hard not only for themselves, their families, their patients but for everyone in the United States and World. These heroic people are sacrificing more than imaginable for a total stranger that just so happens to be in the ICU they are working at, going to battle against this silent enemy.
Sacrificing their own safety and health; mentally and physically.
Sacrificing their family’s safety and health.
Sacrificing time, memories, and unforgettable moments with their families.
All caused by a virus that has impacted everyone in some way.
So yes, this was not supposed to be the way a school year or a spring sports season every kid and senior dreams about growing up ends. Yes, I do feel sick for all seniors across the country especially those from South Range. This was not supposed to be the way you went out. We are all sitting at home wishing, hoping, and even praying the reality we’ve come to is just a bad dream; one where we can just get pinched and everything is back to normal. But this is not the case, our new normal is one that needs sacrifice and one that needs acts of selflessness.
This new normal all of us are accustomed to is full of sacrifices. From school, social events, all-star games, spring seasons, band concerts, and anything/everything that was scheduled for these months passed by and in the future is now canceled or postponed to a later date. Opportunities that push people to be the best version of themselves, that they have been dreaming of since they were young; practicing and studying hard for those few seconds of glory all ripped away without any consideration. Yes, this is awful. Trust me, I want to run out on the field with my boys in burgundy and gold just as bad as the kid next to me or the next town over; maybe even a little bit more. But this is one of many sacrifices we have to make in order to beat this virus, just like the medical staff is making sacrifices trying to save a stranger’s life at this exact moment I am writing this or you are reading this. So as we all work, do our homework, or play PS4 from home and sulk about lost memories or opportunities, we must realize that some things are bigger than sports. Our simple act of selflessness by not taking the field or going out may save priceless lives. That the sacrifices we make are not even close to the sacrifices being made in our hospitals right around us. That our sacrifices just may save thousands of lives in the process. Frankly, we will not know this until it is all said and done and the “fat-lady sings.” But all we can do is become educated on what is going on around us and do our due diligence.
Karl-Anthony Towns was not supposed to lose his mother to complications due to the coronavirus.
Families in our area and all over the world were not supposed to lose loved ones and friends because of the coronavirus.
This was not supposed to happen.
So, were opportunities taken and stripped from us that may seem important and are important? Yes. But instead in a time like this, we need to think of other’s suffering and what we can do to help. Through our minimal effort, I believe in the years to come we’ll all be grateful for the opportunity to enjoy the company of our moms, dads, grandparents, and those close to us. Yes, we will ALL lose opportunities we will never be able to get back, but we will ALL gain opportunities with the people we care about the most. Just how it is supposed to be.
Hopefully in the next couple of weeks schools reopen, the quarantine is lifted, and we can all go back to creating and experiencing unforgettable experiences.