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Back to the “New Normal” Future
28

MAY, 2020

School 
Sports
Pandemic

Schools announce plans for the fall, sports leagues try to get on with business, and cruise ships announce plans to sail again by August. Is it time to get back to something like ‘business as usual?’

The University of California system has announced that all classes this Fall semester will be online, while the University of Utah and other Utah schools start to make plans to meet on campus in a few months. Many people are anxious to get back to some semblance of life as it was before the virus pandemic. Many experts advise continued caution as we face a disease that has killed more than 100,000 Americans in a few months and shows surprising resilience to attempts to track and control its spread.

In Germany, the top two tiers of professional football have been back in action for a few weeks now. Other European leagues are setting timelines to get their players back on the pitch, with the fans safely watching at home, they hope. Leagues, teams, players, sponsors, and fans around the world watch Germany’s cautious experiment with some hope. While they are certainly playing under very different conditions so far, there is at least the opportunity for the professionals in the game to do their jobs, the teams to fulfill some of their obligations under broadcast rights contracts, and sports-starved fans to enjoy some elite football while they’re
stuck at home a lot more than usual this year.

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Photograph by Lorem Ipsum via Unsplash
“The most important thing is getting this right. We have to get it right.” Christopher Nelson, University of Utah spokesman.

In the United States, the National Basketball Association is in talks with Disney to conclude the 2019-2020 season at a single massive sports facility near Orlando. They anticipate that all the games, practices, and training could go on there until the season is concluded. Major League Soccer in the US is also considering resuming play at the same location, which could accommodate both sports at one time. Meanwhile, executives of baseball, hockey, and football leagues are looking for a plan to return to play as soon as possible.

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Photograph by Lorem Ipsum via Unsplash

While a lot of people are understandably excited about the signs of some return to life as it was before the virus spread around the world, many others are wondering if our priorities are in the right place. Is the effort to resume sports leagues really one of the most important tasks we face now?

The world is far from “normal” right now, that’s certain. Experts are learning that a large percentage of COVID cases have very slight or even no noticeable symptoms, or the patient may show delayed symptoms for a few days or weeks while the person is very contagious but unaware of being sick. These “silent spreaders” are a continuing risk of sparking a rapid wave of infections that could spread quickly if not restricted.

What’s your opinion? Do you think we should be getting as many things to full operation as soon as possible, such as pro sports and some schools are trying to do, or should we continue cautiously opening some parts of society more rapidly and completely than others?