Pandemic Paranoia: Indian sports and Coronavirus, The risks and rewards

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Coronavirus, a nano-sized dynamite spanning a diameter of 120 nanometers has instilled and struck fear in the hearts of the human race like never before. After having already been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, the virus probed its way to infiltrate a number of daily happenings including sports.

The Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), which has claimed over 5000 lives now is proving to be a threat across everything in its vicinity.

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In a way, the virus has had a cascading effect over the sport at a global level with India coming late into the frame. After the foreign governing bodies decided to put a hold on the proceedings, India replicated that by implementing actions of their own.

After the disease crept its way to India, the sports authorities were forced to postpone events which began with the IPL. The Indian cricket team too faced the brunt of the ruthless contagious disease after having their series against the visiting South African team called off after it was initially decided that it would be contested under closed doors.

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The damage is not limited to cricket, the situation is either so critical or severely blown out of proportion that sporting action has been eradicated all over the country. While that is up for debate, it sure has created a void for the fans which no amount of quarantined movies can fill.

The Indian Super League final, for instance, is set to take place in front of an empty stadium. While the decision seems practical, it is just so unfair on the teams who have toiled their way for the fans over the last couple of months.

To paint a picture as to what it has done to the other prominent sports, the events across badminton, chess, boxing, shooting, tennis, and plenty of others have taken a hit with no foreseeable recovery.

With the BWF canceling all the events till April, the Indian federation had to follow suit by declaring Indian Open to be contested under closed doors. This takes a severe toll on the Tokyo 2020 aspirants as the ranking points earned until April 26 will determine who catches the plane to Japan.

The hard work put in together by athletes to qualify for the upcoming Olympics is being undone due to this freezeout of sport. Just like the popular saying which says that “The show must keep going on”, even though the current circumstances look dire and bleak, sport can be a ray of hope in these dark times.

Despite the pandemic, there should be a way for the proceedings to be carried out with accord to the prescribed protocol. For a mass proportion of people, sports is the medium to switch off from the harsh reality of chafing their fingers off behind a computer screen all day, more than a medium, it is passion, it is an entity to which one can pour their hearts out

The continuation of sports under these circumstances would be nothing short of an inspiration for the people who are quarantined. Just like the fans, the players would be on their toes to be back on the field, arena, their so-called battlefield, where they put themselves on the line for the flag or the badge. Although the safety of the players should be the number one priority at all costs, the world can’t just succumb to this virus. Whether it be constant sanitization, limited spectators or the elimination of the virus itself, the unity posed by sport has to be stronger than the viral envelope playing spoilsport.

The absence of sport makes the world a grim place to be, with the first day without any sporting action proving to be a gloomy day in itself. The guy writing this affirming the same.

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