It’s the month of May, and all of us are still slumbered away in our homes practicing social distancing. The coronavirus began in China, which gradually spread across the globe, forcing businesses of all sorts to close their doors. The virus disrupted life as we know it, as we have been unable to go to restaurants, bars, schools, social gatherings, and sporting events. In fact, because of the spread of the coronavirus, we didn’t have the opportunity to see opening day of MLB, NBA Playoffs, or the XFL’s first season… And that’s just in America! Soccer, tennis, hockey, golf (we love sports and we don’t care who knows)… You name it, it’s been closed down until things start clearing up again. We had to watch an “at home” NFL Draft this year, which was successful, but it just didn’t feel the same. On top of that, the American economy has dropped significantly, and there are more people who have applied for unemployment than ever before in the US.
Even though COVID-19 has altered our normal, social lives, sports leagues around the world are looking to open back up as soon as possible. Same with restaurants, places of work, etc. Summer of 2020 is only a month away, but football season doesn’t start until the fall. And although the NFL is releasing the 2020 schedule this Thursday, there is still some speculation of football starting on time this year. However, there are a few different things happening right now that offer some optimism to a dread filled 2020 year. Here are a few reasons why life will be back to normal sooner, rather than later. Which means football should be starting on time without skipping a beat.
Other Sports are Coming Back
At the moment, there are hardly any sports going on across the globe, however, in South Korea, they’ve re-started their baseball league. ESPN is airing Korean baseball everyday, allowing sports fans everywhere to watch something sports related! It’s not the most popular league in the world, and fans are not attending the games, but it’s a huge sign of positivity as football season is only about four months away. Furthermore, this should be an even better sign that MLB comes back soon as well. There isn’t a set date yet, but the league has been discussing of starting the season this summer, shortening it down to 100 games, and still wrapping up the World Series in October. The MLB can use Korean baseball as a nice example to follow, as fans probably wont be able to attend games until the world has a better grasp on the virus.
This Saturday, ESPN will be airing live UFC fights in Jacksonville, Florida. They will be PPV, but the fact we have live sports in America being broadcasted is another huge step towards normalcy. This weekend is filled with a stacked card, as heavyweights Francis Ngannou fights Jairzinho Rozenstruik (rooting for Ngannou). We also have a bantamweight matchup between Dominick Cruz and champion Henry Cejudo (go Cruz). Lastly, the main event consists of Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje (my money is on El Cucuy). There is no other (popular) sport in the world that consists of more contact than MMA. Fighters are constantly mixing it up in training, as they go over boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, jiu jitsu, muay thai, and everything else in between. Considering these fighters are in constant contact with each other during training, and will be competing against opponents this weekend, only proves the world is ready to start opening back up, little by little. It would be wise for the MLB, NBA, and NFL to follow suit, which would also allow college sports to open up and play too.
School’s Back in Session
Multiple colleges across the US have announced they are opening their classrooms again this coming fall. Some of them being big time football schools, like Ohio State, Oregon, and Texas A&M. This is a controversial topic, as many people are accusing the schools of being greedy businesses that only care about gaining a dollar (they were like that BEFORE the virus, but that’s a different conversation for another time). The truth of the matter is, that colleges wouldn’t open their campuses back up if they felt it wasn’t safe enough. There are many precautionary acts the schools are taking, and are asking the students to do the same. Additionally, the virus is only dangerous to those who are old, and/or they have an under lying health issue. Considering that most college students are between the ages of 18-24, they should feel rather safe going to class. This is also a fantastic sign that college football will be starting this fall, albeit, there will probably be no fans present at any games. But the fact schools are comfortable enough to open their doors again this fall is a giant leap in the right direction towards normalcy.
Get Back to Work
So it looks like sports, and schools are coming back soon, which means workplaces are next. Already, we have entire states re-opening, meaning people will be able to go back to work. Most employers are taking necessary steps to keep their workers safe, as some places are asking their employees to come back to work on an every other week basis. They’re also making sure to continue practicing social distancing in the work place, having people work in every other desk, or office (coming back to work is completely optional as well). Already in states like Florida and South Carolina, restaurants are opening up their doors for regular dining. This is HUGE for society, as the sooner workplaces can function normally, the sooner people will be able to get hired again. This would drop the unemployment numbers drastically, raising the economy back up, and allowing life to get back to normal even sooner than we previously thought. It’s more than likely everything won’t be fully back to normal until a vaccine is created, but the fact we can work again will only help the country as a whole.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
Now, this is probably the most political I’ll get on Vitale Talks, as the entire country wants the world back to the way it was. However, the US is divided on WHEN. To me, Republicans want it back too soon, while Democrats are being way to hesitant. In fact, it’s getting to the point where both parties are using the virus for political advantages. Republicans boast about Trump’s orders, claiming he’s made the right decision every time and that you should vote for him to continue his success (he has and he hasn’t, very in the middle), while Democrats are using fear of the virus to turn people away from re-voting for Trump, and instead vote for Joe Biden (just a pathetic attempt really). But before we start ranting about political views, let’s just take a look at what the numbers say (all information can be found at worldometers.info).
Based on what we’ve seen so far, the US has the most contracted people in the world (if you believe China’s numbers), as well as the most deaths. Even though this is true, the death rate in America, and across the world, is incredibly miniscule. The world population is roughly 7.7 billion people. Currently, there are only about 3.7 million people who have contracted the virus in the world. Of those 3.7 million, only 285,295 have actually died from the virus, while just over 1.2 million of them have fully recovered. Now I get it, that 285,295 death count will go up as time passes (which will be higher once I post this article), and is already a large number considering we’re only in the beginning of May. However, there have been more deaths in other diseases and acts across the world than the coronavirus. For example, more people in 2020 have died from HIV/AIDS (579,650+), cancer (2.8 million+), malaria (338,221+), smoking (1.7 million+), alcohol (862,414+), suicides (369,762+), traffic accidents (465,466+), and drowning (290,373+). Despite whatever your political beliefs are, these are the numbers. These are the facts. You might be thinking, “But the numbers are skewed because of social distancing.” And that’s true. Because of the social distancing the entire world has enforced, it has slowed the spread of the virus. However, according to worldometers.info, the current death rate of the virus is only about 3.4%. But we’re only able to use the numbers of people who have contracted the virus and who have shown symptoms. When you take into consideration the amount of people that have unknowingly contracted the virus and didn’t have any symptoms, the death rate drops even lower. These are the numbers to observe, as the world has done a better job than I thought we would at containing the virus.
Because the actual number of contracted people is unknown, we can’t put an actual number to the death rate. We can only speculate, and educated guessing brings it to less than 1%. But there has been an incredible amount of reports of people who have contracted the virus, only to have it go away, leaving zero symptoms or problems for those people. This is both good and bad news. The good news is, the coronavirus is even less deadly than experts previously imagined. This means that people who are in their mid-30s and younger should feel safe going back into public again, as people who have underlying health issues, and people who are old (60+) should continue being safe. The bad news, is that you can contract the virus, then give it to someone else without knowing it. This is what makes the virus so dangerous, and THIS is the reason why we are all social distancing until a vaccine is found. At this point, we know the virus death rate is extremely low. So low, that we can start opening businesses back up, but we need to continue being cautionary so we don’t infect any high risk individuals.
So, after stating all of this, I want you to keep in mind that we need to continue practicing social distancing. We need to continue to be cautious when going out into public. If you fit the demographic and are a high risk individual, please stay home and stay safe. I’m NOT saying that because things are clearing up that it’s time for us to let loose again. The point of this article is to smooth over any confusion, cease any fear of the virus, and offer optimism to the world. According to the numbers, it’s time we start opening everything back up. Sports coming back into play will be the first real step of normalcy, which should be the goal and aspirations of every person across the globe.