Looking forward to a crowded stadium

I grew up loving Major League Baseball. My wife isn’t as big of fan as me, but she still likes to go to a game or two each year. As a treat to ourselves, we bought tickets to the Philadelphia Phillies game in late August against the Cincinnati Reds. 

We were excited about the game for months and had planned-out the whole day. We took off from work, went out for a big breakfast, and then got to the ballpark early. We found our seats, a mere 15 seats back from the diamond, and reveled in the scene. We were so close that we could hear the players yelling to each other during batting practice. I was able to lean over the edge of the fence on the first baseline and get Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper’s autograph. He told my wife that he liked her Phillies shirt and encouraged her to cheer loudly for the team. When she told him that she was a teacher, he lobbed a ball to her to give to one of her students.

Of course, this is all a dream, a nice dream, but still a dream. 

Our outing went up in smoke like everything else that COVID-19 has touched this year. Like so many events, everything from graduations, weddings, family reunions, funerals, etc., our day out was cancelled. In 2020, major league baseball is played in front of huge empty stadiums and cardboard cutouts of smiling fans.

Instead, when our big day out came around, we remained stuck at home. Oh, we ordered take-out from a local restaurant, but we were still stuck at home.

In the six months since schools, parks, restaurants and other public places closed or had limited seating because of COVID-19, life has changed. First and most importantly, thousands of people have become infected and died from the terrible virus. Still others have lost their jobs and have taken sizable financial hits. Lives have been twisted and turned inside out. In my own instance, my family has been hit harder than we ever could have imagined.

I had just left the office on Thursday, March 12 and had barely walked into the house when I got a call from my boss. I thought she was calling to give me some feedback on a presentation I had made. Instead, she was calling to tell me that we would be working remote until further notice. I remember having lots of questions and her not having a lot of answers. Little did I know that a few short months later, I would become a COVID-related furlough.

Lessons learned

COVID has had a bigger impact than any of us might have ever imagined, so much so that I’ve been thinking about some of the things that I’ve learned during this time: 

–Live one day at a time. The virus is not a death sentence, but it’s still nothing to be taken lightly. In reading about the many different cases, I’ve become even more grateful for everything in my life.

–Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Oh, I knew this one, my mother taught me this when I was young, but the past six months have certainly offered a good reminder. Wash your hands. Clean up after yourself. Cover your mouth when you sneeze. And oh yea, don’t forget to wear a mask.

–Family matters. Period, end of statement.

Oh, I’m disappointed about some of the changes we’ve had to make, but I’m counting down the days, until COVID is a distant memory and when my wife and I can go back to watching the Phillies in person at the stadium.

I guarantee you that I’ll take nothing for granted again.

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