Adjusting. But to What?

April 25, 2020 A major transformation in a way of life is always tumultuous. Whether it’s a job loss, divorce, health crisis or natural disaster, adjusting always involves a mix of bewildering complexity – emotional, financial and practical. These days for all of us in different ways the pandemic presents all of these issues and more. Because unlike an event that happens this one is unfolding slowly, painfully and over a protracted period of time that does not admit of a clear ending.  Some misguided governors might think they can force an end to the necessary sheltering-in-place and social distancing measures that have brought the economy to near standstill. They are like the village idiot at the gas station who thinks it’s okay to smoke because the stringent measures taken to prevent an explosion have proven unnecessary. We’re in this for the long haul, and by that I mean at least some months if not longer. There may be more or less relaxed versions of the public protocols designed to reduce personal contact and thus transmission, but it’s hard to see a definable end to the inability of classes to meet, sports arenas to reopen or folks to gather for...Read more


April 21, 2020 Springtime is when life blooms. This season has been odd to watch, however, since there’s been such a great contrast between the normal process of nature coming into full bloom and the gut-wrenching agony of the pandemic worldwide. The experience has been made all the more acute because of the value associated with getting outside and taking walks. Here we are, trying to enjoy nature but to do so we have to avoid other people. The sad part in the Northeast is seeing so many parks and walking paths closed down because they are overcrowded.  Manhattan’s normally bustling 1.5-mile long High Line is among those greenways closed to those who most need it in these strange times. City-bound folks throughout the country are facing a similar limitation. Yet they are also the people who badly need fresh air. That’s especially the case for those living in apartments, who need fresh air and open space the most. As with all such public health issues these days, the problem falls most acutely on those with little exposure to outdoor recreation  – the poor, the house-bound, and  those working long hours directly confronting daily exposure to the virus. Here in...Read more

Awaiting Sports

April 18, 2020 As someone who has been writing about sports for several decades now – the last 25 years full time – I suppose I should welcome back athletics at a time when so much of daily life has been shut down. In fact I do, but only when the moment seems right. Right now it feels unseemly to contemplate the return of professional sports and televised games when there are so many more important matters to attend to. Like saving lives. Reducing the rate of further infections. Making sure health care workers are properly outfitted. Seeing to it that adequate testing is available so that our schools reopen, businesses return and people can go out in the streets and engage each other directly. Until then I am fine with waiting it out. Major League Baseball has been toying with the notion of sequestering all 30 teams in the Phoenix area for a season to be played out in various empty stadiums there, with the athletes, coaches, support staff, umpires and limited media hermetically sealed in hotels, their meals delivered to them under carefully controlled conditions, with frequent testing to ensure that no one has the corona virus; and...Read more