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What matters in matters of sports

These have been some of the weirdest couple days of our lives, and they’re about to get weirder.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 03 Syracuse at Boston College Photo by Mark Box/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The last 48 hours or so have been a whirlwind the likes of which you see maybe once in a generation — a news cycle that’s moved so quickly and without pause that even someone constantly online like myself has struggled to keep up at times.

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) fears existed coming into the week, but Wednesday night suddenly kicked everything into high gear following the NBA’s decision to suspend the season following the positive diagnosis of the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert. Conference tournament cancellations followed, as did cancellations for the NHL, MLS and MLB, then finally all NCAA competitions (including the NCAA Tournament). The stock market, which had been taking on water for the last couple weeks, plummeted on Thursday.

As you’re certainly aware, we’re in the hysteria phase of this process, with much more to come. Sports is not the most important aspect of this pandemic. It’s just the lens by which it’s seemingly been amplified in the last couple days. We’ll be talking about that a bit as we enter a decidedly strange couple weeks of little to no sporting events taking place in the U.S. — something we haven’t seen since the days after September 11, 2001.

Similar to how I felt that day, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little bit concerned about the state of things right now. Given the poor initial management of the outbreak in this country, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. As someone who has what’s defined as an autoimmune disease (type 1 diabetes), perhaps I’m a little more concerned for myself than most 32-year olds would be. And yet, the bigger problem seems to be how society at large is handling these early stages of what we’re dealing with.

You may have noticed how reactions have moved quickly from muted to panic among the general public. That’s going to continue, unfortunately, until people feel there’s reason to be less concerned than they are right now. In the meantime, thing can get dangerous as people act recklessly and in their own self-interest over those of others. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. It probably has already in certain cases.

Over these strange and troubling next few days and weeks, I hope all of you stay safe and healthy. We’ll be continuing with business as usual here, despite the lack of Syracuse (or any) games going on, and we’re here for a break if and when you need it.

What matters most now, as has always been the case, are the things other than sports: Your life, your family, your health and safety, everyone’s general well-being, and the ability for society to not detach from the individual bonds we forge on a daily basis. The store, the office, the bar, the game... they’re all secondary, yes. They’re also places where we bond collectively, even for just one minute, and for that they hold at least some importance.

Hopefully TNIAAM helps keep some of those bonds intact, even without the games to watch. I know it will for me.