Today was supposed to be Opening Day, the start of my favorite time of the year. Baseball season, the unofficial start of spring, a time of optimism and happiness. A time when 30 teams would carry the hopes and dreams of millions of fans who would hang on every pitch, every hit, and defensive play over the next six months.
This year is different, different in a way none of us could have imagined. The stadiums are empty; the hopes and dreams for many are very different. A hot dog, peanuts, popcorn, and beer may still be the wish of many, but for different reasons. It is because they may be hungry; it is because they may not have money to buy food as they have had to choose between food and their mortgage or rent.
The crowds may be gone, the experience of standing in unison to sing the National Anthem may be gone, the spur of the moment high five with a stranger due to a home run or a great defensive play may be gone. While these experiences we associate with baseball may be gone, the camaraderie of rooting for the same thing is not gone. We all want this unprecedented health crisis to end, so the number of people who are dying stops.We want this to end so we can get back to work, back to school, and back to baseball. When this happens, the economy will begin to recover, and our lives will start to get back to normal. Normal may not be the same as we know it, but we will adapt and adjust to what will be the new normal. That is what we do as Americans; we all carry the scars of our past; we cannot avoid that. Remember, scars are part of the healing process.
Like baseball, our current situation will only be resolved with a team approach. A baseball season is long, and everyone has a role. Everyone needs to be ready when called upon, and everyone needs to support each other. The same is true for our current situation. We need everyone to do their part and be part of the team that beats COVID-19. When we do that, we will WIN. World Series Championships require a balance of hitting, pitching, defense, and, most of all, team chemistry. There is not one thing that is going to pull us through this crisis. It is going to take us all doing our part; social distancing, hand washing, giving to those in need in any way you can, random acts of kindness, an encouraging word, supporting the businesses you can, and in general, being a good and kind human being. Together as a team, we will beat this and win.
Be safe, be healthy, and in honor of Opening Day; wear your team colors today.