Things are changing so quickly.

A week ago, it was incomprehensible to imagine a world where no sports were being played. Yet here we are. Professional, college, and amateur teams have disbanded and gone home. Schools are holding online classes and students are sitting in dens across America taking notes.

The speed at which our definition of normal changes is stunning.

Last Wednesday, I was making plans to travel to the east coast of Florida to call Boston Red Sox games in West Palm and Jupiter over the weekends. A day later we were told spring training was over.

Players were told they could stay at spring training sites and hold team workouts. On Friday, Yankees players announced they would be staying in Tampa as a team and continue their informal practices.

Forty-eight hours later they were told to go home. Then they found out a player in the minor-league system had tested positive for coronavirus.


Like the rest of us, baseball players were confused at times and scared at others. They, like us, don’t know what the short-term or long-term future holds.

Arriving in Boston on Friday night, I was stunned to find grocery stores gutted of supplies. I hadn’t felt the same level of panic back in Florida. That feeling spread nationwide over the weekend.

It was a reminder that the sacrifices we are being asked to make are about saving lives. Staying out of bars and restaurants for a few weeks might impact the way we live, but it could be the difference between handling this crisis and watching our hospitals be overwhelmed.

We were also reminded that having no games to play or watch was a very small part of the change we are undergoing. You may never find out if you won your fantasy hockey league. And you’ll probably never think about it again.

Still, has there ever been a time where the distraction of sports would be more beneficial? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up the remote to find a game on TV, only to be reminded there’s nothing happening.

In the past, sports have provided a reminder that we are resilient, that life will go on.


Games helped us get back on our feet after 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing, and so many other low points in our lives.

It will be weeks, possibly months from now when the world of sports ramps back up. We keep our fingers crossed (after diligently washing our hands with soap and water) that the Red Sox will take the field before too long.

Think about it. After weeks of semi-isolation, with medium- and large-sized gatherings banned, how great will it feel to sit in a crowd with thousands of others watching a baseball game?

It’ll be another reminder that we made it through the crisis. A step back towards the “good old days” when handshakes and high-fives were a sign of affection, and not a threat.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN.

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