Covid is ruining my sports world

| September 9, 2020 3:30 PM

This past week was one for which I had been waiting many agonizing months.

Sports, live sports, lay before me.

A chance to see high school athletes from throughout the area back on the court and out on the field. The void in my routine was finally going to be filled.

I’m one of those guys who does not live for sports, but who likes them a whole lot. Give me a fall evening watching football, volleyball, basketball and wrestling and I’m a happy camper.

My, oh my, how things have changed.

Thanks to those fine folks in the Chinese Communist Party and their inability to tell the truth, my personal world has been turned if not upside down, at least sideways.

Covid is a dirty word. It should be four letters instead of five. There is nothing good about this disease, this situation it has created or anything to do with it.

But, least we forget, so is influenza. So is the common cold. So is measles and mumps and chicken pox.

What this has done to my beloved sports world is criminal. And I’m left wondering, is all this really necessary?

Contagious diseases have been around since Org left the mammoth skin curtain open in front of the cave and everyone inside got sick. But I’ll bet that did not stop Org and his fellow grunters from going out hunting the next day. I bet it didn’t cause a shutdown in their economy.

I’ll bet cave dads and moms still worked to teach their kids the basics: fire bad, don’t eat that, and how to draw a stick-figure saber-toothed tiger on the wall of the cave with a charcoal stick from the fire pit.

So you can imagine my frustration with trying to not only view but cover and write stories about the games of the week.

I understand the concerns among educators about the spread of this and other diseases. No one on this planet (except for a scattered few looney tune types living under rocks) wants kids or teachers and staff to get sick.

But an example of just how far this has gone happened over the past weekend. There I was, sitting in the stands, mask firmly attached to my face.

As is usually the case with me and has been for all my life, an errant ball came from the field of play and steered right toward me. Over the years I’ve covered sports, there is the mystical thing going on where if a ball gets loose, it heads straight for me.

Last year I was nailed several times during basketball and volleyball games by the old bouncing ball. Maybe in another life I was a ball and was not a nice fellow ball. I don’t know.

But on this occasion, the ball was once again headed straight for me. Now at no time did I feel my life was in danger, nor was I even in line for a bruise.

Instinctively, I put out my hand and gently swatted the errant orb of its course toward my face.

At that point, a school official hurried over. Not to check on me, mind you…I was obviously not hit or hurt in any way.

Nope, it was the ball that needed attention.

It was scooped up in a towel, taken to a corner and swabbed with some type of disinfectant.

No doubt my self-defense swat could have coated that ball with jillions of Covid virus entities. The next one that came my way caused me to lean to one side and let it harmlessly fall into the stands.

Those same stands where shoes with God knows what on them, had been planted seconds before.

No wipe down, just back into the game for you ball.

My point in all this is maybe we’ve gone too far and are too soft. Balls don’t get wiped down during cold and flu season.

Guys like me are not confined to one end zone when the “bug” is going around. No one wears a face mask, or Lord forbid, face shield (those “bugs” can fly around and under those shields) when the first snow falls and every other kid in school has the sniffles.

I appreciate the concern and effort put out by every school administrator. It’s their job to keep kids safe.

Where’s the plexiglass to keep me safe from flying rubber objects?

Whatever “normal” was or is, I miss it!

Chuck Kvelve Bandel is a reporter for the Mineral Independent and Clark Fork Valley Press. Look for his “Kvelve’s Comments” column weekly.