These are scary times we’re living in. The COVID-19 pandemic has people all over the globe in a state of fear and anxiety. We were shown, this past week, that the sports world is not out of the virus’ reach, as nearly all major and minor sports have ground to a halt across North America.
We’re all here because we love sports, hockey in particular. These times are made more trying by having our familiar escape routes blocked off, seemingly forced to confront this frightening new world alone.
You are not alone. We’re here. We’re feeling all the same things that you’re feeling, and we’re going to get through it together. There will be plenty of time to dwell on the negative in the coming weeks and months, and we’ll keep you abreast of everything, but for now, let’s hit the “Pause” button, and focus on some things that will make us smile.
Here are five shamelessly flowery thoughts for your Friday:
Goin’ Brazy Brazy
Even in the worst-case scenario that this season ends without a proper conclusion, we will know that we have ourselves a special player in Brady Tkachuk,
Almost matching his 71-game rookie season totals of 22G-23A (with 21G-23A in 71 GP) before the pause of 2019-20 Thursday, @Senators sophomore Brady Tkachuk (as his place here shows) has been a rare blend of youth, skill & physicality pic.twitter.com/VvsoUpB5Rm— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) March 13, 2020
While his numbers aren’t Lindros-esque, the fact that Brady’s keeping pace with the likes of Jason Arnott and Owen Nolan, on a seriously horrible team, while taking substantially less penalty minutes, is a great sign. Especially when one considers how many penalties he draws. Per Natural Stat Trick, Tkachuk is second in the league in penalties drawn (28) to only Brad Marchand.
When ever you get a little sad, scared or anxious, think of Brady’s big goofy smile after sucking someone into a dumb penalty. That will help, even if just momentarily.
No One Left Behind
With the current stoppage of proceedings throughout the world of sports, those truly in need of our concern and support are the unsung heroes. The people working in arenas, and as low-level team employees are now laid off with no access to income, and facing an uncertain future.
However, there are those looking to change that.
“I reached out ... to find out what it would cost to financially support people who aren’t going to be able to come to work.”— ESPN (@espn) March 12, 2020
–Mark Cuban on his plan for Mavericks employees during the NBA suspension pic.twitter.com/McOl1vHUqO
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is leading the charge to lend financial aid to those in need, a hugely important step in ensuring that no one else is put at risk unnecessarily due to the outbreak.
This will also increase the willingness of people to engage in social distancing, and keep others safe as well. Great stuff from Cuban. Expect the NHL to follow suit in some capacity.
Dog Days Are Over
I will not do the “WHO let the dogs out” bit. I refuse.
Breathe easy, folks. The WHO has confirmed that our four-legged family members currently aren’t in any danger of spreading COVID-19, making them the perfect companions to cuddle up with when you’re staying at home more often these days. If anyone’s thrilled about that, it’ll be them.
I’m lucky enough to be constantly around dogs, and they’ve been one hell of a de-stressor over the last few months.
Meet my soon-to-be eight year-old schnoodle, Koda, who’s back home with my family in Sudbury:
And my girlfriend’s six month-old corgi named Tofu, who has laid his claim to my apartment:
Don’t be afraid to lean on your faithful companions. That’s what they’re there for.
If you’re ever in need of some uplifting news, check out goodnewsnetwork.org. They’re an online publication dedicated to lifting your spirits by filtering through the darkness, and bringing you the stories that will make your day.
You absolutely have to check this one out, of a young Star Wars fan meeting her hero at Walt Disney World. Even the attendant couldn’t contain himself when faced with the unbearable cuteness. Here’s the video:
For licensing and usage, contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted by Brittany Beard on Saturday, May 4, 2019
We’re On Our Way
While the situation outside may seem grim, there are some great reasons to be optimistic. Governments in Canada, and around the world are beginning to address the need for social distancing, likely hindering the spread of the virus.
And on the front lines, Canadians are kicking ass like they always do.
You can read the full article here, but a conglomerate of researchers from McMaster University, and the University of Toronto, have isolated SARS-CoV-2, the cause behind COVID-19.
While I’m not nearly smart enough to understand or explain the scientific details of this, the virus’ isolation will “help researchers in Canada and across the world develop better diagnostic testing, treatments and vaccines, and gain a better understanding of SARS-CoV-2 biology, evolution and clinical shedding”.
Huge congratulations, and thanks, to Dr’s. Kozak, Mubraeka, and Banerjee. Incredible.
Were that not enough, Canada did even more to contribute to the fight against the pandemic.
In a piece for Narcity.com, Stephanie Hilash reported that a Saskatchewan-based company called VIDO-Intervac have developed a potential vaccine that is beginning its testing phase. The vaccine must first be tested in animals, and then in humans to determine its safety, and efficacy.
While a vaccine hitting the public market is still some time away, this is a huge step toward returning to some semblance of normalcy.
Of course, it just happened to be our country coming through again.
In the comments below I encourage you to share any positive stories, or things that you think will make everyone smile. Let’s all take care of each other, and have a second to decompress.
Remember: Wash your hands, and stay home if you’re sick! :)