On March 12th, 2020, the NHL made the right decision to shut down the league as a means of slowing the spread of COVID-19, and it’s a little bit wild to think that it’s already been two months since the world pushed pause.
When the official word dropped that there would be no more hockey (or sports in general) for the foreseeable future, I remember thinking that this was going to be a very strange period to be alive and that the absence of sports was going to be tough to handle. The night before, we were watching the Oilers play the Jets at Rogers Place when news broke that Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the Coronavirus, prompting the NBA to suspend games indefinitely. We all knew that the NHL would follow suit — it was their only play at that point — but we had no idea for how long. Sure, we had been through lockouts and lost seasons before, but those were nothing compared to what’s happening now. This was different. This was affecting everybody and a hell of a lot more serious.
So as we continue to talk about the varying scenarios for how or if the NHL can come back to finish up its season later on in the summer, I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around what that would look like or where we’ll be as a society when the time comes. As I write this, the Alberta government is still finalizing a plan to reopen the economy but there are still endless questions about what that’s going to look like even when we get going. So as we wait for the world to adapt and chart its course against COVID-19, all we’re left to do is do our best to keep things moving forward. Will we be any closer to normalcy than we are today? Will our hopes of watching hockey be any closer than they were two months ago when this whole thing started? How much do we care?
After two months of being locked down, we still have no idea when life will get back to within a $10 cab ride of being normal, or where we’ll be as a society by the time life looks anywhere close to what it used to, but I sincerely hope that everyone reading this has taken moments to appreciate the friends and family around you because, in times like these, those are the people and memories that matter most. Sports will come back eventually, but the opportunities to express ourselves to those that matter most may not, so I urge everyone to take advantage of the time we have. I don’t know about you guys but living this way has caused me to reevaluate a few items in my personal life, and I’ve spent more time on the phone with friends and family than I had in years. After two months, those are the moments I look forward to the most.
Take care, Nation. I feel grateful for all of you.