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Sara’s Diary: Day 7 without baseball

It all changed so fast.

Wrigley Field
A stunningly empty Waveland Ave just beyond the left field bleachers at Wrigley Field.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

There is a dense fog over Wrigleyville today and it’s been here all morning. It sort of matches my mood one week into the COVID-19 quarantine. I feel hazy, like I can’t see clearly and like I have no idea what’s ahead.

It’s been almost exactly one month since the bottom began to fall out of the stock market. The first signs of trouble began on February 20. I looked back to see what I was doing on February 19. It was the week before my birthday and really couldn’t see anything remarkable. I led a meeting on the event I canceled last week, wrote about the PECOTA projections for the Cubs for 2020, and ran three miles. Pretty standard stuff. Absolutely no indication whatsoever that we were one month from a radically different world filled with uncertainty.

It’s been one week since the NBA announced that Rudy Gobert had tested positive for coronavirus, an announcement that first suspended tipoff at a Jazz/Thunder game in Oklahoma City, and then quickly led to the suspension of the NBA season.

It was less than an hour after we’d recorded a podcast episode wondering if Opening Day would have fans at ballparks. 24 hours later, Spring Training was cancelled and Opening Day was postponed. I listened to that podcast episode again this morning before I wrote this. It’s funny how quickly and suddenly it can all shift. Parts of your life that felt secure, and certain devolving into the unknown, just like everything else:

This morning as I walked through the fog to get my coffee I noticed the dog walkers out and about. A month ago it would have been normal for them to pause, let their dogs play with each other and socialize. Today I watched them crossing the street to avoid each other. One lady physically restraining her small terrier to keep it from interacting with another dog. As an aside, it’s almost irrational how strongly I am clinging to this “take a morning walk and get coffee” ritual. It’s the same way I’m clinging to my “afternoon run by the lake”, ritual. I can’t control the impact the coronavirus is having on the broader economy, but I can support my neighborhood coffee shops and log 10,000+ steps a day.

Where were you a week ago? What strikes you about the differences between then and today? Let’s hash it out in the comments.