‘What a Difference a Year Makes’


This time a year ago, people were in a panic about this coronavirus pandemic. Nobody was sure about this bug going around, but it had a tendency to be deadly.

We just didn't know what this thing was capable of.

Unfortunately, several people paid the ultimate price as a result of this malady. There was so much we didn't know about these cooties that sprung out of China. The rules changed every day, or so it seemed, regarding how we dealt with this situation. We were told masks weren't necessary, then masks were mandatory. We were told to stay home, then we were told to venture back out in the world, but be careful.

You knew it was bad when NBA commissioner Adam Silver shut down the NBA season. Then, an hour before Tennessee was to take the floor in the SEC tournament, SEC commish Greg Sankey shut down the league event. Soon, there would be no NCAA tournament, no Kentucky Derby, no Masters tournament. Wimbledon was canceled and the 2020 Olympics were moved to 2021.

The TSSAA let the Division 2 teams finish their state tournament, but after one round of the girls Division 1 state tournament, TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress put the kibosh on the event. That was a shame, too. We'll never know what Greenfield's girls might have been capable of.

Spring sports were halted and everything seemed to be in limbo. But slowly, we had abridged seasons and post-seasons. MLB embarked on a 60-game season in July. The NBA and NHL held their championships and baseball played its World Series.

We'd proven we could manage this thing. When football rolled around, there was a lot of talk about canceling the season, or playing in the fall. But we had junior high, high school, college and pro seasons with a few hiccups, yet we got through them.

Now we have completed high school and college regular seasons in basketball and are embarking on the post-season. Unless there are some unforeseen developments associated with this virus, the respective leagues will likely complete these upcoming basketball events.

What's my point? We still don't know what this thing is capable of, but we've developed a vaccine, we've kept our coaches and athletes safe, we've managed seasons and post-seasons and we are on go to crown champions this spring, just like we did last fall.

Now, that's the shot in the arm we all really want ... and needed.

Editor’s note: Jim Steele is a correspondent for Magic Valley Publishing and the host of The Pressbox, which airs, from 4-6 p.m., Monday-Thursday on WFWL 1220 AM/99.7 FM, Camden.